Today’s 5th race is an 8.5-furlong MSW for 3yos & up. The field is composed of several horses who have already run well enough to win a race like this; they just haven’t yet, for one reason or another. In the case of #1a Tradesman, he was done in by the stewards at Gulfstream Park on January 8th, for committing a foul that they, and only they, saw. He is logical enough in this race, as he drops back down after trying (to be polite) Materiality in a stakes race last time out.
#6 Money Multiplier missed by the slimmest of margins two starts back, and he earned a solid TFUS Speed Figure of 88 in the process. He bombed without apparent excuse in his very next start, but he is a major contender here –assuming he can bounce back.
While those two horses make the most sense in a lot of ways, we are going to try to beat them with #9 Ice Cutter. Ice Cutter debuted on turf at the end of last year for trainer Christophe Clement. He was impeded on the far turn of that race, having to steady, before racing on well through the stretch and then galloping out strongly past the wire. Considering his pedigree (Breeding Rating of 87 for dirt, his dam was a Grade 1 winning 2yo on the main track), it was no surprise to see him switched over to the main track for his next start. Racing in the mud, Ice Cutter kept up behind a fast pace (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded red) being set by the even-money favorite, Coach Inge, before swinging four-wide to take a bold run at that rival through the stretch. He was ultimately denied, but it was a solid effort for just his second career start, and it has since been flattered by Coach Inge. That horse has come back to win two more races since that day, including a smashing win at Aqueduct last month with a TFUS Speed Figure of 111 (click the company line to see what Coach Inge and the rest of that field have gone on to do).
Clement is not one to worry about off of layoffs (92 rating off of this kind of spacing), and if he can get Ice Cutter to take a step forward in what will be just his 3rd career start, Ice Cutter may be able to get the best of the two favorites today.