Maiden Beauty (#5) could go favored here as she drops back down in class after trying tougher company. Her Empire Distaff performance wasn’t quite as bad as the result would indicate, since she chased a fast pace that fell apart while facing a pretty strong field of NY-breds. She’s arguably the horse to beat off her 108 TimeformUS Speed Figure two back, though do note that she was riding a rail bias on that occasion. She now has to deal with the early speed of Finger Lakes shipper Pioneer of the Sky, as well as some others. She’s a major player here, but I wonder if she’ll take too much money off that September performance.
Battle Bling (#6) and Vegas Weekend (#7) may also attract some support going out for dangerous barns. They faced off in a $50k claimer at Saratoga over the summer when both were entered for turf in a race that was rained off the grass. I find it a little odd that Battle Bling hasn’t improved at all off the claim for Danny Gargan, and this is the first time she’s entered for dirt. Vegas Weekend took advantage of a weak field at this level two back and I think she’s vulnerable here.
Vegas Weekend exits the Comely, but I prefer Hybrid Eclipse (#1) out of that race. She was out of position throughout and can rebound here if getting back to her best efforts from the summer.
My top pick is EMILIA’S MOON (#4). She’s a perfect fit for this race off her efforts two and three back. That Saratoga performance in August was particularly strong, as she was facing a tougher field at this level than the one she meets today. Some will be deterred by that most recent loss as the 3-2 favorite, but note that she veered out badly leaving the gate – essentially taking a right hand turn. She found herself out of position behind a slow pace in a race wired on the front end. I expect her to rebound here, especially if she manages to get back on a fast track.
Exacta: 4 with 1,2,5,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,5 with 1,2,5,6,7