This is an unusual maiden special weight event in that a filly is likely to go off as a significant favorite in a race for open company. Tan and Tight (#2) lost as the favorite against her own gender last time but she nevertheless has earned a series of speed figures that suggest she is clearly the horse to beat against this field of males. That’s primarily due to the fact that many of her counterparts have recently competed at the maiden-claiming level and are thus ceding a class edge to the Chad Brown filly. I don’t have a major knock against Tan and Tight, but I also wouldn’t want to take too short a price on a horse who has gotten close without sealing the deal in all four career starts.
Hard Count (#4) and Bye Bye Nicky (#5), also a filly, make some sense as alternatives, but the former has done his best work in route races and the latter has a history of quitting in the late stages of her races.
I want to get a bit more creative so I’m taking a shot with first-time turfer JAKE ROCKS (#6). On the surface of things, it might not seem like this runner has a ton of turf pedigree. His dam has produced one turf winner who appeared to be equally talented on dirt. However, there are some additional signs that this runner may appreciate a surface switch. It might surprise some to learn that New Year’s Day’s progeny win 18% of their turf starts, a remarkably high win rate for a relatively low-profile sire. Furthermore, this colt sold for a hefty sum as a 2-year-old after working an impressive 20 4/5 seconds over the synthetic track at OBS, sometimes indicative of turf ability. This colt has subtly improved following recent barn switches, and he’s not landing in the toughest spot as he tries a new surface.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,4,5,7
Trifecta: 2,6 with 2,6 with 3,4,5,7