Flora Dora (#7) has to be considered the horse to beat as she exits a determined win in the Busanda last time out, earning a respectable 98 speed figure. Given the presence of speeds Lost Raven, Mo d’Amour, and Whistling Straits, the pace figures to be honest enough to set up her grinding late run.
Her main rival appears to be Katniss the Victor (#2). This Rudy Rodriguez-trained New York-bred is likely to attract plenty of support as she comes out of a softer spot, in which she lost to her talented but distance-challenged stablemate, Frosty Margarita. She did earn a field-best 101 speed figure in that race, but we want to see her duplicate that performance against a legitimate field of open-company stakes performers.
We’re going in a different direction for our top pick. We have to bet back DREAMS TO REALITY (#3) off her bizarre trip in the Busanda last time.
We’re not sure what was going on down the backstretch, but Chris DeCarlo basically let Dreams to Reality take herself out of contention despite the fact that she apparently still had run. Her rider’s decision against motivating her around the far turn allowed her to get trapped in behind a pair of tiring runners coming to the top of the stretch. Once she extricated herself from that traffic jam, she was actually finishing up well through the final furlong. According to Trakus, she ran the fastest final sixteenth of any horse in the race, including winner Flora Dora.
We like the switch to an aggressive rider, Kendrick Carmouche, and are encouraged that the connections are keeping the faith. We still believe that we haven’t yet seen the best of Dreams to Reality.