Money Moves (#6) is clearly the horse to beat as he moves back into allowance company after contesting the Kentucky Derby last time. That classic was always going to be a tall order for this lightly-raced runner and he just wasn’t up to the challenge. However, he’s supposed to be tough to beat here if he merely runs back to his prior two efforts. That said, I’m concerned that he might be overbet. He was aided by a rail bias when he won his second start at Gulfstream in March. And while he ran much faster when losing that photo finish to Prioritize at Saratoga in July, that 111 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned doesn’t exactly make him a standout in this field. He’s the horse to beat, but I have no interest in betting him at close to even-money odds.
I can understand making a case for some of the older horses in this field – particularly Expert (#2), who has plenty of prior speed figures that are faster than Money Moves – but I’m most interested in some of the other 3-year-olds. Three Technique (#1) could appreciate the switch back to dirt after not really stepping forward in a couple of turf experiments.
The best alternative to the favorite might be AMERICANUS (#3). This runner returns from a layoff while making his first start off a trainer switch to Shug McGaughey. He was heading in the right direction for his prior barn, matching Money Moves’ best TimeformUS Speed Figure – 111 – when he finished third in the Unbridled behind Belmont Stakes runner-up Dr. Post. McGaughey doesn’t have the strongest stats in this situation, but this horse has reportedly been working in company with his 4-year-old star runner Performer. Furthermore, the Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the early lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,6
Trifecta: 3,6 with 3,6 with ALL