This Caixa Eletronica is among the most competitive races of the day. #2 Zoomer and #3 Answer In should vie for favoritism as both come in off strong performances at the optional claiming level.
Zoomer arguably has the better recent form as he seeks his third victory in a row. He got a great setup when he won last time, as a runoff leader laid down some fast fractions up front. He’s been successful at a variety of distances throughout his career, so the slight turnback to 7 furlongs shouldn’t be a major issue. I prefer him to Answer In, who finished a solid second against N3X company last time. He appeared to be in position to win that race, but just hung in the late stages. He received a flashy speed figure for the performance, but some horses out of that race haven’t duplicated that figure in subsequent starts.
#5 Repo Rocks might appeal to some as an alternative as he drops out of graded stakes company. However, he wasn’t facing particularly stiff competition in those races, and his tendency to break slowly has been an issue in each of his last couple of starts.
My top pick is #1 Prince James. This horse faced some cheaper company earlier in the winter, but he was moved up in class first off the claim for Rob Atras and handled the step up in company quite well. He was the first to make a move into some pretty quick fractions and took over in the stretch before getting run down by the classy New York-bred Amundson. He figures to work out a better trip here sitting in behind the three speeds drawn to his outside. He also should appreciate the stretch-out to 7 furlongs, since he’s been more successful over slightly longer distances in the past.
WIN: #1 Prince James, at 3-1 or greater