Magic Circle (#1) is the horse to beat in this Busanda, and she’ll be awfully tough to handle if we’re still dealing with the rail-biased surface that we saw on Saturday. She is the primary speed from the inside, though I suppose Waters of Merom could get an aggressive ride from the two-path. Magic Circle is simply a superior horse, as she comes off a solid third-place effort in the Demoiselle. While I’m not convinced that 1 1/8 miles is her best distance, she did run well enough last time. It’s just mildly concerning that she got so visibly tired in the late stages of that last race, as she was drifting erratically in the final furlong. I’m not way against her, but I also don’t want to take a short price since this may be a field of comparable quality to the Demoiselle.
Rosebug (#6) looks like a viable alternative based on her last race, in which she dominated a field of maidens, winning under wraps at the end. She’s clearly more of a dirt horse, as she ran quite well on debut against a tough field at Saratoga before graduating in her return to that surface last time. While her dam could handle this kind of trip, she’s produced foals that don’t necessarily want to run this far. I believe she has some quality, but I didn’t want to take a short price on her either.
My top pick is GAMESTONKS (#4). This filly wanted no part of sprinting in her debut, but she’s relished the stretch-out in distance in her last couple of starts. It took her a long time to hit top gear two back, but she was finishing best of all across the wire. Expectations were low considering that she raced for a $20k tag that day, but it seemed like the light bulb went on in that start. This filly was much more professional last time, getting herself into the race earlier before taking over with authority in the stretch. She drew clear to an impressive win, finishing like added ground will be no problem. We know very little about Blofeld as a sire, but the dam’s family is all stamina influences. Brittany Russell sends live runners to New York, and it doesn’t hurt to have Trevor McCarthy in the irons given his recent hot streak.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,3,6
Trifecta: 1,4 with 1,4 with 3,5,6