There’s a lot to discuss in this excellent renewal of the Grade 3 Fort Marcy. Chad Brown has three runners in the field, the most accomplished of which is Silverwave (8). This French-bred 6-year-old has achieved some impressive results during his career, winning the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in 2016 and finishing ahead of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Talismanic in June of last year. His 2017 campaign ended on a sour note, as he failed to handle soft ground in either the Prix Foy or Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He was privately purchased at the end of last season and now resurfaces in Brown’s barn. While he may be the most talented horse in the race, this seems like merely a jumping off point for a runner that probably wants to go farther than today’s 1 1/8-mile distance. Nevertheless, he must be used.
I actually prefer his stablemate ROBERT BRUCE (1), who is a rare Chilean import. This horse clearly was on the precipice of some noteworthy accomplishments in Chile. Even though he barely raced as a full 3-year-old (he is an October foal), he already has four Group 1 victories in his home country. Watching some of his South American efforts, it does appear that he possesses real talent. He overcame a rough stretch drive to win last time after losing momentum with less than a quarter-mile to go. A few years ago, we saw Chilean star Il Campione (who won a few of the same races as this horse) come to the United States and run a competitive race in the Grade 3 Poker before heading to the sidelines. It seems that Robert Bruce has been working well coming into this race, and the distance should not be a major obstacle.
He’s my top pick, but I want to use him in conjunction with some of the more familiar faces. Blacktype (3) always seems to run well in spots like this, and his tactical speed should make him awfully dangerous here, as he projects to get the jump on some of the deep closers. Spring Quality (7) ran well to win the Red Smith last fall and he, too, is able to race up close to the early pace. He may ultimately want to go farther than this, but he’s another that’s worth including in exotics.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,7,8
Trifecta: 1 with 3,8 with 2,3,5,7,8