Jill’s A Hot Mess (#6) comes into this race in career form, seeking her fourth victory in her last 5 starts after winning two in a row at Saratoga. However, she seemed to really appreciate that shorter 5 1/2 furlong distance at the Spa, and was also beating up on weaker company. This jump up in class from N1X to N2X company can be steep, and I’m not convinced that she can be as effective over 7 furlongs.
Among the likely short prices, I prefer Silky Blue (#9). I don’t love that she lost twice at short prices earlier this year, but I thought she had an excuse for her last race. While the pace may not look that fast, she was a little aggressive there, as the race was dominated by closers. I expect her to rebound for a barn that has really woken recently. Jorge Duarte is 14 for 38 (37%, $3.54 ROI) with all starters over the past 90 days, and this filly is getting back to her ideal 7-furlong distance. I think she’s the horse to beat, but I went in a different direction.
My top pick is KREESIE (#12) on the drop in class. While she’s focused on route distances recently, she has run well sprinting many times in the past and is actually 2 for 4 at this specific distance. She’s coming off a poor result first off the claim, but she had no chance given her trip. She was wide most of the way in that Yaddo and got sawed off at the top of the stretch, at which point she was just eased home. I like the rider switch to Luis Saez for this turnback and she goes out for a barn that has been on fire through the first two weeks of the meet.
Exacta Key Box: 12 with 2,6,9
Trifecta: 9,12 with 9,12 with 2,5,6,7