2014 Empire Distaff

Empire Distaff at Belmont

Princess VioletLet’s preview the Empire Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares three year old and up, bred in New York, going a distance of 1 1/16 miles for a purse of $250,000. The morning line favorite for this event is Michael Hushion’s Princess Violet with Jose Ortiz in the saddle. Princess Violet is a three year old that has gone this distance only one time in her career. However that race was the Grade 1 Mother Goose and she finished second, nine lengths behind the amazing Untapable. In that race she led for a half before succumbing to that one and finished just a neck ahead of America. In her last race at Belmont she won the six and one half affair by four lengths, ridden out. The question is can she get ready for the stretch out here? The second choice in the ML is the Mitchell Friedman entry of Dreaming of Cara with Luis Saez up and Carameaway with Irad Ortiz in the irons. Dreaming of Cara is a stalker who hasn’t won in two years and Carameaway is coming off two straight victories where she went wire to wire in both.

FlipcupThird choice in the morning line is Bruce Levine’s Sunny Desert with Joel Rosario getting the riding assignment. This seasoned veteran likes to lay just off the pace and make her charge down the lane. While she is winless this year in three starts, she was victorious in three out of four starts last year. So who will it be? I just believe that the favorite is overrated in here just because she finished second to the great Untapable. Sure she drew off and won in a cake walk last out and that was open company there, but the jury is still out on her getting the distance. Don’t get me wrong here. She is a talented filly, make no mistake. I just have to look elsewhere for value. That is why I am going with William Mott’s Flipcup with John Velazquez in the saddle. She is a three year old that was beaten by three parts of a length last out by Star Grazing but she likes the distance and the weight shift seems to be in her favor here. Princess Violet will be second and Sunny Desert third. Happy Horse Pickin’ Gals and Guys!



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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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