Fiya (#4) completely turned his form around when switched to turf last summer, and quickly developed into one of the most exciting turf sprinters in the country while reeling off 5 straight victories. He was bet down to favoritism in that G2 Turf Sprint at Churchill last time off the layoff, but he just never seemed comfortable while dueling for the lead in a race that ultimately collapsed. He did run the best race of his career over this course and distance last year, and he figures to be the controlling speed this time. I suppose there’s some question about whether he can recapture his form off the brief layoff, but he’s undoubtedly the horse to beat.
Both Christophe Clement runners exit the third race on May 14. I prefer Maxwell Esquire (#1) from that heat, as he never really had a chance to get involved through the stretch while buried inside of runners. He had previously run some competitive races against weaker company and still has upside as a 4-year-old. However, he may be the clear second choice with Irad Ortiz named to ride.
My top pick is PULSATE (#2). Despite the fact that he only owns a single victory on turf, there’s little to fault about this horse’s form on this surface. He almost always shows up with a competitive effort and ran well every time they led him over last year. Pulsate was right there in that salty July 2020 allowance event behind a trio of stakes-quality runners. He then got hampered in the stretch in the Troy two back and barely lost the Lucky Coin. His best effort gives him a real chance, and the improved tactical speed he displayed last time gives Jose Ortiz some options. The only real question is the layoff, but he should be a square price.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,4
Trifecta: 2,4 with 2,4 with 1,3,5