The likely favorite appears to be So You Say (#6), who has not raced since her sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Test last summer at Saratoga. While she ran fairly well after a wide trip that day, she had faced some pretty weak fields in her prior starts for Michelle Nevin, despite running competitive speed figures. She has apparently been working strongly in Kentucky for new trainer Steve Asmussen, who gets an 82 trainer rating with trainer switches and an 89 trainer rating with runners coming off layoffs of this type.
The Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, but it does show that there are a few runners that prefer to be fowardly placed, all fast enough to make the lead. On the front end, So You Say may have to deal with Summer Reading (#5), who moves from turf to dirt and cuts back to a more appropriate distance. Mrs. Hudson (#1) improved over the inner track this winter and is far from out of this as she returns from a short layoff. I’ll use both of these in my wagers, but I went in a different direction for my top selection.
I’m hoping for at least a fair pace to set things up for FUSAICHI RED (#2).
This filly got very good over the summer last year, winning a stakes at Monmouth before bulling her way through traffic to gamely get up for third in the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga. She subsequently didn’t handle Charles Town and was done in by a slow pace (color-coded in blue) in her 2015 finale at Keeneland. Her Gulfstream return last month appears disappointing at first glance, but the Gulfstream main track was extremely speed favoring that day (note the bright red color-coding in the race rating box). I think we’ll see a much better effort today.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,5,6
Trifecta: 2 with 1,5,6 with 1,5,6