First Spark (#6) is the horse to beat as he exits an even effort in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap. The track was favoring speed that day, and the race basically held together on the front end, so he was up against it in that sense. He’s proven around two turns and still has some upside, but the price may be too short.
We’re against Taghleeb (#2) and Majestic Affair (#3), who both figure to take some money. The former is more of a turf horse and has to prove to us that he can win a race against legitimate dirt horses, while the latter is trying a route of ground for the first time in one of the toughest spots of his entire career.
Second City (#5) is projected to be on the lead in a situation favoring the frontrunner, but we wonder if his rider will seize that opportunity. He’s worth including at the right price. Yet given the question marks surrounding so many of these runners, we’re inclined to spring for someone else.
Our top pick is LUCKY LOTTO (#1).
This horse loved the inner track last year and showed that he belonged at this level in subsequent starts throughout last spring and summer. We’re willing to forgive both of his efforts since the layoff—his return was too short, and he was racing on a weird surface at Parx last time. We like the confident placement by his connections as he gets back to his favorite track today. His top speed figures put him right in line with the other major contenders in this race, and he’s likely to go off as one of the longest shots on the board.
Win bet on LUCKY LOTTO (#1).
Exacta box keying LUCKY LOTTO (#1) with Souper Knight (#4), Second City (#5), and First Spark (#6).
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