I’m not saying anything too clever in pointing out that Dancers for Token (#7) is the horse to beat, and it’s not even close. His recent form is just vastly superior to all of his rivals. He ran a winning race two back on Dec. 20 when he made a premature move into contention and was just unlucky to run into a superior rival in Freaky Styley. Then last time his connections ambitiously stepped him up into an open maiden special weight event and he was hardly disgraced in hanging on for fourth. Now he’s getting a significant rider switch to Trevor McCarthy and he should be very difficult to beat if he merely holds his form. That said, it’s still hard to accept a short price on a horse going out for a barn that was 1 for 43 last year.
I’m just not particularly fond of the others who are likely to take money here. Clever Fellow (#6) will attract support due to the Chad Brown factor even though he didn’t do any serious running in his debut. Kingfish (#3) has had his chances for Linda Rice and just hasn’t really stepped forward.
I’d rather get a bit more creative in searching for an alternative and take a different horse out of that Dec. 20 affair that a few of these exit. MOONLIGHT NOW (#2) didn’t get the right trip that day, as he failed to make the lead after a hustling start and then got caught in behind a fading longshot on the far turn. He lost all of his momentum and actually did well to rally again for fourth late. This is a horse who has always been cut out to be a dirt router and it’s just taken the connections a while to stretch him out. This time he figures to be the frontrunner in a paceless affair, which should give him his best chance yet to have his breakout moment.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 3,6,7
Trifecta: 2,7 with 2,7 with 3,4,6