In this new article by Phil Hersh, he states:-
I would agree with Phil Hersh that Wagner is the most reliable at present. However, I do not agree with his assertion that she is "clearly – the top woman." I would say that they were more or less level pegging (as I think Golds best is on a par with Wagner's when they skate clean), but that the momentum is with Gracie Gold. She is improving in leaps and bounds, and under Frank Carroll, I think that the rate of improvement will increase markedly. The only factor that Gold really lacks at the moment is consistency in terms of putting a clean SP and FS together in the same competition. If she can find that consistency over the next few months, I think she can win the forthcoming U.S. National Championships and head into the Olympics as the clear U.S. number 1At this point, Ashley Wagner is again – and clearly – the top woman in the United States. At the end of last season, Gold had edged ahead in my estimation, even if Wagner was placed ahead of her at nationals (1-to-2) and worlds (5-to-6).
Wagner’s solid second place at Skate America last week put behind her the shaky performances she had at the Grand Prix Final, nationals and worlds last season. She is the most reliable U.S. woman.