2017 Beverly D Stakes Preview

When you have a racetrack, and want to honour your late wife, you can hardly do better than running one of the premier filly and mare turf races of the year in her name.  The Beverly D Stakes takes its name from Beverly Duchossois, wife of Arlington Park chairman Richard Duchossois.  Beverly Duchossois passed away in 1980; this race has been run in her name since 1987.  Once, a horse in Richard Duchossois’s silks won the race run in his late wife’s honour:  in 2010, Eclair De Lune kicked home in the final furlong to win it for the home team.  Other winners of the Beverly D have included  Hall of Fame inductee Flawlessly (1991), as well as Eclipse champions Possibly Perfect (1995), Stacelita (2011), and Dank (2013).

The Beverly D drew a competitive field of ten fillies and mares.  To the winner goes the best share of a $600,000 purse, as well as a Win and You’re In berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.  To date, just one horse has swept the Beverly D – Breeders’ Cup double: Dank, who won both races in her championship year.

The dazzling Dank wins the 2013 Beverly D, earning her berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, a race she would also win.

The Beverly D and the Arlington Million will be part of a live telecast on NBC Sports Network, running from 5:30pm-6:30pm CDT.  Horse Racing Radio Network will stream a broadcast of the Arlington Million and the undercard stakes from 4:30pm-6:30pm CDT, which will stream on its website and on Sirius 93.

This is just one of six stakes races on Arlington Million Day; we have a separate page with links to all of our previews and analysis for Saturday at Arlington.

Selections are made for turf only.

Race 10: Beverly D Stakes (G1), three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, one and three sixteenths miles on the turf, post time 5:35pm CDT

RAIN GODDESS is to the Beverly D what Queen’s Trust was to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf: not yet a winner at the top level, but brings enough form against the most proper Group 1 Europeans to suggest that the bit of a class drop into an American Grade 1 is exactly what she needs to get over the hurdle.  Three-year-old RAIN GODDESS has just a maiden win to her name (as a 50/1 longshot, no less) after seven career starts, but the Aidan O’Brien trainee has been keeping such classy company since that victory.  In her debut this year she finished just four lengths behind Hydrangea, in a race where Winter finished second.  Winter has grown into a monster.  RAIN GODDESS later finished second behind Wesley Ward raider Con Te Partiro in the listed Sandringham H. at Royal Ascot, and has finished second again in her next two starts.  One was behind an older filly, Nezwaah, in the Pretty Polly (G1), her first try against older.  Last out, she finished second behind Enable in the Irish Oaks (G1).  Enable returned to blitz older in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (G1), and has marked herself the putative favourite for the Arc.  With these kinds of company lines, RAIN GODDESS has every right to win the Beverly D, particularly with top-notch big race jockey Ryan Moore taking the call.  Her 5/1 morning line would be a gift; even going as low as 7/2 would be appetizing.

DONA BRUJA is the other top-notch competitor in the Beverly D.  The Argentina-bred was a champion in her home country, and could not have won her two stateside starts more impressively.  She ran down Believe in Bertie in the Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill, and then made Arlington her playground in the local prep.  She won the Modesty as easily as she wanted, drawing comfortably clear under jockey Declan Cannon while her overmatched foes were under a drive.  She should get something to run at here, with HAWKSMOOR needing the lead, SARANDIA needing to be on or near it, and ZIPESSA likely forward.  This will be the stiffest class test DONA BRUJA has ever faced, but if she runs back to her last two races she can pass it.  The biggest knock against the Ignacio Correas trainee is the price.  DONA BRUJA is the morning line favourite, and with all the steam she has generated after the Modesty, the price may be too short to be a good win bet.

In the next echelon below those two, much of the field could stake a claim.  That includes any of the three Chad Brown horses: DACITA, GRAND JETE, and RAINHA DA BATERIA.  DACITA brings in some form at the distance, but one can wonder if she is in her best form; as the likely shortest price of the Chad Brown contingent, she’ll be an underlay.  GRAND JETE has impressed in her three American starts, but is untested at this distance.  The pedigree suggests she’ll handle it, but she’ll still likely be a shorter price than a stablemate well proven going this kind of distance.  That stablemate is RAINHA DA BATERIA.  She has a pace-versatile style that gives Jose Ortiz options where to put her, and she is coming off a win in the mile and a quarter Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.  She also won the Canadian Stakes (G2) at Woodbine last year.  Though both of those races are a cut below the Beverly D class-wise, affinity for the sweeping, galloping Woodbine turf course tends to translate well to Arlington’s course.  RAINHA DA BATERIA has some tables to turn on HAWKSMOOR and DACITA from the Beaugay (G3) two starts back, but that came over yielding going, and RAINHA DA BATERIA should be sharper on this firmer footing.


#10 RAIN GODDESS (5/1)

#4 DONA BRUJA (7/2)


Longshot: #3 KITTEN’S ROAR (12/1) spent the fall and winter in minor stakes, but has held her own against horses of this class in her last two starts.  At Keeneland she was fourth in the Jenny Wiley (G1), beaten just a length and a half for all of it, behind some serious turf mares: Dickinson, Lady Eli, Quidura.  Next out, stretching to a mile and a quarter for the New York (G2), she was third behid HAWKSMOOR and Quidura.  HAWKSMOOR got a nice front-end trip in the New York, but won’t have it so easily here — bad for her, and good for KITTEN’S ROAR.  Even better for KITTEN’S ROAR is that she has some pace versatility — she can close from well off of it, but she can also dispute or stalk the fractions.  This gives Florent Geroux, a rider who knows both KITTEN’S ROAR and Arlington Park, options.  And, despite coming from a solid turf trainer in Mike Maker, so many other horses are taking interest that KITTEN’S ROAR will fly under the radar.  It happened last year in the Beverly D, too — Maker’s charge Al’s Gal was dismissed at 20/1, and finished a gaining second behind Sea Calisi.  KITTEN’S ROAR may not be 20/1, but the neighbourhood of 15/1 is realistic, and her best puts her in the frame.


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