Favoritism in this maiden turf sprint figures to go to either the Wesley Ward-trained Six Feet Apart (#7) or the MyRacehorse filly Quick Conversation (#8). At first glance, the former has an appealing look to her, having finished third in her only start at Keeneland after setting the pace. Ward’s runners have been performing exceptionally well at this meet, and he’s a remarkable 8 for 11 when teaming up with John Velazquez. However, she wasn’t meeting the strongest field in that prior effort, and she didn’t have much excuse to surrender in the lane.
I’m slightly more optimistic about Quick Conversation, who put in a solid late rally to fall just short going this same distance on May 1. She got a pretty good trip that day but ran a competitive speed figure and now gets the services of excellent turf sprint pilot Joel Rosario. I’m using her, but I actually prefer a different runner out of that race.
GAILHORSEWIND (#3) is a filly that I’ve been waiting to show up in the entries after her sneaky debut, in which she finished about 2 lengths behind Quick Conversation. She clearly wasn’t meant to win that day, considering that she was sent off at 54-1 and is trained by Linda Rice, who almost always gives her first time starters a race. Yet, in spite of the fact that she wasn’t fully cranked, this filly showed turf ability. She was fairly sluggish in the early going, but put in a nice run around the far turn to reach contention. She looked like she might mount a stretch bid before ducking in awkwardly and clipping the heel of her stablemate in upper stretch. After that, Hector Diaz barely even rode her to the finish yet she lost by less than 3 lengths. She’s likely to benefit a great deal from that experience and now she gets a rider upgrade to Jose Lezcano.
In addition to the aforementioned favorites, I would also use my top pick with the Chad Brown European import Isle of White (#1), who could turn things around in her U.S. debut for the new barn.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,7,8
Trifecta: 3 with 1,8 with 1,7,8,9