Christophe Clement holds a strong hand in the Christiecat. Bye Bye (#10) is arguably the one to beat after she was an unlucky loser of the Galway at Saratoga last time out. She was squeezed back at the start and found herself badly shuffled out of position on the backstretch. She got a great ride from Joel Rosario thereafter but just had a little too much ground to make up in the lane. She should appreciate the slight stretch-out to 6 furlongs and she has more tactical speed than we saw from her last time.
I prefer Clement’s other runner HONEY PANTS (#9). At first glance it might appear that her form has hit a plateau, but there’s more going on here. She had done her best work at sprint distances as a 2-year-old, and the stretch-out to two turns at Gulfstream just never appeared to suit her. Clement cut her back in distance two back at Belmont and she responded beautifully. There was no pace in that June 20 race and she put in a fantastic stretch rally to get up. Though she lost as the favorite in Canada last time, she was again compromised by a slow pace. I think she’s better than her recent speed figures indicate, but she needs to work out a trip in yet another race with a murky pace scenario.
I also want to use Caldee (#5), who could get the jump on them all if she’s able to use her speed going this sprint distance. She’s done her best work in routes, but she has the quickness to be effective over this shorter trip. I also like the gameness than she displayed last time at Ellis Park.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,5,8,10
Trifecta: 9 with 5,10 with 1,5,8,10