There is a concentration of early speed drawn towards the outside in this Tale of the Cat Stakes. It’s probably wishful thinking to predict that all of these speedsters will hook up in the early going, but Wind of Change (#4), Wondrwherecraigis (#5), and Foolish Ghost (#6) all seem to do their best running when they get to the lead.
Among that group, I’m most afraid of Wondrwherecraigis. The Brittany Russell barn wins at a high rate and this gelding appears to be in career form right now. He got away with a moderate pace last time but ran a legitimately fast final time. Wind of Change has improved for Saffie Joseph, but the barn has been cold at this meet. And Foolish Ghost is getting a class test here after beating slightly weaker company in the Morrissey last time out. I am going to hope for an honest pace here, but I’m most interested in one of the closers.
2019 Tale of the Cat winner BON RAISON (#3) has long been a favorite horse of mine, so I was encouraged when he was claimed back by his breeder, Calumet Farm, and transferred over to Jack Sisterson last year. After taking a shot in a tough turf stakes in his first start for the new connections, he delivered an upset victory back on dirt at Keeneland going this distance. A repeat of that performance would obviously make him tough to beat here, but he’s been uncompetitive in three starts since then. However, two of those came against Grade 1 company, including an ambitious shot at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. I won’t hold his return from the layoff against him, as he had a right to need that race. He’s reportedly been working well since then, and I think he’s going to take a step forward here in his second start off the layoff.
The other horse that I would use is Shashashakemeup (#2). Some might view this claim by Peter Walder as a negative, but he has positive numbers off the claim. This horse has the right running style, is in great form, and could be the biggest price of them all.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,5,6
Trifecta: 3 with 2,5 with ALL