Wavell Avenue faces five in Bed o’ Roses; Isabella Sings entered in Eatontown
The Breeders’ Cup turned out to be Wavell Avenue’s final start of 2015, and the dark bay mare returned on April 9 to rally for third in the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. She then headed to Churchill Downs for the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) and finished a one-paced fourth.
Wavell Avenue is leaving Grade 1 company behind for now and will face only five rivals in the seven-furlong Bed o’ Roses. The Chad Brown pupil has been working up a storm at Belmont since her Churchill Downs foray and keeps Joel Rosario, aboard for the Breeders’ Cup, in the saddle.
By the Moon and West Coast Chick could derail Wavell Avenue’s return to the winner’s circle.
The former is a Grade 1 winner from her 2014 juvenile season, taking that year’s Frizette Stakes (G1), and just missed by a neck in last year’s Acorn Stakes (G1) before closing out her campaign with a third in the Test Stakes (G1). By the Moon opened her four-year-old season with a fourth-placing in the Distaff Handicap (G3) last out on April 17 and gets Jose Ortiz back in the irons for this one.
West Coast Chick is facing stakes rivals for just the third time in her career in this spot. The Nick Zito-trained five-year-old was fifth in the 2014 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) and didn’t take on black-type competition again until May 21 when she ran second in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3). Manuel Franco was holding the reins for the Vagrancy and has piloting duties once again.
Bar of Gold also has a shot at the win in the Bed o’ Roses. The Medaglia d’Oro four-year-old just earned her first stakes score in the May 30 Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont Park but previously placed in last year’s Test, Prioress Stakes (G2) and Raven Run Stakes (G2) and this year’s Distaff. Junior Alvarado has the call.
Mayla, who is riding a three-race win streak, and Grade 2-placed stakes victress Pangburn complete the Bed o’ Roses field.
Eight distaffers have been entered to go 1 1/16 miles over Monmouth Park’s turf in Saturday’s $100,000 Eatontown Stakes (G3).
Isabella Sings finished second to champion and recent Royal Ascot queen Tepin in the Hillsborough Stakes (G2) in the spring and enters the Eatontown off a nice win at Monmouth in the Miss Liberty Stakes.
The Grade 2-winning filly is actually 2-1-0 from three starts at Monmouth, with her only loss coming as a nose second in last fall’s Boiling Springs Stakes (G3). Paco Lopez stays in the saddle as Isabella Sings tries to score back-to-back stakes victories.
In addition to Isabella Sings, Invading Humor will enter the Eatontown starting gate with Kendrick Carmouche aboard.
The Bruce Levine trainee is a three-time stakes winner and exits a runner-up effort in the Mount Vernon Stakes to kick off her six-year-old campaign on May 30.
Also on Saturday, Arlington hosts the $100,000 Chicago Handicap (G3), which drew a field of 10 to go seven furlongs on the synthetic Polytrack. The most recognizable name in the bunch is Grade 2 heroine Sarah Sis.
The Sharp Humor four-year-old took the Oaklawn Park path to last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1), capturing the Honeybee Stakes (G3) while recording close seconds in the Dixie Belle and Martha Washington Stakes.
The Ingrid Mason trainee was pulled up and vanned off in the Run for the Lilies, but returned later in May to take the Panthers Stakes prior to a nose wire job in the Iowa Oaks (G3), both at Prairie Meadows. Sarah Sis concluded her sophomore campaign with a half-length victory in the Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland last October and has been unable to find the winner’s circle in four starts thus far this season.
Jose Valdivia Jr. has the call on the dark bay miss for Saturday’s Chicago ‘Cap.
Seeking Treasure will be trying graded rivals for only the second time in her career in this spot. The Doug Matthews-trained six-year-old tried to lead all the way home in last July’s grassy Modesty Handicap (G3) but was passed late to be sixth on the wire. The dark bay mare was sixth against optional claiming rivals in her only try over Arlington’s synthetic surface, but did capture the Dahlia Stakes and placed second in the Miss Liberty Stakes in her past two efforts.
Francisco Torres will be in Seeking Treasure’s saddle.
Wavell Avenue photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography