Chad Brown has a pair of contenders in this intriguing maiden event. St. Joe Louis (#3) is likely to attract more support as he makes his second start following an encouraging debut at Tampa. It took this 4-year-old a long time to get to the races after being purchased for about $687k as a yearling at the 2018 Tattersalls sale. He got bet down to 9-5 in his debut, but was pretty unprofessional for a firster from this barn. He looked like he had the race won at the top of the stretch, but got to lugging in badly through the lane, ultimately allowing a deep closer to run by him late. Chad Brown now puts the blinkers on in an attempt to get him to run straight. I’m using him, but I actually prefer Brown’s other second time starter at a better price.
Value Creation (#1) was strongly supported in his debut back in February, getting bet down to 9-5 in the face of experienced stablemate Secret Potion. He showed brief speed that day but threw in the towel on the far turn. Perhaps dirt just wasn’t for him, even though he’s got pedigree for that surface. This guy has been an all-star in the morning, and his turf workouts at Palm Meadows were impressive. I expect him to be dangerous if using front-running tactics under Irad Ortiz.
Yet there are a couple horses from the Bill Mott barn to consider as alternatives. The more obvious of the two is Spotters Hill (#4), who ran well to finish second in both starts at Gulfstream. However, he got a great trip setting a moderate pace in his debut when simply second best. And last time I would have liked to see him produce more of a late punch. I actually prefer Mott’s other runner out of that race.
The cleverly named LANDBISCUIT (#2) was privately purchase out of that affair after putting in a wide run to get up for third. He has clearly outperformed his modest yearling purchase price, as he also ran the best race when nailed on the wire in his $25k maiden claiming debut after making a wide move on the far turn. Bill Mott doesn’t have the best statistics off trainer switches on the turf, but I nevertheless think this horse has upside for the new barn. He may ultimately want more ground as the dam is a half-sister to Grade 1 Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin and Aintree Grand National runner-up Cause of Causes. Still, Landbiscuit is a contender in this race based on his recent improving form. This lumbering colt has a long stride on him and should appreciate the move to Belmont Park.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,3,4
Trifecta: 1,2 with 1,2 with 3,4,6