The three most likely win candidates are, from the inside, out, Panty Raid (4-1), Octave (5-2) and Lady Joanne (3-1).
Panty Raid, like Octave, is a Todd Pletcher trainee. After taking the storied Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico, she was given six weeks to prepare for the G1 American Oaks at 10 furlongs on the Hollywood turf course. She won it in a game performance, turning back late challengers with a final quarter-mile of :23 4/5. Sheís 4-for-6 lifetime, including a G1 grass debut that speaks to her class. Edgar Prado, aboard for three of them, rides her back here. Again, she is six weeks fresh.
Octave is a deserving favorite. She never has finished worse than second in six Grade 1 events, winning two, her last two starts, the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks, the latter at 10 furlongs. She is the only10-furlong dirt winner in the group, and itís useful to note she won the Adirondack at 2 over this track. Last time she was used early, not wanting to allow the leader to steal away. This time she wonít have to be, as there appears to be enough pace signed on here.
Lady Joanne (pronounced Joan-ie) has the benefit of a recent winning race over the track, the Banshee Breeze overnight stakes at 9 furlongs in what was a dominating performance. She steps way up here but handled her rivals with energy in reserve and came back to train brilliantly. Worth noting, however, she was only a half-length behind the favorite in the Mother Goose. While her pedigree is light on the top side, she has a strong broodmare influence for the added distance. Carl Nafzger and Calvin Borel. Can they do wrong?
Taking Lady Joanne to win at 5-2 or greater, key her in exacta and trifecta boxes with the other two fillies.
Running Totals: (83) 36-18-10. Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only]