I imagine that Shidabhuti (#6) will take plenty of money off her 6-lengthh debut triumph at Monmouth. Yet I have some questions about this filly’s overall quality and her ability to handle the stretch-out to a mile. It’s a little odd that she’s been on the shelf for the past 4 months, since it seems that she’s been training right along the entire time, logging 15 workouts since that debut score. That says to me that Chad Brown just didn’t think she was good enough to compete in many of the stakes that came up during the interim and has been waiting for a softer spot like this to fill. Furthermore, she got a great pace setup in that debut while beating a very weak field. Practical Joke is not the best stamina influence and she strikes me as a more of a sprinter. I’m more interested in proven commodities at what may be bigger prices.
Gold Medal Anna (#1) offers some appeal as she ships in from Parx. This deep closer has been beaten by a legitimate foe, Girl Trouble, in her last couple of stakes attempts. She’s getting mild class relief here and gives the impression that added ground should help, as she is a daughter of Grade 1 turf router Voodoo Dancer.
My top pick is LA VITA SOFIA (#5). She didn’t seem to get the distance in the Demoiselle last time, but it’s asking a lot of these youngsters to try 9 furlongs. Her prior effort in the Tempted is better than it appears. She was traveling well approaching the quarter pole, but Jose Gomez overcommitted to the inside path and got steadied behind a tiring rival just as she was mounting a rally. She’s a little light on speed figures overall, but I think this is the right distance for her and she’s getting significant class relief.
WIN: #5 La Vita Sofia, at 2-1 or greater