You won’t find races that are much more competitive than this Tom Fool. Great Stuff (#3) and Do Share (#6) may vie for favoritism, and they’re both runners that I’m slightly against. Great Stuff ran well last time, but he got a very fast pace to close into in a short field. Now he’s cutting back in distance and will have to pass them all in this larger 10-runner cast. He can win, but I don’t think he offers value at a likely short price. Do Share has been in excellent form for Linda Rice, but he barely won the Gravesend over a few rivals that are going to be better prices than him in this spot.
One of those longer prices that I want to use is Life in Shambles (#7). He’s been consistently performing well and six furlongs is better distance for him than the seven he was asked to go last time. He possesses a versatile running style and has subtly been knocking on the door against horses at this level for a long time. One of these days it’s going to be his turn to take down one of these top prizes.
My top pick at an even larger price is the old warrior GREEN GRATTO (#1). At first glance, he doesn’t look to be in great form, but I think you need to dig a little deeper. He’s actually been in better form than it seems. He’s the only horse in this race to have recorded TimeformUS Speed Figures of 130 or above recently, which illustrates that he’s been involved in some very fast paces. Last time out, he went head-to-head with Takaful for the entire race and was still within a length of that foe at the eighth pole before fading late. Prior to that, he actually ran deceptively well in the Gravesend despite racing over a wet track that he doesn’t like.
For a competitive sprint race like this, there actually isn’t that much speed signed on. Favorite Tale, the only other front-runner, is likely to send from the outside, but Green Gratto could be faster than that one. When he’s able to control the early tempo up front, we’ve seen him get brave, as he did in last year’s Carter. Interestingly, he also gets a positive shift in the weights from Great Stuff (9 pounds) and Do Share (8 pounds).
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,4,5,6,7
Trifecta: 3,5,6,7 with 3,4,5,6,7 with 1