Possible favorite First Appeal (#3) moves back up in class after she disappointed as the 4-5 favorite going 7 furlongs at Belmont last time. That distance may be a bit far for her, so turning back one furlong should suit her. She would also benefit from getting a bit more pace to close into after last time, when Vip Nation won in gate-to-wire fashion. First Appeal did get caught in traffic when attempting to rally two back, a race in which she otherwise would have been second with a clear run. There is speed drawn to the outside today, but it remains to be seen if she gets enough pace to set up her late run.
The other runner likely to attract significant support has a similar running style. A Little Faith (#4) has sprinted on the turf twice and won both times. She was briefly caught in traffic coming to the quarter pole last time, but exploded through an opening when she found daylight in the stretch. She’s stepping up in class here, but she should get some pace to close into once again and she has more upside than many others. I’m using both of these favorites prominently, but my top pick is one of the Jason Servis trainees.
HIGH JINGO (#10) looks like a runner who can rebound in this spot. After the scratch of Forgotten Hero, the Pace Projector is predicting that she will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. Her last outing is obviously a major concern, since she was dead on the board at 7-2 and never had anything, backing up to last after failing to get the lead. Though, there is no alarming drop in class off that effort. That’s noteworthy considering that she’s trained by Servis, a trainer who is known for placing runners where they can win, even when aggressive drops in class are necessary. Over the past five years, Servis is 12 for 36 (33%, $2.32 ROI) with runners who finished out of the money last time, yet are not coming off a layoff and are competing for a claiming price of at least $35,000 (i.e. not taking a precipitous drop) on turf. I also think it’s worth pointing out that Irad Ortiz hops off his regular mount Hollywood Cat to get back on this mare instead.
Exacta Key Box: 10 with 3,4,6,7
Trifecta: 10 with 3,4,7 with 3,4,6,7,8