Two fillies who competed in the Kentucky Oaks this year figure to vie for favoritism in this Comely at the end of each of their 3-year-old seasons. Kathleen O. (#4) went off as one of the favorites in the Oaks, and was slightly disappointing, checking in fifth. She just couldn’t produce the same late kick we had seen in her Florida preps. That said, she only finished 2 lengths behind runner-up Nest and would be dangerous here if she can build upon that performance. The major drawback is her running style, as she wants to drop back early and make one run, which hasn’t been the ideal trip over this Aqueduct track.
Nostalgic (#5) didn’t run nearly as well in the Oaks, and put forth a series of lackluster efforts through the summer. However, she seemed to wake up in her return to Aqueduct last time, nearly pulling off an upset against older foes in the Turnback the Alarm. A repeat of that performance makes her dangerous here, but this is arguably a tougher field.
There isn’t that much pace signed on, but I wasn’t thrilled with either potential pacesetter, and wanted to avoid Tizzy in the Sky (#8), who could take money off wins against weaker competition.
A few contenders in this race exit the Seneca Overnight from September at Churchill. Sixtythreecaliber (#2) pulled off the upset that day and appears to be an improving filly for Tom Amoss.
I’m most interested in that race’s third-place finisher SKRATCH KAT (#3). I would make the argument that she was best in the Seneca Overnight, as the pace failed to develop and she was finishing best of all late. I thought she put in a deceptively strong performance in the Alabama, closing into a moderate pace to be fourth behind Nest. And most recently she raced a bit greenly through the short stretch at Keeneland. I think she’s going to love stretching out to 9 furlongs and Manny Franco strikes me as a good fit for a filly who needs some encouragement to finish off her races.
WIN: #3 Skratch Kat, at 4-1 or greater