Lucky Move (#4) is the horse to beat as she moves back into New York-bred company for this Biogio’s Rose. She’s earned a series of speed figures that are simply superior to those of her rivals, but she has primarily done so in races going slightly farther than today’s one-mile distance. Some may also be deterred by her regression out of the triple-digit TimeformUS Speed Figures last time, but note that she got the wrong trip in that Nellie Morse. She was a little rank early as the pace slowed down and made a premature move while racing wide. She had been in excellent form prior to that, and she did handle a one-turn configuration when she won the Empire Distaff at Belmont in October.
The bigger issue for this mare could be the lack of pace in this race. The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring the early leaders, with Lucky Move lagging well behind in the early stages. She’s overcome slow paces before, but I’m not thrilled at the prospect of taking a short price on her to do so.
Her main rival is probably Espresso Shot (#3), but I prefer this 5-year-old mare going a bit shorter than today’s one-mile distance. She does have the tactical speed to work out a better trip than the favorite, but she’s unlikely to offer much value either.
I want to get a little more creative with CRITICAL VALUE (#5). This filly was no match for Lucky Move when they faced off in the Empire Distaff last year, and it’s fair to argue that she’s simply been off form since then. However, I thought she had a legitimate excuse against a tough field two back. Then last time she was in good position on the backstretch but was steadily shuffled back on the far turn before having to alter course in traffic through the stretch. All things considered, she did very well to get up for third, putting forth her best effort in a while. I think this filly could benefit from the addition of blinkers given the lack of focus she displays at times. She also does possess the tactical speed to stay closer to the pace than she has been lately.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 3,4,6
Trifecta: 5 with 3,4 with ALL