Likely favorite Norman Queen (#5) took advantage of a strong rail bias when she broke her maiden off the layoff, but she backed up that performance last time. She just got run down as the 2-1 favorite at this level, but she did all the heavy lifting on the front end in a race won by a deep closer. The Jeffrey Englehart barn has been on a roll lately, winning at a high rate over the last month or so. The cutback to 6 furlongs is to her benefit. Plus she’s drawn well outside of her main pace rivals, and she may be faster than them anyway. I’m not way against her, but I do think there are a couple of dangerous alternatives.
Not among them is Tellaperfecttale (#4). This filly will be tough if she repeats that 101 TimeformUS Speed Figure she earned last time. However, one has to decide if that’s a number that will be predictive moving forward. She beat a vastly inferior field and did so over a muddy track. None of her prior races make her even remotely competitive at this level, so I’m proceeding with skepticism.
Cadeau de Paix (#6) is one of the other logical options. Some things went right for her, and others went wrong last time. Jose Ortiz gave her a great ride for a half-mile, as he hugged the rail until the quarter pole on a track that featured a strong inside bias. However, he guided her into the 3-path for the stretch drive, letting the winner come up the gold rail. She probably should have won that race, but would have done so with a bias-aided trip, so I don’t want to upgrade her too much. Her overall form is pretty solid, as she ran well against a speed bias two back, but she needs some pace to close into, as always.
My top pick is CHLOE ROSE (#3). She’s never been at her best over a sealed racetrack, so perhaps she just didn’t appreciate the going last time. You can also make an excuse for her performance two back, when she was asked to go a mile. Now gets back to an appropriate distance, and she’d be pretty formidable off her efforts for this barn from late 2021. She has tactical speed, but doesn’t need the lead to be most effective, and goes out for a dangerous barn.
WIN: #3 Chloe Rose, at 3-1 or greater
USE with: 5,6