Lucy, I'm home... you've got some splaining to do. Man, those
words live with me.
As a little boy, a long, long time ago, I would sit in front
of the TV and watch I Love Lucy in black and white after coming home to an
empty house after school. There was no cable back then, or YouTube, so you'd
have crunched up aluminum around bunny-ear antennas and slide the foil up and
down when the signal was bad.
Today, we can watch the Desi Arnaz Stakes on our
smartphones. For me, it should be the Ricky Ricardo Stakes because that's how I
remember the Cuban born American TV star. I miss those days. I'll reminisce about
my TV time with Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy watching race eight at Del Mar in
the late Arnaz's honor, well deserved.
Let's see if can splain the script on how the Desi Arnaz
Stakes plays out.
PRIVATE MISSION (PP: 2 ML 9/5) could be the star here and
one that we hear about during her three-year-old campaign in 2021. Dare we say
she could be a Kentucky Oaks contender? It's too early for that, but she's the
top contender here. She won her debut as the even-money favorite with some
quick, early fractions. The Bob Baffert trainee made a power move out of the
turn and glided home. The daughter of INTO MISCHIEF most likely shows more
today, making her hard to beat.
With VARDA scratching out the race, ASTUTE (PP: 7 ML 3-1)
could steal the scene. She won her debut on turf for trainer Richard Mandella
as the 3/5 bettors' choice. She popped out of the gate on grass to the lead and
never gave it, barely. She was nearly caught at the wire, winning by a neck.
Today, she's adding a furlong, which could work against her. Mandella only wins
at 12% when switching to dirt from grass, but he's taken the checkered flag in
four of his last eight with jockey Mike Smith.
QUEENQOL (PP: 5 ML 4-1) could play the part of leading lady
or best supporting actress. She won her first start with the second-best debut
speed figure behind PRIVATE MISSION, but not by much. On the surface, race
number two looks like she took a step back.
Not so fast. Well, actually, a little faster. Her fractions
were quicker in round two than round one despite adding a ½ furlong. Jockey
Juan Hernandez will probably rate right behind PRIVATE MISSION and ASTUTE, passing
one or both if they tire in the stretch.
It's a toss up as to which of the remaining three cleans up
the superfecta. After moving the foil around to get a better picture, MISS
COSTA RICA (PP: 6 ML 10-1) comes into focus by a neck. She broke her maiden in
her first try and then probably tried for too much in race two of Grade II. Stepping
down in class is probably the right role for her if she outhustles HEELS UP
(PP: 8 ML 8-1) as the curtains close on the Desi Arnaz Stakes.
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