Chad Brown appears to have a firm grasp on this Oyster Bay Stakes, even after the scratch of Flavius, who could have vied for favoritism. Value Proposition (#11) figures to go favored as he cuts back in distance after easily winning the Red Bank last time out at Monmouth. He put in a solid effort going this distance when he just missed on the Elusive Quality earlier in the year, so he can handle the trip. He also has really improved his tactical speed this year, so he figures to be unaffected by pace from this outside post position. The biggest concern with this horse is his tendency to lug in, as he sometimes can be difficult to ride.
I prefer Brown’s other runner Emaraaty (#4). I love the idea of this horse cutting back to a one-turn 7 furlongs. His turn of foot seems to be most potent over shorter distances, and he concentrated on 7-furlong races as a younger horse in Europe. He was a bit of a disappointment upon coming over to this country, but he had a poor setup in his race back in April. I don’t expect him to get much of a pace setup here, especially after scratches, but I’m hoping that Javier Castellano can get him a little more involved in the early going.
After scratches, I changed around my picks and put PULSATE (#5) on top. His connections made a tactical error last time when they elected not to use his early speed in the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, and it probably cost him the race. This time, after the scratch of Ballydooley, he is supposed to find himself on the front end, or at least right up on the pace stalking Made You Look. I’m not concerned about him getting 7 furlongs since he’s handled this distance in the past, and he typically runs well with a little bit of give in the ground. This horse rarely gets the respect that he deserves due to the low-profile barn, so he figures to be a square price.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 4,8,11
Trifecta: 5 with 4,11 with 3,4,8,11,12