Quiet Out East (#4) is clearly the horse to beat off his most recent runner-up effort going a mile at this level. The major question for this son of Broken Vow is the turnback to a sprint distance since he’s never gone shorter than a mile. Trainer Christophe Clement actually has very good numbers with this move. Over the past five years, he is 7 for 22 (32 percent, $3.36 ROI) with maidens going from routes to sprints on dirt. Furthermore, this runner’s dam was a turf sprinter, so he may appreciate less ground. I’m using him, but his lack of early speed worries me a bit.
True Gold (#1) is a bit of an enigma as he returns from a lengthy layoff. He showed a ton of promise in his first couple of starts, but things went badly after that. He now returns as a gelding and appears to be working well, but he’s still hard to completely trust.
I want to take a shot with DEPUTY FLAG (#3), who figures to be a square price. It appears that this gelding’s good form has left him, but I don’t think his last two races are nearly as bad as they seem. He was never able to make the lead two back in a race that featured an extremely fast pace. Then last time, he was dueling inside of another rival in a precarious position, pinned against the rail for his entire trip. He got very tired late, but that race was falling apart at the end. Notably, the other horses who contested that fast pace have come back to run very well. Pacesetter Papa Jim returned to win, improving his TimeformUS Speed Figure by eight points, and eighth-place finisher Bassman Dave returned to be second with a 12-point improvement. If Deputy Flag takes a similar step forward, he’s a major player here.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 3 with 1,4 with 1,2,4,7