House Limit (#8) will probably get sent to post as the favorite in this race off a visually impressive 16-length maiden score last time. However, his TimeformUS Speed Figure for that effort suggests that he’s merely another player in this race, rather than the horse to beat. The biggest question for House Limit is one of class, since he beat the equivalent of maiden claiming foes last time. Furthermore, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, so he is unlikely to control the tempo on the front end.
Mr. Dougie Fresh (#6) is another short price that must be considered off the claim by Jason Servis. It’s not as if he even needs to improve much at all to win this race, since the 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned for his most recent victory is among the best numbers in the field.
I think there are some better prices to consider, one of which is Allured (#7). His first start against winners was dull, but I think he’s going to appreciate the stretch-out, since he ran deceptively well in his maiden efforts going this distance. That was especially true three back on Oct. 5, when he overcame a wide trip against a bias to close for second.
The aforementioned runners are all part of my play, but my top pick is WINE NOT (#3). This gelding actually ran a strong race to be a close fourth in the Empire Classic two back, and then ran on well to be third despite getting very little pace to close into last time. I’ve always felt that a one-turn mile is best for him, yet he hasn’t had that many chances going this exact distance. The main knock against him is that he so rarely wins, having collected his last victory in July 2017. However, he’s been entered in some tough spots this year, and I feel that he’s actually been in the best form of his career since the early summer. Some may be deterred by the layoff, but it’s worth noting that he missed a chance to race on a day that racing was cancelled a few weeks ago. Furthermore, George Weaver does excellent work off layoffs of this type (99 TimeformUS Trainer Rating).
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,6,7,8
Trifecta: 3,7 with 3,7 with 1,5,6,8