Forty Niner Stakes & Mother Goose Stakes Odds

The Breeders’ Cup looms large on the horizon but there is fun to be had at Aqueduct before then, with Saturday’s card promising plenty. The improving Accretive, Everso Mischievous and Film Star probably have the G2 Forty Niner between them, while the G2 Mother Goose brings together G1 players Xigera, Occult and Defining Purpose for a perfect afternoon of appetisers before next weekend’s feast.

Breeders Cup Odds

Forty Niner Stakes

G2, $300,000, 1m dirt, 3yo+, 4.53pm ET

With just two days remaining of the ‘Belmont at the Big A’ meet Chad Brown is almost certain to top the trainers’ table, and the morning-line likes his chance of sealing the deal in the Forty Niner, Saturday’s highlight at chilly Aqueduct.

Brown’s first-string Accretive (2-1) heads the market and although he is zero-for-three at stakes level, he showed that he was ready to strike with a strong performance behind superstar Cody’s Wish in the 2023 G2 Vosburgh here over seven furlongs.

He took the place, posting a career-best when beaten a length and a half, ran hard all the way to the line and should appreciate stretching back out. Class relief is on his side.

On the other hand, his barnmate Dr Ardito (6-1) moves back up in grade after some hit-and-miss efforts at stakes level, including victory over a mile at Saratoga when he finished off strong. That would make him of interest, but he ran nightmare bad on a sloppy track at Parx last time in a similar contest – perhaps a faster track can bring him back.

Recent course allowance winner Film Star (3-1) picked up the pieces when some fancied horses ran below par in the 2023 G2 Woodward here over a mile-eighth, taking the place on his stakes debut albeit well beaten by the classy Zandon. He clearly has talent but that result could flatter him, while the cutback may not be ideal and he is in the middle of a busy schedule.

The baby of the party, Everso Mischievous (5-2), takes another step up the ladder after making his stakes breakthrough over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs a month ago, drawing off in style to win by three and a quarter lengths from moderate rivals. This demands more but after just five starts there should be more to come, and the extra yardage is fine.

Last year’s winner Double Crown (12-1) – this was called the Kelso 12 months ago – got that job done at 42-1, but has already run 14 times in 2023 without showing a great deal of sizzle and it would be another surprise if he could strike twice, while Swiftsure (10-1) could be part of the pace set-up after going coast-to-coast to win an allowance over course and distance. His last two starts have shown improvement.

David Jacobson loads both barrels but neither looks bullseye material. Business Model (15-1) works the allowance beat and will need the performance of his life to even hit the board, while barnmate Synthesis (30-1) is zero-for-14 in stakes over a long career, and going a mile is not likely to change that record for the better.

2023 Forty Niner Stakes Odds & Racing Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds from Jazzsports
Double CrownJose Antonio Gomez+1200
Everso MischievousCristian A. Torres+250
AccretiveIrad Ortiz, Jr.+200
Film StarJose Lezcano+300
Dr ArditoManuel Franco+600
SwiftsureKendrick Carmouche+1000
Business ModelDylan Davis+1500
SynthesisIsaac Castillo+3000

ACCRETIVE is coming off a career-best, hails from a barn in fine form, and the step back up in distance can help him get that stakes breakthrough.

Mother Goose Stakes

G2, $250,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo fillies, 3.48pm ET

The Mother Goose has been moved from its traditional spot in midsummer, when it used to draw Oaks-type fillies, and it serves a different constituency now, catering for later-maturing sorts and serving up a fascinating clash between two quality distaffers who are coming at the problem from slightly different directions.

The chalk is Xigera (6-5), G1-placed as a juvenile but on the bench for the first half of 2023, and only now beginning to really hit her straps after switching back off the lawn.

She thrived on her return to the main track at Churchill Downs over a mile-sixteenth last time, clearing right away to smash the field by six and a quarter lengths in a very fast time, and can go from the front or sit in behind. Julien Leparoux is four-for-four in the saddle and in that kind of mood Xigera will be tough to beat.

Her main market rival Occult (5-2) heads a Chad Brown trio and has already made her mark at Graded level, taking down the 2023 G3 Monmouth Oaks over a mile-sixteenth with a phenomenal display, streaking more than ten lengths clear of Foggy Night (15-1).

Occult ran to a similar level when third in the 2023 G1 Cotillion at Parx over a mile-sixteenth – possibly unsuited by the sloppy track – when almost ten lengths ahead of Defining Purpose (5-1) in fifth and again far superior to sixth-placed Foggy Night, and won a stakes over this course and distance in January (she is two-for-three at the Big A).

Her barnmates have much less about them – Undervalued Asset (8-1) stretches out from sprints and will need to move up considerably on her place spot in the 2023 G3 Charles Town Oaks if she is to figure, while Peak Popularity (20-1), in the same ownership, makes her stakes debut today and does not look ready for the higher grade.

Returning to Defining Purpose, she had earlier won the 2023 G3 Indiana Oaks at the ‘Horseshoe’, hit the show in the 2023 G1 Alabama at Saratoga, beaten five and a half lengths, and won the 2023 G1 Ashland at Keeneland as a 20-1 shot. Consistency is an issue with her but on her day she could be a big player.

That leaves the enigmatic Julia Shining (6-1), who looked a potential top-notcher when winning the 2022 G2 Demoiselle over course and distance. She has not progressed, taking the show in the G1 Ashland and running a dreadful race in the G1 Alabama when eased right down to come home a distant ninth of ten – finishing behind Defining Purpose both times.

She has to be better than that Alabama performance, but bettors are taking a distinct leap of faith that this sister to the champion Malathaat can recover some of her previous form.

2023 Mother Goose Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds from Jazzsports
Foggy NightJose Lezcano+1500
Peak PopularityDylan Davis+2000
Julia ShiningJavier Castellano+600
Undervalued AssetManuel Franco+800
OccultIrad Ortiz, Jr.+250
XigeraJulien R. Leparoux+120
Defining PurposeJunior Alvarado+500

Not straightforward at all, but there is another big run in G1 winner DEFINING PURPOSE and a faster track could make her odds look overlay territory.

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