The two classy runners in this lineup are drawn towards the outside. Life in Shambles (#7) has netted over $800,000 in his career, but his form is starting to decline as he nears the end of his 8-year-old season. Jason Servis is getting realistic and dropping him in for some mid-level claiming tags, just trying to find the class level at which he can win these days. He ran fairly well in a similar spot last time and just couldn’t quite hold off the winner going 7 furlongs. This slight turnback should benefit him, though it remains to be seen if he can put solid efforts back to back.
The other runner with back class who is likely to attract support is Earned Success (#8). This guy is making his second start for a tag after previously getting offered for $80,000 last October. This once-promising sort just hasn’t really developed for Chad Brown. While he’s arguably more trustworthy than the runner posted to his inside, it’s not as if his recent TimeformUS Speed Figures make him all that formidable here, despite the drop in class.
I want to go in a different direction and I think it’s worth looking at the TimeformUS Pace Projector for ideas.
It’s predicting that FULL SALUTE (#6) will be clearly in front in a situation likely to favors horses on or near the lead. That should make this returning 6-year-old a dangerous gate-to-wire threat. This gelding has plenty of back class and ran some competitive speed figures at this level when in action during 2018. The layoff is a concern, as is the trainer switch, but this barn has sent out a pair of longshots to run surprisingly well in recent weeks. Furthermore, this horse is returning with the claiming tag waived, while showing a recent bullet workout in 46 3/5 seconds from the gate. That drill was the fastest of 127 at the distance, nearly a full second faster than the next-best time of the day. An aggressive rider is named, so this horse looks ready to roll.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 4,5,7,8
Trifecta: 6 with 7,8 with 2,4,5,7,8