Adare (#5) is arguably the horse to beat off his last couple of performances, but he’s not the most appealing wager given his 1 for 14 career record. He’s certainly lost his fair share of races at this level, but I don’t want to be too hard on him for settling for second in his last couple of defeats. He ran a winning race two back at Belmont and was just run down by the superior Miles D, who went on to win the Discovery in his next start. And last time he didn’t get the smoothest trip, checking in second behind Untreated, who also looks bound for stakes in the near future. His two main rivals hail from the Chad Brown stable.
Winter Pool (#9) figures to take more money as he ships in from Kentucky. This horse ran well in both prior NYRA starts at Saratoga over the summer, just missing in July before winning a starter allowance in controversial fashion. The speed figures he received for those efforts suggest that he should be able to make the transition to this N1X level. He arguably was best racing for this condition at Keeneland last time, when the short stretch of that one-mile configuration worked against him in a slow-paced race. My one concern is that he may be better around two turns, and there isn’t a ton of pace in this field.
I prefer Brown’s other runner CORE CONVICTION (#1). This gelding had trained well as a younger horse but was a little disappointing when he debuted on grass at Guflstream last winter. He returned from a long layoff last at Aqueduct and relished the switch to dirt, putting in a dominant performance. That was a tough day to make speed figures, but his TimeformUS Speed Figure of 119 is the highest in this field. That number got some confirmation when runner-up Waxman returned to win with an improved number. Chad Brown is 8 for 25 (32%, $2.21 ROI) with last-out maiden winners in dirt routes at Aqueduct over the past 5 years. This horse should be the controlling speed from the rail.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 5,8,9
Trifecta: 1 with 5,9 with 5,6,8,9