Unable to mount a serious bid in last month’s Derby City Distaff (G1) after being boxed in through the stretch by Wicked Halo, reigning female sprint champion Goodnight Olive will look to gain a modicum of revenge against that rival in the $200,000 Bed o’ Roses (G2) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
The Derby City Distaff was only the second career loss in nine starts for Goodnight Olive, and her first in a stakes. Dominant in last season’s Ballerina H. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Goodnight Olive opened her 2023 account with a one-length tally in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland in early April.
Wicked Halo outfinished Goodnight Olive by one length in the Derby City Distaff, but was only second best herself to Matareya by the same margin. Victorious last season in the Prioress (G2) and Raven Run (G2), the gray was beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Goodnight Olive in their only previous showdown in the Breeders’ Cup.
The select field of five also includes Caramel Swirl and Dr B, one-two in the May 14 Vagrancy (G3), and outsider Beguine, who enters off of an entry-level allowance win.
The seven-furlong Bed o’ Roses honors the Hall of Fame filly who earned championships at two in 1949 and four in 1951. The only Bed o’ Roses winner to go on and win division honors was Straight Deal, the champion older mare of 1967.