A turf route for maidens, featuring a pair of ML favorites who we are not at all interested in playing, and offering a few interesting options at what should be fair prices: What could be better for a Top Play race?
Todd Pletcher sends out two here, including the ML favorite in Lord Trondor (#8, 5-2 ML). A $525k purchase as a 2yo, Lord Trondor is back to turf here after having his most recent race rained off to the main track. Because that one was contested over a sloppy main track he didn’t have to like, we can give Lord Trondor a pass, but we didn’t care for his debut, either, and that one came over grass at Gulfstream Park. We’ll hope he takes his share of the money in here, along with ML second-chioce Decisive Edge (#9, 7-2) (who was also in that Gulfstream turf race, and also failed to impress), and look elsewhere for a wagering opportunity.
Pletcher’s other horse, None Like Nolan (#5, 8-1), interests us most. In his only start as a 2yo, None Like Nolan was out-paced early over a short sprint distance before finishing up well to be a clear-cut second-best. Unfortunately, he didn’t resurface for almost a year after that race, but he appeared none the worse for wear in that race on May 11. After severe trouble at the break, None Like Nolan was once again outrun in the early stages of the race. Staying on the rail all the way, he once again came with a strong finish too late, as his uncoupled stablemate, Rock Fall, ran away from the field impressively in the stretch.
None Like Nolan will get more ground to work with here as he puts races together for the first time, and the switch to turf also figures to suit him (it is worth inserting here that his return from the layoff on May 11 was scheduled for grass before being moved to the main track). His dam, Green Lyons, posted all four of her career wins on turf, and was Grade 2 placed en route to earning $189k, and she is closely related to Naissance Royale, who won multiple graded stakes on turf and made over $740k on that surface for Christophe Clement a few years ago.
We’ll take None Like Nolan to improve with the chance to route on the grass, and play him to win at odds of 6/1 or better. We will also use #4 Jimmy Fillpot, another who was looking for turf last time only to have the race rained off, and #1 Social Affair, who makes his 3yo debut after putting in a couple of decent efforts on grass as a 2yo.