There are many runners to consider in this wide-open Champagne. Honorable Treasure (#9) is probably the horse to beat given the strength of his maiden win relative to the rest of this field. He earned the highest speed figures (90 Beyer, 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure) in the field in that score, and the number was validated by runner-up Ezmosh returning to improve while winning next time out. He must avoid getting caught up in what is predicted to be a fast pace by the Pace Projector, but I think he’s one that you can reasonably trust.
Of the pair coming out of the Saratoga maiden race on Aug. 26, I prefer maiden Good Magic (#6) to the winner – and morning line favorite in this race – Hazit. The latter was on the rail for much of the way setting a very slow pace, whereas Good Magic had to sit outside and stayed on well through the stretch. Good Magic is bred to stretch out in distance and I think it’s a good sign that Chad Brown is placing him so aggressively..
Enticed (#4) is another runner that has a right to improve in his second start, but he will really need to do so given how slow his debut came back. However, Kiaran McLaughlin does have solid numbers in this situation. Over the past five years, he is 4 for 8 (50%, $5.13 ROI) with two-year-old debut winners coming back in graded stakes on the dirt. Another runner that figures to be a decent price and is one that I want to include somewhere is Kowboy Karma (#1), who may find this one-turn mile more to his liking after showing promise sprinting earlier in his career.
I’ll use all of these, but my top pick is the New York-bred AVEENU MALCAINU (#8).
In a race where experience will almost definitely come into play, I want Aveenu Malcainu. He has been a professional sort right from the start, making eye-catching wide runs to victory at Saratoga in both of his starts. It’s not as if the Saratoga main track was strongly favoring inside speed on the days that he ran, but it’s still somewhat atypical to see two-year-olds handle themselves the way he did in his pair of runs up at the Spa. I know he wasn’t facing quality fields in those races, but he ran competitive speed figures, and he doesn’t figure to have any trouble stretching out to this one-turn mile. Furthermore, his versatile running style should enable Luis Saez to work out a favorable trip.
Exacta Box: 6,8,9
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,4,10
Trifecta: 8 with 1,4,6,9 with 1,4,6,7,9,10,11