Collegeville Girl (#1) is a deserving favorite in this N1X allowance, but a flawed one nevertheless. Her top effort will undoubtedly get her to the winner’s circle, but her form has been frustratingly inconsistent throughout her career. She ran one of her better races three back when rallying to victory at Belmont over respectable foe Mary’s Girl. However, she subsequently disappointed as the 6-5 choice next time out at Aqueduct. While she did get back on track to some extent last time, she just rode the rail most of the way and was never a serious threat to the winner. She may have to improve on that performance to get the job done, and the pattern she has going suggests that it’s no guarantee she will not regress.
I want to find an alternative. The logical second choice is Cape Cod Diva (#4), who has posted solid speed figures in her two recent starts on dirt. However, both of those efforts came against weaker company and I’m not sure she’s quite as good as she looks.
My top pick is the speedy AWILLAWAY (#2). The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring the early leader, and this filly figures to be clearly in front through the early stages. She’s returning from a lengthy layoff, which is always a concern, but she has prior form that makes her a player in this spot. She ran deceptively well in a few starts facing maidens at Aqueduct last year. Yet she significantly improved when moved to Finger Lakes, posting a set of TimeformUS Speed Figures ranging from 96 to 100. Those numbers don’t always translate downstate, but she did face some solid fields. This seems like a good spot for her to return and I like that promising apprentice Luis Cardenas has been named to ride.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,4,6,7
Trifecta: 2 with 1,6 with 1,3,4,6,7