Shelley Ann (#6) deserves to be every bit of an odds-on favorite. After taking a shot against stakes company in her career debut, Jimmy Jerkens put her back where she belongs against maidens second time out, and this filly responded with a strong performance. She drew off from a field of reasonable quality while earning a respectable 91 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Moved back up into the stakes ranks following that effort, she managed to improve yet again despite getting little tote-board respect at 16-1. It’s not as if the pace held together in that race, so she did well to hang on for second behind the talented closer Espresso Shot. A repeat of that 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure will likely make her too much for this field to handle. I have plenty of respect for this favorite, but I think there is a filly who could give her a challenge.
SHE TAKES CHARGE (#4) was well supported and visually impressive when winning her maiden at the end of December. Unfortunately, that race came back woefully slow, earning just a 75 TimeformUS Speed Figure and a 59 Beyer Speed Figure. Yet I think this filly may have actually run much better than those numbers indicate.
Four horses have returned from that race, and they improved their TimeformUS Speed Figures by 22, 18, 38, and 42 points in their subsequent starts. If you’re looking at the Beyers, those same horses improved by 9, 25, 42 and 46 points, respectively. I see ample evidence to suggest that She Takes Charge may have actually run a number that is at least 15 to 20 points higher than what she was assigned, and that would put her within range of the favorite. The stretch-out in distance is an unknown factor, but she is by the decent stamina influence Take Charge Indy.
Exacta: 4 with 2,3,6
Trifecta: 4 with 6 with 2,3