The Great Johanna (#3) figures to go favored as she seeks her third victory in a row. Rather than immediately trying this N1X allowance condition following her maiden win, her connections instead took advantage of the open starter-allowance condition for which she was eligible. She had to work a bit harder to win that day than her even-money odds might have suggested, but she nevertheless earned a career-best 97 TimeformUS Speed Figure. A repeat of that number makes her a top contender here, but there are certainly others to consider.
Some may gravitate toward Paved With Gold (#11) due to her flashy 102 TimeformUS Speed Figure on the turf last time. While she has been competitive in her prior dirt starts, most of her top performances on that surface came over the summer and her recent form had tailed off. I’d rather look in a different direction.
My top pick is the recent maiden winner AM IMPAZIBLE (#8). This filly had shown some potential in her career debut on Nov. 1, when she greenly dropped back in the early going while reacting badly to kickback. Despite losing so much ground, she nevertheless battled back through the lane to pass over half the field. Ultimately, that six-furlong distance was probably just a bit too short for her, and she appreciated an extra half-furlong last time. Now she has to stretch out in her first start against winners, but there are some positive indicators she can improve further. She’s bred to handle added ground since her dam won at a mile, and that dam is a half-sister to millionaire dirt router Royal Posse. Furthermore, Kelly Breen does very well off maiden wins, going 5 for 8 (63%, $4.97 ROI) with last-out maiden winners on dirt over the past year, and 8 for 20 (40%, $3.45 ROI) over the past two years.
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 3,5,11
Trifecta: 8 with 3,11 with 1,3,4,5,9,11