Vallarand (#1) seems like the horse to beat as she makes her second attempt going this one-mile distance. She’s never been particularly close at the finish, but has nevertheless been progressing with each career start. She made a good late run from well back to get up for second on Dec. 19, and she proved she could handle the mile last time when again second by a similar margin. She tried to go with the winner Coffee Bar when that one made her move on the far turn but was turned away in the stretch. And she was flattered when that winner returned to finish a strong second in the Busanda in her subsequent start. I’m using her prominently, but there are others to consider in this competitive affair.
Some may try stretching out second time starters like Esotica (#4) or Irresistible Girl (#5). However, the former is facing a much tougher field and the later has more of a sprint pedigree on the dam’s side. I prefer those with experience going this distance.
Epona’s Dream (#2) and DESTINATIONWNRSCIR (#7) met in the other division of that Jan. 10 maiden race on the same day that Vallarand competed. While Epona’s Dream got up for third after a slow start, I’m most intrigued by Destinationwnrscir out of that race.
This daughter of Lemon Drop Kid ran like a horse that figured to appreciate added ground when she made her debut on Dec. 19, closing steadily from far back to just miss to her stablemate Vallarand for the place. She seemed like a great candidate to step forward second time out, but her own antics go the better of her. She was unfocused coming into the stretch and veered in badly under a right-handed whip, ultimately allowing Epona’s Dream to pass her late. I’m hoping that she’s more professional this time with that experience under her belt, as I don’t think we’ve yet seen the best she has to offer.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 1,2,4,5
Trifecta: 1,7 with 1,7 with 2,4,5,6