Kalabaka (#5) is the horse to beat, but we don’t quite trust her in this spot. She’s never raced beyond six furlongs, and her pedigree does not exactly suggest that she’s supposed to relish this stretch-out. Furthermore, Rick Violette gets just a 51 trainer rating with runners trying a route for the first time. Though she ran well in races two and three back, her last was a step in the wrong direction at 3/5 odds.
We instead prefer the horses coming out of the seventh race on February 28. Majesticconfection (#2) probably ran the best race that day after going a little wide around both turns in a race that otherwise held together on the front end. Love You Babe (#4) got a great ride from Eric Cancel, saving ground for much of her trip before angling out in the stretch. She had every chance to go by the runner-up but flattened out late.
We could use both of them, but we want to take a shot with ICE PALACE (#1), who finished just behind that pair last time.
Ice Palace was perhaps most compromised by the race flow, racing wide towards the back of the pack. She briefly loomed a threat in upper stretch but couldn’t keep the momentum going as the top three had too much left in reserve. This filly hasn’t gotten any pace to run into in either of her two-turn attempts, but that shouldn’t be the case today, as Eastern Mischief, All Day Lawn, and Stella Who are all coming off wire-to-wire victories. Even Kalabaka isn’t slow and may be up close to the pace on the stretch-out. Ice Palace also gets a rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz, who can work out the right trip for this closer.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,4,5