There is quite a bit of speed in this race. The TimeformUS PPs indicate that four horses possess running styles labeled either “Speed” or “Leader,” so it should be a scramble for the early lead.
The speed horse that I’m most afraid of is Spring to the Sky (#4). This gelding has been in the best form of his career since returning in 2016, losing two narrow decisions in stakes company before winning over the talented Mosler at Belmont. He’s very much the horse to beat, but he should face a stiff challenge from his stablemate Night Officer (#3). This horse doesn’t win often, but he, too, has been in good form this year, and figures to get a favorable pace setup. Undrafted (#12) is one of the classier runners in this race, having had Group 1 success sprinting in Europe. He may be slightly better going longer, but he owns a stakes win at this distance and must be used.
While I generally shy away from turf turnbacks, LONG ON VALUE (#9) interests me greatly in this spot.
Most trainers do not do well with their turf turnbacks, but Bill Mott is one of the few that actually excel with this move, doing especially well with turf turnbacks on the NYRA circuit. In terms of class, Long on Value sticks out in this race. His recent Race Ratings and TFUS Speed Figures are just higher than what the others have been running, indicating that he’s been running faster against tougher fields. Additionally, it’s not as if this horse has never sprinted. He won going this distance on turf early in his career and even won sprinting on dirt before moving to turf. His running style should suit this race well, and I think he’s the right horse in here.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 3,4,12