Saturday, Sept. 12, Delaware Park
The Low-Down: With Game Face headed to Presque Isle Downs for the G3 Masters, Keep the Peace travels to Delaware Park for the G3 Endine. Those two star filly sprinters have run 1-2 in the G1 Princess Rooney at Calder and G2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga already this summer. Will separation create victories for both? Certainly the G3 Endine looks like the easier spot on paper as all eight entrants seek their first graded-stakes victories. This race was made famous, and graded, by the great sprint mare Xtra Heat.
Our Eyes: Likely favorite Keep the Peace knows one way, the engine, and should find the pace to be pretty stiff. Rail-drawn Sunday Geisha breaks next door and has gas, while wide-drawn Bold Union will be applying pressure from the outside. Meanwhile, Casanova Killer and Fearless Leader also want to be in a pressing position, if not contending.
The only 3-year-old filly in the mix is Bold Union, who will try to follow last year's lead of Edine champion Sweet Hope, who also scored in her first career attempt against elders. Bold Union has won stakes at Penn National, Aqueduct, Belmont and Monmouth and is graded stakes-placed at Saratoga. Her best races are when she can make the lead, and has had a tendency to buckle if headed.
This race certainly sets up for someone who can finish. Iron Butterfly won 3 straight from off the pace earlier this year against cheaper, but her local allowance try was too bad to forgive. That leaves Calder shipper Pious Ashley as the best closing option, and she was beaten less than 2 lengths by favorite Keep the Peace in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney. The deep, tiring Calder surface ought to be a good barometer for a similar track at Delaware Park.
The Bottom Line: We should get respectable odds on the win end from Pious Ashely and not get too cute here trying to figure which of the speedballs will hang for a share. Plus, favorite Keep the Peace has a case of second-itis and would not offer much value in the exacta anyway. Put win money on the race's best finisher and head to the pay line!
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