Admission Office (#6) is an obvious favorite after overtaking a solid field of maidens to win his debut in stylish fashion. While he was aided by an honest pace that day, it’s still quite a feat for a first-time starter to pass 11 rivals while rallying from last. Furthermore, Admission Office was still green as he was trying to lug in throughout the stretch run, making it difficult for Jose Ortiz to properly ride him out to the finish. The sky is the limit for this half-brother to Grade 1 winner Coffee Clique. However, it won’t be easy for him to rack up another victory here. His debut came over the Widener course, which can be more conducive to his running style, whereas this race is contested going 9 furlongs on the inner – a configuration that often favors speed. Admission Office may have the brightest future among this bunch, but I think this is the time to take a shot against him.
His main rival is Morrison (#10), who is one of a couple entrants with early speed. However, the outside post position is not ideal for a horse that needs to get clear early in order to have his best chance. I actually prefer a different horse out of the June 8 optional-claiming race that Morrison exits.
THEMANBEHINDTHEMAN (#7) finished 2 lengths behind Morrison that day, but he obviously had a tougher trip. Whereas Morrison was able to coast along on the front end though moderate fractions, Themanbehindtheman was forced to rate for the first time in his life. Jose Ortiz attempted to angle him out into the clear at the top of the stretch, but had to briefly steady and then alter course as runners drifted about on each side of him. That confluence of events prevented Themanbehindtheman from accelerating at a key juncture of the race, yet he still finished gamely to just miss third. Since he’s drawn inside of Morrison, he may be able to wrest the early lead away from that rival and slow down the pace.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 5,6,10
Trifecta: 7 with 6,10 with 1,5,6,10