The Chad Brown-trained #5 Marvelous Maude figures to go favored again here, as she’s usually pretty popular at the windows. Amazingly, 5 of the 6 runners entered for turf in this spot all met up in a race at this level nearly 6 months ago on Nov. 27. A close viewing of that affair is essential handicapping information for this race. Marvelous Maude achieved the best result that day, finishing ahead of the four rivals she meets here, while checking in second. She arguably should have won, as she was never inside and had to cover plenty of ground on the turns while launching her bid. This filly is lightly raced and has moved forward with each turf start. I wouldn’t be too concerned about the layoff since the barn is one of the best in the business with this move.
She’s the one to beat, but I prefer the fourth-place finisher from that Nov. 27 event who figures to be a better price. #2 CARA’S DREAMER finished 3/4-length behind Marvelous Maude that day, but she also got a wide trip and ran better than it seems. She’s not exactly a win machine, but she always shows up with a good effort regardless of the company. She really stepped up her game in the second half of last season, as she picked up a couple of stakes placings over this course. She also has a recency edge on some others, having gotten in a prep at Aqueduct. She closed well, but was cost a victory by having to alter course to the far outside in upper stretch. If she can work out a smoother journey here, I think she can find her way to the winner’s circle.
WIN: #2 Cara’s Dreamer, at 2-1 or greater