Swell (#5) is the horse that they all have to beat. After earning a flashy 113 speed figure that seemed out of step with his prior performances, he returned to validate that number last time, recording a 110 in a solid runner-up finish at this level. While there is no confirmed frontrunner in this race, Swell figures to be right up on the lead, along with Yakov and Bajan Summer, and the Pace Projector is indicating that forward position will be an asset in this event. The only major knock against Swell is that he figures to be a very short price. He’s pegged at 1/2 on the morning line and could conceivably go off even lower than that.
Given the lack of value on the favorite, we want to take a shot against him with LEHIGH FIVE (#1).
Lehigh Five has been a bit of an enigma for his connections. He clearly has talent, but putting it all together has been a problem. They were rewarded for finally sticking with the same rider last time, as Aaron Gryder knew to keep this long-striding son of Birdstone out in the clear. Lehigh Five responded by unleashing a furious late rally through the stretch in a race where few others made a late impact. We like that Gryder is back aboard today, and Lehigh Five should appreciate the stretch-out to seven furlongs. We concede that he would have to run the best race of his career to take down Swell, but we don’t believe that’s out of the question.
Exacta Box: 1,5