This is an ultra-tough turf sprint for allowance horses, with no shortage of runners capable of producing a race that would win it. That being the case, it is advisable to look for some value, and we think we may have found some in the form of an older, hard-hitting sprinter who may be able to use his experience to his advantage over some younger, more lightly raced rivals.
Our top selection in this race is Bluegrass Springs (#7, 20-1), who will make his second start off the layoff for trainer Linda Rice. In his first start back, Bluegrass Springs went seven furlongs over a course with some give in it, and ran into a buzz saw named Golden Rifle, who has won three of his last four starts and is a perfect 2-for-2 for Chad Brown in NY. We didn’t think Bluegrass Springs got the greatest trip or ride in the world that day, and are very interested in giving him another chance here, especially at the price he figures to be. After breaking sharply from his inside post that day, Bluegrass Springs was taken under a hard hold and wrangled out to the back of the field. As he was giving away that position, both the winner, Golden Rifle, and the runner-up, You’re the Boss (who is also back in this race), were moving forward to establish position up on the pace. From there, Bluegrass Springs had no choice but to wait things out–he was last at the top of the stretch– and then try to swing outside to make his run. That kind of trip simply was not going to work in that particular race, and so we aren’t going to hold it against him.
He is back to six furlongs for this race, a distance over which he won both of his starts at Belmont Park last year, and with much more pace signed on to this race, we think he has a chance to run a much better race today; he has the second best late pace rating in the field (85). He was 4/1 in that race, first back off the layoff, and with an uninspiring running line for that effort showing in his pps, he has been pegged at 20/1 on the ML today. At that price, we can’t resist taking a shot with him on top.
We are betting Bluegrass Springs to win and are playing him in exactas with Profluent (#3), Escapist (#10), and Partly Mocha (#11).