The Shadwell Stable entry figures to attract plenty of support, as both halves of this pair are contenders. I slightly prefer Arham (#1), who has run well in both dirt starts since stretching out to a mile. However, he was supposed to win last time when he had dead aim on eventual winner Yankee Division and just couldn’t forge past.
I actually am somewhat more interested in Dust Devil (#8) out of that race as he makes his first start off a private purchase and trainer switch to Bill Mott. He’s proven that he can handle the 9-furlong distance, and he brings strong speed figures and consistency to the table.
Yet, as much as I respect those 4-year-olds, I’m most interested in a couple of the 3-year-old challengers exiting maiden victories. The one who could attract a bit more support is Southern District (#2), who was a visually impressive winner going two turns at Churchill Downs last time. He got a great trip, sitting just off a slow pace, before taking over in the lane. He finished up with plenty of energy, giving the impression that he definitely prefers dirt and won’t mind a little added ground.
My top pick is the other Churchill maiden breaker BUSINESS MODEL (#3). This son of Candy Ride made three starts as a 2-year-old and just looked a little raw and immature. He finished well in those two-turn races but was always hitting his best stride too late. Therefore, it was encouraging to see him getting engaged midway through that one-mile event in his return last time. He ranged up at the quarter pole and lowered his head to grind past the leaders through the lane. Brendan Walsh is a strong 14 for 60 (23%, $2.71 ROI) with 3-year-old last-out maiden winners, and this ridgling seems like one who should relish the stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,8
Trifecta: 3 with 2,8 with 1,2,4,8