Betting the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington - D Stands for Dona Bruja

Courtesy of Vance Hanson of

The $600,000 Beverly D. (G1) is one of three Grade 1s on Saturday’s International Festival of Racing card at Arlington, plus a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

A field of nine will go 1 3/16 miles, and only three appear to look out of place. Oh So Terrible has never placed in a graded stakes, Thais is more of a Listed/Grade 3 type, and Nyaleti, though she captured the German 1000 Guineas (G2), struggled against better in England and has never raced beyond a mile.

The race arguably goes through trainer Chad Brown, who’s won this the last three years and will saddle three legitimate contenders in Sistercharlie, Fourstar Crook, and Inflexibility.

Sistercharlie is two photo-finishes away from being undefeated in four starts in the U.S. Another way to look at it, though, is that she’s one away from being one-for-four, all at short prices. The morning-line favorite narrowly squeaked out a win in the Diana (G1) last time, and sometimes shows a tendency of dropping far off the pace and cutting it too close at the end.

Like her stablemate, Fourstar Crook has a strong late turn of foot, which she used to good effect to turn the tables on Sistercharlie in the New York (G2), making amends for an earlier loss to that filly in the Jenny Wiley (G1). Inflexibility is an improving sort with two graded placings this year, but at this time might be a stronger threat to place than win.

Athena, like Nyaleti, comes from Europe. The Coolmore filly descends from Urban Sea, the dam of Sea the Stars and Galileo, and was an impressive winner of the Belmont Oaks (G1) last time on six days rest. She faces a much tougher field here, and worth noting only one three-year-old has ever won this race.

Midwest-based contenders Dona Bruja and Daddys Lil Darling are also in with a chance. The versatile Dona Bruja, a dead-heat second in this last year as the favorite, has only under-performed at Keeneland since her importation from Argentina. She’s proven on the front end or in producing a winning late kick. Daddys Lil Darling wasn’t far off Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook in the New York and most recently rebounded with a course-and-distance win in the Modesty H. (G3).

Despite finishing behind Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook in the Jenny Wiley, DONA BRUJA enters fresh, is proven over the track, picks up local leading rider Jose Valdivia, and might prove the value in the Win pool. We’ll also key her in Exactas over Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook. Daddys Lil Darling, Athena, and Inflexibility will be included in the lower rungs of the Trifecta and Superfecta wheels.

Click here for FREE Brisnet Past Performances of the Beverly D. as well as the Arlington Million (G1) and Secretariat (G1).

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