The nominal feature that begins Week 2 at Saratoga is the relatively new De La Rose Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on the inner turf course. The key to the outcome is whether 2-1 early line favorite Roshini draws into the race from the also-eligible list.

She’s talented, classy, hails from top connections and owns the fastest performance figure, but we hope she doesn’t draw in. It’s a much better betting race without her.

We’ll concentrate on four fillies as win possibilities, from the inside, out: A True Pussycat (10-1), Amansara (5-1), Ballet Pacifica (5-2) and Beat the Band (10-1).

A True Pussycat earned an excellent figure two starts back, competitive with this group, then was seriously compromised by a slow pace last time out. The conditions today suit her better, Alan Garcia is riding well even if his business has fallen off at this meet, and the filly is nicely drawn inside.

Amansara earned a figure that’s as good as any of these fillies, Roshini notwithstanding, last year as a three-year-old. With four-year-old maturity and from a barn that‘s profitable with its returning absentees, George Weaver’s, she could easily prove the best of these if set for her best go. An inside post and Edgar Prado can’t hurt. As an absentee, she could provide good value.

Ballet Pacifica has shown promise since shipping across the pond. She’s fast, consistent, is also coming off a turf decline line on the Equiform scale (hungry pace) and figures to move forward. She comes off an especially tough trip and might respond very favorably to the addition of blinkers. Stable rider Julien Leparoux takes the call from Patrick Biancone.

Beat the Band earned the fastest performance figure at Monmouth last time, has excellent early speed, and attracts Ramon Dominguez. Trainer Larry Jones is profitable with his shippers and his turf runners. Last out, the five-year-old was an excellent second to a consistent and talented graded stakes performer.

This race is a tough call but could be worth the trouble. Roshini, an unlikely starter, is the most probable winner but you wouldn’t want less than early line odds to win from a wide post. We’ll take Amansara to win at 5-1 or greater and take her in all trifecta positions with the other three (or four) fillies. Additionally, we would use Rich Fantasy (15-1), third on trifecta tickets.

Running Totals: (70) 33-13-10 Dollar Return: $193.20