I suppose morning line favorite War Terminator (#9) is the one with the most upside in this competitive allowance race. That maiden race he won at Aqueduct back in April has turned out to be a pretty strong affair, as most have returned from it to improve their speed figures. This colt put in a game try behind Swashbuckle when last seen before going to the sidelines. The layoff isn’t much of a concern for this barn, since Jonathan Thomas is 5 for 11 (45%, $2.88 ROI) off 120 to 240 day layoffs in turf sprints over 5 years. I’m not really against him, but there are some others worth considering at better prices.
I’m not too fond of the likely second choice in the wagering, King Angelo (#6). This 4-year-old did break his maiden on turf, but I think he’s a better dirt horse. He didn’t have a major excuse when he lost at this level last time and I think he’d have to do better than that to beat War Terminator and a few others in here.
Cotton (#7) may appreciate the turnback after finding 1 1/16 miles a bit too far for him in his last two starts against winners. He had sprinted effectively early in his career and should move forward on the cutback.
My top pick is UNCLE GEORGE (#3). This horse has obviously been a disappointment since his visually impressive debut last year, finishing off the board in all 5 subsequent starts. However, he returned this year as a new gelding last time and ran better than the sixth place result would indicate. That was a pace that held together on the front end, and Uncle George found himself in an unenviable spot, buried inside at the top of the stretch. He clearly had plenty of run but had to be conservatively ridden for the final eighth while totally covered up in traffic. He’s clearly capable of better, and he figures to get his preferred pace setup this time with run-off speed type Stanhope in the race.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,6,7,9
Trifecta: 3 with 7,9 with 1,4,6,7,9