Elegant Zip (#1) is the filly to beat in this New York-bred allowance race as she drops in class following a steady diet of stakes races. While she’s failed to win since her maiden victory at Saratoga, she has nevertheless run quite well in a few difficult spots. Despite her pedigree suggesting that sprinting would be her specialty, she has run two of her best races going today’s one-mile trip. The slight layoff is of some concern since she missed one or two opportunities to run in races that would have suited her. Yet there’s no denying that it’s going to take improvement from the others to overtake her. Most of the logical alternatives are coming off maiden wins.
The challenger who probably deserves the most respect is Countable (#6) since she defeated a legitimate foe when winning her second start last time. Wadadli Princess ran very well while finishing second and has since returned to win her maiden and run very well against stakes company. Any kind of forward move makes Countable dangerous, but I’m not totally convinced that the added ground will be to her liking. While Into Mischief is a versatile sire, her dam was a confirmed sprinter, and this filly strikes me as one who will prefer shorter distances.
If I’m going to take a shot against Elegant Zip, I want to look for better value. DIAMOND N SIMON (#3) is a longshot who intrigues me. She was facing a weaker group last time when finishing second going seven furlongs after shipping in from Parx. However, she ran extremely well within the context of that race. Feb. 9 was a day that featured a strong rail bias, and Diamond N Simon was one of the few runners on that card to overcome a wide trip. She might have even won that race had she not ducked in from greenness at the eighth pole. This is a step up in class, but her 94 TimeformUS Speed Figure stacks up very well against the favorite. Unlike some others in this field, Diamond N Simon figures to have no trouble handling the one-mile distance. I liked the way she drew off in her maiden score two back, and that race has come back stronger than the speed figure indicates.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,6,7
Trifecta: 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,6,7