The $2 million two-year-old purchase Chestertown (#7) was bet down to 6-5 odds in his debut and just ran like a horse who needed that race. He was a little sluggish in the early going and steadily advanced on the turn, but ultimately hit his best stride too late. If he takes any kind of step forward he’s going to beat this group. However, you’re probably going to be forced to take another very short price and there are other intriguing options in this field.
True Grace (#3) would be a serious rival for Chestertown if he merely repeats his last race. He’s hard to love off his form prior to that, but sometimes these youngsters can improve quite a bit from start to start at the end of their 2-year-old seasons. It’s a good sign that Rosario stays with this runner instead of Hellbender, and Christophe Clement does well with maidens getting Lasix for the first time. I’m using him, but my top pick figures to be an even larger price.
DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT (#4) ships in from Kentucky for Danny Gargan, who claimed Tax out of a maiden event at Keeneland last fall before that runner went onto achieve Grade 2 success this year. This colt has a long way to come to match that feat but this could very well turn out to be another astute claim for this barn. He is a $285,000 yearling who was oddly dropped in for a tag without ever taking advantage of his New York-bred status. He now makes his first start against statebreds off a pair of decent TimeformUS Speed Figures and he’s got the pedigree to be a nice horse as a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-placed My Happy Face ($583,000). Furthermore, Gargan does exceptional work in this situation. Over the past year alone, he is a remarkable 9 for 17 (53%, $4.02 ROI) first off the claim, and he’s won with six of his last eight of those.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 3,7
Trifecta: 4 with 3,7 with 3,6,7,9