Two runners that have not completed a race in over 8 months will be vying for favoritism in the finale. Subtle Lady (#5) made three starts in the fall of 2015, and improved in each of those outings. Her best effort was a third place finish against maiden special weight company at Aqueduct, where she only lost to subsequent N1X allowance winner Eloweasel by a half-length. She’s now in the barn of Linda Rice and starts for a claiming tag for the first time after losing her rider at the start of a similar spot a few weeks ago.
Electrified (#8) has been off for even longer, having not raced for almost 13 months. If she repeats that race here, she is almost certainly going to win. That said, George Weaver gets only a 56 trainer rating with horses coming off layoffs of this type, and the drop in for a tag does not exactly inspire confidence.
Irish Actor (#6) has had plenty of chances at this level. Her plodding running style always puts her in a difficult position in these races, but perhaps the addition of blinkers will help. Linda Rice gets a 100 trainer rating with this “Blinkers On” move.
Since I can’t take the favorites, I think this is a good spot to go shopping for a price.
CELTIC SERENADE (#7) never got a chance to show anything in her debut—her lone turf start—as she dropped her rider coming out of the gate. She resurfaced just 10 days later, this time in a dirt race on the inner track, and ran better than it might appear. She was extremely wide into the first turn and then made a premature four-wide move down the backstretch and into the far turn before flattening out late. She’s been off for a long time since then, but Bruce Brown does decently with layoff runners like this (65 trainer rating). She’s a full-sister to a horse whose only win came on turf, so she’s supposed to handle this surface.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,5,6,8