The two horses likely to vie for favoritism in this spot are Bluegrass Jamboree (#1) and Honor Way (#4). The former is probably the horse to beat given her superior tactical speed. There is very little pace signed on for this race, and the Pace Projector is predicting that Bluegrass Jamboree will be sitting in a good spot stalking the likely leader Summer Punch. I don’t expect this mare to run back to her 8-length score two back when she rode a strong rail bias to victory. She didn’t perform quite as well as the favorite last time, but she nevertheless put forth a respectable effort. There is rain in the forecast and she handles a wet track even though she’s never won over it.
Honor Way suggested that she might have improved for Linda Rice when finishing third in the Interborough back in January, but she has not gone on since then. She showed some signs of life in the Correction two back, but was then highly disappointing as the last-place finisher at this level last time. She’s clearly good enough to beat this field at her best, but the lack of pace in this race could severely compromise her chances.
I’m taking a shot against these with SAGUARO ROW (#6), who ships in to New York from Kentucky. This filly has sprinted only twice in her career, but both of those were winning efforts. She returned from a one-year layoff at Keeneland last time and won in impressive fashion. The pace of that race was extremely slow for the distance and this filly resented being rated in the opening furlongs, throwing her head about while refusing to settle. Many horses would give up after fighting their rider in the opening stages, but she kicked nicely once she was worked into the clear on the turn. She should have no trouble handling a wet track as a daughter of Union Rags, and her outside post position should allow her to work her way into a comfortable early position.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 6 with 1,2,4 with 1,2,4,5