I imagine that Personal Best (#5) will be a strong favorite in this N1X allowance affair. She doesn’t have any speed figure edge over this field, but she just has the look of a horse that still has upside in a field where we’ve already seen what many of the more experienced options have to offer. She also has Irad Ortiz on her back, which could negatively impact her price. While Personal Best did handle an extended distance in breaking her maiden two back, I wasn’t thrilled with her most recent effort at Keeneland. She got a pretty good trip that day in her first start against winners, yet didn’t produce the necessary kick while beaten by a seemingly inferior foe. She can win, but I don’t need a short price on her.
A few horses in this field exit a similar race at this level from Oct. 23. Ensemble (#1) seemingly ran the best race that day behind the winner, as she closed well into a slow pace to be second, earning a career-best 105 TimeformUS Speed Figure. She seems like a reasonable candidate to improve with added ground, but she was 17-1 last time and will now be much shorter odds here.
The horse that I’m most interested in from that Oct. 23 affair is RHOMBIQUE (#4). She checked in sixth, but was only 1 1/2 lengths behind Ensemble after getting in tight quarters and having to alter course in upper stretch. I thought she ran exceptionally well two back in a much tougher race at this level. Winner Salimah came back to win a stakes, and Rhombique did well to get up for fourth after a very wide trip. According to Trakus, she covered an astounding 82 more feet than the winner. There are some subtle signs that she is really improving in the second half of this season. I admit it’s hard to bet this rider, but he did work out a perfect trip for her when she broke her maiden, and the price will be more than fair.
WIN: #4 Rhombique, at 8-1 or greater