Tony Dutrow holds a pretty strong hand in this optional claimer, sending out two major players. The one who could go favored is #2 Buy Land and See. This 5-year-old actually ran pretty well on the main track over the winter, but seemed to appreciate the return to turf last time. He got off to an awkward start, getting squeezed back coming out of the chute, and had to use some energy after that to run up into his preferred stalking position. He struck the front in upper stretch, but just couldn’t quite hold off the classy Flop Shot. A repeat of that performance will make him tough to beat, and he should appreciate the slight cutback to a mile.
Yet I prefer Dutrow’s other runner at a slightly better price. #4 PRICE TALK will race for a $62,500 tag, having already beaten this allowance condition last fall. He took advantage of some pace up front that day, earning a career-best 122 TimeformUS Speed Figure as he ran down the aforementioned Flop Shot. I won’t hold his Red Smith against him, since 1 3/8 miels is just too far. I was hoping to see a little more in his return from the layoff in the Danger’s Hour, but chasing wide from off the pace on that early April turf course at Aqueduct may not have been the right trip. He’s capable of better and gets reunited with winning rider Castellano.
I found both of these more appealing than #3 High Tide, who is in great form right now. However, he’s gotten good trips and rides in his last two starts and is moving up in class to face a much tougher field this time. The one price horse I considered is #6 Easy Time, who should appreciate stretching back out on grass. However, he would need to produce a career-best to beat this salty field.
WIN: #4 Price Talk, at 5-2 or greater