The horse to beat within the main body of the field may be Gato Azul (#11). He earned a very competitive 100 speed figure last time and is moving from the barn of 67-rated trainer Guadalupe Preciado to 92-rated trainer John Parisella. He is moving up into a tougher spot, but he’s put together a solid worktab for this return to the races and should be set for a top performance.
Bama Bound (#7) has been campaigned sparingly in recent months, but he did run a respectable race against Mordi’s Miracle when in for a $16,000 tag the last time he was seen. However, Jason Servis has been fairly cold at this meet, and our race ratings indicate this may actually be a tougher spot than last time.
Some scratches within the main body of the field have opened this race up to two runners previously stuck on the also-eligible list. One of those is Petrocelli (#14), who makes his third start off the claim for David Jacobson. He’s spent most of his career contesting route races, but he has been competitive in sprints in the past. He drew well outside of the other speeds, but the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, which could work against him
Yet that fast pace should work in favor of the other runner that gets in off the AE list, and he’s our to pick.
IN THE BEAT (#13) received a very positive trainer switch to Rudy Rodriguez before his last race and actually ran fairly well off the claim, all things considered. Two turns is farther than he really wants to go, but he never gave up after a wide trip while earning a 91 speed figure—the highest number he’s recorded since last summer. That effort signals that he’s heading in the right direction, and he gets a significant rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz, Jr. for this turnback in distance.
EXACTA Key Box: #13 with 11,14