This is a particularly evenly matched field so there are many ways to go. Cartwheelin Lulu (#6) and Letmetakethiscall (#7) come out of the same race at this level. Cartwheelin Lulu finished second that day, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of her rival, but I thought Letmetakethiscall had the much tougher trip. That race was run during a period of time when kickback was especially detrimental to horses attempting to rally from off the pace and Letmetakethiscall got shuffled back in the early going and was forced to rate behind horses. Even once the field turned into the stretch, Jose Lezcano had trouble extricating this mare from in behind the leaders and didn’t find a clear path until it was too late. She’s likely to run much better today for a strong barn, but I think this is a subtle step up in class given the presence of some new faces.
One of those is Exceed the Goal (#2), who might be a little overlooked due to the low-profile connections. Yet this mare showed real promise at NYRA earlier this year and she’s had some minor excuses in her recent races.
I’m using her prominently, but my top pick is ARCHUMYBABY (#3). At the end of the day, this mare has just been facing much better horses in her recent starts. Horses like Hay Field and Cash Offer are vastly superior to this field and Archumybaby won at this level as recently as September. She almost always gets overlooked on the tote board due to the low-profile connections, but this barn wins races. This mare also loves to win races, having eked out more than her fair share of close decisions.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,6,7
Trifecta: 3 with 2,7 with ALL