It’s difficult to separate the top contenders in this Gazelle, which makes me reluctant to settle for a short price. Espresso Shot (#2) is the horse to beat, but I’m not convinced she will be at her best around two turns. Her weapon is her turn of foot, and that finishing speed may be diluted on the stretch-out. Positive Spirit (#4) will be dangerous if she repeats her Demoiselle performance, but it’s hard to excuse her poor effort at Fair Grounds last time.
The Pace Projector is predicting that the Rodolphe Brisset trainee will have a pace advantage here, but Todd Pletcher has hinted that OFF TOPIC (#3) may be more aggressively ridden in this race. I believe such tactics would benefit this massive filly, whose strength is her stamina. Off Topic appears to be a cut below the top contenders, but she ran better than it seems in her last two starts. She got a ridiculously wide trip two back at Gulfstream, and then last time she earned a respectable 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure when finishing behind the talented runner Motion Emotion. I prefer her to stablemate Always Shopping (#5), and she figures to be a more enticing price.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,4,5,6
Trifecta: 3 with 2,4 with ALL