I expect Mrs. Green (#3) to attract support as she steps up to face winners for the first time. It took this expensive filly a few tries to break out of the maiden ranks, but she registered her first victory in decisive fashion last month at Saratoga, earning a strong 108 TimeformUS Speed Figure. A repeat of that performance makes her competitive against this group, but the waters are getting a little deeper.
Tuscan Queen (#1) makes plenty of sense after rallying for third at this level last time out. That was a reasonably fast race for this condition, and she was finishing best of all after being reserved early. She appears to be back in solid form after a bit of a rough patch dating back to last year, and is logical in this spot. Yet I’m most interested in a couple of fillies who are new to turf sprinting.
One of those is Icy Stare Down (#9), who is actually making her turf debut. I find it meaningful that Brad Cox has shipped this filly from Churchill Downs, where there is no turf racing, to New York to get on this surface. While she did start out her career as a promising dirt sprinter, she has enough pedigree to handle grass and looks like one that could handle the transition.
My top pick is JOIN THE DOTS (#4). This filly tried turf for the first time in her most recent start, going a two-turn mile at Saratoga. I believe she showed some affinity for grass despite failing to hit the board. She was a bit too rank early and proceeded to race wide around both turns. According to Trakus, she covered 40 more feet than the winner and 66 more feet than the runner-up. I don’t mind the turnback in distance for her, since she did win her debut sprinting and seemed to travel so keenly in her turf race. She had trained very well on turf prior to that last start, and I think she deserves another chance.
WIN: #4 Join the Dots, at 5-1 or greater