I think it’s worth beginning an analysis of this race with the TimeformUS Pace Projector. It’s predicting that Time Limit (#3) will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner with Playtone her closest early pursuer. In accordance with that characterization, I do believe that these are the two most likely winners. Time Limit would be quite formidable here if she were to repeat her last effort in the Matron, though that was a turf race and this stakes is contested over dirt. Her prior dirt form is solid enough, but she’s been somewhat inconsistent on that surface. She was hindered by a poor start at Saratoga in July, but she doesn’t have a major excuse for her effort two back when she faded badly going seven furlongs. This distance is better for her, but I nevertheless wonder if she can withstand pressure and hang on for the victory against some talented rivals.
One of those rivals is PLAYTONE (#2), who took a big step forward when breaking her maiden last time. This filly had shown some potential in her first two starts, but had been green each time, settling for second. In her debut at Saratoga, she was defeated by the highly regarded Risky Mischief and was her own worst enemy when trying to lug in through the lane. She again showed that tendency to want to lug in during the stretch run of her second start, as she waited on the leader with her head turned. George Weaver added a shadow roll to her equipment last time, and she was much more professional, running straight through the lane while achieving a field best last out TimeformUS Speed Figure of 99. If she can repeat that effort, I believe she can add a stakes win to her résumé.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,3,6,7
Trifecta: 2 with 3,6 with 1,3,4,6,7