The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace here, but that characterization is largely dependent on stretch-out sprinter D’ Eloquent using his speed, which is no guarantee from his outside post position.
I actually expect the riders involved to orchestrate a more moderate early clip, so I’m not so concerned about my top pick, BARTON HOLT (#9), needing to be forwardly placed.
This horse’s last trip is worth watching. For whatever reason, after attaining a good stalking position early, Joel Rosario just reined in Barton Holt and let him steadily drop back through the pack, eventually finding himself in seventh, buried on the rail. When Joel Rosario finally got into him later in the stretch, he actually finished up nicely, outrunning some of the closers late. Now he gets blinkers on, which signals that they want to be more aggressive, and adds Lasix for the first time. This horse has run well in New York before, and I think he’s going to be tough to run down today.
Another runner that I want to include is Ode to the Hunt (#6), who has been plagued by outside post positions in many of his recent starts and now draws a spot in the middle of the pack today. He was especially compromised last time when he was forced to race wide around the turns behind a slow pace. Vintage Matters (#7) returns from a layoff for the capable Michael Dickinson barn, and had done some nice things against New York-breds when last seen in the summer. I could even use Rapt (#3), who finally put things together when breaking his maiden last time. This is a big step up in class, but he’s more talented than your average $40,000 maiden claiming winner.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 3,6,7
Trifecta: 9 with 3,6,7 with 1,2,3,6,7,10
Trifecta: 9 with 1,2,10 with 3,6,7