History can be made at Arlington International Racecourse on Saturday, Aug. 10 when #7 Sistercharlie seeks a second consecutive victory in the $600,000, Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes.
This “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Nov. 2 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf has been contested 29 times, and it’s a testament to the quality of this 1 3/16-mile grass race that no filly or mare has managed to win the Beverly D. more than once.
Can Sistercharlie complete this elusive double? On paper, the Beverly D. is hers to lose. She’s by far the most accomplished mare in the eight-horse field, boasting five Grade 1 wins on her stellar résumé. None of her rivals have won a race as prestigious as the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, which Sistercharlie claimed last fall at Churchill Downs with a triumphant rally from off the pace.
Although Sistercharlie’s 2019 debut was delayed due to an illness, she returned none the worse for wear in the July 13 Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. Benefiting from a fast pace set by stablemate #8 Thais, Sistercharlie unleashed an explosive rally down the homestretch to prevail by 1 ¾ lengths over Rushing Fall, winner of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Thais will join Sistercharlie again in the Beverly D. Stakes, presumably to ensure another quick pace, so it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which Sistercharlie comes up short. Yes, we’ve yet to see a filly or mare win the Beverly D. more than once, but Sistercharlie’s trainer Chad Brown has won this race five times, including the last four editions. Sistercharlie figures to be sharper than ever while making her second start of the season, and drawing post seven should allow her to work out a traffic-free trip.
This isn’t to say Sistercharlie’s rivals are an unimposing bunch. To the contrary, #1 Fleeting ran third in the prestigious Epsom Oaks in England and second in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks, #3 Competitionofideas won the Grade 1 American Oaks last December, and #6 Magic Wand has placed in a couple of Grade 1 races against males, most notably finishing second in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational back in January. Any of these fillies could be favored in a slightly easier race, but against Sistercharlie, they loom as the supporting cast in a one-horse show.
There’s only one problem: Sistercharlie’s virtues are obvious and she’ll be a very short price in the wagering. She’s 8-5 on the morning line, but her odds figure to dip much lower, perhaps below even-money. If you just want to cash a bet on a memorable day of racing, a win bet on Sistercharlie is still a fine option. It won’t pay much, but since Sistercharlie looms as a near-certain winner on paper, you’re highly unlikely to lose your money.
However, if you want to shoot for a larger score – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – I recommend betting Sistercharlie on top in the trifecta while using Fleeting, Magic Wand, and Competitionofideas underneath. We’ll place a little extra emphasis on Competitionofideas, who should receive a better pace setup than she did while facing just two rivals in the Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park last month. Trained by Chad Brown, Competitionofideas will have the four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano in the saddle and should finish in the money if she brings her A-game.
Wagering Strategy on a $10 Budget
$10 to win on #7 Sistercharlie
What to say at the betting window: Arlington Park, 9th race, $10 to win on 7
Wagering Strategy on a $20 Budget
$5 trifecta: 7 with 3 with 1,6 ($10)
What to say at the betting window: Arlington Park, 9th race, $5 trifecta, 7 with 3 with 1,6
$5 trifecta: 7 with 1,6 with 3 ($10)
What to say at the betting window: Arlington Park, 9th race, $5 trifecta, 7 with 1,6 with 3
Good luck, and enjoy the race!