Trustworthy (#9) will probably win this race if he repeats his most recent performance on Oct. 12. This horse has steadily improved since the claim by Steve Asmussen, and his last effort was his best yet. However, that runner-up finish at this level was aided by a slow pace that favored the front-runners, and this race is predicted to feature a much faster early tempo. I’m using him, but I think he could be somewhat vulnerable at a short price. That said, I still think he’s a more likely winner than the Robertino Diodoro entry. Single Mission (#1) is the one who will attract more support, but he benefited from finding himself in a relatively weak off-the-turf race last time.
Todd Pletcher has two intriguing contenders in this spot. The one who may attract more support is D’ambrosio (#6), who beat vastly inferior competition to win his maiden at Keeneland last time. He avoided getting claimed and now returns in a protected spot. Pletcher actually has fantastic statistics in this situation, second off a layoff in dirt routes with last-out maiden winners (16 for 41, $2.43 ROI).
I actually prefer Pletcher’s other runner, SINGAPORE TRADER (#2). This horse really took to the switch back to dirt at Saratoga in August, as he easily won his maiden and came right back to run a competitive race in the Albany. The horses who narrowly beat him in that spot, Sea Foam and Evaluator, would both be pretty formidable in a spot like this. Singapore Trader disappointed behind Trustworthy last time, but I think he deserves a pass for that race. The early pace was very slow, and he was put in an awkward position right from the start. Velazquez couldn’t ride him properly around the turn and just let him back out of a difficult position. He obviously couldn’t get back involved after that, and I think he deserves another chance, especially stretching out to a mile.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,6,9
Trifecta: 2 with 1,9 with 1,5,6,9