RACE 3: GLORY DIA (#4)
It’s hard to know where the public will land in this race, since half of the contenders are shipping in from Parx, adding another variable to an already competitive affair. Among the New York-based contingent, I prefer Dealing Justice. This filly showed some ability here last winter, winning her second start in pretty fast time before failing against stakes foes. She subsequently started twice in Kentucky and looked like she was getting back on track before going to the shelf. Now she’s returning in the right kind of spot and she has the tactical speed to be prominent throughout. I trust her more than Vegas Weekend, who has done her best work going longer and must improve off the Rob Atras claim. Yet the Parx shippers could have a major say in the outcome. Some may gravitate towards Shesalittle Edgy, who seeks her fourth consecutive victory. At least she’s run well on this circuit before, though she’s apparently turned into a different horse since the trainer switch to Scott Lake. She beat a very good rival in Secondary Market last time before regressing a bit at Delaware. I’m hoping that she and Dealing Justice hook up on the front end, but I prefer the stalking Glory Dia. She’s coming out of stronger races than the other Parx-based contenders, as she ran against win machine Chub Wagon twice recently. She got the wrong trip two back when her rider unwisely got her buried in traffic behind a slow pace. Things worked out better for her last time when she made a wide move to take over before drawing away impressively. Her top numbers at Parx stand up to scrutiny and she’ll be a handful if she can transfer that form here.
RACE 4: MISTER WINSTON (#7)
Giocare should go favored here as he drops back in for a tag after trying the starter allowance condition twice at Saratoga. He’s run the best speed figures in this field and may just be moving into the right spot. However, the track is likely to come up wet on Friday and he ran one of the worst races of his career over a sloppy track at Monmouth earlier this summer. Furthermore, he lacks any early speed and there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of pace in this race. Among the logical players, I prefer Jerusalem Gates, who is the stronger half of the D J Stables entry. This Linda Rice runner lost all chance at the start of his last race when he got bumped and lost his stride coming away from the gate. He actually ran on decently to be third and figures to move forward now that he’s racing second off the layoff. I’m going in a different direction with Mister Winston. On the surface of things, this horse has run terribly in all three starts since the purchase and trainer switch to Tom Morley. However, the situation may not be as dire as it seems. I have no idea why they ran this horse on turf twice since he’s not bred for that surface at all. He got back on dirt last at Laurel but his trip was a disaster. This horse was very unsettled leaving the gate, bobbling and immediately throwing his head about. He refused to settle down for the first couple of furlongs and his race was basically over at that point. He’s been gelded since that race, which will hopefully help to correct some of that behavior. The blinkers also come off this time, and many of his better efforts came without blinkers. He’s handled wet tracks before and is just getting realistic class relief as he looks to get back on track.
RACE 7: SHE’S DANCING (#3)
I think there’s going to be an honest pace in this race with the swift Blame It On Mary breaking from the rail and Towering Orbit basically committed to showing speed after wiring a field of maidens last time. Furthermore, Esotica and Chasing Cara also want to be forwardly placed from the outside. I suppose Pretty Clever could sit the right trip and in some ways she is the horse to beat. However, she had everything go her way two back when she achieved her best result at this level. She just rode the rail until the stretch on a day when the inside was clearly the place to be on opening week at Belmont. She regressed going longer last time and now turns back with the addition of blinkers. She’s obviously a contender, but I prefer She’s Dancing from that Sep. 18 affair. This filly was very impressive winning her debut at Delaware two back. She wasn’t beating much that day but I liked the way she responded to her rider’s encouragement. Unfortunately, she drew an outside post when she met Pretty Clever in that Sep. 18 race at Belmont and she was never on the rail over that biased surface. All things considered she ran on reasonably well for fifth and I think she can move forward off that NYRA debut. She figures to get a good pace setup here and only needs to improve marginally to beat this field.