Hawaiian Noises (#1) was ambitiously spotted off the claim for Servis, so it’s no surprise he was unable to compete against the likes of Grade 1 winner Complexity or the consistently fast Mr. Dougie Fresh. Nevertheless, he stayed on well to be third and a mere repeat of that effort is going to make him awfully tough to beat in this spot. Furthermore, the Pace Projector is predicting that he should be on the lead here in a situation favoring the front-runner. He’s hard to look past given all of those positives, but he’s also going to be an extremely short price, due in large part to the fact that he’s going out for top connections in a race full of low-profile barns.
He’s the horse to beat, but I want to take a shot against him with NO DISTORTION (#5), who figures to offer value as the second choice. This 7-year-old hasn’t been a serious factor in his last two starts while going off at big prices, but both of those races came against much tougher stakes foes. The last time he faced a claiming field, he won by more than six lengths in November with a competitive 103 TimeformUS Speed Figure. He got a strong pace to close into that day but he nevertheless put in an excellent effort to win, and his subsequent figures back up that performance. If you start to parse his form and throw out the races in which he was overmatched or asked to route, this guy’s prospects look a lot more encouraging. His closing running style may not be ideal, but he’s otherwise a great fit for this spot at a much more palatable price.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3,4
Trifecta: 5 with 1 with ALL