Pauseforthecause (#1) is a deserving favorite off the strength of her third-place finish behind top New York-breds Highway Star and Satisfy in the Iroquois on Empire Showcase Day. This improving 3-year-old filly had hinted at having significantly stepped forward over the summer, and she confirmed that progression last time out. My only concern is that I have a few doubts about the speed figures assigned to that Iroquois, since a number of participants have returned to run slower in subsequent starts. Yet that’s only a minor critique of a filly who deserves respect in this spot.
Our Circle of Love (#7) also figures to attract some attention following her blowout maiden win over this strip. She broke her string of second place finishes in decisive fashion last time out, running a speed figure that certainly puts her in the mix against winners. However, she beat a very weak field that day and I want to see her repeat that performance against serious competition.
I also wouldn’t totally dismiss Michelle Nevin’s other horse, Byself (#5), who has worked her way through New York-bred company in workmanlike fashion. Her adaptable running style should allow her to put forth a respectable effort.
I’m using these fillies, but my top pick is BLUEGRASS JAMBOREE (#2). This filly has taken a step forward with each successive start since returning from a layoff over the summer. She ran deceptively well two back when she made a wide move over a track that was favoring inside paths. Then last time, I thought she might have run the best race after making an early move to the lead in a race that was dominated by closers. I’m not convinced that she relishes a wet track, so I like that she’s getting back on fast going. For whatever reason, she’s typically dismissed at generous odds and I don’t anticipate that will change this time.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,5,7
Trifecta: 2 with 1,5 with 1,5,6,7