An unclear pace scenario could work against a few of the top contenders. Hello Don Julio (#4), Snake Oil Charlie (#5), and Harpoon (#9) are all predicted to be contesting the pace, but none of them are exactly frontrunners.
Roccia d’Oro (#1) and Birchwood Road (#3) come out of similar races, but have struggled with consistency. We slightly prefer Birchwood Road, who did well to rally through the stretch last time in a race that mostly held together on the front end, despite the apparent fast pace (color-coded in red). Roccia d’Oro was racing wide for much of that race, but was fairly dull in the stretch. Perhaps he’ll get sent out towards the lead today as the connections add blinkers and give a leg up to Jose Lezcano.
One of the more intriguing entrants is Tiz Town (#2), who has a bit of tactical speed and ran well when stretched out to marathon distances in Kentucky. He was allowed to race up close to fairly moderate paces in those events, but we still believe that he’s an improved horse.
Since we’re finding it difficult to foresee how the trips will play out, we will stick with the horse that we think is currently in the best form.