#8 Big Invasion has certainly earned his role as the favorite in this Quick Call, having reeled off 4 consecutive victories with ease while stepping up against progressively tougher competition. He’s also shown plenty of versatility for a turf sprinter, running as effectively going 7 furlongs at Belmont as he did 5 furlongs at Gulfstream. He settles well early in his races, which gives Joel Rosario plenty of options with regard to trip. He’s been remarkably consistent, but just doesn’t possess a huge speed figure advantage over this field, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that someone could step up and beat him.
I’m looking at #7 Asymmetric as the one who can turn the tables on the favorite. He was well beaten by Big Invasion when they met in the Paradise Creek last time, but he had some things working against him that day. He was coming off a layoff and stretching out to 7 furlongs for the first time. He also was adding blinkers, and just got far too rank using that new equipment, running off on the front end through an unreasonably fast opening quarter. The 158 TimeformUS Pace Figure for the opening quarter of that race is wildly fast for the distance. He actually battled on gamely to be second that day. The colt had shown real quality as a juvenile in Europe, where he was effective coming from off the pace. He shouldn’t mind this turnback and may be better than his U.S. debut indicates. I’m just crossing my fingers that Euro-based jockey Jamie Spencer can work out a trip for him.
WIN: #7 Asymmetric, at 2-1 or greater