Following the scratch of probable favorite Expert, I won’t get much of a price on my top pick. However, I still think TIZ HE THE ONE (#2) is a very likely winner of this race.
This gelding appears to have gone off form lately, but he has plenty of back class. He earned TimeformUS Speed Figures of 118 and 119 in late 2018 when winning races at Laurel going this distance. His recent form is a little spotty, and he clearly tailed off when claimed by the Mike Maker barn this summer. However, now his former trainer Linda Rice dips back in to claim him. Over the past 5 years, Rice is 12 for 26 (46%, $2.59 ROI) first off the claim with horses going from sprints to dirt routes. She has to get this runner to improve, but it’s worth noting that his last effort at Saratoga isn’t quite as bad as it seems. He got an uncomfortable trip that day when continually shuffled back racing inside. I think he can rebound here and he’s my top selection.
I prefer him to main rival Malibu Pro (#1), who finished ahead of him going 7 furlongs on Sepember 6. This horse has been in excellent form lately for A. C. Avila and may have a pace advantage over his main rival. However, I think we’ve seen the best he has to offer in recent starts, and I’m expecting Tiz He the One to take a step forward.
Some may also consider horses like Mad Munnys (#5) and Super Dude (#6), but each of them has more questions to answer. Mad Munnys has rarely gone this far, so the mile may be a stretch for him even though he appears to be in career-best form right now. Super Dude is the other horse for Linda Rice, who also is racing first off the claim. However, his recent form has soured and Rice’s go-to rider Lezcano lands on Tiz He the One.
Exacta: 2 with 1,5,6,7
Trifecta: 2 with 1,5,6 with ALL