This competitive N1X allowance has drawn a very strong field for the level. The horse to beat is probably Big Package (#6), who steps up against open company after impressively winning his final New York-bred allowance condition last time out. He did get plenty of pace to close into that day, but he still delivered a strong kick through the stretch and shouldn’t have any problem handling an extra furlong. The only negative is the fact that he loses Irad Ortiz, who is serving a suspension, but he figures to be involved as long as he holds his form.
Wesley Ward has a pair of entrants in this spot, of which After Five (#10) looks like the stronger contender. He had to work a little harder than expected to break his maiden last time, and a couple runners have since come out of there to disappoint. This colt has a right to do better than that, as he did show plenty of promise as a 2-year-old, placing in a couple of graded stakes. Yet it’s time for him to run a faster speed figure.
Voodoo Zip (#7) is one that I considered given all the trouble that he had last time in his first start against winners. Yet I went in a different direction for my top pick.
YES AND YES (#3) has run very well going this distance in the past and I think he’s been a little unlucky in his starts so far this year. He didn’t make the lead in either of his races in May, but in the second of those he got a foolish ride, as they decided to defer to the eventual winner in the opening quarter mile. They tried stretching him out last time, and the trip was just a disaster. He broke in the air, spotting the field about 5 lengths. From there, he made a move into the race on the far turn before flattening out. He’s better than that, and he should get a more favorable trip this time, either setting the pace or sitting just off the longshot rail runner.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 6,7,10
Trifecta: 3,6 with 3,6 with 2,7,9,10