Equibase Analysis: Who’s The Play In Buena Vista Stakes?

The Grade 2, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita drew a full field of fillies and mares running one mile on the turf.

In terms of recent success at the top level, Lady Prancealot (IRE) leads the field as she won the Grade 1 American Oaks at the end of December in her most recent start. Mucho Unusual was second in the American Oaks, beaten a half-length at the end, and she hopes to turn the tables on her rival. Caressa won the Grade 3 Megahertz Stakes at this mile turf trip last month, a race in which Super Patriot was second, La Sardane (FR) third, Keeper Ofthe Stars sixth and Brill seventh after setting the pace for the first six furlongs. Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) also enters the Buena Vista as a Grade 3 winner, having won the Las Cienegas Stakes last month at the distance of five and one-half furlongs.

Tiny Tina ran well when second in the Grade 3 Astra Stakes over the course last month and although she cuts back from that 12 furlong distance to a mile, she has won three of six times at this distance on turf. Muchly (GB) makes her U.S. debut and returns off a layoff since last October, while Sold It steps up off a runner-up effort in an allowance race. Meal Ticket enters the race off a four and one-half month layoff, having finished second in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes last April, but she has finished better than fifth just once in six races since and that was in an allowance race.  

Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) was undefeated in three starts in her native Brazil last year, including a win in the Group 1 Gran Prix Jockey Club Brasileiro versus males at a mile on turf. She beat 14 other horses in that field while drawing off by six lengths and earned a 109 Equibase Speed Figure. Sent to the U.S. after that win last June, Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) found herself in the barn of Hall-of-Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who took his time with the filly over the next six months. Making her U.S. debut on January 11 in the Las Cienegas Stakes at five and one-half furlongs, Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) bobbled at the start, moved up quickly to stalk the pacesetter then took over and won by one and one-quarter lengths in “ridden out” fashion with gas left in the tank, improving to a career-best 111 figure. Having already won a stakes race at a mile, there’s no question Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) can handle the trip, and as she’s likely to improve in her second race after seven months off, she should be tough to beat in this year’s Buena Vista Stakes. 

Carressa, like Jolie Olimpica (BRZ), is a four-year-old with four “A” efforts in her last four races. Stretched out to a mile (on dirt) for the first time last August, Carressa won by four and one-quarter lengths then two races later won by eight lengths with a strong 106 figure. She bettered that figure in her first turf start last month, at this mile trip, winning the Megahertz Stakes while earning a 107 figure. In winning that race, Carressa beat Super Patriot, La Sardane, Brill and Keeper Ofthe Stars, none of which appear capable of turning the tables on this filly. Considering Carressa has improvement potential in her second turf start ever, similar to the logical improvement expected of Jolie Olimpica (BRZ), these two fillies may provide us with an epic battle in the final stages of this race. 

Lady Prancealot (IRE) won the American Oaks at the end of September, earning the same 110 figure as she did two months earlier when winning the Valley View Stakes. However, it must be noted both races were for three year olds only and in the Buena Vista Lady Prancealot (IRE) is facing older horses for the first time. On the other hand, she’s now a four year old, the same as Jolie Olimpica (BRZ), Carressa and five of the other horses in this race. Jockey Joe Bravo rode Lady Prancealot (IRE) for the first time in the Valley View, then again in the American Oaks and has the mount in the Buena Vista. If there is a knock on Lady Prancealot (IRE) other than it being likely she will be the public betting choice and offer less value for win bets than Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) or Carressa, it is that Lady Prancealot (IRE) won the American Oaks at the much longer distance of one mile and one-quarter and her record at this one mile trip is 1-3-0 in six races, suggesting this may not be her best distance. 

Mucho Unusual rounds out a quartet of horses which, combined, have the bulk of the probability to win. In the American Oaks, Mucho Unusual rallied from fourth on the turn to make the lead by a head with an eighth of a mile to go, before being out finished by Lady Prancealot (IRE) and coming up a half-length short on the wire. She did win the San Clemente Stakes at this mile turf trip last July under Joel Rosario, who did not ride her in her next three starts but was in the saddle in the American Oaks and has the return call here, appearing to choose her over Super Patriot, who he rode to a runner-up effort in the Megahertz. Considering Mucho Unusual earned a 109 figure in the American Oaks and has won a race at this grade two level and distance, she must be considered as a win contender as well.

The rest of the Buena Vista field, with their best Figures in similar races, is Brill (101), Keeper Ofthe Stars (116), La Sardane (FR) (105), Meal Ticket (98), Muchly (GB) (100), Sold It (99), Super Patriot (106) and Tiny Tina (111). 

Win contenders, in preference order:
Jolie Olimpica (BRZ)
Lady Prancealot (IRE)
Mucho Unusual 

The post Equibase Analysis: Who’s The Play In Buena Vista Stakes? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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