This might be the most interesting race on the card. There are at least five horses that we could have made a case for as top selection.
The conversation has to start with Cards of Stone (#5). While his debut was impressive and came back legitimately fast, we have concerns about him stretching out. He’s a son of sprinter Bustin Stones and is a full-brother to other sprinters, including Keep Bustin, so two turns may present a challenge. Additionally, with other speeds like Spin Cycle and King Dublin in the race, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace. He can win, but we don’t want him at a short price.
Charming Indy (#1) interests us. He got through his two-turn debut, but was still a little green, which forced Kendrick Carmouche to ride him somewhat tentatively through the stretch. He runs like a horse that may benefit from further experience, and we would not be surprised to see some improvement today.
E J’s Legacy (#8) could benefit from the projected race flow, but he was very much with the grain of an outside-biased racetrack last time (note the race rating box shaded blue, indicating that closers had an advantage). Still, we will certainly use him in exactas and trifectas.
Coco Is Loco (#7) might have the brightest future of all based on his visually impressive debut, in which he overcame a wide trip. The only drawback is that he’s unproven over dirt, though a wet track may be kinder to this grass-inclined runner.
While all of the aforementioned runners have their merits, we think the most intriguing option is INSIDE STRAIGHT (#4).
Inside Straight lost Jose Ortiz when he stumbled at the start last time, but his prior efforts have actually been decent. He had to endure a rough trip going a mile on dirt three back in the Sleepy Hollow, so we don’t want to hold that race against him. He then showed that he could handle two turns on grass in November. This is a full-brother to dirt router Conquest Superstep, so distance should not be a concern.
We also are somewhat encouraged by the fact that Inside Straight actually took it upon himself to run a somewhat professional race last time, even without his rider. We can’t give him too much credit for winning a race while carrying 115 pounds less than his foes, but we think the way he handled himself illustrates that he’s feeling good and has his mind on competing.
EXACTA: #4 with 1,5,7,8