Chad Brown holds a strong hand in this race, sending out two of the likely favorites. Zainalarab (#3) comes in with some of the best turf speed figures, but I didn’t like the way she finished going a mile last time. She had a clear chance to seize control of the race in upper stretch and just seemed to hang.
I prefer Nevisian Sunrise (#4) from that race, despite the fact that she finished just behind her stablemate. She was stymied in traffic in upper stretch and only found running room once it was too late to mount a challenge. She has more tactical speed that she showed that day, and I would expect her to get a more aggressive ride from John Velazquez. However, there are others to consider.
Todd Pletcher sends out Scotish Star (#5) to try the turf for the first time. She does have some pedigree for the surface, but it’s a little odd that she’s switching surfaces after having run well on dirt in California for Richard Mandella. It’s also unusual that she’s worked exclusively on turf leading up to this.
My top pick is BABY BLYTHE (#2). She’s coming off a poor effort going 11 furlongs earlier in the meet, but she got the wrong trip that day. She was wide throughout while far too keen trying to run off under restraint. I just don’t think the marathon distances work for her, since the slower paces tend to make her more aggressive. I like her turning back to a mile and she should settle better if Luis Saez can get her covered up early from this inside draw. The talent is there for her to be effective at this level. She just needs a trip.
WIN: #2 Baby Blythe, at 3-1 or greater