Authorize (#2) is the one to beat after nearly getting the job done in his one-turn debut at Belmont. He took all the money that day despite Bill Mott’s mediocre record with first time starters going long on the dirt. This colt had clearly been training well for his debut and he ran to that support, leading every step of the way before getting nailed by a more experienced rival at the wire. His early speed should serve him well from this inside post, but now he has to stretch out to a demanding 9 furlongs. Added distance isn’t supposed to be a problem given his pedigree, but it’s just one reason to keep an open mind rather than default to short-priced favorite.
Dr. Levy (#1) figures to be a solid second choice after closing well in his sprint debut at Belmont. He’s being asked to negotiate an additional 3 furlongs here just four weeks after that debut run, but he finished like a horse who should relish added ground. The problem is that he went off at 25-1 that day, so he was quite a surprise for a barn whose live runners usually take money. His pedigree doesn’t conclusively say that he’s supposed to want this far, so I’d proceed with caution. I want to take a horse coming out of a different race.
CONSTITUTIONLAWYER (#6) had trained well prior to his October debut at Belmont, but was asked to go a demanding 1 1/16 miles for his unveiling. While he lost by 11 lengths, I actually thought he showed some ability that day. He didn’t get off to the smoothest start, and he made a nice middle move once put to pressure at the three-eighths pole before flattening out. Horses have already come back out of that race to fare well, as third-place finisher Life Is Great impressively won a maiden race last weekend, and 6th-place Predicted came back to record an improved speed figure while just missing in his next start. I think this horse has some ability, and he ran like one that may have just needed to gain some fitness.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,5,9
Trifecta: 2,6 with 2,6 with 1,5,9