The Grade I Mother Goose tops the weekend stakes action, as Rachel’s Valentina has been installed as the 9-5 favorite against a field of six other 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Saturday. A daughter of the great Rachel Alexandra, Rachel’s Valentina was last seen disappointing fans as the 5-2 favorite in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, where she finished a well-beaten sixth.
However, she is a previous Grade I winner (2015 Spinaway) and was placed in a couple of other Grade I affairs. She’s also been working well for trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won the Mother Goose four times, including two years in a row in 2010-11. Rachel’s Valentina is one of — count ‘em — three Pletcher entries in the race.
Among the horses to watch are Off The Tracks, who is looking for her first win beyond 6 ½ furlongs, but is bred to relish the added distance (by Curlin out of Havre de Grace), and Lightstream, who has looked winning her first three races — all at seven furlongs, with the last one on the turf.
The field and morning line odds for the Mother Goose:
1. LINDA MIMI (30-1)
2. OFF THE TRACKS (3-1)
3. MOM’S ON STRIKE (20-1)
4. MO D’AMOUR (12-1)
5. LEWIS BAY (2-1)
6. RACHEL’S VALENTINA (9-5)
7. LIGHTSTREAM (5-1)
It’s often said that the simple angles in racing are gone, but my database testing reveals that some still exist. One simple spot play that I have always liked is looking for horses with the best last-race speed figure and best last-race late speed ration (0 or greater) within the past 60 days. A three-year test at various tracks across the country, produced the following stats:
Win Rate: 38.4%
There is a qualifying horse in the Perfect Sting at Belmont Park on Saturday. To find out which horse, download my free reports HERE.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of US Racing.