Remember C represents competitiveness where 1 is the most competitive and 3 the least competitive. V is value where 1 is the best value and 3 is the worst value.
Race 1 2-5-3 C=3 V=3
Even Bette ran a strong race a year ago at AQU then laid off until late September. Her comeback race was a good one and she should improve off of that race. Building Permit is six of seven in the money but she’s had some trouble cracking the winner’s circle. Her last race gave her a dominating figure and given the strength of this field she’ll be tough to keep out. Brandini has the look of a horse with physical issues, but at her best she’s competitive in this field.
Race 2 2-1-3 C=3 V=2
Ideal Quality apparently does not figure in to Todd Pletcher’s plans for next year. Pletcher drops him down to $40K claimers and he looks like he should have an eacy time here. Lightning Bug looked well placed at $40K but jumped up last time to a straight MSW. He had some trouble at the start but still showed some interest. Looks more like running for second today. Uncle Duncan is another dropping from MSW and looks as good as any to contend for the win.
Race 3 3-2-5 C=2 V=2
Autumn Squall’s best race came at this distance. Since that race she’s been flopping back and forth between the turf and dirt and not looking strong in the stretch. She looks to be the dominating speed and may be able to control the pace in her favor. Eta Carinae finished a distant second at BEL in October but has her sole win over the AQU dirt. Johnny V stays for the trip. Yes for Success is another flopping between turf and dirt but her one win came on the dirt. Another whose only win came at AQU.
Race 4 2-4-7 C=2 V=2
Tapitry has been in good form and drops from a Grade 2 down to this OC $80K. Her figures dominate the field. Runner Runner has looked good in her two starts in the U.S. Chad Brown is one of the best turf trainers out there, and she should be wound up for this start. Rock Me Again should be the pacesetter and if she can dictate her own pace could be dangerous.
Race 5 1-3-5 C=2 V=2
Banker’s Boss had some trouble at the start in his last race, rushed up and expectedly faded. Prior to that start he had been competitive at this level. With a fair start he will be the danger. Jacob’s Here has been knocking for a while but his last race showed much better close than we’d seen in a while. Properly placed at this level. Our Luck drops down and puts the blinkers on. His first effort on the turf showed some ability and his second effort he never cleared the field. Big improvement in post position today and with a better break he has good outs.
Race 6 7-1/1A-2 C=2 V=2
Sokie came close first time out. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that she was on a crawling pace, went out to a clear lead and couldn’t hold on. Still, in this field she could be the pacesetter again and with one race under her belt should be stronger. The Contessa-trained entry of Neilinger and Aimone is interesting at ML odds of 10-1. Neilinger looked fine in her first turf route in a while, but is not the strongest part of the entry. Aimone looks like the stronger of the two. Her last race turned a good figure and given this is only her fourth start there is plenty of room for improvement. Kodiva has a third in a minor stakes at Newmarket and has looked competitive in her two U.S. starts.
Race 7 3-6-4 C=3 V=3
Beautyinthepulpit drops down to his lowest level in a while. He’s been off since February but has run well fresh and RuRod is 24% off the long layoff. Dominating figures off his best race. Wake Up in Malibu was claimed by John Parisella off a win two back and he almost got him to repeat. Should be out winging it on the lead. One Sided has shown some versatility and hasn’t run a bad race yet. Have to give him serious consideration.
Race 8 12-9-2 C=1 V=1
Lots of potential contenders in this race. I’m going to put Sax Change on top. He showed well while wide last out, and given the outside post he’s going to have to work out a trip today. Potentially is at 20-1 ML and given his decent run last out has to be considered. Ranger’s Coming should get the jump on the other frontrunner Brooklyn Speights. Best race came on the turf and he’s back there today.