We readily acknowledge that Blind Devotion (#5) is the horse to beat. This mare has been steadily improving in recent starts and appeared to take a step forward for Chris Englehart last time. Furthermore, Englehart, whose numbers first off the claim are merely mediocre, gets a 100 trainer rating with horses running second off the claim. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors horses on or near the lead, and she figures to be sent up to contest the pace early.
We give her the edge over Ducasa (#1), who was claimed back by Steve Asmussen after losing to Blind Devotion last time. While there’s not much of a disparity in ability between these two, we feel that Ducasa may be somewhat up against it from a pace perspective.
Blind Devotion will certainly be part of our play, but our top pick is ONE MORE SONG (#2).
One More Song confirmed that her dirt debut was no fluke with a better-than-it-looks win last time out. After breaking a step slowly, she was bumped from both sides, essentially taking her out of the race early. Considering that she had won her prior start in wire-to-wire fashion, it’s remarkable that she recovered to make a strong middle move into a fast pace. The race was falling apart late, but she was already hitting the front by the time the field got to the eighth pole, so it’s not as if she was really helped by dynamics. She hasn’t yet run fast enough in terms of speed figures, and this is a big jump in class, but John Toscano gets a 100 trainer rating with horses moving up in claiming price by 50% or more. We feel that this is a significant statistic and wouldn’t be surprised to see her best effort yet today.
EXACTA BOX: 2,5