Likely favorite O’Trouble (#6) is hardly a win machine, having won just once in 8 starts despite hitting the board in 7 of those tries. Yet, to his credit, he’s stepped up his game since breaking his maiden three starts back. He ran the best race of his career in his first start against winners on Feb. 21, making a strong late run to just miss to the superior Runningwscissors. And then last time he appeared to hang a bit in the late stages when losing by a nose, but 7 furlongs may be a little farther than his ideal trip. Now he cuts back to 6 furlongs and is drawn well outside. He’s the horse to beat but there are other options to consider.
Binkster (#5) would be a serious threat in this race if able to recapture his form from last summer. However, his 2020 campaign ended on a sour note, and now he’s returning from a layoff. He has a right to rebound, but there is some other speed to deal with here.
I prefer FROSTED ICE (#1). This runner’s recent form may look fairly dismal at first glance, since his only victory during the past year was earned against much weaker at Belterra Park. However, this horse did once possess real ability, as he displayed when he won the Bertram F. Bongard on this circuit as a 2-year-old. Now he’s back in New York in the barn of Michelle Nevin. They tried a mile in his first start for this barn, but that distance is just too far for him. Furthermore, he was compromised by racing wide against a rail bias that day. He’s likely in better form than that, and now he’s catching a softer field while cutting back to an appropriate distance.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,3,5,6
Trifecta: 1,6 with 1,6 with 2,3,5