This field is full of horses who experienced glory but are now dropping in class as their form has tailed off. Bridget’s Big Luvy (#3) was a stakes winner as a three-year-old and even led through the early furlongs of American Pharoah’s Arkansas Derby. However, he has not been able to recapture that form since, and his recent races on this track leave a lot to be desired.
Global Positioning (#1), who prefers to be forwardly placed, didn’t show his customary speed last time and could be put into a difficult position if he comes away sluggishly once again while breaking from the rail. This horse has run plenty of races that would crush this field, but the drop in class does not inspire confidence.
Sherifco (#7) is one of the aforementioned speeds, but at least he’s coming into this race in great form, having survived a fast pace last time to register an emphatic 103 speed figure victory. We could say the same about Rich N Tuck (#2), who was suspiciously dropped in for a $14,000 claiming tag first time off the claim for Linda Rice, but nevertheless registered a runaway victory. That said, this is more of a step up in class for him than it is for Sherifco, which leads us to prefer the former.
Though the Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, we cannot ignore the fact that at least four horses in this race do their best work when they are on the lead in the early stages. Given the possibility of a contested pace, we want a closer for our top selection, and the one that we believe will offer the best value is PUPPY MANNERS (#4).
Puppy Manners is not dropping in class, unlike so many others in this race, but rather has been moving back up the ladder in recent starts. He ran very well two back. He made a mid-race move, after getting away slowly, and then finished second behind the in-form Chief Assignment. He then nearly overcome an even worse start last time to get up for fourth. Although he finished behind a couple of today’s rivals, we think he might have run the best race of all, considering how the race played out. We believe that this Chris Englehart trainee has found a home sprinting and that he will have the race flow in his favor on this occasion.
Even if you believe a win is asking a lot, he could round out exactas and trifectas at a generous price.
Exacta Key Box (Primary): 4 with 1,2,5,7
Exacta Key Box (Backup): 4 with 3,6,8