Rivelli has 2 for Showtime Deb
STICKNEY, Ill. – Two Larry Rivelli-trained fillies figure to be the shortest prices Saturday in the $75,000 Showtime Deb Stakes for Illinois-bred 2-yearold females.
Rivelli demonstrated day-today dominance during the long Arlington meet this year, but this is Hawthorne, not Arlington, and like Rivelli’s runners in general here this fall, both Richie’ s lil wild cat and Jean Elizabeth could be vulnerable.
Richie’ s lil wild cat is the morning-line favorite in great part on the strength of a last-out win at Churchill Downs. There was nothing wrong with her performance. Racing under a $75,000 claiming option against first-level allowance horses, Richie’ s lil wild cat showed good speed and drew away to win by 5 1/2 lengths. But that race came at 5 1/2 furlongs, and Richie’ s lil wild cat won her maiden over five furlongs at Arlington. With other pace players to challenge her early, Richie’ s lil wild cat could struggle to see out six furlongs through Hawthorne’s long homestretch.
Jean Elizabeth might have shown more in her debut win Aug. 19 at Arlington than Richie’ s lil wild cat did in any of her four races, but Jean Elizabeth didn’t return to the work tab again until Oct. 6. She won a first-level allowance Oct. 12 at Hawthorne by more than eight lengths, but the performance was visually mediocre, and Jean Elizabeth’s winning Beyer Speed Figure plunged from a 79 to a 47. Just one slow half-mile work between her last start and this one does little to quell concern that Jean Elizabeth isn’t getting back to her best.
Strollin the Bayou has a case. Second to Jean Elizabeth in their common career debut, Strollin the Bayou ran without Lasix in that race. She lost her chance with a stumble at the start in her second race, and then won an Illinois-bred Polytrack maiden sprint by seven lengths on closing day at Arlington. Trained by Chris Block, Strollin the Bayou is by Stroll and out of the Storm Boot mare Bayou Boots, and whether she copes with dirt and six furlongs are open questions.
Distance and surface concerns also surround Speed Devil, but she’s still the pick to post a mild upset. Speed Devil debuted with a third-place finish behind Jean Elizabeth and Strollin the Bayou but was slow and balky at the gate that day and raced without Lasix. Switched to a two-turn turf mile second out by trainer Michele Boyce, Speed Devil responded with a blowout open maiden win Oct. 19.
How much of a chance is there that Speed Devil reproduces or improves upon that run Saturday? Enough of one to make her a play at something like her 6-1 morning-line odds.