Orchid Stakes 2021 Preview: War Like Goddess the value selection

War Like Goddess should appreciate more ground in G3 Orchid
War Like Goddess should appreciate more ground in G3 Orchid

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Between the Gulfstream Park Oaks and Florida Derby is the Grade III Orchid Stakes. A deep ten-horse card awaits the analysis treatment from our in-house handicapper.

Our Race Card is below along with his thoughts and of course - those all important picks...

Coming off back-to-back three-length wins in Gulfstream stakes, Always Shopping (#9) is a deserving favorite in the G3 Orchid at 1 ⅜ miles. It took this 5-year-old mare a long time to figure things out, but she’s really come alive at the meet with two fine performances to her credit, especially last out when she waltzed home in the G3 La Prevoyante at a comparable distance. She’s no doubt going to be tough to beat, however I don’t think she’s invincible in this spot and she could get bet as though she is. She’s a must-use in any multi-race wagers, but I’m going to take a few shots against her here.

I tend to be a little stubborn with horses I like, and that may be the case with War Like Goddess (#1), who I loved last time in the G3 The Very One but could only muster a fifth-place finish. I’m sticking with her, however, because I think she has a major excuse for that performance considering the speed-favoring nature of the Gulfstream turf that day, coupled with a complete lack of pace. Given those two factors the late-running War Like Goddess had virtually no chance to make an impact on the race, though she did come with a pretty strong belated run to close some ground. Prior to that effort, this up-and-coming filly showed a devastating late kick going a marathon distance at Churchill Downs, and if she gets enough pace to run at I think she can mow them all down at a generous price.

The other runner I believe merits serious consideration in the Orchid is the uber-consistent Morning Molly (#4). This mare has yet to finish outside of the exacta on turf and has proven she can be effective shipping, as well. She doesn’t appear quite as fast as Always Shopping, but she too has good tactical speed, which is always a big advantage in turf marathons, and could improve with the added ground of this race. Ultimately, Morning Molly is a super honest runner that may get overlooked a bit in the wagering.

Order of preference:  1-4-9-7

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