Value Engineering (#2) was heavily supported in his Gulfstream debut, but he was unfortunate to run into subsequent stakes winner Clint Maroon that day. This colt actually took a good run at the winner in the stretch, drawing 5 lengths clear of the rest of the field while making up ground late. He has plenty of stamina influences in his pedigree so he may ultimately be best going farther than this, but he is nevertheless the horse to beat. This is a very competitive spot and I think there are some other interesting horses to consider.
The Last Zip (#7) stretched out off a pair of sprint races at Keeneland last time and handled the added distance admirably. He was hustled up to chase a fast pace by Rosario, took the lead off the far turn, and responded tenaciously to multiple challenges, losing a heartbreaker. He meets a tougher field today, but this gelding may play out as the controlling speed, and he is a fighter.
I believe this race could be dominated towards the front end, so I’m taking a shot with WILD MEDAGLIAD’ORO (#5). This colt took to turf willingly last time, as his pedigree suggested he might. That was a sprint race, but Mark Casse actually has good numbers in this situation. Over 5 years, he is 18 for 90 (20%, $2.65 ROI) with maidens going from turf sprints to turf routes. The winner of that race, Front Run the Fed, impressively won an allowance race on Friday. This colt had trouble stretching out on dirt late in his 2-year-old season, but he’s bred to go longer so he should be more inclined to handle route distances on turf. I’m hoping he can stalk The Last Zip and take over from that foe late.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 2,3,6,7
Trifecta: 2,5 with 2,5 with 3,4,6,7