#3 My Boy Tate and #4 Lobsta figure to vie for favoritism once again after finish within a length of each other in their last two meetings. Lobsta got the better of his older foe in the New York Stallion Series stakes back in December. My Boy Tate appeared to turn the tables on him when he crossed the wire ahead of Lobsta in the Say Florida Sandy. Unfortunately, the stewards deemed that My Boy Tate caused interference and he was disqualified from that win. They both stretch out to a mile here, which shouldn’t bother either one. Lobsta excelled going a mile early in his career and My Boy Tate is actually the defending champion in this race, though that is his only career victory at a mile.
I slightly prefer the consistency and grit of My Boy Tate, though he typically goes off at a short price. Lobsta may also have a pace advantage here, since there isn’t much front-running speed signed on. They’re both logical, but I think there are others worth considering.
I’m not completely against Michelle Nevin’s other 8-year-old entrant #5 Our Last Buck. He had a legitimate excuse when wide two back and last time faced tougher open company foes. Yet I want to go to a new face at this level for my top pick.
#2 WATER’S EDGE moves up to stakes company for the first time after working his way through his state-bred allowance conditions. I like the way David Donk has managed this colt, gradually stretching him out in distance as he’s risen in class. He’s a hard trier who never gives up without a fight. That attribute was on display last time when he dug in gamely to fend off a late challenge going 9 furlongs. The cutback to a mile should suit him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jorge Vargas gets aggressive from this inside draw. He’s quick enough to contest the pace, and he appeared to do well last time leading the pack with blinkers added.
WIN: #2 Water’s Edge, at 3-1 or greater