I acknowledge that Missy Greer (#4) is the horse to beat as she seeks to make it two wins in a row on dirt. However, she had all the best of it last time when setting a moderate pace over a sloppy track that she clearly relished. That seemed like a stronger field than it turned out to be, as one of her main rivals Spiked failed to handle the surface, and others have come back to run poorly out of that race. She could be the controlling pacesetter once again, but I need her to prove it to me at a much shorter price this time.
Among the expected short prices, I much prefer Tap the Faith (#5). I’ve like this filly all along, though her development did seem to stall earlier this year when competing over wet tracks in the spring. She showed some signs of life at Monmouth two back, and then took a big step forward off the layoff last time, rallying for third into a slow pace. I still would have liked to see her finish up through the wire with a bit more enthusiasm, but she had done plenty of work prior to that point. She has a right to step forward second off the layoff and still has upside at the end of her 3-year-old season.
My top pick is the horse who finished just behind Tap the Faith last time. FAR AWAY LOVE (#3) was also compromised by the slow pace, as her rider elected not to use her early speed after she broke a step slowly. Many horses who worked out her trip, riding the rail taking kickback, would have thrown in the towel. Yet she continued to battle on down inside and was actually finishing better than Tap the Faith across the wire. That last performance represented progression from her U.S. debut, and I think she can move forward again here. She has more early speed than she’s shown in either start in this country and I would like to see Junior Alvarado get a little more aggressive with her here. I believe she’s as talented as anyone in this field but just needs to get more involved early.
WIN: #3 Far Away Love, at 5-2 or greater