Keying Lyrical Lady in the Adirondack Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 9th, 2018

Three weeks ago, on opening day at Saratoga, a promising young filly won her debut by 5 ¾ lengths, leading from the start to prevail with authority. On Saturday, that filly—#3 Lyrical Lady—will attempt to take another big step and secure a graded stakes victory in the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.

On paper, she certainly looks like the horse to beat. Trained by Steve Asmussen, who is off to a fantastic start at this Saratoga meet, Lyrical Lady was much the best in her debut, easily defeating a quality field while earning a solid 88 BRIS speed figure. It was a fitting performance from a filly who sold for $625,000 as a two-year-old in training.

Suffice to say, Lyrical Lady has plenty of tactical speed, and the fact that she’s already won at Saratoga is a positive in her favor.  Mix in her ideal post draw plus the services of jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. (who is riding very well this meet), and I think we have a recipe for victory.

Of course, she’s not the only fast filly in the field. #6 Sue’s Fortune, trained by Jeremiah Englehart, actually posted an 89 BRIS speed figure while winning a maiden special weight for New York-breds at Belmont last month by 8 ½ lengths. She figures to give Lyrical Lady a tussle on the front end, while #5 Virginia Eloise—from the barn of Todd Pletcher—could work out a perfect pace-tracking trip after employing those tactics to break her maiden at Belmont one month ago by five decisive lengths.

I’m particularly interested in Virginia Eloise since, as a daughter of Curlin out of an A.P. Indy mare, she’s bred to improve with maturity and could wind up being a very good filly down the road—Kentucky Oaks, anyone? Even if she doesn’t peak until later this fall or next year (when she can stretch out in distance to a mile and beyond), the raw talent she flashed in her debut suggests she could be a major factor on Saturday. Furthermore, as a January foal, she does have a slight maturity advantage already over her Adirondack rivals.

Putting all of this together, my strategy will be simple: I’ll key Lyrical Lady on top in the exacta and trifecta, while playing a saver exacta with Virginia Eloise over Lyrical Lady and Sue’s Fortune.

$6 exacta: 3 with 5,6 ($12) $5 exacta: 5 with 3,6 ($10) $4 trifecta: 3 with 5,6 with 5,6 ($8)

Good luck!