One may take a quick look at this year's Mother Goose Stakes (gr. 1) and decide this might a good Saturday to go to the beach or lake. The $250,000 Mother Goose has short field of five with Devil May Care (photo) as the heavy favorite and three of the five fillies are trained by Todd Pletcher. This year's edition also falls short of last year when Preakness winning filly Rachel Alexandra came to New York to win the Mother Goose by 19-1/4 lengths.
Devil May Care may not have the star power of Rachel Alexandra, but she will certainly have more to prove.
Having finished finished tenth in her attempt against the colts in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, trainer Todd Pletcher has given Devil Mare Care plenty of time to recover. With a 6-5 morning line it is likely she will have plenty of support from her supporters though the betting windows but the question looms as to how much, if any, did the Kentucky Derby take out of the filly.
After all, Devil May Care was considered for the 1-1/2 Belmont Stakes (gr. 1) and the Acorn Stakes against fillies June 5 but was instead given an additional three weeks for the Mother Goose.
The Mother Goose was until this year, the second leg of the Triple Tierra series for 3-year-old fillies made up of the Acorn Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. 1). The distance of the Mother Goose has also been changed. The race been shortened to 1-1/16 miles from the 1-1/8 distance at which the race has been run since 1959. The Mother Goose was inaugurated in 1957 and run at 1-1/16 miles for the first two runnings.
For the Mother Goose, Pletcher will also saddle Ailalea, an impressive winner of the grade 3 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs May 29. She also has a win over the track having broke her maiden at Belmont Park last year.
Katy Now will be making her stakes debut off of three consecutive wins.
Another filly who should get plenty of support is Biofuel, who invades from Canada where she was won the Star Shoot Stakes and the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette Stakes, both over Woodbine's Poly-Track surface.
One may better remember Biofuel from November's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. 1) at Santa Anita. Coming down the home stretch, Biofuel looked to be a potential winner with a late charge down the middle of the track. But just as she reached the 1/8th pole (220 yds from the finish), she was severely bumped and lost stride.
Another Breeders' Juvenile Fillies graduate in the Mother Goose is Connie and Michael trained by Ken McPeek. A dull eighth in the Breeders' Cup, she has since returned to win an allowance race at Churchill Downs in wire-to-wire fashion.
So it's a short field and 60% of the fillies are trained by Todd Pletcher. So there is no Rachel Alexandra this year. Get used to that for a while folks. There may not be a 3-year-old filly like Rachel Alexandra for a very long time.
But this is an evenly matched group of grade 1 and potential top level winning fillies. Some of whom have a histories of running against each other going back to last year as debutantes.
And it is after all the Mother Goose. The race has been won by some of the greatest fillies in history including Cicada, Shuvee, Chris Everett, Ruffian, Davona Dale, Go For Wand, Life's Magic and Serena's Song to name a few. Winning jockeys include Bill Hartack, Bill Shoemaker, Braulio Baeza, Randy Romero, Jerry Bailey, Gary Stevens, Angel Cordero Jr. and Pat Day. The trainers list of winners is equally impressive going back to "Sunny" Jim Fitzimmons, Lucien Lauraen, Laz Barrera, D. Wayne Lukas, Charlie Whittingham, John Campo and Allen Jerkens.
All three lists are missing names with significant accomplishments in thoroughbred racing.
So if you have to do something else Saturday, it may be understable. Just make sure you set your TIVO.