There are many questions to be answered among those with experience in this race, starting with the two likely favorites. One Whirlwind Ride (#2) would be pretty difficult for this crew to beat if able to repeat the 93 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned last time when just missing at this level. While it might seem like that race came out of nowhere, do note that he was on his way to victory two back when he veered in greenly and lost his rider in the stretch. He was obviously a good claim for these connections, but he’ll be a much shorter price this time.
Big Brown Shoes (#6) was the beaten favorite in that Jan. 21 race that One Whirlwind Ride also exits. This Charlton Baker trainee didn’t appear to have much of an excuse that day, as he faded after battling with today’s foe. He did run much better on a muddy track in his debut, and the surface figures to be wet on Saturday, so perhaps he can bounce back. Though, I am starting to wonder if that Nov. 12 maiden event wasn’t as strong as it initially seemed.
I’m going in a different direction with the remaining horse out of that Jan. 21 affair, FORGOTTEN MISSION (#5). His running line looks uninspiring, but he had a more eventful trip than it seems. He was off just a step slowly, tried to rush up on the backstretch, but found himself behind a wall of horses, racing greenly while reacting badly to kickback. He didn’t make much headway in the stretch, but he nevertheless stayed on well in a race where the top two finishers got some separation from the rest. I think this full-brother to solid allowance filly Forgotten Hero will run better in his second start.
I would also consider some firsters, depending on tote action. One particularly intriguing runner is Olympique (#1), who is a half-brother to New York-bred stakes winner Aunt Babe.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,6,8