I’m not trying to beat potential favorite OUT FIRST (#2), who earned a field-best 93 TimeformUS Speed Figure when winning her second start. Some may attribute that sudden improvement to the sloppy track, but I think this filly hinted at ability in her career debut. Racing on the inside, she took a ton of dirt in her face during that Nov. 7 affair, which was run at a time when kickback seemed to be significantly detrimental on the main track. She got a much better trip last time, showing improved tactical speed before taking over in upper stretch. She finished up like a horse who shouldn’t mind some added ground, and her pedigree supports that notion. New sire Outwork is 4 for 18 with his dirt route starters so far, and there’s enough breeding on the dam’s side to suggest more ground shouldn’t be an issue.
I prefer her to main rival Frost Me (#6). This filly won her debut but did so against a weak off-the-turf field. While she earned a stakes placing second time out in the Maid of the Mist, she was never really a threat to winner Laobanonaprayer and didn’t run that much better than today’s rival Chasing Cara, as both contested the pace. She can improve again, but I think she’ll have to if she’s to beat Out First.
Among the others, Shanes Pretty Lady (#5) has a license to improve with added ground, but she better turn things around because she’s been a disappointment since the trainer switch to Todd Pletcher.
Exacta: 2 with 1,5,6
Trifecta: 2 with 6 with 1,3,5