Two of the more lightly raced members of this field – both 3-year-olds – are likely to attract the bulk of the wagering support. Stoney Bennett (#3) has gone largely unchallenged since returning from a layoff in the barn of Linda Rice this summer. She got away with risking this gelding for a $50,000 tag last time and now bumps him up to this N2X allowance level. While he’s certainly run fast enough to win this race in each of his last two starts, I feel that he benefitted from circumstances in those races. He was racing over a very speed-favoring track two back on July 27, and then he got away with a moderate opening quarter-mile last time when able to hold off today’s rival What a Catch.
Dezzer (#5) comes into this race with similar credentials, having run fast enough to win this race on a number of occasions. The horse who defeated him last time, Cinderela El Crome, returned to earn a similar speed figure, which validates his recent form. I’m using these runners, but I feel that there are others in this field who have similar chances of winning yet will go off at much larger prices.
The one I want to focus on is HOROSCOPE (#2). For whatever reason, his connections have tried him over longer distances than this in all five of his 2018 starts since returning from a layoff. When this horse began his career as a 3-year-old, he ran his fastest speed figures going today’s six-furlong distance. While he was cut back to sprints at seven furlongs in his last two starts, he did not get ideal trips in either of those races. He was racing on a dead rail in the early going two back, and then last time, he was inexplicably rated well off a pace that otherwise held together. While Horoscope doesn’t necessarily need the early lead, I would hope that David Cohen has this runner placed a bit closer to the early pace this time.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 3,4,5,7