#5 Its All Relevant could go favored in this spot as he drops in class out of a tougher $40k spot into this $25k claimer. His primary appeal is his ample early speed, since there’s a distinct shortage of that in this field. The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting that he will be loose on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. That could indeed make him dangerous on the class drop. Yet I find him to be an untrustworthy short price off his last effort. He also had a pace advantage that day and could make nothing of it. He got nursed along early through slow fractions and gave up with no fight. The rivals here aren’t quite as strong as those who beat him last time, but it’s not as big a class drop as the price tags might indicate. The TimeformUS Race Rating for this race is just 1 point lower than last time.
The two logical alternatives are #7 Easy Shot and #8 Dark Storm. The problem with both of them is that they possess very little early speed. Dark Strom has the better overall form, and now he’s making his first start off the claim for Rob Atras. His last race leaves something to be desired, but he’s obviously dangerous if he can get back on track. Easy Shot comes off a victory in which he got a great trip. Though he beat a solid field that day and is a win candidate right back if he repeats that effort. They’re both usable, but I actually prefer a different horse out of the race Easy Shot exits.
#1 Bourbon Bay checked in fourth that day, but he didn’t get the most comfortable trip. He was unwisely sent up to contest the pace in the early going in a spot where five horses were vying for early supremacy. He eventually had to back out of that pace duel and wound up getting shuffled out of position down the backstretch and into the turn. He actually still launched a nice run to get back into contention once called upon before flattening out late. I think he showed subtle improvement off the claim for Antonio Arriaga. He also possesses more tactical speed than some other contenders, so he could get the jump on them if Its All Relevant comes back to the field.
WIN: #1 Bourbon Bay, at 6-1 or greater