RACE 6: DATA ANALYTICS (#10)
This is a fascinating full field of New York-bred N1X allowance runners where you have a number of fillies stepping up out of maiden wins. However, the two fillies who should attract the most support on the tote board have both faced winners. Fresco broke her maiden in a stakes, so that immediately sets her apart from the rest. However, she was beating a very weak field when she won that Stallion Series race and it’s not as if she improved much when she was a non-threatening fourth behind some males in a similar race last time. She obviously has the speed figures to contend here, but I think others will offer better value. Astoria Kitten is overdue to break through this level after getting run down as the favorite in three straight N1X events. While I’m getting sick of her act, I do acknowledge that she ran well last time after setting a pretty fast pace for the distance. Cutting back to a one-turn mile will help her, but I still prefer new faces. Among those stepping up in class, I prefer Data Analytics. This filly has to run faster if she’s going to beat winners here, but I liked the way she handled maidens last time. She had to work hard to make the lead over a keyed up Pure Bode, who notably came back to win her next start, while setting an honest pace. Despite sustaining some early pressure, she kicked away impressively in the lane. She probably can’t make the lead this time with Astoria Kitten in the race, but I’m hopeful that she can stalk and pounce on that foe. I would also use Kilkea, another filly who broke her maiden at Saratoga. She seems a bit more versatile than Data Analytics from a tactical standpoint, but she’s getting a real class test after beating a weaker maiden field.
RACE 7: LOVESTRUCK (#1)
This Miss Grillo drew an exceptionally promising group of two-year-old fillies, any number of which would likely stamp herself as the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with a victory here. That’s how strong this field appears to be. The favorite may be Plum Ali, who is the only stakes winner in this field, having conquered the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies in her most recent start. She’s won both of her races with ease, but she’s getting a major class test here as she steps up against the toughest field of her career. Based on her TimeformUS Speed Figures, she has to significantly improve to defeat a few of the recent maiden breakers. Caldee is a serious threat to wire the field off her impressive turf debut last time out. She got to set a slow pace that day, but she absolutely destroyed that field when she kicked for home, winning by nearly 7 lengths. Riding the rail the entire way may have dressed up her performance but she obviously has talent and should be taken seriously. I’ll her use her prominently, but my top pick is the Bill Mott second time starter Lovestruck. This filly has a regal pedigree, being a half-sister to Scat Daddy sired by Tapit. Her debut was excellent, as she easily defeated today’s rival Freedomofthepress despite the fact that she was extremely green. She broke inward from the start, forcing herself steady, and still didn’t look like she knew what she was doing in the lane even as she mowed down the leader. Bill Mott doesn’t have great statistics with horses coming off debut wins, but I think this talented filly could be an exception to that pattern.
RACE 8: LETRUSKA (#1)
Dunbar Road is widely regarded as one of the leaders of this division, so it is expected that she will win this Beldame en route to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. However, I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll handle this field. Her speed figures don’t suggest that she has any edge over this field whatsoever, and this by far the toughest field that she’s met so far in 2020. Furthermore, she had a setback after the Delaware Handicap, so her preparation for this race has not been ideal. I think she can win, but I believe she’s a terrible bet as the prohibitive favorite. The Pace Projector is predicting that Letruska will be on a clear early lead, and I just think that makes her very dangerous. This filly has significantly improved this year as a 4-year-old, and she’s always a threat to lead throughout when she gets to a lonely lead. She ran a good field off their feet in the Shuvee last time, setting a punishing pace for 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga before holding sway late. A one-turn configuration is probably better for her and she’s not supposed to get any pressure up front this time. I also wouldn’t totally dismiss Horologist, who ran a massive speed figure two back in the Molly Pitcher. She wasn’t able to compete with Monomoy Girl last time, but she was hardly disgraced in defeat and she possesses the tactical speed to get the jump on the favorite.