From the inside, out: Homerette, Sabellina, Willshefire, Mohegan Sky, Artistic Express and Wild Berry all have merit. The three that are most interesting are Homerette (12-1), Willshefire (8-1) and Artistic Express (6-1).
Homerette has won at the distance on Belmont grass and is turning back to that distance for trainer Pat Kelly. Kelly is profitable with his turn-backs and has an excellent slate in non-graded stakes. Historically, the four-year-old filly has proven fast enough on performance figures to win here. A longshot that can win this.
Willshefire is a tough read because her performance figure jumped up significantly in her four-year-old debut. A positive sign of development, the figure represented a big move, indicating a possible bounce. But then maybe new trainer Barclay Tagg improved her significantly over the winter freshening period. At early line odds, she would be worth the risk.
Artistic Express intrigues us most. Another improving four-year-old, she has a healthy, forward looking pattern and her slower figures should offer her backers fair value. She is 1-for-1 at this distance on Belmont grass and trainer Mike Hernandez is 20 percent efficient with horses turning back into sprints. The filly has tactical speed, late kick and a position-conscious rider in Cornelio Velasquez. The key is to stay covered up until ready and not lose too much ground from her outside post.
Taking Artistic Express to win at 5-1 or greater and, because of inflated early line odds, we’re taking a three-horse box including Homerette and Willshefire.
Running Totals: (47) 24-9-9 Dollar Return: $141.00 [win selections only]