Long Term (#4) figures to attract support as he stretches out for his second career start. His debut was somewhat lackluster considering the lack of depth to that field and the fact that he got a great trip sitting on top of a slow pace. However, he may appreciate more ground given that he’s a son of Curlin out of a dam who was best in dirt routes. Todd Pletcher is 5 for 9 (56%, $3.69 ROI) with maiden second time starters in 9-furlong dirt races at Aqueduct over the past 5 years. There are things to like, but I’m skeptical that he’ll be much of a price.
Among those with positive dirt experience, I prefer Constitutionlawyer (#1). This horse has run well in both career starts. He’s obviously been targeted at races that require stamina from the start of his career, and he might just be a runner who has needed to race into fitness. He closed well behind some very good rivals in his debut and then overcame a wide trip last time over a very demanding surface. I want him more than Perfect Flight (#8) out of that race.
Yet I’m going in a different direction for my top pick. ORDER OF MAGNITUDE (#7) has to improve to beat this field, but I don’t think we’ve yet seen the best of this colt. He had no chance in his debut when his rider guided him down to the rail on a day when you wanted to be off the inside. He rode the inside path until the stretch and just raced greenly. They stretched him out on turf next time, but he’s not really bred to be a turf horse. He seems like one that wants more ground, so I like him finally getting the chance to go two turns on dirt. Chad Brown is 9 for 30 (30%, $2.40 ROI) in 9F dirt races at Aqueduct over the past 5 years.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 1,4,8
Trifecta: 1,7 with 1,7 with 3,4,6,8