My Gal Betty Seeks Fourth Straight Win in Natalma Stakes
If you think that Sunday’s Summer Stakes (gr. I) at Woodbine is shaping up to be a competitive race, just wait until you see the entries for the $250,000 Natalma Stakes (gr. I) earlier on the card!The one-mile “Win and You’re In” prep race for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. I) proved so popular among horsemen that fifteen fillies were entered, requiring one (Souciologist) to be placed on the also-eligible list. The fourteen in the main body of the field include some of the most promising young turf fillies in North America, as well as a few shipping in from Europe.
It’s hard for any runner to really stand out in a race this competitive, though My Gal Betty does look like a deserving favorite on paper. The well-bred daughter of Point of Entry is unbeaten in three starts for trainer Roger Attfield, a streak that includes Woodbine stakes victories in the My Dear Stakes on Polytrack and the Catch a Glimpse Stakes on turf. Her victory in the latter race was a decisive 4 ¼-length romp that suggests she is at home over the Woodbine grass and ready for a big effort while stretching out to a mile for the first time and adding Lasix.
But the competition gets tougher on Sunday. Trainer Wesley Ward will send out Stillwater Cove, a clear winner of Saratoga’s Bolton Landing Stakes last month, while Chad Brown—renowned for his success with fillies on turf—will be represented by Mintd, a promising stakes-placed filly making her North American debut following a productive start to her career in Ireland. Both of these fillies have shown a lot of promise and figure to attract significant wagering support, though the same can also be said of of the foreign raiders Pivottina (fourth in the Group 2 Prix du Calvadas) and La Pelosa (runner-up in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes for the high-profile team of Godolphin Racing and trainer Charlie Appleby). Chicas Amigas, a two-time winner in Ireland, completes the brigade of European shippers.
Bold Script and Eyeinthesky, third and fourth in the Catch a Glimpse Stakes, are local runners with proven stakes form, while Not Ordinary, Comic Kitten, Bohemian Queen, and Artilena all enter off of maiden wins over the Woodbine Polytrack. Completing the field are Chasing the Kitty, sixth in the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, and Above All Names, a maiden with three starts under her belt.
The Natalma Stakes is the seventh race on the card, with a post time of 4:26 p.m. Eastern.