Based on the 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure that Bar Fourteen (#10) earned last time out for his excellent runner-up finish at this level, he’s probably the horse to beat. He’s already proven that he can lay down some legitimate fractions and still hang around at the end. The problem is that he’s been generous prices in his last two turf starts and now he figures to go off as one of the favorites after his form is totally exposed. I’m not against him, but I do think some others could offer better value.
A few horses exit a race at this level going 6 furlongs on May 8. Cotton (#7) achieved the best result that day as he closed for second, but he got a pretty good trip, relatively speaking. That was not the case for Viking Zim (#5), who got badly sandwiched between horses and knocked off stride at the start. He found himself in an unfamiliar position at the back of the pack, and did well to make a wide bid to get up for third. The stretch-out in distance is an additional hurdle, but he is better than his last race indicates.
I decided to go in a different direction with RUSE (#12). This horse showed promise racing on turf as a 2-year-old. He was too close to a quick pace in his debut, but subsequently stepped forward, achieving solid results at this level through the fall. He ran particularly well on Nov. 21 when he chased a fast pace, and made the first move to take over. He just got run down late by Straw Into Gold, who since has returned to do some nice things as a 3-year-old, recently beating winners with a 103 TimeformUS Speed Figure. If this horse is ready off the layoff I think he’s going to be a major say in the outcome.
Exacta Key Box: 12 with 5,7,10