2021 Rodeo Drive Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. DOGTAG (4-1) – Has not been the win bettors’ best friend of late, losing two tight ones here last spring and then falling further short in the two Del Mar runs. Was farther off the pace than she probably needed to be down south, but might find herself closer here with Going to Vegas appearing the lone speed. Another bit if good news is that her form over this course is much stronger than it is anywhere else. Bravo more than a capable replacement for Rispoli, who sides with Going to Vegas.

2. FAST JET COURT (10-1) – For her first start in six months, and in a totally new environment, her try in the John C. Mabee (G2) wasn’t bad. The slow break didn’t help, though, and she trailed most of the way before passing a few rivals in the final furlongs. Though she figures sharper with that experience, her relative class remains a concern. Note, too, that as a Brazilian-bred, she literally just turned four years old only a month ago.

3. NEIGE BLANCHE (8-1) – It took her awhile following her importation to get into a winning groove, but seems to have found it over her past three starts. That said, her head-to-head record against many of these is a knock against, as is the fact she might prefer another furlong or two to display her very best form. Others preferred for the win.

4. GOING TO VEGAS (5-2) – Dominated her two races at Del Mar, including the John C. Mabee by 2 1/4 lengths. Not sure what happened in her last try over this course, in the May 31 Gamely (G1), other than she might have been far too close to the fast pace. Her local form is otherwise fairly good (10-4-3-0), though that record also suggests she’s far from invincible. The fact there’s very little other speed in the race suggests she has a prime opportunity to dictate terms throughout, and this could certainly turn into a reply of the March 27 Santa Ana (G3). The one to depose.

5. RIDEFORTHECAUSE (15-1) – The pace last time might have been a touch too soft, even for her, but chances are she’ll prove much sharper for this more important test. Effective against several of these over this course last spring, she also has a bit more back class than meets the eye, as shown by her runs a year ago at Woodbine. Share or more within reach with her best effort.

6. CRYSTALLE (20-1) – Blinkers come back on this filly, but they didn’t really help her before last New Year’s Eve when she hit that gate at the start and struggled to get back into contention in a shorter Gulfstream allowance. From a class perspective, she has the biggest hill to climb of anyone in the field. Fourth in perhaps the toughest N2X allowance of the Del Mar meet, she was equally as non-effective against a couple of these over 11 furlongs last time. Others offer much wider appeal.

7. MAGIC ATTITUDE (5-1) – One of the few here with Grade 1-winning form, courtesy of a score in the 2020 Belmont Oaks (G1). She’s been unlucky to have caught wet ground on multiple occasions since her importation, which explains her presence here rather than in a similar spot back east. Although she’ll get her preferred dry ground, this filly has also acted like one who’s also more at home on a wider, sweeping course, like Belmont, than this tighter configuration. That’s something to keep in mind if the price dips on a filly whose signs are otherwise generally positive.

8. LUCK (3-1) – A very-well bred filly, indeed. Her Group 3-winning dam is a half-sister to Hall of Famer Goldikova, who won three Breeders’ Cup Miles (G1), plus top-level performers Galikova and Anodin (the sire of Neige Blanche), among others. This filly didn’t have much opportunity to display her turf prowess in France, but her unveiling in the U.S., at Del Mar, was a solid piece of work, albeit against entry-level allowance foes. Overcoming an early check, she powered home late to win going away against a next-out winner. The sky’s the limit, though looms an arguable underlay if anywhere near her morning line odds.

9. RED LARK (10-1) – Although she has a top-level victory to her credit, in a soft renewal of the 2020 Del Mar Oaks (G1), the evidence is largely out that she’s generally a cut below this class of horse. Came close to carrying off a pair of relatively minor stakes this season, but has been found needing much more in her graded runs this term. Hard to envision her overturning a rival like Going to Vegas, who’s handled her comfortably in their two most recent encounters.