The more time I spent going over this race, the more I found myself leaning against the shorter prices. Performance Bonus (#4) got the job done last time, but he was fairly unimpressive considering his odds-on favoritism, and I question whether he’s ready to make the jump up in class. Hockey School (#7) would be the horse to beat if he were coming in off his effort two back, but he was uncharacteristically dull in the English Channel last time, barely running for half a mile. Slim Shadey (#6) might be the most consistent horse in the field, but he just never seems to win. The same goes for Adirondack Dancer, who had no excuse to lose to Orino (#3) last time after that one had a tougher trip.
There are holes in almost all of the contenders in this race, and the field is far more closely matched than the odds board is likely to suggest. That’s why I’ve landed on a horse that is certainly going to be a price.
It’s fair to be skeptical of horses that have intentionally been rerouted away from the NYRA circuit during the turf season, but MARK MY STYLE (#1) has actually been facing some decent fields out of town. Horses like Best Bard and Italian Charm actually have real ability and would be contenders in this spot. It’s also worth watching Mark My Style’s last trip, since he was stuck down on the rail for too long and was shuffled back on the far turn. He had previously run well over this Aqueduct turf course, and he gets a huge rider switch to Jose Lezcano.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,4,6,7,8,9,10