I have no major problems with the probable heavy favorite Bengala (#3). This filly made a favorable impression in her U.S. debut at Keeneland. She launched a premature wide move leaving the backstretch and stayed on well through the lane. The winner, Creative Thinking, returned to register an impressive stakes victory next time out at Churchill Downs. Bengala had been tried in some tough spots in Ireland last year and may appreciate finally getting on firm turf.
I’m certainly using her, but I think she faces a legitimate foe in DOUBLE CAST (#6). These connections are never going to take much money, but they have a talented filly on their hands. It took Double Cast a long time to break out of maiden company, but that was partly due to some badly timed rides and poor luck. She’s been in good form for quite some time, and her four-yearold debut suggests that she may have taken a significant step forward over the winter. The distance of that race was probably too short for her, yet she was finishing strongly after a mildly uncomfortable trip.
Violet Blue (#1) is the other filly that some may consider as an alternative to the favorite. While she ran well on occasion last year, she got a very favorable setup on Sep. 27, the one time that she was effective in five starts against winners. It’s also possible that she may need a start off the layoff. Secede (#2), Bengala’s uncoupled stablemate, figures to set the pace in this spot after being soundly beaten by that one last time. The cutback in distance should help, but she’s hard to endorse off her prior form at Tampa Bay Downs.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,3
Trifecta: 3,6 with 3,6 with ALL