Beverly D. Stakes 2021 Entries: Motion's Mean Mary could cop a winning attitude

Trainer Graham Motion has never won the Beverly D, but he has a magnificent opportunity with Mean Mary come Saturday ... see who else draws in ... Preview below ...
Trainer Graham Motion has never won the Beverly D, but he has a magnificent opportunity with Mean Mary come Saturday ... see who else draws in ... Preview below ...

Race 7: 1 3/16ths (Turf), Beverly D. Stakes (G1), Purse $400k, F&M 3+

The 31st running of the Beverly D. was a staple in August since the late 1980s … Arlington International Race Course became a turf mecca for its Grade 1s on what was known as the “Million Day.” Now, on the doorstep of what will probably be the finale—with the track on the verge of closing in September—the memories are flowing forth. With Arlington cancelling its 2020 schedule, the last time this race was contested in 2019, trainer Chad Brown completed his 5th straight win when Sistercharlie (IRE) went back-to-back. That is 6 total wins in this spot, and clearly Brown has this one cornered. An expert grass trainer, he continues to build a magnificent stable, especially after notching his 2000th career win last week. The final go around the Arlington Park Turf Course is set for Saturday … will Brown make it 7 in the Beverly D.?

Now, let’s find out about this field…


#1 Bramble Queen (Jky: J. Loveberry/Trn: M. Dini):

The 6-yr-old mare out of Silent Name (JPN) was entered in the local prep back in mid-July, the Modesty (G3), and she finished a game 3rd behind Naval Laughter #5 (1st) and Joy Epifora #3 (2nd). The Dini Barn has this one pointed in the proper direction. Her off-the-pace style is pretty inviting, and local Chicago jock Jareth Loveberry is riding high. When it comes to the Arlington grass course, he knows it best. I think his ability to rate is impressive … this race will be a much more towards the deeper end of the pool for all involved. Maybe just hitting the board is all that can be hoped for …

Grade: C+


#2 Mean Mary (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: G. Motion):

One of trainer Graham Motion’s best is Alex Campbell Jr.’s pride and joy. The story behind this “Mean” one is fabulous, and this mare seems primed for another Breeders’ Cup run. The 5-yr-old out of Scat Daddy has a pair of major wins under her belt in the Galorette (G3) @PIM, and the New York (G2) @BEL. Both were frontend victories, where Luis Saez was able to control the fractions. The challenge coming into Arlington is can she get to the lead, and once again take control. It looks as though a hot pace will not do her much good … that may be a significant roadblock. This is Motion we are talking about though, and he knows fillies and mares like the back of his Maryland-based hand. Really interesting race that is developing here …

Grade: B+


#3 Joy Epifora (ARG) (Jky: D. Cannon/Trn: I. Correas):

This 5-yr-old mare is pretty accomplished because she ratchetted nicely from an OC80k event at Churchill Downs to the Modesty (G3) @ARL. Out of Fortify (turf distance), she rolled late and just missed trying to catch Naval Laughter #5. Her aforementioned ability to go long is an asset, and Declan Cannon climbs aboard once again. He doesn’t have the chance to ride in many grass events, so up against this group will not be easy. Speaking of opportunities that are few and far between, Correas has some “Graded Stakes” experience, but not quite enough to suit me, especially when compared to others in here. The 5-yr-old is going to be outmatched if she cannot dig deeper and grab what needs to be the racing effort of her life. With turf bloodlines that are strong, maybe she will find it when it counts?

Grade: C+


#4 Santa Barbara (IRE) (Jky: R. Moore/Trn: A. O’Brien):

European and global super trainer Aidan O’Brien has come to Arlington for years, and has his share of solid wins. The list is extensive, and he is coming one last time to join the fray. This young filly out of Camelot (GB) is well-placed to take on older females because she already has, not only a race under her saddle, but a win in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) back in early July. With Ryan Moore aboard then, as he was in most of her races back in Ireland and the UK, that should make her a tough customer. She has all kinds of tools in her belt to get this one done … not only Moore’s skill … 1st time Lasix … she has a devastating leg kick that can chew up furlongs of ground in the end. At this point, she probably would be my top pick. It will be intriguing to see where her price lands come post time.

Grade: A-


#5 Naval Laughter (Jky: S. Doyle/Trn: C. Davis):

Mr. Chris Davis might not be a Thoroughbred training household name which you are familiar with, but those that are in the “know” realize his potential. His filly won the Modesty (G3) last out, the local prep for the Bev D. That was an impressive effort, as Sophie Doyle rolled late with a resounding victory. Her jockey skills were impressive on the grass down at Sam Houston, and she has had some opportunities this year to ride some quality horses. That is nice to see, and a win in this spot would really put her in the stratosphere. The Doyle name is huge in jockeying, and she has the ability to see this one home. I like the turf lines here out of Midshipman. Maybe her price will drift above 5/1 … we can hope. I want to try and find ways to use her, since she ran so well last out on the Arlington green.

Grade: B


#6 Lemista (IRE) (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: C. Brown):

The Chad Brown entry might be one of the weaker ones he has sent to Arlington (in my opinion), but that doesn’t mean she is not dangerous. Her turf pedigree is byway of Elusive Quality, and we all know that means lawn ability. In her U.S. debut at Belmont in the Beaugay (G3), she was competitive, finishing 2nd to fan fave Harvey’s Lil Goil. Brown got aggressive with her, and sent her to the Diana (G1). Against the Appleby runners she was a short price, but finished a disappointing 8th. I wonder 2 things … how good was that Beaugay field … and then in turn … how fit is she now? Most will back her, but even with Flavien Prat in town to ride, that might not make a difference. Then again, looking at her form in Ireland, those 4 wins in-a-row were not small potatoes. If she fires, she could be a winner … but which 4-yr-old will show? The one from the Beaugay or the one from the Diana? Concerning for Peter Brant, who is a superb owner …

Grade: B-


#7 Oh So Terrible (Jky: C. Roman/Trn: B. Ross):

The Ross Barn is looking to shoot the moon, so to speak, by sending this “experienced” 7-yr-old into this Grade 1. She does not have much in the way of class, and probably should be 80/1 come post time. Local rider Constantino Roman has the call, and he at least has some experience riding her on the grass. His poor numbers reflect a lack of patience, and his mount is going to have to run out of her shoes. She has 11 career races at Arlington though … just 3 wins. Raining on the parade … this handicapper is … It is oh so … nope … not going there.

Grade: C


It’s Million Day … from storied Arlington! One last time, enjoy what the Chicago landmark has to offer!