I’m not trying to beat potential favorite FLOWERS FOR LISA (#5). This gelding’s early speed should give him a clear advantage in a race that lacks any other confirmed front-runners. Control Group has a little early zip as well, but that foe has generally been content to stalk in his prior matchups with Flowers for Lisa. While he had to drop down to a cheaper level to return to the winner’s circle last time, he nevertheless put in a solid effort, rebounding to a 102 TimeformUS Speed Figure in a relatively easy victory. Now he’s making his first start for Rudy Rodriguez, who is 36 for 108 (33%, $2.25 ROI) first off the claim in dirt routes. If this old warhorse holds his form or even improves for the new barn, he’s going to be tough to beat.
I’m not thrilled with some others who could attract play here, like Control Group (#1), whose form has declined, and Air Attack, who was ready to figure over his preferred 9 furlongs last time. I’d be more interested in Creative Style (#3) on the turnback, though I am a little concerned that he’s not going to get back to that effort we saw produced under Danny Gargan’s care two back.
Perhaps the most interested horse to use with my top pick is new face Parade Field (#2). This well-traveled gelding tries out a new circuit and different barn. Note that this is not a private purchase, as he’s been owned by Ten Strike Racing for a while now. However, he is switching into the barn of new trainer Michelle Giangiulio, an assistant to Tom Morley. This 5-year-old had a busy season in 2020 and appeared to tail off a bit towards the end of his campaign. That said, he’s been competing in significantly tougher N1X allowance races, and could respond well to this drop in class.
Exacta: 5 with 1,2,3,4
Trifecta: 5 with 2,3 with 1,2,3,4