The most intriguing horse in this race is Infinity Squared (#6), who would obviously crush this field if able to produce one of his better efforts. After showing promise in his first few starts, things fell apart two back at Oaklawn. His most recent start was not quite as bad as it seems given that he was shuffled back on the turn, yet he still came up empty once set down in the stretch. He was claimed out of that race and since transferred to trainer Michael Tannuzzo, who saddles his first starter since 2011. There are too many question marks for me to pick him, but you have to use this horse.
The clear danger is Hard Way Winner (#5), who may end up going off favored. This horse has the best early speed in a race that is lacking much pace, and he’s been claimed by some sharp connections. If he improves at all on his most recent outing, he should be tough to overhaul. However, I see one alternative that may be able to take the necessary steps forward.
FIVE STAR BUNT (#2) showed some promise as a 2-year-old. He finished behind talented New York-breds like Aveenu Malcainu and New York Hero after setting fast paces in a pair of maiden races. He finally broke his maiden in October when dropped in for a tag, running a speed figure that makes him competitive here. Linda Rice claimed him out of his next start at Laurel, in which Five Star Bunt got a ridiculous trip, racing six wide all the way around the far turn. Something may have gone amiss in his first start for the new barn as he’s been on the sidelines since. Now Rice brings him back in a realistic spot and he can make some noise here if able to get back to his better form.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 3,5,6
Trifecta: 2 with 5,6 with 1,3,5,6