I suppose the public will default to Chad Brown and make Dream of Change (#9) the favorite in this conditioned claimer. She is dropping in for a tag for the first time, but I can’t say that I’m particularly encouraged by her form. She wasn’t facing the toughest allowance field at Monmouth last time and had her chance to win while just hanging between horses in the stretch. A repeat of that performance may put her in the winner’s circle here, but I didn’t want to pick her at a short price.
Command Point (#4) may also attract some support as she makes her second start off the layoff for Rob Atras. She had earned superior speed figures when in George Weaver’s barn last year, but it’s unclear if she’s still capable of producing that form. She was against a slow pace in her return, but she saved all the ground and still didn’t have much of a response through the lane.
I prefer OUR JESSICA (#7) from that Aug. 5 affair. She finished one spot behind Command Point, but undoubtedly had the tougher trip. For whatever reason, Jose Ortiz made no attempt to get her forward, grabbing her out of the gate and taking her immediately to last-place. She predictably got rank under that restraint as the pace slowed down into the clubhouse turn and fought her rider while going wide into the bend. She proceeded in the 2 to 3-path for the rest of her trip, never put in a position to be effective. I think she’s capable of better and she appeared to be improving when she broke her maiden against weaker two back. I like the rider switch to John Velazquez, who should have her more forward this time.
WIN: #7 Our Jessica, at 9-2 or greater