Race 8, The Honorable Miss:
Excluding the time when she returned off of a 242-day layoff, Dance to Bristol has made three starts at seven furlongs, and this well traveled and improving four-year-old filly has earned dazzling speed figures of 108, 110, and, most recently, 118 in those three starts. All of her 12 other career starts have come at distances of six furlongs or shorter, and she has never run a figure better than 108 in those dozen races.
The TimeformUS speed figures indicating that Dance to Bristol is a little better in elongated sprint races are supported by the visual evidence. Just watch the replay of the Bed O Roses and observe the way she settled and rated kindly off of a slow pace before she effortlessly glided up three-wide on the turn and powered through the stretch to stop the timer in 1:20.81 for seven furlongs.
Ideally, we would prefer to take a position against any morning line favorite and handicap high-weight who is better suited for a little longer distance than she will see today. However, no attractive alternative to Dance to Bristol can be found in this race. She is the best horse on current form, she will get enough pace, and she’s been admirably consistent, with six wins and four second-place finishes in her last 10 starts.
Burban will get a lot of support in the betting, especially if the track is wet (weather forecasts call for rain). In her most recent start, Burban earned her career-best 115 speed figure while on an uncontested early lead. The Pace Projector indicates she won’t have that kind of trip today. This five-year-old mare has made only two starts in her entire career outside of her home base at Churchill Downs, and has had only one (slow) workout since her huge race last time out.
The biggest potential danger we see to Dance to Bristol will come if the red-hot Glorious View is able to cross over and gain an uncontested early lead. However, Glorious View needed nine tries just to break her maiden, and according to our Race Ratings, she’s facing the toughest competition she’s ever seen.