Among those with experience, Downside Risk (#5) is the horse to beat. However, this gelding doesn’t make things easy on himself by breaking slowly in his races. He was off about two lengths behind the field in his debut and didn’t fare much better from the gate last time. He ran well in both starts but has been one-paced in the final furlong, probably because he exerted himself to compensate for his slow breaks. I’m definitely using him, but I think he and all the rest should fear the Chad Brown first-time starter drawn one stall inside of him.
Brown has done quite well with his overseas auction acquisitions from this crop of 3-year-olds (Newspaperofrecord, Digital Age, Demarchelier, etc.), and VALUE PROPOSITION (#4) may be another star in the making. This son of the great sire Dansili was purchased for $556,000 at the 2017 Tattersalls sale, along with those aforementioned runners. His dam was a listed stakes winner in England and has produced Group 1 Prix de l’Opera winner Speedy Boarding ($746,000). This British-bred colt has been training like a serious racehorse down at Palm Meadows, outworking older stakes horse Call Provision and matching strides with Digital Age in recent drills. I’m not trying to beat this one.
The other horse I would use prominently is Brown’s second stringer, Hizaam (#2). I thought this horse ran better than it seems in his dirt debut, as he reacted badly to the kickback early on but was finishing with some interest late. This son of Bernardini has a classy female family, as his dam is a half-sister to 3-year-old filly champion Untapable as well as Grade 1 turfer Paddy O’Prado. Turf may help, but he would be my top pick if this race were to come off the turf.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,5,7,10
Trifecta: 4 with 2,5 with 2,5,7,9,10