Free Enterprise (#6) could go favored here as he drops in class off a win at the $50k claiming level earlier in the meet. He got into that off-the-turf race as an MTO but did have to face some legitimate dirt horses in that spot. He obviously has prior speed figures that would crush this field but he may not be capable of performances like that anymore. His recent form certainly makes him a player here, but he’s facing some intriguing rivals, and I’m not keen to take a short price on him.
Cantrell Hill (#2) is slightly more appealing as he makes his first start off the claim for Danny Gargan, who is notoriously dangerous with this move. This gelding is a consistent performer who seems to run well for whichever barn he’s in. He put in a game effort to close for second last time in a race where horses who were close up to the pace appeared to hold a slight advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a bit more forwardly placed this time under Luis Saez.
My top pick at what figures to be a better price is EASY SHOT (#1). This gelding is moving up in class off the claim for a barn that has had limited success with this move over the years. However, I think he has a right to improve on his recent form. He had little chance facing the likes of Jalen Journey, Lone Rock, and Pioneer Spirit at Oaklawn over the winter. He ran well in his NYRA debut two back, and last time he ran much better than the finish would indicate. He broke towards the back of the pack and made a premature move into the clubhouse turn to reach a stalking position. He also did so while getting rank in behind a slow pace, tugging Lezcano every step of the way. I think he’ll appreciate the turnback in distance, as he has been effective sprinting in the past.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,3
Trifecta: 1 with 2,3 with 2,3,5,6