This 11-furlong optional claiming event has attracted an evenly matched field. Perhaps Dyna Passer (#3) will vie for favoritism based on her stakes form from last year. Yet you have to be a little concerned that she doesn’t appear to have taken a step forward as a 4-year-old. She had to work harder than expected to win an N1X race going 1 1/2 miles in March and then was never really a threat against a relatively soft stakes field in the River Memories last time. I won’t be shocked if she does better second off the layoff, but I didn’t want to take a short price on her.
I think the horse to beat is probably Mighty Scarlett (#8), who has kept better company in her recent races at this level in Kentucky. She’s yet to try this distance, but she has been competitive going 9.5 and 10 furlongs, I don’t view the stretch-out as a major issue. The biggest knock against her is that she hasn’t actually won a race since this meet in 2018. She’s been involved in some close decisions since then and just hasn’t been able to seal the deal. I’ll use her prominently in all slots, but I wanted to find more value in top my pick.
TIZAHRA (#2) interests me as she seeks her third victory in a row. It seems like this 4-year-old filly has finally put it all together, especially since Ian Wilkes removed the blinkers two starts back. I liked her effort at Keeneland last time as she stayed on gamely in the late stages to get up over a mile. This will be her first time stretching out to a marathon distance, but she’s bred to go this far. Her dam won a 9-furlong stakes on dirt at Saratoga, and this filly is a half-sister to Curlin’s Pride, a solid allowance type who ran two of her best races going this distance on turf.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 3,4,5,8
Trifecta: 2 with 3,8 with 3,4,5,6,7,8