This wide open claimer pits a few known commodities at this level against some notable class droppers. While I respect the form of horses like Hieroglyphics (#2) and Outrageous Bet (#5), I think they’re both stepping up in class despite returning for the same claiming tag. I want those dropping down in class out of some tougher optional claiming events.
Journeyman (#8) might be the horse to beat as he makes his second start off the claim for the dangerous Tom Morley barn. He ran a career-best 120 TimeformUS Speed Figure over this course last time, but he got a great trip that day, just stalking along the rail before staying on at one pace. Perhaps this is just a realistic placing, but it is a little surprising that he’s dropping in class off that effort.
I would also consider Conviction Trade (#9), though his recent form is of some concern. He’s been tried over a variety of distances recently but his performances have been steadily declining. This is a better level for him but he’s not the easiest horse to trust.
I’m instead going with CAROM (#1). He also comes off a poor effort, but perhaps he just didn’t care for the quirky course at Kentucky Downs last time. He obviously wasn’t traveling well that day and Florent Geroux did the right thing in just easing him through the last quarter mile. That race was run during a time when the Saffie Joseph barn was in the midst of a cold streak. Yet the barn has been heating up lately. Over the past 3 weeks, Joseph is 19 for 53 (36%, $2.74 ROI) at all circuits and is even picking up his share of winners at NYRA recently. Carom could be the controlling speed from the rail, which is always dangerous going 1 1/8 miles on the inner course.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,5,8,9
Trifecta: 1 with 8,9 with 2,5,7,8,9