A superb field of 11 sophomore fillies will travel 1 1/16 miles at Parx on Saturday in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1). The “Win & You’re In” affair to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita on November 2 attracted a sensational cast, with many of the top three-year-old fillies in the country squaring off in the exciting co-feature on a huge day of racing in the Keystone State.
Serengeti Empress (#1) (7-2) has a world of pace from the rail and will lead with a clean break, but she could potentially have a world of company in this affair if she’s a bit tardy from the gate. Jeltrin (#4) (2-1), Collegeville Girl (#5) (20-1), Horologist (#6) (12-1), Bellafina (#10) (6-1) and Jaywalk (#11) (6-1) also possess a lot of early foot.
Two-time Grade-1 queen Guarana (#8) (9-5) and the razor-sharp Street Band (#3) (8-1) will be behind the leading pack early on, and I think one or both of these impressive fillies will decide things in the Cotillion.
$10 Win and Place #3 Street Band = $20
$1 Trifecta 3,8 with 3,8 with all = $18
$1 Trifecta 3,8 with all with 3,8 = $18
Here is the fine cast for the Cotillion S.:
SERENGETI EMPRESS (#1) (7-2) – Kentucky Oaks (G1) queen was a brave second in the Test Stakes (G1) most recently and rates as the one to catch from the rail. Speedy Alternation filly continues to train well, and the sophomore will be formidable if she clears the cast early on.
AFLEET DESTINY (#2) (30-1) – Outsider has failed to hit the board in seven straight races in preparation of Saturday. Hard Spun filly adds blinkers but looks to be overmatched in a field with so much depth.
STREET BAND (#3) (8-1) – Peaking sophomore has put in a pair of excellent performances this summer, including a fine third-place finish in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Grade 2 queen could thrive on the cut back in distance for trainer Larry Jones and pilot Sophie Doyle.
JELTRIN (#4) (12-1) – Davona Dale Stakes (G2) vixen returned to her winning ways with a stakes romp on this course most recently. Tapizar filly will need another step forward to challenge this cast inside the final furlong, however.
COLLEGEVILLE GIRL (#5) (20-1) – Empire State-bred looked good in leading at every call in a first-level allowance race locally for Richard Vega. The Central Banker filly takes a massive class hike, though, and it would be hard to back her with any kind of confidence today.
HOROLOGIST (#6) (15-1) – Red-hot daughter of Gemologist rides in on a four-race win streak with a recent score in the Monmouth Oaks (G3). John Mazza pupil is perfect on the dirt going a route of ground, but she will need to prove that she is up to the task against this polished and accomplished field. Luis Saez has the assignment.
SHE MAKES ME SMILE (#7) (50-1) – Impossible daughter of Include was 30 lengths back in a local prep for this affair and looks to be out of place facing seven graded stakes heroines.
GUARANA (#8) (9-5) – Unbeaten sophomore from the barn of Chad Brown was very professional in her Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) tally last time out when leading throughout. The superb filly was sensational in the Acorn Stakes (G1) two prior, and a repeat of that performance could have this cast running for second. Ghostzapper lass is no cinch, however, facing her toughest field to date. Jose Oritz gets off Serengeti Empress to stick with this lass.
SWEET SAMI D (#9) (20-1) – First Samurai filly has reached new heights since stretching out and comes off a solid third-place result in the Monmouth Oaks (G3). Kentucky-bred could be an exotics player with a lifetime best beneath Paco Lopez.
BELLAFINA (#10) (6-1) – Three-time Grade 1 heroine puts the blinkers back on for Simon Callaghan following a third-place run in the Test Stakes (G1). California stalwart has been outrun in each of her trio of races outside of the Golden State to date, but she is training in swift fashion in advance of this demanding test and can’t be ignored. Flavien Prat will pilot the Quality Road filly.
JAYWALK (#11) (6-1) – Champion daughter of Cross Traffic is just one-for-five this campaign following her brilliant juvenile season. The Kentucky-bred has to overcome the outside draw today, but she is a classy one who has improved with blinkers added as of late. Joel Rosario will guide the two-time Grade 1 starlet who will be prominent from the start.
PHOTO: Street Band (c) Coady Photography/Indiana Grand