This is a fascinating race with many contenders. The race was changed somewhat by the early scratch of morning line favorite and probable horse to beat Wake Up in Malibu (#5). His absence takes some speed out of the race, since the Pace Projector had been predicting that he would engage with the speedy Sioux early.
Now Sioux (#4) should find himself alone up front. While this turn of events does make his task easier, we still feel that this horse is better around one turn at distances of a mile or less. This is not an easy spot and there are far more interesting alternatives.
Irish Cat (#3) has been in excellent form as of late, but it’s somewhat of a concern that he’s never run a competitive race over a fast track. Changewilldoyagood (#2) woke up on the turf at Aqueduct recently, but he has certainly handled dirt in the past. This is a step up in class, but he’s far from impossible. At a big price, we could even use Lone Trader (#7), whose one dirt start actually wasn’t a bad effort. He’s gotten better since then, and his closing style may fit the projected race shape.
While we can build a case for almost any of these runners, the horse we’re most interested in is BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON (#8).
This three-year-old has been progressing nicely from start to start through his first four races. He runs like a horse that should appreciate two turns, and his last race may be better than it looks, since he was racing on a dead rail in the stretch. He needs only slight improvement on the 106 speed figure he earned that day to beat this field. Furthermore, he’s shown good tactical speed in his one-turn races, so the scratch of Wake Up in Malibu does not figure to detract from his chances.
Win bet on BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON (#8)
Excta key box using BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON (#8) with Changewilldoyagood (#2), Sioux (#4), and Lone Trader (#7)