#2 Aunt Naughty is probably the horse to beat on the basis of her runner-up performance going this distance last time. She’s had more chances than a few of her rivals here, but she fits the mold of a typical Shug McGaughey runner that’s been brought along slowly. My only issue with her is that she benefited from riding a rail bias in her last start, so her improvement might not be legitimate. I’m still not way against her, and could even upgrade her if she’s not favored.
There are a few second time starters in this field worth considering. The two that figure to attract the most support are #8 Veronica Greene and #3 Milan’s Girl, who both hail from powerful stables – Chad Brown and Brad Cox, respectively. They both have pedigrees that suggest they should improve with added ground, but I wasn’t thrilled with their debut efforts. They’re also coming out of slow races of dubious quality, so I was reticent to take either one at a potential short price.
My top pick is another of the second time starters, #7 PRECURSORY. Whereas Brown and Cox have fairly mediocre statistics stretching out maidens, Bill Mott is 7 for 21 (33%, $2.83 ROI) with 3-year-old maiden second time starters going from dirt sprints to routes over the past 5 years. This filly ran like one who needed a race on debut as she showed good tactical speed and was battling on late, just unable to make up ground over a sloppy track. She has plenty of stamina on the bottom side of her pedigree, so I like the stretch-out. She also has the tactical speed to be forwardly placed while getting a rider upgrade to Joel Rosario.
WIN: #7 Precursory, at 7-2 or greater