This race could be significantly affected by scratches, depending on which runners Linda Rice leaves in the race. She has entered four of the six betting interests, and as of Saturday morning all of them are expected to participate. If the race holds together as is, there is a fair amount of early speed signed on. Sower, Yorkiepoo Princess, Sounds Delicious, and Filibustin all do their best work when able to secure the lead.
The Pace Projector indicates that Sower (#1) is the one most likely to revert to stalking tactics, as she has done in the past, yet that still leaves a trio of mares contesting the pace. Yorkiepoo Princess (#3) finished behind Sower in the Interborough last time, but I thought she had the slightly tougher trip while setting the pace nearest a rail that was disadvantageous. She should appreciate the slight cutback to six furlongs here. I’m using both of them in some capacity, but I prefer the two Rice runners drawn to the outside.
Sounds Delicious (#4) merits plenty of respect off her dazzling victory in this race last year, but it’s been a bumpy road since then. She was off for a long time following a poor effort in May and disappointed in her return last fall. While she lost as the favorite again last time, I thought she took a significant step forward. Her 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that effort puts her in the mix here, and she will appreciate getting back to six furlongs. She’s dangerous in her third start off the layoff, and I’m using her prominently.
My top pick is STARTWITHSILVER (#5), who is also trying to reclaim her top form following a layoff and a disappointing return. While she lost by seven lengths to stablemate Holiday Disguise last time, that effort is not quite as poor as it seems. Feb. 16 featured a strong rail bias, and Startwithsilver was forced to go widest of all around the far turn while racing too close to a pace that fell apart. This mare was ridden like that race was merely a prep, and I expect her to take a big step forward as she switches back to regular pilot Junior Alvarado. This 6-year-old does best when she can be reserved at the back and launch one explosive rally, and Alvarado rides her that way.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,3,4
Trifecta: 4,5 with 4,5 with ALL