The two favorites, My Boy Tate (#5) and Lobsta (#4), look pretty strong in this Say Florida Sandy, and they’re likely to complete the exacta if each runs as well as they did last time. However, Lobsta is hard to pick on top since he won at 28-1 last time and now he’s going to be a tiny fraction of that price as one of the main protagonists in this spot. He can obviously win, but horses like this, coming off career-best efforts, are generally bad bets.
My Boy Tate seems more reliable, but it’s a little troubling that he lost last time. He seemed to have that victory in his grasp when he forged to the front at the eighth pole, but he allowed Lobsta to come back in the last furlong to beat him. Furthermore, he’s losing regular pilot Franco, who is out due to Covid, and will be ridden instead by Eric Cancel, who has been riding slightly below top form in recent weeks.
I’m going to get creative and try to beat them with ALPHA CHI RHO (#1). This Laurel shipper looks like the speed, and the TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring the front-runner. He obviously isn’t as classy as the two favorites, coming out of weaker optional claiming races at Laurel. However, he did put forth a career-best effort off the claim for Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon last time, and that barn has been very dangerous in recent weeks. Sanchez-Salomon is 5 for 15 over the past 21 days, including a 59-1 winner of a stakes at Laurel. This horse has always been bred for success as a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Friend or Foe. It’s encouraging to see Jose Ortiz take the mount, and I expect him to take these a long way up front.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 4,5
Trifecta: 1 with 4,5 with 2,4,5