This race is probably all about the two favorites, who do come in with superior speed figures. Laobanonaprayer (#4) earned a field-best 96 TimeformUS Speed Figure when she won that lucrative New York Stallion Series race by 8 lengths last time. A repeat of that performance will make her tough, but keep in mind that she was facing a weaker field that day despite the large purse. This is arguably the toughest test she’s faced yet, and she’s being asked to turn back to 6 1/2 furlongs, a distance that may be a tad short for her.
I’m using the favorite, but I have more faith that her main rival Vacay (#1) will step forward. This filly didn’t exactly distinguish herself in her debut, but she ran much better to win the Key Cents last time, finishing powerfully after rating off the pace. A little added ground should help, but she nevertheless seems like more of a natural sprinter than Laobanonaprayer. Both of these fillies will be on my tickets, but I’m interested in one alternative who figures to be a much bigger price.
A LIFE THAT’S GOOD (#3) was entered on the wrong surface for her debut, and Jeremiah Englehart quickly made the correction in her second start. She’s bred to be a dirt sprinter, and she ran to that pedigree last time, winning off by over 5 lengths in impressive fashion. Some will be discouraged by the fact that the runner-up lost a maiden claimer next time out, but that filly actually improved her TimeformUS Speed Figure by 9 points in the process, while third-place finisher Coffee Bar improved by 20 points when breaking her maiden next time out. Furthermore, Jeremiah Englehart is a remarkable 8 for 20 (40%, $3.70 ROI) with last-out maiden winners in NY-bred dirt sprints at NYRA over the past 5 years.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 3 with 1,4 with ALL