The lightly raced Gilda Marie (#2) may go favored here, but she definitely comes with some flaws. She’s been seen just once since the summer of 2018, but at least that one appearance resulted in a victory. The word was out that day at Saratoga, as she was astoundingly bet down to 2-1 off some pretty dubious prior form. She’s clearly best on dirt, but she needed a long time to recover from that last effort and I have some concerns that she might not run back to that performance as she returns from layoff.
One of her main rivals is Sweet Meadow Mist (#4), but this deep closer’s running style tends to work against her. She’s failed to catch much pace to close into in her recent starts, and it’s unclear how much more speed she’ll get in front of her here. Finger Lakes shipper Eye’s On You (#5) comes in with the most robust résumé, having finished in the exacta in 18 of 26 career starts. That last out-out TimeformUS Speed Figure 97 makes her a player and it’s not like she was beaten by some slouch, as Victorias Fire is a 14-time winner. However, Eye’s On You’s prior efforts aren’t quite so strong and it’s often difficult for these Finger Lakes runners to transfer their form to NYRA.
I’m intrigued by a bigger price. FAIR LASSIE (#3) has been something of a Jekyll and Hyde sort, winning one day and putting in a totally uncompetitive effort the next. She ran well enough to compete here when winning over a fast track back in June, and the filly she defeated, Mary’s Girl, has since won at this level. While Fair Lassie fell apart when meeting tougher starter allowance foes at Saratoga, she was notably hindered by racing on an extremely dead rail on July 26. It’s taken her a while to get back to the races, but at least there’s no scary drop in class.
At bigger prices, I also want to throw the speedy Overtime Olivia (#1) and the deep-closing Carlisle Belle (#9) into the mix, as both can grab a piece of this if their respective trips work out.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,4,5,7,9
Trifecta: 3 with 2,9 with 1,2,4,5,7,9