t will be interesting to see how these riders sort themselves out in the early going, since there is a serious dearth of early speed in this race. Manitoulin (#3) is projected to be the early leader, but he seems to be most comfortable being ridden as a closer.
The horse to beat is Sport (#1), who was the wise guy pick last time off an eventful trip in his debut at Gulfstream. While he couldn’t get the job done as the favorite, Sport actually ran quite well, making a middle move down the backstretch and going wide around the far turn before flattening out in deep stretch. This half-brother to Isabella Sings is no cinch to stretch out to a mile and three-eighths, but the talent is there.
The Chad Brown pair of Deeply Undervalued (#2) and Turf Commander (#6) merit some respect. The former has not gotten ideal trips in either of his starts, while the latter was still a little green last time when beaten by Manitoulin. Both of these are sons of Kitten’s Joy, so they may handle the added ground.
There are a couple of runners making their second career starts who interest us. Love and Care (#7) made a quick rush into contention at the half-mile pole in his debut, and proceeded to chase four-wide around the far turn before tiring in the stretch. This horse is bred to get better as the distances increase, and Bill Mott gets a 76 trainer rating with second-time starters.
Our top pick is SADLER’S JOY (#9).
He was completely up against it from a pace perspective in his debut, where he rated well off a slow pace (color-coded in blue). Despite giving the others a head start, he actually finished up strongly through the stretch and galloped out like a freight train. He gets a positive rider switch to Jose Lezcano and is bred to run all day. He could get a little lost in the wagering in a very confusing race.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,2,3,6,7