Steam Engine (#3) is likely to go off at a short price again as he bids to win his maiden in his third career start after losing as the 3-5 choice last time out. He did benefit from riding an advantageous rail last time on Sept. 19, but it’s also worth noting that the winner saved ground as well and came through inside of him late. That horse, Strive for a Cure, returned to finish a good third in a tough edition of the Sleepy Hollow last weekend, so the form of the race holds up. I’m not way against him, but I prefer others who figure to offer more value.
One of those is Wild Boar (#5), who ran fairly well in what appeared to be a strong maiden heat at Saratoga in his debut. You could also make a strong case for Show Prince (#6), who rushed up to chase an honest pace in his first start earlier this month. I’ll use both in some respect, but I’m most interested in another one of the many second-time starters.
HOT DIGGITY (#2) moves up in class for Jeremiah Englehart, who gets a 97 TimeformUS Trainer Rating with horses moving from maiden-claiming to maiden special weight events. Despite being risked for the tag first time out, he actually met a decent group Sept. 7. Winner Bustin Hoffman has gone on to finish third in the Bertram F. Bongard and second in the Sleepy Hollow, while runner-up Saloon Girl won her next start, improving her TimeformUS Speed Figure by 17 points and her Beyer by 25 points. Additionally, the fourth- and fifth-place finishers returned to win, one on turf and the other on dirt, both with much faster performances. Hot Diggity has some pedigree since his dam was a somewhat talented New York-bred mare. I think this gelding is very likely to move forward today.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,3,5,6
Trifecta: 2 with 3,5 with 1,3,5,6,7