The scratch of Shimmering Moon leaves Archumybaby as the probable favorite, and a very likely winner. Shimmering Moon was in a position to control the pace when these two met last time, and she created difficulties for her rivals by slowing down the early fractions. Rather than securing a clear advantage heading into the far turn, Jose Lezcano allowed the stalkers to surround this mare, causing the pack to bunch up behind her.
The horse who may have been most negatively affected by those tactics was ARCHUMYBABY (#9), who was unwisely rated in the opening furlong. Eric Cancel pulled her back off the pace and put her in a precarious position stalking inside, behind Shimmering Moon. Archumybaby seemed to react badly to horses surrounding her, turning her head while attempting to back out of that tight spot. Due to that trouble, she was backpedaling at the quarter pole while others were launching their moves. Once Cancel finally switched her outside, she came with a solid late finish, but she was far too late to make an impact. Yet it is noteworthy that she galloped out with good interest, passing all of her rivals soon after the wire. I like that she’s drawn an outside post position this time, and I would not be surprised to see her revert to the form that we saw two back when she took down the Videogenic Stakes. If she repeats that effort, she will not lose this race. After the scratch of the favorite,
I’ll focus primarily on keying Archumbaby over some horses in exotics. Timely Tradition (#3) should work her way into the trifecta off the trainer switch to Rob Atras. I would also include Moondance Joy (#1), who may be rounding back into top form, and Parx shipper Bertranda (#5).
Exacta: 9 with 1,3,5
Trifecta: 9 with 3,5 with 1,3,5,10