Following the scratch of longshot Zoomer, you can make a valid case for any of the remaining 7 runners in this field. I had difficulty deciphering how the public would bet this one, but I would imagine that Intrepid Heart (#2) will attract his fair share of support on the class drop. This Todd Pletcher trainee was once considered a top contender for the 2019 Belmont Stakes, but he’s had trouble building upon that promising start to his career. He never got involved in his 4-year-old debut at Gulfstream, but did rebound to get the victory last time out at Churchill. While he won his N2X allowance condition that day, it was a fairly weak race for the level, and I don’t believe he’s actually getting much class relief despite dropping in for the $50,000 tag.
There was a time when Grumps Little Tots (#5) would have been considered a formidable presence in a race like this, but he’s difficult to trust since leaving Jason Servis’s barn. That said, it’s not as if his form completely fell apart first time out for Rob Atras at Delaware last time. He has a right to build upon that effort and getting back out to 1 1/8 miles may help him. I’ll use him, but I prefer some horses who have proven that they’re in top form.
Han Sense (#8) just held off a late charge from Super Dude to be second in a $40,000 claimer last month at Belmont. While it might appear that Han Sense ran the superior race from a quick glance at the fractions, the track was playing very fast in the dirt routes on July 11. As fast as the pace appeared to be, it held together and closers had trouble making up ground.
Therefore, I’m inclined to upgrade the effort of SUPER DUDE (#6). He attempted to chase those taxing fractions, looked to be in trouble at the five-sixteenths pole, but then leveled off well in deep stretch to finish best of all. Mike Maker’s runners have been firing on all cylinders lately and this horse has proven that he can get the distance.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,5,7,8
Trifecta: 6 with 5,8 with 1,2,4,5,7,8