Of the three main players, the one who has experience at this distance is Singular Sensation (#8). She almost upset the very talented Ratajkowski last summer, giving that rival all she could handle through the stretch of a 9-furlong contest. Yet she was off for a very long time after that. While she was soundly defeated in her return at Belmont, it appeared that there was a rail bias on June 25 and she stalked outside the entire way while the winner rode the inside path. I expect her to take a step forward second off the layoff, but it still remains to be seen if she can get back to the form that she displayed last August.
Eloquent Speaker (#7) also figures to attract support as she stretches out off a maiden victory. She beat a pretty strong field in that June 12 heat, as a couple runners have already returned to win out of that race. This daughter of Flatter has some size to her so she should handle some extra ground, but this stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles will be a real test of stamina. I’m also concerned that she has more sprint breeding on her dam’s side, as her dam is a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinters Bridgehampton and Stormy Novel. I think she’s vulnerable on the stretch-out.
My top pick is recent maiden winner SHARP STARR (#3). She ran like a filly that wanted no part of sprinting early in her career, and she took a massive step forward when she was stretched out to a mile at Belmont last time. She looked a little uncomfortable racing in behind horses early, but she finished with power, drawing off by 5 lengths. I don’t think the 9 furlongs will be an issue given the stamina in her female family. She’s a half-sister to Papa Shot and Speke, both of whom could handle the 1 1/8 miles distance.
Exacta: 3 with 6,7,8
Trifecta: 3 with 6,8 with 1,6,7,8