Doll (#3) has been sent off at odds of even-money or less in three consecutive starts and she’s lost each time. Of greater concern is the fact that she has led the field into upper stretch on all of those occasions before allowing rivals to pass her in the final furlong. Clearly she’s lacking some will to win these races, but she nevertheless continues to earn speed figures that are superior to most of her rivals. I suppose it stands to reason that she’s eventually going to meet a field than can’t beat her, but is today that day? I find her hard to swallow at another short price.
There are a few alternatives from which to choose and the one that I prefer is ALPHADORA (#5). This filly’s 2019 campaign ended on a sour note, but she showed real ability in her first several starts. She was hindered by a significant rail bias when she made her debut in February, and immediately stepped forward with two strong performances thereafter. She really should have won on March 15, but a poorly judged ride cost her the victory. She was in over her head against the classy Newly Minted in a stakes thereafter before getting sent to the sidelines. This barn tends to fly under the radar, but they have sent out live runners on this circuit before and the bullet workout in late December is encouraging. She also gets a significant rider switch to Junior Alvarado in this return to the races.
The other alternative to consider is Enough Love (#4), who made her debut for Linda Rice two summers ago at Saratoga. She ran a typical first race for a barn that rarely has them ready for their debuts, but now she’s resurfacing 16 months later with Robert Falcone. One would assume she can do better now, but the time away is obviously a concern.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3,4
Trifecta: 5 with 3,4 with 1,3,4,6