Spinaway Stakes Quick Picks
The $300,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) for 2-year-old fillies has been contested at Saratoga since 1881. Although the seven-furlong race isn’t a 2021 Breeders’ Cup Challenge event, fillies exiting the race have won or placed in the Juvenile Fillies Stakes.
Several fillies have placed, but in the last ten years, only last year’s winner Vequist has won both the Spinaway and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The feature race on Sunday attracted nine youngsters; the majority are making their second start. Let’s review the most likely suspects to hit the board.
#5 Pretty Birdie (3-1)
The undefeated Pretty Birdie is a graded stakes winner facing a herd of last-out maiden winners. The Norm Casse trainee beat Spinaway rival Saucy Lady T by four lengths in the Schuylerville Stakes (G3).
The Spinaway wasn’t as impressive as it appears on paper. Although Pretty Birdie won by two lengths, she was visibly tired and working hard to hold of Mainstay’s late charge, switching leads and drifting in the final furlongs.
She returned to breeze a five-furlong bullet in 58.60 in company with the 5-year-old claimer, Its Cold in Dehere. There was no contest, and Pretty Birdie pulled away without being asked. Exotics.
#3 Echo Zulu (8-5)
A daughter of leading first-crop sire Gun Runner, Eco Zulu is Pretty Birdie’s main competitor. In July, the Steve Asmussen trainee dominated a field of maidens by 5 1/2 lengths at Ellis Park and was flattered when two rivals from that race returned to win and place. Echo Zulu has been training well at Saratoga and moves smoothly over the training track. Win contender.
#1 Tarabi (8-1)
Tarabi outclassed a group of maidens at Ellis Park by 5 1/2 lengths in August. Her athletic nature shined when she tracked the pace on the rail and hugged the turn as she slipped by the pacesetters.
The Cherie DeVaux trainee responded to whip encouragement by flapping her tail. However, there was no reason for the whip since she was lengths ahead with no challengers. After shipping to Saratoga, Tarabi held her own breezing with two older graded placed fillies. Exotics.
#2 Girl With a Dream (6-1)
Girl with a Dream graduated at first asking by 6 3/4 lengths against Ellis Park maidens in July. Florent Geroux never asked the filly for her best as she dominated a strong group; five of her eight rivals hit the board in their next outing. The Brad Cox trainee is a swift, competitive sprinter and was hard-held when breezing at Saratoga with stablemates. Exotics.
Spinaway Stakes Analysis
Echo Zulu and Tarabi have shown the ability to rate in a race filled with speed.
Pretty Birdie has had things her own way thus far, but she’ll face a classy group in the Spinaway. She was fading badly in the final furlong of the Schuylerville but had built an insurmountable lead. Now she adds distance, and I predict that she will be passed late.
- #3 Echo Zulu (8-5)
- #1 Tarabi (8-1)
- #5 Pretty Birdie (3-1)
- #2 Girl With a Dream (6-1)