Of those with prior turf form, Plink Freud (#2) is clearly the filly to beat. Despite finishing fourth in her debut, she earned a speed figure that would win most New York-bred maiden races for 2-year-old fillies. It is of some concern that horses have not returned out of that race to validate the unusually fast time, as only Espresso Shot returned to run as fast in her next start and she did so on the dirt. That said, Tom Bush rarely has his runners fully cranked for their unveilings, so it’s reasonable to assume that Plink Freud can improve. I’m using her prominently but there are others to consider.
NIKO’S DREAM (#10) comes out of a slower race than Plink Freud, but she was facing some talented rivals. Winner Surge of Pride has since won the Maid of the Mist and runner-up Short Pour returned to win her second start impressively. Niko’s Dream didn’t seem to have her mind on running in the early stages of that race, as she entered the stretch in last place. However, once Junior Alvarado asked her for run, she absolutely took off, passing rivals quickly in the final furlong and on the gallop-out. According to Trakus, she ran her final quarter-mile in 22.66 seconds, nearly a full second faster than any other horse in the race. She’s my top pick, but I also want to use a couple of others.
Diamond Princess (#6) actually ran well despite racing greenly in her debut, and that was after she flipped in the paddock prior to the race. She has a right to move up on turf. I’d also be remiss not to use Marquet Legacy (#1), a half-sister to millionaire Discreet Marq who makes her debut and is trained by Christophe Clement.
Exacta Key Box: 10 with 1,2,6,9
Trifecta: 10 with 2,6 with 1,2,5,6,9