I can’t bet Olendon (#9) at a short price in this spot after she failed as the odds-on favorite last time. She has found her niche as a sprinter recently after failing in route races last year. However, she still has had trouble winning races despite working out favorable trips in her races. This is arguably one of the easier spots that she’s encountered, but I still prefer other options at slightly more appealing prices.
Her main rival is obviously Madeleine Must (#2), who tries the shortest distance of her career in her third start in this country. She was fairly disappointing in her U.S. debut, but she showed a bit more last time when finishing a non-threatening fourth against a better field. Perhaps turning all the way back to 6 furlongs will do the trick, but she’s one of many closers in a race that doesn’t feature much pace.
My top selection is LEAD GUITAR (#6). She’s going to have to run much better than she did in her victory at Saratoga against New York-breds last time, but her prior form indicates that she fits against this field. I can also make an excuse for her race two back when she caught a soft turf course and didn’t get the most urgent ride. I’m encouraged that she’s returning to the barn of George Weaver, for whom she ran her best career races in 2019. Her races from that summer would beat this field, but it’s not guarantee that she can get back to them. I’m going to take an optimistic view of her, and I also think that she could be much more forwardly placed in here with the switch to Luis Saez. Notably, Saez was aboard when she went gate-to-wire in her Saratoga maiden victory.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,5,9
Trifecta: 6 with 2,9 with 1,2,3,5,9