#7 Devil’s Outlaw figures to go favored here off his visually impressive maiden victory. That was his first start in over a year and first ever start on turf, as he was going out for the Chad Brown barn for the first time. However, his price will suffer from the curse of success, as it seems like every Chad Brown runner has been getting pounded to underlay status over the last week at Belmont. As good as he looked in that return victory, he wasn’t beating the toughest field and there are a couple of runners with experience at this level who seem like significant obstacles.
One of those is #6 Kawhi Me a River, who surprisingly has yet to hit the board against winners despite earning strong speed figures. He arguably should have won the Carle Place last fall when he didn’t get the best ride. He again encountered trouble in November when stymied in traffic through the stretch. However, he had no such misfortunes last time, when just a little dull coming off the layoff, failing to capitalize on a favorable pace setup. He has a right to step forward here, but he’s starting to run out of chances.
I prefer #2 BIG EVEREST. This talented colt has been a little frustrating, as I’m sure he’s been a project for his connections. He was a visually impressive maiden winner going a mile at Saratoga last summer. However, he’s shown a tendency to get too headstrong in a few of his races, primarily when the paces are slow. That’s why Clement turned him back to sprints last year, though he found 6 furlongs to be too short in the Allied Forces. He fared better at this distance last time, but he again got far too rank rating behind a slow pace. He still ran well to just miss getting up for second and will be tough if he’s ready off the layoff. This barn has been sending out a slew of live runners at the meet and he’s reunited with regular pilot Joel Rosario.
WIN: #2 Big Everest, at 5-2 or greater