I’m not sure who the public might make favored in this race, as it does appear to be pretty competitive. If they do bet Got the Gold (#4), I know that I would rather look in a different direction. He owns competitive speed figures, but he’s just been picking up pieces in his recent efforts. The drop in class may suit him, but he’s a one-run closer in a race that doesn’t feature that much early pace.
I made Abundant Honor (#6) the lukewarm morning line favorite, and I do think he’s more appealing at a similar price. The turnback in distance is a major question mark, but he is bred to go shorter, as his dam was a sprinter and he’s a half-brother to graded stakes-winning sprinter Skyler’s Scramjet. He didn’t run well last time, but he was always out of position while getting a less than energetic ride from Carmouche. The claim by Tom Morley is generally a positive one, but it is worth noting that Morley is just 3 for 32 (9%, $1.08 ROI) first off the claim for this owner.
Among the logical types, I much prefer MIDNIGHT WORKER (#1). Some may be reluctant to play this barn, but Amira Chichackly has had some success in the past month or so. She got this horse to find his best form first off the claim two back when he finished gamely for second at this level. He arguably could have finished closer to the winner that day, but he got briefly stymied in traffic on the turn. I’m not holding his last race against him, since he was facing a much better field and 1 3/16 miles is simply too far. He did win his only prior start sprinting on dirt in his career debut, and he has the tactical speed to be forward from the rail.
One other horse that I want to use somewhere, mostly underneath, is Ava K’s Boy (#3). He finished just a few noses out of fourth last time after getting a wide trip and may be capable of better second off the layoff.
WIN: #1 Midnight Worker, at 5-2 or greater