The real question in this race is whether Bridlewood Cat (#2) can return to form, since most would consider her the horse to beat based upon her efforts two and three back. However, she disappointed as the 1-2 favorite last time, and that leaves some questions about her current form heading into this stakes debut. Furthermore, I have some doubts about the quality of those two victories on which she’s built her reputation. She was the beneficiary of a slow pace and favorable track profile when she broke her debut in October of last year. Then in her first start against winners in December she was aided by her main rival Newly Minted having trouble out of the gate, which essentially handed her the victory. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Newly Minted may have beaten her that day with a clean trip. So while I do believe that Bridlewood Cat is a top contender in this spot, I don’t think she necessarily deserves to be an exceptionally short price.
I see no reason not to support the horse who defeated her last time, PIEDI BIANCHI (#5). This grey mare had everything working against her that day, having to chase wide while returning from a one-year layoff. Yet none of that bothered her as she resolutely closed through the lane to get up to win. The 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure that she earned doesn’t make her any kind of standout in this race, but she has a right to build upon that performance. Her connections have tried a variety of distances and racing surfaces with her over the years, but I really believe she’s best sprinting and she may now just be putting it all together as a 5-year-old.
I prefer her to the other legitimate player, Kept True (#4), who has mostly been facing weaker fields of New York-breds. Yet she is fairly trustworthy and will be ready to step into the spotlight if either of the two aforementioned runners fail to show up.
Exacta: 5 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 5 with 2,4 with 1,2,4