Recent maiden winner Vindictive (#6) and last-out starter allowance winner Runnin’ Ray (#3) figures to vie for favoritism here. The former Pletcher-trained runner seems like the most likely winner off his game win going this distance last time. That July 28 maiden event was easily one of the strongest of the meet, as this well-bred colt earned a strong 109 TimeformUS Speed Figure in victory. He had been mildly supported in his debut when finishing behind Travers third-place finisher Miles D, and he significantly improved on that form last time.
He has more upside than Runnin’ Ray, who was game to win going this distance on July 30. He backed up that blowout victory against cheaper foes at Churchill two back, and will be a factor once again with a similar speed figure. The runner-up from that last race, Winter Pool, did return to win his next start. And this runner’s early speed should make him dangerous in a race that doesn’t feature a clear front-runner.
I respect them, but my top pick at a better price is BUSINESS MODEL (#5). This Godolphin homebred returned from a lengthy layoff two back with a powerful maiden victory, rallying boldly from off the pace to get the job done. He disappointed when stretched out to 1 1/8 miles at this level last time, but I thought he had legitimate excuses. It wasn’t easy to close over that opening day track when the dirt was deep and demanding. Furthermore, the all of the fractions for that race are color-coded blue in TimeformUS PPs, indicating a very slow pace. He figures to work out a better trip in his smaller field this time, and I still think he has upside for Brendan Walsh.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 3,4,6
Trifecta: 5 with 6 with 1,3,4