by Emily Gullickson – Optix EQ
RACE 8 – MYSTIC LAKE DERBY:
#1 KING OF MIAMI could hold a potential pace advantage in Quad I on the front end with the Snowflake Contention and lower 19 SpeedRate. He has improved with Rivelli and in his three-year-old season capable to move forward today in a third start of the form cycle. He did not look fully recovered or asked for his best on June 10th at Arlington Park. That timing could be key here as Rivelli shows up in this race with the quickness, right back to run in 13-days showing some positive intent.
#6 T D DANCE seems a logical runner here for Brad Cox to sit the right trip tracking from Quad I/III as a Square. He carries a level of class tested in and competitive in similar stakes races. He has been holding his form this season, though minimal progression race-to-race and could be questionable if he has a move forward if needed.
#8 MODERN SCIENCE sits is a similar spot to T D Dance on the Plot and could hold upside as he makes his second start off the layoff and for the sophomore season. This is a big test as he exits the maiden condition to take on stakes runners in his first against winners. There is some hidden class to support that class change to compete in this spot based on his Special Weight efforts and the class level of those races last year at Saratoga as well as against older last month at Churchill Downs.
There is less upside for #9 BAKWENA also exiting the maiden condition though has more races to draw from including a poor effort (wide trip to be fair) in stakes company. He holds a strong late kick, Quad IV Square, with an underneath award not out of the question. That assessment is similar for #7 SHADY MCGEE with the two overlapping on the Plot.
#2 CHESS’S DREAM is preferred of the two Maker runners, a contender here, and capable to find the right trip tracking as a Quad II Square. He has the class, along with OptixFIG in Range to compete in this stakes event and should benefit from the return to the turf coming out of the Penn Mile (G2) a race moved from the turf to the main track last month.