The runner with the best recent dirt form is Readtheprospectus (#6). After easily winning a similar claiming contest two back, he performed admirably when closing into a slow pace to just miss beating the talented New York-bred Drama King last time. He appears to be in good form, though this slight drop back in for $32,000 doesn’t exactly exude confidence.
Goodtolook (#5) is a threat to wire the field, and the Pace Projector is indicating that he’ll have a clear advantage in a favorable pace scenario. His form suggests that he’s slightly better on turf, but he is a threat nonetheless.
While we’re not necessarily against either of the favorites, our top pick is 6/1 shot MORE ZEN TEA (#3).
This horse has spent most of his recent races running on turf, but actually has plenty of solid dirt form to fall back on. As a full-brother to dirt route stakes winners Spa City Fever and Spa City Princess, it’s no surprise that More Zen Tea has finished in the exacta in 14 of his 20 dirt starts. We don’t want to hold his last race against him since Aqueduct’s turf course can get very quirky towards the end of the season and some horses just don’t handle it. If we excuse that race, he’s been in the best form of his career for Joe Orseno, who does very well with this turf-to-dirt move (85 trainer rating).
More Zen Tea is projected to be Goodtolook’s closest pursuer early, and if that one falters, he could be perfectly positioned to capitalize on the situation. At his best he’s fast enough to compete with the favorites, and the price should be generous.
Win bet on MORE ZEN TEA (#3)
Exacta box keying MORE ZEN TEA (#3) with Goodtolook (#5) and Readtheprospectus (#6)