I can’t feel too bad about picking a maiden in this NY-bred stakes given that there’s only one winner in the field!
CHRISTENING’s (#5) published running lines don’t look too pretty on the screen, but her first race is worth watching. She was slow into stride, appeared to be racing greenly at the back of the pack, and then encountered traffic trouble when trying to make her run. Jackie Davis really got into her around the turn and she responded, but had to alter course multiple times throughout the stretch drive, as she kept choosing the wrong path. Her last race can be tossed out, since she lost her rider at the start. Now she is confidently stepped up into stakes company and attracts Javier Castellano. There are definite signs that we could see a much better performance today. This filly has talent.
She finished well behind the only horse to have won a race in this cast, Wilburnmoney (#6). However I think Christening can turn the tables given that she was in trouble almost throughout last time whereas Wilburnmoney worked out a perfect ground-saving trip before angling out in the stretch. It’s a feather in her cap that she could be so professional first time out, but I think she’s going to be an underlay here off that score.
The biggest threat to our long shot pick is another maiden, Paz the Bourbon (#4). This filly wasn’t exactly away poorly, but she was slow into stride last time and soon found herself about a dozen lengths off the pace. Most two-year-olds would get discouraged from that position, but Paz the Bourbon unleashed a determined rally through the lane, nearly getting up to win despite losing ground around the turn. This filly, too, has talent and should not be taken lightly.
I’ll also tentatively consider first-time starter Miss Freeze (#3), but only if she’s taking a significant amount of money.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 3,4,6
Trifecta: 4,5 with 4,5 with 1,2,3,6
Trifecta: 4,5 with 1,2,3,6 with 4,5