There are two coupled entries in this field, and such races are often good betting opportunities if you like a horse who isn’t part of either entry. Among the two coupled pairings, I prefer the Rudy Rodriguez/Repole Stables entry. Both Devious Mo (#2) and Advance Notice (#2B) are legitimate contenders at this level. Devious Mo ran fine against a similar field las time, showing speed before fading. Though the stronger half of the entry may be Advance Notice, who was 3-wide against a rail bias in his last start on Sep. 18. He’s now dropping to a slightly softer level and would be tough if he can get back to one of his best races.
Looking beyond the entries, there are a few legitimate alternatives. Prince James (#5) could attract some support as he ships in from the mid-Atlantic region. However, his trainer Miguel Vera, who has plenty of success out of town, is just 3 for 40 ($0.63 ROI) at NYRA over the past 5 years. I’m a little skeptical of a horse who was protected in all of his prior starts dropping in for a tag as he comes to this circuit.
My top pick is CHARLIE FIVE O (#6). I’m not sure why his connections decided to immediately switch him over to turf after claiming him at Saratoga. He doesn’t have some appealing turf pedigree, and he had run well in his recent dirt starts. It turns out that he’s just not as good on grass and now he’s getting back to his preferred surface. I thought he ran deceptively well on Aug. 21 when he got caught in a pocket on the far turn and was bounced around in traffic in upper stretch. A repeat of that performance should be good enough to put him in the winner’s circle here.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,5
Trifecta: 6 with 2,3 with 1,2,3,5