Miss Hot Stones (#4) and Spring Drama (#5) are likely to vie for favoritism in this spot. The former is the more talented horse on her best day, but it’s unclear how ready she will be to put forth a top effort as she returns from a 14-month layoff. She earned some of the fastest speed figures in this field as a 2- year-old back in 2017, so she should be able to do better with routine improvement. On the other hand, some sort of problem obviously kept her away from the races for so long and trainer Bruce Levine does not have strong numbers off layoffs of this type. She’s a horse you have to use in your wagers, but I would tread lightly with this filly until we see her come back.
Spring Drama is more reliable, but she also isn’t nearly as talented. She was visually impressive when she broke her maiden last time, but she did so over a pitiful field as the odds-on choice. Curiously, Kiaran McLaughlin has not had much success with horses in this situation. Over the past five years, he is 0 for 12 with New York-breds coming off maiden wins. This mare is going to take a significant amount of money in this race, and I’m just not convinced that she’s actually better than those with experience against winners.
I want to try to beat these horses with GENTLE ANNIE (#1) at what figures to be a generous price. This filly had no chance last time racing over a highly speed-favoring surface. Prior to that, she had actually run well at this level, showing steady improvement despite racing against tougher fields than the one she meets today. There is not a ton of speed signed on, but she’s not a horse who has to come from that far back if the pace is slow. I think she’s going to fly under the radar in this spot despite the fact that she’s shown herself to be good enough to snag a big piece of the purse.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,4,5
Trifecta: 4,5 with 1 with 2,4,5,6