There are many ways to go in this highly competitive Poker Stakes. While I usually search for a price in a spot like this, I’ve landed on morning-line favorite DR. EDGAR (#9). I don’t think any horse is going to be bet down too significantly in this spot, so I think we might get somewhere around that 3-1 price.
I just feel that Dr. Edgar is coming into this race in top form and is the most likely winner. He ran well to win the Appleton two back, holding off a strong late challenge from Hawkish after setting the pace while never letting that foe go by him on the gallop-out. He then stretched out to nine furlongs last time in the Fort Marcy. That’s just a bit too far for him, but he actually ran extremely well to be second. The pace of that race was fast – indicated by red color-coded pace figures in TimeformUS PPs – and Dr. Edgar gamely held on for second after dueling Robert Bruce into defeat. Now he’s turning back to a mile, and the Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. This is arguably the toughest spot he’s tried, but I just think he fits this race perfectly.
I’m not trying to beat the favorite, but I will use some others. Clyde’s Image (#1) obviously must be respected off his pair of Grade 1 placings. He probably appreciated softer ground in those starts, but he’s obviously in top form. Krampus (#3) did not get an ideal ride behind Dr. Edgar at Gulfstream last time and deserves another shot at a price. I’d even use Breaking the Rules (#8), who was very wide in the Turf Classic last time and is overdue to start delivering on his potential.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,2,3,8
Trifecta: 9 with 1,3 with 1,2,3,4,6,8