#3 Zazu (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 6.50
There are two factors that make me think Zazu is primed to win this race. First, she really needed that last race. Coming off a layoff of more than six months, Zazu was fourth last time out beaten by three horses that return to run in this race. Make no mistake though, that last race was just a prep for this one. She will be much better prepared this time out. Second and perhaps most importantly, there should be some legit speed in here for her to run at. Zazu is a deep closer that can sometimes get beat by a slow pace, but with the presence of Include Me Out, Ellafitz, and Rock and Glory the early fractions should be fairly quick. So with the bounce back and pace angles both in her favor, it certainly sets up nicely for her. Look for Zazu to pass them all in deep stretch.
#2 Include Me Out (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 6.00
Include Me Out is coming into the race riding a three race winning streak, including the Marjorie L. Everett Handicap which is the local prep for this race. Obviously she is a very dangerous horse in this one, and will most likely be the post time favorite. However, the pace factor and inside draw don’t work in her favor, and a one hundred percent healthy Zazu would be one of the better horses she’s ever faced. You would be insane to leave her off any of your vertical or horizontal exotic tickets, but if you want to try to beat her on the win side of things I say go for it.
#7 Caelis (GB) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 5.00
Caelis is the first of three horses with international flavor in the race, and she is the only one that has actually had a race in the United States. That fact makes me like her more than the other two, as sometimes you need a race or two to adjust to the surfaces of the American tracks. Caelis has a win and a third over the Hollywood Park oval, and has shown she can compete with the top few in this field. I look for another solid effort out of her.
#8 Ellafitz (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.19
I’ve never thought this horse was all that great, but she’s been proving me wrong lately. She’s now won two Grade 2 stakes, and has finished second in another one. Her connections are ones you have to respect as well. Bob Baffert and Rafael Bejarano are two guys that know a thing or two about winning races in California. I’m still not convinced she can win this race, but she’s a must use on all exotic tickets.
#1 Rock and Glory (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.00
Rock and Glory looks like a horse that has things figured out. She showed next to nothing in her first two races, but has won her last two by over twenty lengths! There is no doubt this is a major class test, but if she runs back to her last race she can compete with this bunch. Her natural early speed makes her dangerous, plus there are no world beaters in this field that she’ll have to contend with. The price will pretty decent on this one, and she is the only logical longshot in the field.
#4 Atlantic Swing (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.40
Making her first start in America, and also looks to be out-classed against this group.
#5 Love Theway Youare (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.61
Getting Gomez to ride is interesting, but I just don’t think she has what it take to get the job done. A little too inconsistent for my liking.
#6 Zafeen’s Pearl (GB) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.06
Much like Atlantic Swing, I just have a hard time with horses that are making their first American start, especially when it’s not on the turf. The adjustment sometimes can take a race or two so I’m staying away from Zafeen’s Pearl.