From New Orleans-based ownership, Sixty Sails won two runnings of the Arlington Matron in 1974 and 1975. A year later, in 1976, Sportman's Park in Cicero created a handicap in her honor. When Sportsman's shuttered after the 2002 season, the Sixty Sails (along with the Illinois Derby, and other stakes) went next door to Hawthorne Race Course.
A late-April fixture, the G3 Sixty Sails Handicap returns this year after a one-year hiatus with a purse of $200,000. Past winners of note include Peach of It (who has a Illinois-Bred stakes in her honor), Fleet Indian, and Life at Ten. Let's meet the field.
Hawthorne -- Race 9 -- G3 Sixty Sails Handicap -- 1 1/8 miles on dirt -- Post time of 5:40 CT
#1, AFLEETING LADY (6-1 ML). Beaten a neck by ARENA ELVIRA in the G2 Falls City last Thanksgiving when last seen on the track. She spent her winter down at Palm Meadows in south Florida, working fairly regularly and this is her first start after coming out of mothballs. She's never won anything higher than an allowance race, but was third to an honest listed stakes runner in Taptam and the aforementioned 2nd in the Falls City. Layoff stats are average. Meh.
#2, SHE'S ALL IN (5-1). Rattled off four wins in a row last year in the south, including some listed stakes at Louisiana Downs and Remington. She went to Oaklawn this spring, with three checks cashed at Oaklawn in the feeder races to the presitigious G1 Apple Blossom. She met the Absinthe Minded/Tiz Miz Sue two headed monster at Oaklawn, and neither one of them made the trip north. Capable from off the pace or on the lead. I wonder if she's a true G3 horse, but I wouldn't toss her in the dumpster.
#3, BELOVEDA (9/2). You could have had this filly for the low low price of only $10K last September. After winning for that low low price, she changed barns (Dorochenko to Amoss) and states (Illinois to Indiana), and went from trollling in Arlington claimers to trolling in Hoosier allowances. Her last try in stakes company was a two and one-quarter length defeat at the hands of Awesome Maria at Gulfstream at today's distance. Pretty similar to SHE'S ALL IN in the respect of someone who I don't think is a legit G3 type but one I won't he throwing out either.
#4, JUANITA (7/2). Your morning line favorite, who last time faced defending Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in New Orleans. A grade two winner at three one state over, she started her four year old career with money finishes in the feeders to the New Orleans Ladies that Havre de Grace won last month. The Fair Grounds surface in NOLA was kind to speed at times throughout the meet, and this is a horse that goes to the lead and dares you to catch her. The rub is that she fights back with the intensity of a pillow. I think the FG surface flattered her, and the lack of a free lunch on the front end make this a filly I do toss in the dumpster.
#5, LOVE AND PRIDE (5/1). Winner of a listed stakes at Aqueduct on their inner dirt last time, she then ran second to It's Tricky in the G2 Top Flight also on the AQU IDT. That G2 was the It's Tricky show, and someone had to be second. At three, she won some listed stakes and then was handily beaten in races like the Cotillion and Gazelle. While the rider/jockey team got together last year to take the Illinois Derby, the race flow works against her as I strongly question her ability to pass runners. She's won a couple of listed stakes, but her forays into graded company have resulted in squat. No sale.
#6, ONE LAST DANCE (12/1). After closing with a rush in her debut across town at Arlington, she was sent from the M. Reavis barn to the Dale Romans barn in New York to take advantage of the enriched state-bred purses. She did win two races over the AQU IDT over the winter, both of them allowance races. She's back today in the Reavis barn, his first call rider T. Thornton has the assignment. Each of her tries in listed stakes company have been sound defeats at shorter distances. Toss.
#7, ARENA ELVIRA (4/1). Pretty easy to like a horse that has never been worse than third in all thirteen career starts, an earner of $420K, and the winner of the G2 Falls City last Thanksgiving at Churchill. She started her season with a win at Tampa in a listed stakes. Trainer Mott puts her into this smart spot, second off the winter layoff. She's won four times at today's 1 1/8 mile distance. Any of her fall races should smoke this group. I'll pick to her win, but I expect her odds to be lower (as in, 2-1) when they head for the gate.
#8, DISTORTED LOVE (10/1). She racked up the van miles last summer with starts at Churchill, Arlington, Indiana Downs, Penn National, Hoosier, and Fair Grounds. Many of her starts have been in listed stakes. She's been behind fellow entrants JUANITA and AFLETTING LADY, hasn't won since last June in an N2X allowance at Churchill, and sports a pretty yawn-inducing record of three wins in twenty nine career starts. No love.
#7 ARENA ELVIRA (4/1)
#2 SHE'S ALL IN (5/1)
#3 BELEVODA (9/2)
Longshot: 6-1 isn't exactly a longshot price, but I think the Mott trainee will take a lot of money at the windows based on her solid record. Conversely, the prices on the others should inflate like balloon animals. AFLEETING LADY was in the same zip code as that Mott horse last time in the G2 Falls City at Churchill and Emigh was aboard this one four back when she won at Hoosier. Her off-the-pace style should work with an honest pace slated. The more helium in that price, the more I like.
Along with the G3 Sixty Sails, Hawthorne will have a handicapping contest, with top finishers qualifying for the NHC next winter in Las Vegas. And look for on-the-scene ponderings from Twitter. Good luck this weekend!