With the scratch of Benevolence, Candid Desire (#6) is likely to go off as the favorite. This runner is an intriguing prospect as he drops back in for a tag in his second start for the Jason Servis barn. He was claimed out of a race at this level in August, and the new connections got pretty aggressive right off the bat, running him against the best New York-bred sprinters in the Hudson. Not only was he overmatched, but the race didn’t set up for him as the pace failed to develop. Now he’s back at the right class level, but it’s hard to know what we’re going to get from a horse that produced a career-best effort out of nowhere in June and has failed to match that performance since. Furthermore, he is notoriously hindered by any moisture in the track and the track is starting off rated good.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this race is the lack of early speed, and I think that could make MORNING BREEZ (#9) particularly dangerous.
The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, and Morning Breez is just faster than everyone else in the early going. He ran better than it seems two back, as he chased a fast pace that collapsed when finishing behind Benevolence, and I was very encouraged by his turf experiment last time. I just think this horse is in great form right now, and he’s likely to work out a perfect trip. At a much bigger price, I also want to throw in Arthur’s Hope. This horse reared at the start last time and lost all chance. However, he actually still ran quite well within the context of that race, making a premature move into contention before faltering. He had previously faced significantly tougher company and is now getting the class relief that he needs.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 3,5,6
Trifecta: 9 with 3,6 with 2,3,4,5,6