On paper, it appears as if almost half the field is going to battle for early supremacy. #2 ASSATEAGUE (15-1), #3 LA TIA (8-1), #5 YANKEE UNION (30-1), #11 GYPSY ROBIN (3-1) and #12 MONONO (20-1) all look like they want the top spot from the blocks. Given all the speed in the race, it leads to me #1 SWEET CAT (6-1) and #10 VIA VILLAGGIO (4-1) as my top selections.
#1 SWEET CAT is trained by Todd Pletcher and that alone is worthy of a play, but her stalking running style fits the dynamic of the race perfectly. While she has never run on the synthetic, she’s been effective on the turf and at distances from 5 ½ to 8 ½ furlongs which is important given the race distance of 7 furlongs.
#10 VIA VILLAGGIO is similar to #1 SWEET CAT in that she likes to stalk the pace and make a late move, but is better in the sense that she has won at this distance previously and has run and won over a synthetic surface before. Not to mention a bullet drill about a week back as a final prep for this race.
The race sets up perfectly for someone sitting back off the lead and when the race falls apart, #1 SWEET CAT and #10 VIA VILLAGGIO should be there to pick up the pieces and round out a solid exacta play!