I’m not trying to beat morning line favorite #6 SASSY MELISSA, who just looks like a perfect fit for this spot. She had run well up here last summer against weaker when significantly improving on her prior form at Belmont. Since then she’s really taken another step forward since moving into Jeremiah Englehart’s barn. She signaled improvement racing on synthetic at Gulfstream, and then carried that over to New York on turf. She was a commanding winner over today’s rival Palace Gossip two back. And then last time she probably should have won, but was bumped and steadied out of position at the start. All things considered, she made a strong run from last to just miss. A repeat of that performance will make her awfully tough to beat, and she’s supposed to get a fair pace up front.
That pace could be set by #1 Makin My Move, who is a threat to wire this field. I think she’s much better on turf, as she ran a big race in the Matron last year and seemed to improve getting back on this surface last time. She did benefit from a favorable pace scenario that day, but she’s supposed to appreciate this cutback to 5 1/2 furlongs where she can make full use of her ample speed.
#3 Kokopelli is a little intriguing as she returns from a lengthy layoff. However, I thought she got great trips in both prior victories and was somewhat exposed last time. She needs to improve a bit.
WIN: #6 Sassy Melissa, at 9-5 or greater