This is an intriguing affair, featuring good horses coming in from a multitude of directions.
The likely favorite is Imperia (#5), who makes his second start back from a long layoff for Kiaran McLaughlin. This colt showed a ton of ability as a two-year-old but has had trouble recapturing that form since then. To his credit, last time he did make a strong mid-race move into a race that featured a slow pace (color-coded in blue) and basically held together up front. He clearly has ability, but we still don’t want to take a very short price on him.
Testosterstone (#6) showed huge improvement last time, taking advantage of a great trip to hold off Bellamy Way, who would return to better his speed figure by 6 points in a subsequent win. A repeat of that last effort puts Testosterstone in the mix, and he figures to sit a great trip in behind the two speeds, Still Krz and Piloting. He’s far from out of it at a decent price.
Although we will use each of the two aforementioned runners, the horse we want the most is BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON (#7).
This ridgling has had excuses in each of his three starts against winners: He was racing on a dead rail three back, he was hampered at the start two back, and then last time he was forced to wait for room approaching the stretch, losing momentum for the drive. He has more speed than he’s been showing recently, and he should be able to move into a stalking position from his outside post. Backsideofthemoon is working very well for this start, and we think we’re going to see his best effort yet.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 5,6