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Home » News » Sheepshead Bay Stakes 2014 Odds and Picks; A Few Gals Looking For More Real-Estate

Sheepshead Bay Stakes 2014 Odds and Picks; A Few Gals Looking For More Real-Estate

Sheepshead Bay Stakes 2014 Odds and Picks; A Few Gals Looking For More Real-Estate: The GII Sheepshead Bay Stakes is run annually at the end of May at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The 2014 edition is taking place Saturday, May 24th 2014 on the sod for fillies and mares three-years-old and up gunning for a purse of $200,000 going 1 3/8 miles. Prior to 1962, the race was open to both male and females but alas, girl-power prevailed. SEE UPDATED RESULTS

Sheepshead Bay Stakes 2014

Ten fillies and mares set the field for the Sheepshead Bay Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, May 24, 2014.
Photo: Tannery, winner of the 2013 Sheepshead Bay Stakes. Chelsea Durand, Coglianese/NYRA

This race used to be run at the now defunct Sheepshead Bay Race Track at Sheepshead Bay, New York. The first races were run from 1894 through 1910 at Sheepshead Bay to be revived after that at Jamaica Racetrack in 1959. Following the closure of that track the race moved to Aqueduct Racetrack from 1960-1974 and 1976. Since inception, the revised edition has been contested at various distances both on turf and dirt.

The race record is held by Maxzene set in 1997 at 2:11.57 for this distance. There are a number of gals that have won this more than once with 2 each: Princess Pout (1970,1971); Glowing Tribute (1976,1977); Sabin (1983,1984); Maxzene (1997,1998); and Honey Ryder (2006,2007).

The most wins by an owner are 4 for Darby Dan Farm (where Shackleford is retired). Most wins by a jockey are Mike Smith with 5 and the most wins by a trainer are tied with 4 for Woody Stephens and Christophe Clement. Last year’s winner was Tannery for Alan Goldburg in the time of 2:20.17.

The 2014 Sheepshead Bay Stakes is the 9th race of the day with a start time of 5:28 pm EST.

This race looks to be super deep and competitive with a field of filly and mare turf marathoners. I’ll start this out by saying what is up with the low morning line odds on these first six lined-at-the-gate girls. This is a tough one to cap and wager on. I thought Tannery would take a shot again at the title but apparently not.

Kari’s Picks and Plays (@horseflynawall): I’m looking for the daughter of Dubawi Fitful Skies to score a win in this race. Her first North American start was a runner-up effort in the E.P. Taylor (GI) going 1 1/4 miles at Woodbine, where she was second to Tannery. That race marked her last start of 2013, where she racked up a record of 7:3:4:0 with former trainer, Henri-Alex Pantall. She has made one start this year for her new trainer Kiarin McLaughlin, a ninth place finish in the (GI) 1 1/16 mile Jenny Wiley on April 12th at Keeneland, where she ran second to last behind a slow pace, unable to make it up in time at the finish.

“She got a rough trip in the Jenny Wiley. She didn’t get beat that far and she had nowhere to run,” said McLaughlin. “It was only a 1 1/16 and she wants to go further. We’re happy about the distance and the weather forecast. A little bit of rain might soften the turf, and she likes it soft, especially at a 1 3/8 miles. We’re all systems go.”

Fitiful Skies exits door #3 with Irad Ortiz Jr. ready to rumble.

Another interesting shooter is the Clement trained Irish Mission who will be making her second start for this barn and her second start of 2014. The daughter of Giant’s Causway finished seventh in her 2014 debut in the 1 1/16 mile (GIII) Beaugay on this track. She was beaten barely by a length in last year’s (GI) Northern Dancer at Woodbine against the boys. It looks like this girl is going to want more real-estate and hopefully she runs well and may pull off her first graded stakes win. She drew post #7 with Jose Lezcano in the saddle.

Coming from post #8 with DeCarlo ready to ride is the Mott trained Euro import Modernstone. She has mostly raced in Europe on synthetic but the Duke of Marmalade filly has shown interest for going longer also. She has earned a record of 10:3:4:1 and this will be her first try in graded stakes company as well as her first time racing in North America. She gets first time lasix and has a couple of works on the Belmont inner turf.

With so many wanting the extra grass here this race looks super tough. I’m looking for Fitful Skies to win the 2014 Sheepshead Bay Stakes. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these other nice gals take it. If the race stays on the turf I’ll play an exacta box #3,7,8. If it goes to the main track because of the weather, I’m siding with the other Clement entry, #5 Lady Cohiba for the win and won’t wager on the race.

Sigi’s Picks and Plays (@sigimendoza): The Sheepshead is a competitive race. Fitful Skies had a bad trip in her last race and was beaten by only 3 1/4 lengths. The mare recorded good workouts after that effort, indicating she’s ready to roll. Modernstone looks like the class of the field. She has a good second place, behind the great runner Grandeur and if she duplicates that effort, should win. Modernstone already won on the grass, the only concern is that the filly is making her U.S. debut here. Finally Abaco hits the board most of the time, so wouldn’t be a surprise if she wins this race.

I’ll be playing an exacta box #3-6-8.

Muchas Gracias to Sigi for taking the time to handicap this race and make some picks and a play. Good luck everyone and safe run Saturday.

Sheepshead Bay Stakes 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1. Flash Forward (MTO) 7-2 Unknown jockey/D.Schettino
2. Riposte (GB) 3-1 J.Rosario/W.Mott
3. Fitful Skies (IRE) 7-2 I.Ortiz Jr./K.McLaughlin
4. Belle Gallantey (MTO) 5-2 unknown jockey/R.Rodriguez
5. Lady Cohiba (MTO) 2-1 unknown jockey/C.Clement
6. Abaco 5-2 J.Velazquez/C.McGaughey III
7. Irish Mission (ON) 8-1 J.Lezcano/C.Clement
8. Modernstone (GB) 8-1 C.DeCarlo/W.Mott
9. Caroline Thomas 10-1 J.Rocco Jr./B.Tagg
10. Viva Rafaela (BRZ) 5-1 J.Castellano/T.Pletcher