The Important One (#3) figures to be the clear-cut favorite here as she tries to win at this level for the second time in a row after competing for the $45k optional claiming tag when she won an off-the-turf event last time at Saratoga. She absolutely dominated that field, leading all the way before opening up impressively late. That 107 TimeformUS Speed Figure is the highest of her career, and makes her faster than her rivals here if she can repeat it. She did have everything go her way last time, as all of the fractions for that race are color-coded blue in TimeformUS PPs. That said, it is possible that she’s just a different horse on the dirt. My main issue with the favorite is the fact that she’s likely to face more intense early pace pressure this time.
Horses like Beautiful Karen, Shaker Shack, and Rossa Veloce have all done their best running on the front end, and even Honey Money and Awillaway figure to be pressing the issue. There’s seems like a strong likelihood that this pace could heat up, and that would set it up for a closer.
Byhubbyhellomoney (#1) is one of the late runners to consider. I don’t mind her turning back in distance after winning the 9-furlong Fleet Indian last time. However, she will have to improve on her career-best effort to beat this field.
I’m more interested in PRAIRIE FIRE (#9) off the layoff. This former Linda Rice trainee had been in great form at this time last year, finishing second in the Iroquois before winning an open allowance at Aqueduct in the winter. She tailed off earlier this year and was put away for a while. Now she’s returning for Orlando Noda, who is 6 for 22 (27%, $4.99 ROI) first off a trainer switch over the past 5 years. Furthermore, this barn has had some live runners in the last week and they’ve placed this mare realistically for her return to the races.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,3,5
Trifecta: 3,9 with 3,9 with 1,2,5,10