There are a few horses in this race that are likely to take money. Among those are Harlan’s Hunch (#1), who has run well in both starts for Todd Pletcher and figures to appreciate this turnback to a sprint; Forge (#8), who has a bit of turf pedigree and goes out for the always-dangerous Chad Brown; and Toshiro (#11), who ran a winning race in his debut but may be stepping up into a tougher spot. At a slightly bigger price, I could even throw in Bigboldbok (#6), who ran in spots in his debut around two turns and may appreciate turning back in distance. However, given the depth of this field, I think there’s one horse in particular that could get lost in the shuffle.
Stuck all the way on the outside is CALIFORNIA SWING (#12), who may be coming out of the toughest maiden race of all.
The two horses that beat him in his debut, Red Lodge and Madeyoulook, both went on to win stakes over the summer. Furthermore, one of the horses that finished behind him, Keep Quiet, came back to break his maiden at Saratoga before finishing second to Madeyoulook in the With Anticipation. Now you could make the case that those horses improved stretching out, but I still think that California Swing may have run a bit better than the ordinary 80 speed figure suggests. This horse is certainly bred to be a runner, since he’s out of a dam that won almost $250,000 racing primarily on turf and synthetic surfaces. I get the sense that today’s six furlongs will be more to his liking than the five furlongs of his debut.
Exacta Key Box: 12 with 1,6,8,11