Proven Reserves (#3) is expected to go off as a prohibitive favorite as he makes his 4-year-old debut. He showed great promise right from the start last year, recording a 114 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his debut while trouncing some talented rivals. It appeared as if he might be bound for the major 3-year-old stakes last summer before failing as the even-money favorite on Aug. 26 at Saraoga. Chad Brown generally wins at a high rate off layoffs going 11 for 40 with horses returning from breaks of 180 days or more in dirt routes over 5 years. Yet the ROI for that statistic is just $1.42. This horse owns some of the best speed figures in the field and he has a right to run faster now as an older horse. I’m just concerned that he’s not going to offer any value as the odds-on favorite.
Therefore, I’m trying to beat him with AMERICAN TATTOO (#4). This is the youngest member of the field, having yet to actually turn 4 in the Southern Hemisphere, where he was bred. He showed great promise in Argentina as a 3-year-old, dominating the Group 1 Polla de Potrillos (the first leg of the Argentine Triple Crown) off just a maiden win. He was reportedly working well prior to his U.S. debut on Derby weekend, but he lost all chance at the start when he broke slowly and the eventual winner swerved in front of him. He is surely better than that, and he figures to show more speed this time. As long as he breaks clearly, he could control the pace up front and he figures to be a square price.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 3,6
Trifecta: 4 with 3 with 1,2,6