There appear to be four main contenders in this confusing claiming race for fillies and mares. The one that appears to be in the best form is Archumybaby (#2), who exits a win here in the slop just two weeks ago. She was no match for the talented Lady’s Island two back and she has speed figures from earlier in the spring that would make her tough. The obvious question is whether she can hold her form for the new barn off the claim. Antonio Arriaga can send out winners on this circuit from time to time, but his statistics off the claim are merely mediocre.
Honey Graeme (#7) may attract some support for Linda Rice, though it’s hard to find an excuse for that dismal effort last time. She was outrun early and just appeared to drop back as if she was almost going to be eased on the turn. She’s bounced back from bad efforts in the past, but I have trouble trusting her. I suppose Mo Flash (#3) is also somewhat interesting off the claim by Chris Englehart, but she needs to improve a bit off her recent form.
I strongly prefer SHIMMERING MOON (#6) of the logical contenders. This mare had been in very good form for Rice throughout much of the winter and spring. I understand that some may be concerned about her return from the layoff last time, but I believe she actually ran a lot better than it seems. The first two dirt races on that Aug. 8 card – run before rain came later – played out as if the rail was extremely dead, and Shimmering Moon was right down on the rail on the far turn. I think she’s going to move forward off that effort and Robert Falcone does well off the claim.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,7
Trifecta: 6 with 2,3,7 with 2,3,7