1) No Shelby H is surprising.
That depends on what you mean by "surprising." Houlihan said months ago that she was running the Continental Cup in Ostrava on September 8, so it's not surprising she's running there and not NY. On the other hand, it's surprising she chose to run in Ostrava and not in NY. Maybe she's planning to try for the 1500 AR.
Several other women who've run fast miles recently are not running in NY, including Muir, Hall & Grace. If one wanted to be paranoid, one could say it as if the organizers were trying to stack the field...