Bold Journey (#7) is the horse to beat off his blowout maiden victory in December. He had shown promise in his career debut and stepped forward last time off the trainer switch to Bill Mott, easily drawing away from that field after setting the pace. The race was flattered when runner-up Golden Code returned to win his next start by over 10 lengths with a 96 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Bold Journey is bred to stretch out as a half-brother to Cigar Mile winner Americanrevolution. My one knock against him is that he was late to change leads in his debut and he failed to change leads in his maiden win. He’s still a bit green, and I wonder if that will affect him as he steps up in class to meet a much tougher field.
I prefer his main rival BARESE (#5). This horse didn’t run particularly fast in his career debut, but showed promise at Belmont last May. He was off for a long time, but picked up right where he left off in his return in the Rego Park. Dylan Davis gave him a confident ride, stalking outside behind a moderate pace before reeling in the leaders through the stretch. I love the way this horse levels off when he hits top gear, and I’m optimistic that he can handle the mile. He’s by versatile sire Laoban and his dam is a full-sister to Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument.
The other horse who should have a say in the outcome is G Munning (#1). The mile is a real question for him, but he did beat Bold Journey in each of their career debuts. I thought his connections made a mistake rating him last time, and he figures to get a more aggressive ride on the stretch-out.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,7
Trifecta: 5 with 1,7 with 1,2,6,7