Chad Brown holds a strong hand in this one-mile turf race for maiden fillies. Veronica Greene (#8) is arguably the horse to beat off her last performance. She showed marked improvement on turf, coming with a nice late run after working out a decent trip from mid-pack. She just couldn’t catch winner Jane Mast, who may have some quality. Two horses have already come back to win out of that race, including fourth-place Herington Rocket.
She’s a deserving favorite, but she faces a real rival in her stablemate Kinchen (#7), who returns from a lengthy layoff. The barn thought enough of this filly to give her a shot in the G2 Miss Grillo last year as a maiden. She put in a solid effort to be second that day, finishing ahead of highly regarded stablemate McKulick. She bviously had talent last year, and should fit well amongst this group with routine improvement off the layoff. Chad Brown is 20 for 62 (32%, $2.50 ROI) with maidens off 180+ day layoffs in turf routes over 5 years. They both make sense, but I’m most interested in a bigger price.
ROSIA BAY (#2) faced some good ones in both career starts earlier this year. She closed mildly to get up for fourth in her debut behind Walkathon, who would reel off 3 consecutive victories, including a win over McKulick in the G3 Regret. The second and third-place finishers also returned from that race to win with improved speed figures. Rosia Bay wasn’t quite as effective at Belmont last time, but she seemed to lose focus when suddenly dropping back on the far turn. She did reengage in the stretch, and actually ran the fastest final eighth of anyone in that field before galloping out strongly. She now returns with blinkers added and still has some upside.
WIN: #2 Rosia Bay, at 4-1 or greater