Black Sea (#1) was installed as the morning-line favorite, and he very well may go off at the shortest price. However, I just haven’t loved any of this runner’s recent races. He’s been facing some tougher fields, but he’s also worked out fine trips. Last time, he saved ground for much of the way and just wasn’t quite good enough.
Today, I strongly prefer TATHQEEF (#4) to the favorite and believe this Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is a very likely winner of this race. He should appreciate stretching back out to this 10-furlong distance, at which he was successful back in the early summer. Furthermore, he actually ran much better than it seems last time at Saratoga considering the circumstances. That race was run during a time when the turf course was heavily tilted toward the inside paths, and Tathqeef was never racing near the rail, going three to four wide throughout. He closed well to be third and almost surely would have won with a better trip.
Tathqeef possesses the tactical speed to sit right off likely pacesetter Roman Approval early, and I think he can assert his superiority over that rival and hold off Black Sea late.
Exacta Key box: 4 with 1,3,6
Trifecta: 4 with 1,3 with ALL