Fierce Lady (#5) may go favored once again, but I have little trust left in this filly after she faded to finish off the board in her return against New York-bred stakes company last time. While the result was very disappointing, it should be acknowledged that she set a very fast pace after getting gunned to the lead from the rail. Yet even given that less-than-ideal trip, she should have shown more staying power in the lane. It was among the worst outings of her career, and that’s been the pattern, as she has steadily declined in each start since her stellar debut at Belmont last summer.
I have similar feelings about the other runner likely to attract support, Autonomous (#6). This filly looked bound for better things following her debut triumph at Aqueduct in November, but she disappointed as the favorite in an inexcusable loss at Penn National and then again failed as the prohibitive choice last time. She should appreciate cutting back to a sprint, but I prefer others.
Leaveuwithasmile (#4) makes some sense based on her recently improved form at Laurel. She earned an impressive 98 TimeformUS Speed Figure for her victory last time out and she’s been cycling toward such a performance for a while. However, it remains to be seen if she can transfer that form to New York for a barn that has been very cold recently.
My top pick is the recent maiden winner LOVE OF MY HEART (#1). She won at 14-1 last time and will be a much shorter price here, but everything about that effort seems legitimate. She earned a competitive 96 TimeformUS Speed Figure and that number was validated by two next-out winners. She did miss a start in the Ruthless last month due to a fever, but she’s since come back with a fast workout last week and appears primed for another good effort. Furthermore, the Mark Casse barn has been sending out nothing but live runners at this meet.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,4,5,6
Trifecta: 1 with 4,5,6 with 2,3,4,5,6