This is a wide-open race, as about six horses have a solid chance to win. The horse to beat is probably Wicked Freud (#8) off the claim by Brad Cox. This gray gelding has run plenty of competitive races at this level, and the one-turn-mile distance suits him perfectly. If he improves at all for the new barn, he will be very tough.
A few runners exit race 7 on May 12. There’s little doubt that Changewilldoyagood (#12) ran the best race that day. He’s typically dangerous when left alone up front, and he figures to be the controlling speed once again. However, he can be inconsistent, so I don’t fully trust him to repeat that last effort. Converge (#2) is a wild card off the trainer switch to Rudy Rodriguez, though the barn does not have strong numbers off layoffs on turf.
I’ll use all of them, but I’m going to try to beat these seasoned veterans with the quickly improving CATCH A CAB (#7). There were reasons to be skeptical of this horse when he returned to turf this spring, but he has put forth two solid efforts at this meet. While he wasn’t beating any superstars last time, he finished very strongly to win, running a final quarter-mile that was 0.71 seconds faster than the second-quickest finisher, according to Trakus. In retrospect, this horse has always had some ability, but layoffs and troubled trips have prevented him from showing it. It seems that the Mark Casse barn finally has him sorted out, and I think he’s ready to continue his ascent.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2,6,8,9,12