Wesley Ward sends out two runners in this Bolton Landing, including likely favorite Love Reigns (#2), who is returning to the U.S. following a solid effort in the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. Her career debut at Keeneland was obviously very impressive, as she earned a 97 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that performance. Ward has great stats with these types, as he is 12 for 22 (55%, $3.35 ROI) with 2-year-old foreign shippers over the past 5 years. A return to that form makes her an obvious contender, though I’m not sure she deserves to be an overwhelming favorite. This came up a pretty strong field for this type of race and there are definitely others to consider.
My top pick is DANSE MACABRE (#8). She showed ability in her debut when second to Schuylerville runner-up Summer Promise, and it felt like she really took a step forward on the turf last time. Though she broke her maiden at Colonial, she did so in a turf race that seems pretty strong for the level. She earned a 102 TimeformUS Speed Figure for the performance, which is the highest number in this field. She drew away impressively in the lane and there were some significant gaps behind her, often a hallmark of a fast race. Trainer Kelsey Danner does excellent work with turf sprinters and is 5 for 19 (26%, $5.08 ROI) in turf sprints at NYRA over the past 5 years.
Among the others I would use underneath are Kerry (#4) and Redifined (#7). The former ran poorly at Monmouth last time, but didn’t get the best trip and will be effective if she can run back to her maiden score. Redifined was a professional winner on debut and seems like a candidate to improve in her second start.
WIN: #8 Danse Macabre, at 5-2 or greater