Given the expected scratch of Bridlewood Cat, the complexion of this race changes a bit. The TimeformUS Pace Projector was already predicting a scenario favoring horses on or near the lead, and now that figures to give a distinct advantage to Miss Marissa.
MISS MARISSA (#4) is coming off a disappointing effort in the Comely, but she didn’t get the most clever ride that day. She had done her best work when ridden aggressively in recent starts, yet she was rated from the start last time despite the fact that the pace was moderate. November 27 was a day when you wanted to be forwardly placed, as horses appeared to be hindered by kickback. That certainly seemed to affect Miss Marissa, who never looked comfortable behind horses and backed up. If she gets back to either of her prior two victories she’s going to be tough for this field to handle. Plus, she might not even be favored due to that poor result last time.
Thankful (#7) finished ahead of Miss Marissa in the Comely, but she had a smoother journey. She’s obviously improved in recent starts and merits a chance here, but I just preferred others at better prices.
I would also include Smooth with a Kick (#2) and Lucky Move (#1). The former has been a bit of a disappointing, failing a few times in stakes company prior to this. However, she handles the distance and does own speed figures that give her a chance. Lucky Move is perhaps the most reliable runner in this field, as she relishes the 9-furlong distance, and has proven that she can be competitive in races like this, having finishing second in the Ladies last year. I’m just a little concerned that the pace might not set up for this closer.
Exacta: 4 with 1,2,5,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,2 with ALL