Single Soul (#1) is probably the horse to beat, but it’s a little concerning that she was vanned off after crossing the wire last time. That said, it took her only a month to get back to the worktab and she returns fairly quickly. If all is well with her, she has to be considered a major contender in this spot. She ran better than the margin of victory would indicate when breaking her maiden two back, as Ortiz was also hands and heels until the last sixteenth. She now cuts back to 9 furlongs is drawn perfectly on the rail, as Irad Ortiz takes over the reins from his brother.
Vividly (#2) also makes some sense as one of just two 4-year-olds in this field of younger rivals. While she’s yet to win in this country, she has displayed steady improvement under Brendan Walsh’s care. She saved ground at the back of the pack for much of her journey last time and was finishing well before running into traffic in the last sixteenth. The only concern is that she can be a little dependent on pace and there isn’t a ton of speed in here.
I’m going in a different direction with TRAFFIC SONG (#6). This filly had all the best of it on the front end when she won at Monmouth two back, but she was game to fend off the late challenge of Investment Income, who stalked her throughout. It’s worth noting that she had some trips to start her career. She had trouble in her debut at Gulfstream and then was compromised by a slow pace on May 8 when she was also buried inside. It would be unfair to hold her last dirt loss against her, and now she’s getting back on the right surface for Jimmy Toner, who has been very selective about which horses he sends to NYRA recently. She still has upside and could work out a great trip on top of what figures to be a slow pace.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 6 with 1,2 with 1,2,4,7