Race 9 at Gulfstream Park | Saturday, February 29 | Post Time 3:28 PM Eastern Time

Herecomesthebride Stakes – Grade 3 | Purse $150,000 | One Mile and One Sixteenth on Turf | Fillies, Three Years Old


Lucky Polly (10) and Declarationwarrior (3) both call the solid barn of Mark Casse home and are both owned by Gary Barber and form an uncoupled entry since there are very few tracks which couple horses owing to common ownership. Both are talented fillies with big shots to win this race. Lucky Polly gets slight preference because of her last race, a strong win when rallying from sixth of 11 to first before drawing off by two lengths. It was just a maiden win but these being three year old fillies, horses can go from a maiden race to stakes winner without issue and some of these, namely Abscond (7) and Cheermeister (5) already have done just that.

Lucky Polly (10) was making her second start off a three month layoff last time out on January 26 when the light bulb went on and the 91 Equibase Speed Figure is the best last race figure in the race (except for the 92 Hey Kitten (1) earned) and even better than others earned in stakes races. With John Velazquez getting on and with the filly having put in three strong workouts since raced, all on turf, to go along with third start off the layoff improvement, Lucky Polly offers excellent reward for the risk potential for a win bet, opening at 6/1.

By the same token, Declarationwarrior (3), who opens at 10/1, demands our attention as well. As many horses do when debuting around two turns on turf, the filly finished fifth of 12 in her career debut in December but one month later was a much different horse. In that race on January 19 over the course, Declarationwarrior stalked the pacesetter in second and drew off late in a field of 10. The 90 Equibase figure is almost identical to that of her stablemate Lucky Polly and jockey Edgard Zayas, who rode this filly as well as Lucky Polly in their most recent races, stays aboard Declarationwarrior for this race. Declarationwarrior gets a good post to get a position close up to likely early pacesetter Cheermeister and has about the same potential to improve as her stablemate as she's making her third career start.

Cheermeister (5) opens at which I consider ridiculous morning line odds of 8 to 1 considering she's the ONLY two-time stakes winner in the field. The first of those came in the Wait a While Stakes in November off a runner-up finish in her career debut then two races later on February 1, Cheermeister controlled the pace from start to finish to win the nearly identical Sweetest Chant Stakes under Jaramillo, who rides again here. The 86 figure is a bit lower than Lucky Polly or Declarationwarrior earned in their most recent starts, but when winning the Wait a While, Cheermeister earned a 94 figure which, if repeated, makes her a horse we can't possibly pass up when considering our wagers involving this race.

Sunset Promise (11) and Abscond (7) get honorable mention and I'll use them in second on exacta tickets and in third on trifecta tickets. Sunset Promise rallied from 11th to fourth in the Ginger Brew Stakes on January 4 in her most recent start. She rallied for second behind Cheermeister before that in the Wait a While and should be rolling past many of these in the final stages. Abscond was coming back from two months in the Ginger Brew and missed by a neck and half-length after rallying in the last eighth of a mile. She won the Natalma Stakes last September with a 98 figure but ran badly in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf before the layoff in which she rebounded a bit. The comment for the last race says she stumbled at the start but I watched the video and the issue did not have an effect as she had good position going into the first turn. As such, she's another I will be using for second or third.


Betting Strategies:

Win Bets: Lucky Polly (10) to win at odds of 7/2 or more.

For a slightly smaller amount, a win bet on Declarationwarrior (3) should be made (at odds of 7/2 or more) as well because both horses have the same owner and trainer and if the trainer, in this case a very good one, is confident enough to enter them, we must take note.

I would not hesitate to bet Cheermeister (5) to win at odds of 7/2 or more as well


Declarationwarrior (3), Cheermeister (5) and Lucky Polly (10) over Declarationwarrior (3), Cheermeister (5), Lucky Polly (10), Abscond (7) and Sunset Promise (11). 


Declarationwarrior (3), Cheermeister (5) and Lucky Polly (10) over Declarationwarrior (3), Cheermeister (5), Lucky Polly (10), Abscond (7) and Sunset Promise (11) over Declarationwarrior (3), Cheermeister (5), Lucky Polly (10), Abscond (7) and Sunset Promise (11).