The Pick:#4 Fashion Alert
The Long Shot: #5 Take Charge Brandi
1. Mast Cove – The only one of the five that looks to have zero chance at winning. She’s only competed in maiden claiming events at Pimlico and Delaware, and it took her three times to break her maiden. The short field probably made it tempting to try, but the other four will be too good.
2. Tulira’s Star – Privately purchased by Team Valor after a crushing win at Arlington Park where she earned a beyer speed figure of 88. The surface switch is the only issue that has me nervous, but her odds will probably be good enough if you want to take a shot.
3. Evrybdymstgetstonz – It may have been against state bred company, but her debut victory was extremely impressive. She made the lead right from the first jump, and never looked back as she won by six lengths. She’s certainly ready for a jump up in class, and this spot makes the most sense.
4. Fashion Alert – Cleary the overwhelming favorite in this race based on class. Pletcher skipped right over a maiden special weight with her and started her in a 100k stakes first time out, and she crushed the field winning by almost five lengths earning a beyer of 88 just like Tulira’s Star. She has all the signs of a Pletcher two year old that could dominate at the Spa.
5. Take Charge Brandi – Her debut at Churchill Downs was freakish! The four and a half furlong dash was nothing short of a paid workout, as jockey Corey Lanerie never moved a muscle on her. The natural talent is there, and the breeding is nothing short of incredible. The stretch out to six furlongs won’t be a problem, and if she can stay within range of Fashion Alert early she can pull the upset.
The Pick:#8 Nonna’s Boy
The Long Shot:#5 Mr. Z
1. Chocolate Wildcat – Has been solid in his first two starts, but it seems like every good two year old colt from the Midwest and east coast ended up pointing towards this race. Probably just a small cut below them.
2. Silverhill – Flashy maiden winner came back to run second in the Bashford Manor, but unfortunately the horse that handled him in that one is entered here as well. Doesn’t have to improve tremendously to turn the tables, but there is still ground to make up.
3. Souper Colossal – Nice wire to wire winner at Monmouth Park, but that maiden win was only at four and a half furlongs. Normally I wouldn’t think that was a big deal, but against this tough group it could make a difference.
4. Big Trouble – Easy odds on winner in his debut at Belmont going five furlongs, and should improve off that effort today. He’s like many horses that have early speed in this race, so who can rate will be key.
5. Mr. Z – Fought back hard after being passed to win his debut at Churchill Downs, but is going to have to step up from a speed figure standpoint to compete today. Don’t believe he was “all out” in that race, so perhaps there is a lot left in the tank for him in this one.
6. Less Than Perfect – Never raced on the dirt, and in his only stakes try he was beaten fairly badly and finished fifth. May not be classy enough even if dirt is up his alley.
7. Bessie’s Boy – His win in the Tremont proves that he is someone to fear in this one. If he breaks well again he’s most likely going to be your pace setter. Can he take them all the way?
8. Nonna’s Boy – Blowout winner on debut…Pletcher trained…Repole owned….the race is at the Spa….tough to beat!
9. Cinco Charlie – This one probably deserves to be the favorite. Two times in a row he’s set pretty fast fractions, and both times he shook off rivals and drove clear late. This will be his toughest challenge, but if he can slightly rate his speed he can pull off another win.