This race has more than an open look to it than the current market suggests. The three-year-old Unique Bella (11) is as short as 5/4 at the time of writing. She is unbeaten in five starts since her debut and has won a quartet of graded stakes. The fact is she’s not ran in a field bigger than six in that sequence and not met an older filly and mare of note. She does both here. That doesn’t mean she won’t win. The way she pulled away from frontrunner Princess Karen (13) last time suggests she’ll take high rank here. It was her first race since March and there may be better to come.
SKYE DIAMONDS (12) was an astute claim for $40,000 in 2016. She’s paid connections back eight-fold since. She’s been freshened up after back to back graded stakes victories over Constellation (8). The latest was at today’s venue making her perfect in two starts at Del Mar. The four old is proven fresh and looks a decent wager at around 8/1.
Constellation (8) was a former barn mate of Unique Bella and is now trained by Bob Baffert. She lost narrowly to Paulassilverlining (1) in a Grade 1 at Keeneland in the spring. The winner is part of a strong raiding party for this by New York based trainers. She beat Finley'sluckycharm (9) and By the Moon (7) in a Saratoga Grade 2 in July before running poorly in a Grade 1 at the same venue a month later. The winner was the consistent By the Moon by a head from HIGHWAY STAR (10) with Carina Mia (1) just behind in third. The placed fillies fought out a Grade 2 at Belmont last month. Highway Star is an improving New York bred. She represents a capable but low-profile trainer. Her chances look as good as any of the shippers from The Big Apple but may be the biggest price of the contingent.
Finest City (4) won this race at 8/1 last year. She may be a similar price this time around. She’s not ran badly in all her starts this term but was third to Skye Diamonds and Constellation in her last start in July.
Selection: SKYE DIAMONDS (12) Longshot: HIGHWAY STAR (10)
Exotic Play: (no exotics)