Chad Brown holds a strong hand in this spot with Keeneland maiden winner Nevisian Sunrise (#10), who graduated in her third career start. She only got an 86 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that performance, but the final time of that race was restricted by the slow early fractions. She finished gamely once she was steered into the clear for the stretch drive. Furthermore, she had already run faster in her prior start, earning a strong 104 TimeformUS Speed Figure in defeat two back at Gulfstream. She’s arguably the horse to beat.
That said, I’m taking a shot against the Brown favorite with one of the two runners sent out by the rival Christophe Clement barn. Some may make a case for stretching-out Magisterium off the layoff, and I would certainly use her underneath.
My top pick is the in-form filly CLASSIC COLORS (#11). This New York-bred will step out against open company after defeating older state-bred rivals in her 3-year-old debut last time. While she was facing a weaker field that day, she won in very impressive fashion, launching a strong stretch rally to go from last to first under confident handling by Jose Ortiz. She had also run better than it looks when she broke her maiden last year, and her one prior start against open company resulted in her finishing between Season and Fluffy Socks, both fillies who have been competitive against stakes company since then. This filly should get some pace to close into with plenty of speed drawn to the inside, and she could be tough to hold off if she produces her typical late kick.
Exacta Key Box: 11 with 5,10
Trifecta: 11 with 5,10 with 2,3,5,9,10