The day’s opener boils down to a two-horse race between the second and third-place finishers from the extraordinarily fast maiden race won by River Dog earlier this month. Big Bobby (#8) undoubtedly ran the faster race that day as he ranged up racing wide on the far turn and gamely chased home the winner. He earned a strong 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that performance, and he still has upside in his second start for Bill Mott, especially considering that he didn’t take much money in his debut. I’m not against him, but I do believe that his main rival is likely to take the bigger step forward.
DEVIL BOY (#6) was an uncoupled stablemate for that race’s winner River Dog, and had been working with that foe in the mornings. Yet their trips in the afternoon couldn’t have been more different. Whereas River Dog broke alertly and took over on the far turn, Devil Boy found himself at the back of the pack after breaking tardily. Jose Ortiz didn’t seem to feel any urgency after the start, as he rated this horse at the back of the 12-runner field until they approached the top of the stretch. Once Devil Boy straightened up for the drive, he kicked into high gear and produced an impressive late burst to get up for third. According to Trakus, he ran his final quarter mile in a strong 23.46 seconds, topped only by winner River Dog’s closing fraction. If he breaks alertly this time, I think we’re going to see him much closer to the pace.
The other runner that I would want to use, strictly underneath my top pick, is Arms an Armor (#1). He was chasing superior runners in this debut against open company at Oaklawn last time and could have more to offer against New York-breds.
Exacta: 6 with 1,8
Trifecta: 6 with 8 with 1,3,7