With a few speed types and runners stretching out from sprints in the mix, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace. That should work to the advantage of my top selection, HEAVEN IS WAITING (#6). This colt was very professional in his debut, running down a more experienced rival after working out a stalking trip through soft early fractions. However, he got the opposite of that friendly trip next time out at Keeneland. Facing a much larger field, he was off a step slowly and was out of position for the entire race. He was extremely wide in the early going. When he finally got down towards the inside for the second turn, he ran into traffic in the stretch and lost momentum as he was trying to angle out to daylight. He’s sure to move forward off that effort, and I like that Chad Brown is running him back on short rest.
I prefer him to Royal by Nature (#7), who finished ahead of him in the Bourbon last time out. However, Royal by Nature worked out a fine trip under Jose Ortiz, moving up early into the slowest part of the race before fading in the stretch. There is little doubt in my mind that Heaven Is Waiting would have defeated him if you switched their trips.
The other horses I want to include are Frostmourne (#2), who may have moved a little soon in the Pilgrim last time but was never going to be any match for the talented Oscar Performance (the slight turnback to a mile should suit him), Bonus Points (#3), who showed some ability on turf first time out and has improved since then, and Harlan’s Harmony (#5), who got involved in a pace that ultimately fell apart up at Woodbine last time.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,5,7
Trifecta: 6 with 2,7 with 2,3,4,5,7
Trifecta: 6 with 3,5 with 2,3,4,5,7