Likely favorite Saratoga Treasure (#9) had no trouble transitioning out of NY-bred company last time, as she maintained her improved form, arguably running the best race of her career despite finishing third. Some of her rivals in this spot have more upside, but you know what you’re going to get from this reliable 4-year-old filly, who has put forth nothing but solid efforts since the trainer switch to David Donk at the start of the year. She isn’t meeting the toughest field for this level and just seems like the horse to beat.
One alternative who may attract some support is O’Malley (#5), who seeks her third consecutive victory while moving up the class ladder. This 3-year-old was a winner off the claim for Servis, and now steps up again to meet N1X foes while turning back to the shortest distance she’s tried since her career debut. Servis is 6 for 17 (35%, $2.19 ROI) with last-out winners second off the claim on turf over 5 years, so these types can come right back to get it done. However, she’d need to significantly improve her speed figures, and may be slightly overbet due to the connections.
I’m most interested in ZIP DRIVE (#2), who turns back to a sprint distance in this spot. She won her only prior turf sprint attempt at Colonial over the summer, albeit against weaker, and that was coming off a significant layoff, so she has a right to do better now. She showed good progression when moved up against winners last time, fading to fourth only after chasing a fast pace while earning a field-best 107 TimeformUS Speed Figure. The winner of that event seems like a promising sort and this filly was just two necks out of second place. She was headstrong while chasing a run-off leader that day, but she showed the ability to rate kindly in her prior sprint start.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 5,6,9,10
Trifecta: 2 with 5,9 with 3,5,6,9,10,12