The 2016 campaign hasn’t gone as swimmingly for Wavell Avenue as his connections would have hoped. The five-year old mare came off a scintilating win at the Breeders’ Cup Fillies & Mares last fall, but has since showed third at the Madison (GR1) and checked at fourth in the Humana Distaff (GR1). Hopefully dropping down a few grades in to the Bed O’ Roses Handicap at Belmont Park this weekend will help get her back to those winning ways.
Overall, Wavell Avenuse is 5-1-2 in 13 races. Since her first victory, she has never placed out of the top-four, so there’s plenty of optimism surrounding the Chad Brown trainee. Belmont Park has been friendly to the mare as well. She has won a claiming race, a maiden special weight while placing second at the Gallant Bloom (GR2) in a loss to La Verdad as well.
The main threat to unseat the expected favorite at the Bed O’ Roses Handicap is Bar Of Gold who recently won the Critical Eye. Trained by John Kimmel, the four-year old filly is coming on strong as of late after a string of second place finishes on the 2015 circuit. She finished as the runner-up in the Test (GR1), Prioress (GR2) and Raven Run (GR2) before falling to 6th at the Inside Information (GR2) and 3rd at the Distaff Handicap (GR3). After some much needed rest, it looks like this young gunner is ready to take on the world and a take down of Wavell Avenue would go a long way in asserting her stock.
Rounding out the field will be By The Moon, West Coast Chick, Mayla and Pangburn. None of those seem to have the talent to give Wavell Avenue a serious challenge, but it remains to be seen if the five-year old can recreate the magic of her Breeders’ Cup win from last year.