Storm Prophet (#4) is the horse to beat, but he’s a difficult runner to key on top of your wagers given his propensity to settle for minor awards. To his credit, he has been facing tougher company for the better part of the last year, racing competitively in a series of open N1X allowance races. He ran quite well to be third behind the talented duo of Expert and Blewitt two back and then last time he was never really in the hunt in an odd race at Monmouth. He appears to be in decent form and is one that you must include on any exotics tickets.
J J’s Dreaming (#5) is a difficult horse to assess as he returns from the layoff. He earned TimeformUS Speed Figures last year that make him significantly faster than this field, but his form noticeably declined a the end of 2018. If he’s ready to go off the break, he’s a major player, but I find him difficult to trust. I’m even less enthusiastic about Real Dan (#2), who could also attract some support. He may improve stretching out given his inexperience, but he’s never earned a competitive speed figure.
Given my reservations with the aforementioned contenders, my top pick is the venerable 8-year-old gelding UNCLE SIGH (#3). This horse did not put forth his best efforts for the Pat Quick barn through the winter, but he got a good confidence boost when he beat a weaker claiming field last time. He was claimed out of that race by Chris Englehart, who trained this horse during his run of top efforts through the middle of 2018. If Englehart can get him back into that form, he’s arguably the horse to beat in this spot. He figures to sit a good trip and he should appreciate any moisture in the surface.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,4,5,8
Trifecta: 3 with 4,5,8 with 2,4,5,6,8