We lost only one of the potential pace players at scratch time, so there is still a ton of early speed signed on for this race. Unsurprisingly, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace.
The obvious closer is Beyond the Green (#2), who is stepping up in class after besting N1X allowance company last time. The 113 speed figure that he earned for that victory certainly makes him a major player here, but it doesn’t necessarily give him any major edge over his competition. He also got an absolutely perfect trip that day and must duplicate that performance against tougher company. We’ll use him, but we feel that he’s a potential underlay on the win end.
Horses like More Zen Tea (#7) and Big Business (#9) are just as talented as Beyond the Green and may offer better value. More Zen Tea has not been able to get back to the 112 speed figure that he earned at the beginning of this inner track meet, but he has had a couple of excuses since then, getting less-than-ideal trips both two and three races back. Big Business drops in class to the easiest spot he’s seen in quite some time. He’s not the horse he once was, but he’s still run plenty of races that would be good enough to beat this field.
We’ll use both of them, but we’re swinging for the fences with our top selection.
YEAGER (#5) was overmatched at this level two back, but he probably needed that race as he was making his first start in this country. Although he was facing softer competition last time, his effort was much, much better than the 99 speed figure he was assigned would suggest. He was away towards the back of the pack, made a sustained middle move down the backstretch, went four-wide around the turn, and still nearly won. We believe this gelding is moving in the right direction for Tom Morley, who gets an 85 trainer rating with horses making their third starts back from a layoff. Yeager’s running style fits the projected race flow, and we like that he’s confidently stepped back up in class.