Fiery Cat (#4) has to be considered one of the main contenders as she makes her first start for Michelle Nevin after being claimed from David Jacobson. Nevin has excellent numbers (98 trainer rating) stretching horses out in distance and also does a good job with new acquisitions. However, it’s fair to wonder how much she can be expected to improve on a former Jacobson trainee.
Comfort Level (#2) looks like one of the primary contenders based on her recent dirt route form, but this steep drop in class off the claim gives us cause for pause. If she were able to recapture her form from this summer she would be tough to beat, but we’re dubious.
Our top pick is LADY LIANA (#7).
Though she lacks the recent dirt experience that some others can boast, Lady Liana has on a number of occasions run dirt races that would beat this field. Her only dirt race this year, on June 26, was her first start in 300 days, so she may have had an excuse for the subpar effort. Prior to that she was consistently competing in races with triple-digit race ratings, and it’s not as if she was disgraced in the majority of them. The distance would be more of a concern if she hadn’t already proven that she’s effective routing on grass. She figures to sit a good trip stalking the pace, and we think she’ll prove tough to beat if she merely holds her current form.
Win bet on LADY LIANA (#7)
Exacta keying on LADY LIANA (#7) with Shakespearean Dream (#1), Comfort Level (#2), and Fiery Cat (#4).