The morning line favorite is John Eddie (#5), who would be formidable if he were to repeat the 94 speed figure that he earned back in May. However, he’s now been off for about two months after getting scratched by the vet a few weeks ago. He is the controlling speed of this race, but he’s taking a suspicious drop in class, and I find it very hard to trust his low-percentage rider.
Hundred Percent (#2) has shown improvement in recent starts at Finger Lakes, but must transfer that form to the NYRA circuit, which is no easy task. Corpie the Cat (#6) makes his first start for Jeremiah Englehart, but I wonder how much he can improve a horse that was a major disappointment for 100-rated trainer Todd Pletcher. Nicholson (#3) has run a few competitive speed figures, but he just never seems to win, and his last race may have been a step in the wrong direction.
Since I distrust a few of the short prices, I want to go looking elsewhere for a top selection. At what should be a square price, MARK TWAIN (#8) is the right bet in this race.
His most recent effort is easily forgivable considering that he was facing much tougher company in a NY-bred allowance race won by the promising Jet Black (note the high 103 race rating). His prior efforts at this level are actually not that bad, especially two back when he made an uncharacteristically early move into a fast pace (color-coded in red). The 90 speed figure that he earned that day would make him one of the top contenders here. Furthermore, he’s getting a mildly positive rider switch to Eric Cancel after being ridden by a series of lower-percentage riders in recent starts.
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 2,3,5,6