The one-mile distance of this race casts some doubt over what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward affair. Based on prior form, the two logical players are clearly Seam and Christmas Sky. However, I’m not sure that I want either one of them stretching out in distance. Seam defeated Christmas Sky in their only meeting and may be a shorter price here. However, over the past five years, maidens making their first starts after being claimed away from Todd Pletcher are just 13 for 63 ($1.37 ROI) – so they typically underperform. Christmas Sky was getting out around the turn in her debut, and then failed to change leads in the stretch of her second start. I have worries about her lack of focus as she attempts to a win a race that is two furlongs longer.
Instead, I want to take a shot with PAULA’S PISTOL (#1).
This filly has a right to move forward after breaking awkwardly in her sprint debut. That day, she veered towards the outside at the start, and found herself racing sluggishly towards the back of the pack. The pace of that race was slow (indicated by blue color-coding in the PPs), so she never had much of a chance to make up any significant ground. She has the pedigree to handle a longer distance, as a daughter of Mineshaft, out of a dam that has produced a couple of siblings that handled dirt routes. Michelle Nevin has fantastic numbers with horses stretching out to route distances on dirt for the first time. Over the past five years, she is 11 for 36 (31%, $4.22 ROI) in such situations.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,5,6