On dirt, the obvious horse to beat is Life in Shambles (#2), who ran a hole in the wind last time, clocking in at 1:07 4/5 for six furlongs while earning a 111 speed figure. The rail may have been the place to be that day, and he got lucky when the runner-up drifted off the inside at the top of the stretch, but he still ran a great race in victory. We have to use him, but he’s going to a be a strong favorite here, and I believe that others will offer better value.
My top pick is MANHATTAN MISCHIEF (#5), who the Pace Projector is predicting will be right up on the early lead.
This horse has run some huge dirt speed figures on occasion, at times surpassing even the figure that Life In Shambles earned for his recent blowout victory. He handled a muddy, sealed track at Aqueduct back in April. I admit that he’s been off form, but those last two poor efforts should only drive up his price enough to make him playable in this favorable spot.
Changewilldoyagood (#3) and Hollywood Critic (#4) may not be suited to today’s abbreviated distance on dirt, but they have at least run main track races that would make them competitive. I’ll use them defensively.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 2,3,4