Clearly, there are two horses of the seven running in the Garland of Roses Stakes who aren't to be messed around with.
Room for Me and Princess Violet will headline at Aqueduct on Saturday in a six-furlong race which could be run incredibly fast if Mother Nature provides these fillies and mares with a clean track.
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1: Jubilant Vision
2: Medaglia d'Argento
3: Nuffsaid Nuffsaid
4: Room for Me
5: La Madrina
6: Princess Violet
7: Classic Point
Clearly, there are going to be two favorites in this race in front of the rest of the field, those being Princess Violet and Room for Me. In fact, it would be surprising to most if any of the other five horses in this field did better than second, though an exacta won't end up paying all that much in the event that the two favorites come out on top.
Nuffsaid Nuffsaid will probably be next in line after winning by a stunning 11 lengths in a claiming race last month here at Aqueduct, while the rest of the field at the Garland of Roses Stakes will probably be littered with double-digit underdogs.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
This is really a puzzling race for Room for Me, and we're not sure why she's even running in it. She ran in the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland Park, albeit as a 78 to 1 longshot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, finishing seventh in a field of 14.
This is a mare who has posted four straight Beyer Speed Ratings of at least 94 with a career best of 107. She's never raced here at Aqueduct, and she isn't used to running against lesser fields.
Room for Me is also likely to have an uncomfortable run on Saturday, knowing that she's probably going to be asked to lead this race heading into the first turn instead of being in a stalking position.
That said, Room for Me is the best horse in this field for our money, and that alone makes her worth our consideration.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
It's tough to say that Princess Violet is an "underdog" per say, but by definition, she'll likely be the second choice behind Room for Me.
We haven't seen Princess Violet on the track since June when she was fifth best at the Oliver Phipps Stakes, but just the fact that she's only eight months removed from winning a Grade 1 race at the Madison Handicap is impressive enough for us.
Unlike Room for Me, Princess Violet has run in comparable races to this quite a bit, including here at Aqueduct where she has a first and a second place finish in her two races.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Room for Me is going to be the sexy choice at the Garland of Roses Stakes, but we think she's going to end up being second best to Princess Violet.
It's always tough betting on horses who have had long layoffs, but this is a bridge race for Princess Violet to get her competing with the big girls once again at the start of the year. We trust in trainer Michael Hushion to do what's right for his filly, and we have no doubt that she's going to be in a position on Saturday to score her first win since April.
Play Princess Violet to win the Garland of Roses Stakes
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