Land Mine (#4) has to be considered the horse to beat off her runner-up effort in the Saratoga Dew last time. She’s proven going the distance, and she has clearly returned in top form for Phil Serpe this summer. My one concern is that she hung badly in the late stages last time after a decent trip. Frostie Anne is a game filly who likes to win races, but Land Mine had the full length of the stretch to get by her and just couldn’t do it.
The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead since there is not an abundance of early speed in this race. I think that could make CILANTRO (#2) very dangerous on the stretch-out. While she is a daughter of speed influence Distorted Humor, there is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of her pedigree. Her dam was a route winner on turf, and she is a half-sister to the dams of Belmont Stakes runner-up Commissioner and New York-bred routers So Lonesome and Ack Naughty. Todd Pletcher has very good numbers with stretch-outs on dirt, and I feel that this filly should have gotten some added fitness out of her return effort at seven furlongs last time. Speed and the rail have been advantages on the main track at Belmont to varying degrees over the past week.
In addition to the favorite, I’ll also use her with Indy Union (#1), who had no chance over a speed-favoring surface last time and should appreciate some subtle class relief.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,3,4
Trifecta: 2 with 1,4 with 1,3,4,5