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Clairiere Could Get Back in Winning Ways in Cotillion

Cotillion Stakes (G1) runners are long on experience, short on last-out wins.

Chad B. Harmon

Only one of the nine fillies entered for the Cotillion Stakes (G1) Sept. 25 at Parx Racing comes off a win—and now, that filly, Private Mission, is out, announced as scratched by trainer Bob Baffert.

Though Stonestreet Stables' Clairiere doesn't have a last-out victory, summer form is sharp. Last month she ran second to Malathaat in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. The Curlin  filly, trained by Steve Asmussen, hasn't won since the Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots the day before Valentine's Day. She finished fourth in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Three Diamonds Farm's Army Wife comes to Pennsylvania off a third-place finish in the Alabama but won the Iowa Oaks (G3) at Prairie Meadows and the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course before that. The Declaration of War filly is trained by Mike Maker.

Maracuja wins the 2021 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Janet Garaguso
Maracuja wins the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds, and Barry Fowler's Maracuja finished last of seven in the Alabama, but upset Malathaat a start earlier to win the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). The Honor Code  filly, trained by Rob Atras, will try to rebound from post 4.

"I was hoping for a middle-type post. I know the turn comes up rather quickly," Atras said. "I was hoping for something between the 4 and 6 posts. I thought that would be good for her. I would (like for) her to hopefully break sharp and that would give Kendrick (Carmouche) some options to where he wants to sit. Hopefully, she will be in a good position."

Willis Horton Racing's Will's Secret, a daughter of Will Take Charge  from the Dallas Stewart barn, finished third in the Kentucky Oaks and fourth in the Alabama.

Saratoga racing scenes at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Aug. 7, 2021.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Obligatory gallops back after the Test Stakes at Saratoga

The seven-furlong Longines Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Aug. 7 contributes two fillies to the Cotillion field. Always Carina, a Chad Brown-trained Malibu Moon  filly owned and bred by Three Chimneys Farm, was fourth in the Test after finishing a fading second in the Mother Goose (G2) going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park. Obligatory, a Juddmonte homebred filly by Curlin, finished fifth in the Test after running second in the Acorn (G1) in June at Belmont and winning the Eight Belles Stakes Presented by Smithfield (G2) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day. Those were one-turn races.

"The big thing for her is that it is a two-turn test," said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. "We had only one two-turn race when she was quite inexperienced. She was not effective that day because of her inexperience. We're hoping she got more races under her belt. We know she's quite effective at seven-eighths and a flat mile at one turn. It's an experiment for us. I know it's a big race and she's doing well. I think she competes with those horses at a flat mile or a one-turn race. We have to see how she gets along at two turns." 

Obligatory will break from the rail under regular rider Jose Ortiz.

Based on its roster of past winners, the Cotillion richly deserves its grade 1 status. The race was not contested in 2020 when the major 3-year-old races were reshuffled on the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Street Band won the 2019 edition, following such luminaries as Midnight Bisou, Songbird, Untapable, Plum Pretty, and Havre de Grace.

Asmussen has saddled the winner in three of the past eight runnings with Midnight Bisou, Untapable, and My Miss Aurelia.

Entries: Cotillion S. (G1)

Parx Racing, Saturday, September 25, 2021, Race 11

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $1,000,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:02 PM (local)
11Obligatory (KY)Jose L. Ortiz118William I. Mott10/1
22Allworthy (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlorent Geroux118Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.12/1
33Will's Secret (KY)Jon Kenton Court122Dallas Stewart12/1
44Maracuja (KY)Kendrick Carmouche124Rob Atras8/1
55Army Wife (KY)Joel Rosario122Michael J. Maker7/2
66Clairiere (KY)Ricardo Santana, Jr.122Steven M. Asmussen2/1
77Private Mission (KY)Flavien Prat122Bob Baffert9/2
88Always Carina (KY)John R. Velazquez118Chad C. Brown6/1
99Leader of the Band (PA)Frankie Pennington122John C. Servis12/1