#4 Golden Lad (KY) – This is a horse that has really caught fire lately. His last place effort in the Oaklawn Handicap last time out doesn’t have me worried in the slightest, as I believe he was getting ready to run a nice race before getting intimidated in the stretch by Will Take Charge. He’ll probably be the higher priced of the Pletcher pair which is great considering I think more highly of him than Revolutionary. Lock and loaded on a horse rising in talent with every start.
#6 Revolutionary (KY) – After a terrible showing in the Donn Handicap, Revolutionary bounced back with a nice second in the Oaklawn Handicap. This is a very logical spot for him to show up in, and certainly has most of this field out-classed. He should get a decent pace to run at, and if Golden Lad takes a step back he’ll be the one that gets the job done. Hopefully the price isn’t too short for those of us that like him.
#3 Moreno (KY) – After coming within a whisker of winning the Travers last year, this horse regressed a little in his last two races of 2013 but his 2014 debut in the Charles Town Classic makes me respect him again. It was as odd of a race as you’ll ever see as he looked like he quit early in the race only to come back and start running again down the stretch. He most likely needed that one after a long layoff, and should be better prepared to fire today.
#2 Cat Burglar (KY) – Seems to be making his way up the ranks nicely, and this is a logical spot for him to try. He comes in on a two race win streak, and really has never ran a bad race on the dirt at Santa Anita. This surface will play differently, but if he handles it ok he could be an up setter. Have to like that Rosie has signed on to ride at well.
#8 Prayer for Relief (KY) – Another one that is spotted very well. He’s never been able to match up with the elite horses in the Handicap division, but against this sort of company he usually preforms very well. Age may be catching up with him as he hasn’t ran too well yet this year, but he’s as a good a candidate as any to round out your tri’s and supers.
#9 Bourbon Courage (KY) – This horse is the king of on the board finishes, but can never seem to win one. He’s ran in some of the better stakes races the last two years, but could only manage minor awards as he seemingly runs to his competition every time. His best race can win this one, but how can you trust him to do so? He’ll be around at the end, you can count on that, but I wouldn’t count on him making it to the winners circle.
#5 Carve (KY) – Here is another that has piled up a lot of minor awards, but I think he’s loaded with upside potential. He kicked off 2014 with a nice allowance blowout win at Oaklawn, and followed it up with another solid effort in the Oaklawn Handicap. He’s yet another horse in this field that is spotted well, and if he progresses a little bit he can win the whole thing. Dangerous…
#1 Valid (VA) – Has done all of his good running in Florida, and if this race was at Gulfstream or Calder I’d give him a decent shot. Just think Pimlico won’t be quite as kind to a horse that is already a tiny bit out-classed.
#7 Major King (KOR) – Interesting entry but looks to have too many question marks to bet this time out. Let’s see how he handles this sort of competition first.