The two runners likely to attract the bulk of support in this race are Almithmaar (#5) and Earned Success (#6), who are both stretching out for the first time off maiden wins. I prefer Almithmaar, who did well to win at Keeneland last time after setting a fast early pace. It’s unclear how far he wants to go, and he may ultimately be meant for turf given his dam’s accomplishments on that surface. He also will have to deal with his speedy Chad Brown-trained rival in the early going.
Both of these runners are talented, but I want to take a shot against them with SHOW ME THE BUCKS (#2), who actually finished ahead of the favorite when they met in their respective debuts at Gulfstream. Almithmaar probably ran the better race that day despite losing, but I think Show Me the Bucks may have more room for improvement going long on the dirt. This Bill Mott runner’s second start is better than it appears. He was away slowly on a day that was favoring horses with speed (note the red color-coded Race Rating box in TimeformUS PPs). The winner of that race is talented, and others that were trying to close from off the pace – namely the third- and fifth-place finishers – returned to improve in subsequent starts. Show Me the Bucks is out of a dam that was successful routing and sire Tiz Wonderful is a solid stamina influence.
The one other runner to consider is The Money Dance (#5), who ships in from Oaklawn. He’s been facing slightly weaker company, but he is one of the few runners in this race that is proven at the distance.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 4,5,6
Trifecta: 2 with 4,5 with 3,4,5,6