This race was significantly affected by scratches. Lady Alexandra is scheduled to run at Woodbine instead, and Lull is not participating on yielding turf. With both of these favorites out, this race becomes totally wide-open, and I think it’s wise to go shopping for a price.
Tillie’s Lily (#6) probably will inherit the role of public choice as she seeks to get back on track after a disappointing stakes debut in the Smart N Fancy. She did not handle the hubbub of Saratoga prior to that start and may have expended too much energy prior to the race. I think she’s a contender, but she has yet to prove that she’s actually faster than a number of rivals who will go off at better prices.
Out of that Smart N Fancy, I’m actually more interested in Battle Joined (#8), who had to alter her preferred style when she did break sharply. She got a decent trip thereafter, but I thought she was closing well late in a race where few horses changed position. She’s definitely a part of my play, but I want to focus on a horse exiting the Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Laurel.
Fire Key (#5) finally got back to her winning ways with a nose victory, but she did so with the benefit of a perfect trip. That race featured a fast pace that totally fell apart and was dominated by horses making outside runs.
Of the closers, I thought FEAR NO EVIL (#11) actually ran the best race. She was racing closer to the pace than Fire Key, and her rider appeared to be caught off guard when that one made the first move. Fear No Evil had to wait and duck inside to make her run in the final eighth of a mile. She was actually moving best of all at the end and may have won under different circumstances. This filly improved significantly throughout the spring and summer, and I appreciate that she’s shown improved early speed in many of those starts. She handles some give in the ground, and she’s going to be a square price once again.
Exacta Key Box: 11 with 2,5,6,8
Trifecta: 11 with 6,8 with 2,5,6,8,12