Fort Washington (#7) is clearly the horse to beat in his second start. He put in an encouraging effort in his debut, coming up just short at odds of 7-1. He broke a step slowly and lagged at the back of the pack in the early stages. Yet he gathered some momentum on the turn and was finishing best of all at the end to get up for third. There were multiple horses hitting the wire together in that spot, but the race was flattered when Daunt came back to finish a decent third in the Awad with an improved speed figure. If he improves at all on that performance he’ll be tough to beat, but there are some others to consider.
My top pick is DR BROWNES MIRACLE (#3). He just ran like a horse that needed his debut, and he took a big step forward in his second career start. I would argue that he might have been right there at the finish if not for his trip. He broke slowly, and then rushed up to chase a fast pace. He then was guided inside in upper stretch, encountering traffic as the speeds backed up in front of him. All things considered, he stayed on well for third despite that eventful journey. He’s raced over 7 furlongs in both starts to date, but this horse is bred to go longer. I like the stretch-out and think he can make use of his tactical speed here.
The other horse that intrigues me at a bigger price is first time starter Winit (#9). There’s not a ton of immediate damside pedigree for this son of Tapit, but the dam herself is a full-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner New Money Honey, who earned $1.5 million on turf. John Kimmel is 0 for 22 with first time starters in turf routes over the past 5 years, so this colt probably needs a start. However, he has actually been working pretty well, as he moves smoothly and gallops out strongly in his workouts. I won’t be surprised if he runs on for a piece.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,7,9,11
Trifecta: 3 with 7,9 with 1,4,7,9,11