Linda Rice will only start Control Group (#1) after scratching I Love Jaxson, and this older half of the entry is more of an enigma. Rice is not showing a ton of confidence as she immediately drops him in for a $40,000 tag after claiming him for $62,500 at Saratoga. Obviously, he wasn’t expected to run quite as poorly as he did that day, and it’s possible that he’s just going off form. I’ve also always felt that he’s a bit better around two turns, hence his overall lack of success at Belmont Park.
I want to take a shot against him with CARTHON (#6). I just think this gelding makes a ton of sense as he returns from the layoff. He ran one of the best races of his career last December when he was fresh and coming off a similar break. He then continued to throw down solid TimeformUS Speed Figures throughout the winter and spring at Aqueduct. I believe this 1 1/16 miles distance is perfect for him, and he’s drawn well outside of his main pace rival. As long as he’s ready to go off the layoff, I think he’s going to be a handful in this spot.
The others are harder to trust. Uncle Sigh (#2) obviously has it in him to win races at this level, but his poor last effort is a concern. I could also throw in the speedy Three to Thirteen (#5) and Durkin’s Call (#7), who would be formidable if able to regain the form he displayed over the winter.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,5,7
Trifecta: 6 with 1,2,5 with ALL