Friday’s seventh race isn’t tough enough on paper given a half dozen viable, potential winners. The fillies of interest are Lemon Zip (15-1); Semper Sententiea (9-2); Homeland Security (10-1); Gaining (7-2); Pamina (15-1) and Sky Full of Stars (8-1).
Which means 4-1 Scottish Jig is the most probable winner, right?
Anyway we go in in this spot will be an educated guess, but if we’re right we will get paid. From the outside in, we love the idea that Jose Ortiz jumps off several here to pilot Sky Full of Stars making U.S. debut for Clement.
The German import has been training like a bear, won at 12 furlongs in Europe, and goes first-Lasix. But she leaves from the 14-slip and has done her best racing on soft ground, not the case here..
Pamina and Lemon Zip are both forward looking, are huge prices given competitive Thoro-Graph figures, but neither has met as much quality in one place like this.
Homeland Security has been a bit disappointing this year but she won the Memories of Silver last year, is a bonafide horse for course, (3) 2-0-1, and obviously has been pointed this way.
This leaves early line favorite Gaining, who owns excellent figures, great spacing, and Brian Cox has been winning everything in sight lately, but we’re disinclined to take what might be too short a price. We’ll side with recent class.
Semper Sententiae drops into an overnight stakes after consecutive good tries at the Grade 2 level. With a cozy draw toward the inside and reuniting with Johnny Velazquez, she can lead in soft fractions or sit the pocket in a moderately paced event.
We’ll lean this way but want at least a fair 4-1. But we’ll consider some of the others, allowing the tote to dictate the strategy.
The thing about the G3 Victory Ride is that it’s a five-horse field of sprinting fillies, a puzzle that’s no easier to solve.
Perhaps there will be some value if one can beat Chad Brown’s undefeated Monmouth ship-in, Royal Charlotte, an impressive last out winner for her third straight career score.
Instead, we’ll take the other favorite, Sue’s Fortune (7-5) who’s undefeated in two starts at the hybrid 6.5-furlong trip. The hope is that Rajiv Maragh on Cookie Dough will guarantee honest fractions, setting or stalking the early pace.
That scenario would allow Junior Alvarado to stalk the group from her advantageous outside post. Tactical speed and kick should work nicely in this spot.
‘Sue’ way be worth a win-place approach, especially if the rail post becomes a compromising obstacle to for Chad’s to overcome.
Exotically, Brill (5-1), working brilliantly, appears ideally suited by the turn-back into a sprint, but Kiaran McLaughlin, saddling the other turn-back, ‘Cookie’, has won with 10 of his last 21 cut-backs.
THURSDAY: Most probable Chadster ran very well, beaten by a well ridden, classy 3YO. Win Win Win might develop into a second season player, who knows? What Johnny was doing, quarter-horsing his mount the whole way around through insane fractions, pressed by a good, fast rival, seemed crazy. Stable mail, please…