I’m not trying to beat the likely favorite SIMPLY BREATHLESS (#1), who just appears to have found the right spot as she makes her New York debut for California trainer Neil Drysdale. West coast shippers are often overmatched when they ship east for major stakes, but this filly is catching an unusually weak field for a graded stakes event.
She got a great trip to win the Wilshire at Santa Anita during the summer and she was just placed in some tougher spots after that. She couldn’t quite get the longer distance of the Modesty two back, but it turns out that losing to Juliet Foxtrot is no disgrace, considering that rival’s subsequent Grade 1 placings. Last time out at Kentucky Downs, Simply Breathless was racing over a course that had gotten very speed-favoring, and she was unable to reel in a couple of classy rivals. She didn’t get the smoothest trip through the stretch that day, as Geroux had to wait in traffic and tried to find room inside. I like this rider switch to Joel Rosario, who should be a perfect fit for this filly, and Drysdale’s runners tend to show up in these situations.
Two of her main rivals are exiting an optional claiming race at Belmont on September 22. Sweet Bye and Bye (#3) was impressive in victory that day, but she got a very soft trip on the front end, setting very slow fractions before sprinting home. Victorine (#2) actually ran deceptively well in that spot, since she advanced outside and just couldn’t make up ground late into those sprint-like closing splits. I’d use both defensively, but I’m just not sure that either one possesses the quality to overtake a horse like Simply Breathless.
Exacta: 1 with 2,3,4,9
Trifecta: 1 with 2,3 with 2,3,4,5,9