This is a tricky race that is made no easier by an especially murky pace scenario. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, but neither of the runners predicted to be in front early is a typical frontrunner.
One horse that I expect to be forwardly placed is INVENTOR’S GATE (#9).
This horse was very unlucky at the post position draws at Saratoga, getting stuck in outside slots twice. He actually got a decent trip when he ran well to be fifth two back, but last time, his post worked against him. His rider did the right thing as he used him aggressively from the gate to get position, but he had to go a bit too fast early. The pace of that race ultimately collapsed, and he was the only horse near the early lead to be around at the finish. He’s unproven at sprint distances, but he may be able to handle seven furlongs, especially given the stalking trip that he’s likely to pull. The low-profile connections should ensure a square price.
The likely favorite is Data Driven (#2), who was ridden into traffic at a key point in the stretch drive two back, the last time that he ran today’s seven-furlong distance. He didn’t have much of an excuse at Saratoga last time, but he may appreciate the turnback today. I could also throw in Araqeel (#5), who has faced tougher fields in most of his recent starts. The distance is an unknown factor for him, but you have to respect this class drop. Given bigger prices, I could also throw in Ross J Dawg (#4), who gets back to his best distance, and Romans Paradise (#7), who is unlikely to get the pace he needs but has run well around one turn.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 2,4,5,7