>Belmont Park / Race 7 / July 1 / 4:26 EDT
#2 On a Star was returned from a layoff here in a shorter sprint at the end of May, and while she was racing at this same level, she faced a pretty tall order, having to chase dropdown winner La Montagne on a fast pace (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded red), and she couldn’t impact that race late. La Montagne earned a TFUS Speed Figure of 100 for that race. No one in today’s field appears capable of running a race to that level.
For her trouble, On a Star earned a career best TFUS Speed Figure of 88, and we think there is reason to believe that she can do better today. She gets an extra furlong to work with. Her trainer, Richard Vega, gets a strong rating of 97 second off the trainer change and a perfect 100 in turf sprints. And, while losing John Velazquez for this race, Vega will bring along his go-to rider for this race (perfect 100 rating for this trainer/jockey combo).
According to Pace Projector, On a Star should be able to pull a comfortable trip tracking in behind the pace, in a race expected to favor runners on or near the early lead. On a Star has plenty going for her on our data, which suggests that she doesn’t have to improve much at all to win this race (the top TFUS Speed Figure in the field is the 89 earned by ML favorite #5 Kitty’s Pearl for her most recent start). Combined with the expected trip, it is an easy call for us to give her a chance as the longest price on the ML for this race.