Oxana (#2) is a deserving favorite as she drops back down into allowance company. She wasn’t disgraced finishing a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Prioress two back, losing her best chance when she was unable to make the early lead. And I wouldn’t be too hard on her for her loss at Penn National last time, since she ran into a rival in great form. Winner Just One Time had earned a 109 TimeformUS Speed Figure in her prior start and was able to get the jump on Oxana in their matchup. This time this daughter of Uptowncharlybrown figures to be aggressively ridden away from the gate. As long as she shows up with a merely decent performance she’ll be tough for this field to handle. However, it is of slight concern that her speed figures have been declining in a race where some others appear to be on the upswing.
Some may consider Bold Confection (#6) to be her biggest rival, but I have some doubts about the quality of the fields she’s been beating at Parx. She got a crafty ride when she won in the slop last time, as Kendrick Carmouche snuck up the rail to beat a very weak field for the level. I suppose she can improve again for a dangerous trainer, but I wanted others at bigger prices.
My top pick is GREATEST LOVE (#4). Rob Falcone has solid statistics off the claim generally. Notably, he’s 3 for 12 (25%, $2.51 ROI) off the claim with horses moving up in claiming tag by 50% or more, and 6 of those 12 were in the exacta. Greatest Love got a weird trip and ride last time, as Kendrick Carmouche surprisingly took her back soon after the start. She was moving up like a winner on the turn, but appeared to get slapped in the face with a rival rider’s whip, which caused her to get spun wide into the lane. She actually recovered well to get up for second, validating her improved form from Monmouth. I like the aggression off the claim and she’s not far off the main players here from a speed figure standpoint.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,3,6
Trifecta: 2,4 with 2,4 with 3,5,6