This seems like a very easy spot for #1 Exclusive Package dropping down from maiden special weights into this $16,000 maiden claimer. His late pace figures tower over this field, and he should win at a short price. I’ll take a shot underneath with #6 Arctic Schiller, who has speed and was recently gelded.
There are a few different ways one can go in this $45k maiden special weight for Jersey breds, but I can’t see past #3 All Even after the trip he had on June 30th at this same level. This horse was rolling home from the back with a ton of momentum and got completely stopped when jockey Carlos Hernandez tried to guide him toward the inside. All Even was still rallying late with big strides under the wire. Only concern today is a slow pace with few speed horses on paper, so use #5 Ebony Ball as a pace play (plus a bullet work in tow for this spot).
We all know what a good jockey change can do for a horse, so it makes sense to play #5 Billyscrystalball on top with leading rider Nik Juarez replacing Shannon Uske, especially considering the horse’s prior two starts (a third and second-place finish) at this level. #4 Bow Town Cat has three seconds from four starts on the turf, but has never raced at this distance. I love speed horses cutting back in distance, and with this filly having finished well going a mile on the turf, I can see her in the exacta, plus she sports two bullet works in preparation for this. #1 Bells Irish Fancy just broke her maiden last time by seven lengths on the dirt, but ran well in her prior turf start at this distance, finishing gamely to a horse who also won next out. She will also be on or near the lead with Bow Town Cat, but I think one of those two will last the trip with Billyscrystalball passing them for the win.
Class is king. #6 Daring Bride is stepping down in class from allowance company down into N3L claimers after running a very decent fourth in her last effort. Nik Juarez is aboard for the horse’s third effort off the layoff and was also aboard for the filly’s last win four starts ago in a $12.5k beaten claimer. Likely to be a short but deserving favorite. If you’re looking for a horse underneath, #4 Teufles and Roses enters the Scott Volk barn off the claim. Volk has yet to finish out of the money this meet in four starts. The Brisnet figures are on par with Daring Bride, but a mediocre effort last out leads me to think a second-place finish is the ceiling, plus Volk has two seconds out of three starts off the claim.
#9 Oak Bluffs had to steady on the backside in his last race while his foe to his outside, #10 Take Cover, had a perfect trip. Oak Bluffs came rocketing down the outside to finish a fast-closing fourth while Take Cover was one-paced. A repeat effort with an extra 1/16 of a mile should do the trick for Oak Bluffs, plus he sports a bullet work on July 16th. #4 Everything Lovely is a mare taking on the boys here, but with a relative lack of speed for a turf sprint, and considering she hasn’t finished out of the trifecta in her last six starts, I could see her hanging on for a piece.