Talented Island Fashion tops Cotillion Field

(from Philadelphi Park release)
Jeffrey Nielson's Island Fashion, winner of the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 16, will head the field for Saturday's running of the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.

The Petionville filly will break from post 3 in the 10-horse field and will carry high weight of 123 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3 year-old fillies.

Trained by Abington native Barclay Tagg, Island Fashion has faced some of the best fillies in her division all year long. Unraced as a 2-year-old, her first victory came in her third start, when she won the Win Star Oaks on March 29. After a disappointing seventh in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), she rested following her spring campaign, returning July 19 with a 6 1/2-length romp in the Delaware Oaks (gr. III).

She followed up that performance with her best race to date, an eight-length win in the Alabama, denying Spoken Fur and trainer Bobby Frankel the Triple Tiara. She has won better than $932,000 this season. No rider has yet been named.

Trainer Rusty Arnold has entered a pair of talented fillies, Double Scoop and Fircroft, both owned by Mr. G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. The more accomplished of the two is Fircroft, a daughter of A.P. Indy. Fircroft ran third in the Matron (gr. I) last year at Belmont in just her second career start and has also tackled some of the best this year at 3. While winless in five starts this year, she has been second twice in two major stakes. She was second to Roar Emotion in the Black Eyed Susan (gr. II) at Pimlico May 16 and lost to Spoken Fur July 19 in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I). Chris DeCarlo will come down for the ride.

Todd Pletcher will be back to defend his Cotillion victory of last year when he saddles Peachtree Stable's Chimichurri. Last year, Pletcher became the first trainer ever to sweep the track's two major races, the Pennsylvania Derby (Harlan's Holiday) and the Cotillion (Smoke 'N Frolic) in the same year.

Having won the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) last November at Aqueduct, Chimichurri is another filly that has gone winless this year while keeping rugged company. Her best efforts have been a second in the Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. II) May 16 at Pimlico and a second to House Party in the Prioress (gr. I) July 4 at Belmont. Pletcher has not named a rider.

The supporting feature on the Cotillion program is the $150,000 Gallant Bob Handicap, a six furlong main track sprint for 3-year-olds. In a race that appears to be extremely wide open, the major contenders should be Puglisi Stables' Only The Best, Alpha One Stable's Super Fuse and Gerald Sleeter's Something Smith.

Only The Best is a multiple stakes winner coming off consecutive stakes wins over the Monmouth turf. The California-bred son of Smokester has won more than $250,000. Super Fuse is also a multiple stakes winner and is also placed in graded company having run third in the Carry Back (gr. III) July 12 at Calder. Something Smith has spent his entire season at Monmouth Park winning five of seven with blazing front-running speed. His most recent win came in the state-bred Friendly Lover Stakes Sept. 20, finishing six furlongs in 1:08.4.

$150,000 Gallant Bob Handicap, 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Only the Best (CA, 120, No Rider
2. College Honor (FL), 115, Dale V. Beckner
3. Northern Air (PA), 113, Joseph Rocco
4. Pick'em (FL), 118, Joe Bravo
5. Paris Adventure (FL), 116, Stewart Elliott
6. Raise the Stripes (KY), 114, Roberto J. Rosado
7. Super Fuse (KY), 120, Jose Luis Flores
8. Attainable (MD), 118, No Rider
9. Overpass (KY), 114, No Rider
10. Something Smith (NJ), 121, Edwin L. King, Jr.

$250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II, 3:50 p.m. EDT), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 mile
1. Ain't Talkin (KY), 110, No Rider
2. Ladyecho (KY), 116, Stewart Elliott
3. Island Fashion (KY), 123, No Rider
4. Chimichurri (KY), 116, No Rider
5. Double Scoop (CA), 115, No Rider
6. Fircroft (KY), 119, Christopher P. DeCarlo
7. Savedbythelight (KY), 117, Joe Bravo
8. City Fire (KY), 118, Joseph Rocco
9. Danuta (KY), 115, Nick Santagata
10. Fast Cookie (KY), 116, Julian Pimentel