Yodel E. A. Who (#2) is the horse to beat as he drops down in class into this open claimer. He’s faced significantly better company in his recent starts at the optional claiming and graded stakes level. However, he didn’t perform particularly well in either of those races, so he does need to turn his form around against this softer field. Brittany Russell is adding blinkers today, likely in hopes of getting him closer to the early pace. He’s a horse who used to possess more tactical speed, and his propensity to get outrun early in his races has coincided with his drop off in form. I’m using him, but there are some intriguing alternative options in this small field.
I’m most interested in the pair from Kentucky. Rocking the Boat (#4) figures to take more money here as he makes his second start off the claim for Robertino Diodoro. I thought he got a great trip last time stalking the pace and really had no excuse, other than the fact he was second best.
That was not the case for MADISON’S LUNA (#3), who was towards the back of the pack early behind a pace that was fairly moderate for six furlongs at Churchill. He raced willingly around the far turn but couldn’t find a clear path to advance towards the leaders until well into the stretch. He was finishing best of all once he finally got into the clear and ran a better race than Rocking the Boat. Now he’s making his second start off the layoff for hot trainer Phil Bauer, and I’m hopeful that he’s finally getting back to the top races he was once capable of producing at the start of his career.
Exacta: 3 with 2,4,6