Betting With, and Against, Moonlit Lady in the Pea Patch Stakes

July 4th, 2024

An especially competitive field of 12 three-year-old fillies will contest Saturday’s $125,000 Pea Patch S. at Ellis Park. The 5 1/2 furlong turf dash is led by #4 Moonlit Lady (5-2), who was an impressive turf allowance winner two back at Churchill Downs in her lone run on the lawn to date. 

Moonlit Lady – With

$5 trifecta key 4 with 3,8,11 ($30)

$1 trifecta 4 with 3,8,11 with all ($30)

Moonlit Lady – Against

$20 win and place #3 Twirl Around ($40)

$.10-cent superfecta 3,8,11 with 3,4,8,11 with all 3,4,8,11 with all ($16.20)

One of two contenders in the group conditioned by Fausto Gutierrez, the fleet daughter of Malibu Moon has had the lead at both the first and second call in all four lifetime runs to date, and she will be formidable if she repeats her score beneath the Twin Spires on this occasion. She has been an all-or-nothing type to this stage of her development, but she is obviously fast and talented, and the homebred could be the one to run down turning for home over a surface that often plays kindly to early speed. 

My top pick in the heat is #3 Twirl Around (4-1) for Greg Foley. The Donamire Farm homebred has yet to win on the lawn and was soundly defeated by the morning-line choice in her latest venture, but the talented filly was a big runner-up in a turf sprint at Keeneland two back and will be super tough with something resembling that performance. She has the perfect running style to tuck in behind the contested pace and get first run turning for home with James Graham picking up the mount. 

#8 Field Lass (8-1), from the Rusty Arnold shedrow, makes her first appearance since wiring an allowance field on the Gulfstream Park turf in January. This Munnings filly lacks consistency to this stage of her development, but she has fine early foot and a good draw outside of the favorite to pressure that one from the outset. The price is right with Colby Hernandez in the stirrups. 

#11 Ms. Tart (12-1) will undoubtedly improve in her second run of the season while switching from the main strip to the green for Brad Cox. The talented daughter of Maximus Mischief was a going-away heroine in her lone turf dash to date, and the late runner will receive healthy early fractions to rally into while making her local bow, as well. She has posted bullet works in two of her last three morning spins and seems like a great value inclusion with Axel Concepcion in the silks.