The Chad Brown duo of Tombelaine (#2) and A Lot (#6) figure to take the majority of the play here, but I have some minor issues with both. Tombelaine is obviously pretty talented, but he’s really at his best going seven furlongs and I think anything past this distance is stretching him. He may be able to win going a mile here because he’s just that good, but I’m skeptical at a short price.
I have similar distance concerns about A Lot, especially as he returns from this 11-month layoff. This runner has obviously had some setbacks that have kept him away from the races for this long, and I don’t have full confidence that he can get back to the form that carried him to victory in last year’s Elusive Quality.
Given these reservations with the favorites, I want to take a shot against them with FIRE AWAY (#4).
I had always thought of this horse as one that wants to go longer distances, but recent evidence suggests that the opposite may actually be true. He’s run his best races this year at 1 1/16 miles, finishing second in May before closing to be a strong fourth in the Lure Stakes behind Zennor at Saratoga. His two most recent efforts have been dull, but I think he’s really going to appreciate this turnback. There appears to be an ample amount of speed in this race for him to close into.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,3,6
Trifecta: 4 with 2,6 with ALL