#3 Effinex – He’s one of the top five older handicap horses in the country, and he’s not facing another horse in this field that’s in the top ten. If he can show up with his normal race its lights out for the rest of these, and there is no reason to believe he won’t do just that. If not for his case of hives at Santa Anita for the Santa Anita Handicap he would probably be coming into this one on a three race win streak. Last time out at Churchill Downs he won the Clark Handicap just a few weeks after running second to American Pharoah in the Breeders Cup Classic. Recently he got his revenge on Melatonin in the Oaklawn Handicap with an impressive win. His class is simply unmatched in this field, and he should be an easy single.
#4 Majestic Harbor – Eagle and Majestic Harbor have become rivals as of late, and that won’t change again today as they are stacked up against each other once again. Majestic Harbor got the best of Eagle last time in a big way, and I think the added distance probably plays slightly to Majestic Harbor’s favor today. This is never one I’d bet to win even though he does have some nice victories to his credit, but he’s not one that’s very consistent. He comes into this race looking about as good as ever, but it’s hard to think he is even close to Effinex. Solid play underneath.
#7 Eagle – This year he’s a been a bit of a money burner as he’s only won once in five starts despite being a low price in each race. However, he has been consistent in each start as he runs the same type of race pretty much every time. This is a good fit for him today as him and Majestic Harbor exit the same race, and even though that race wasn’t great it is still comparable to this one if you take out Effinex. I think going a little longer Majestic Harbor is better than him so I don’t think he’ll turn the tables on him today, but I still expect Eagle to hit the board.
#2 Bradester – If this race were ran at a little shorter distance he would have a bigger chance to upset Effinex, but at a mile and one eighth I’m unsure he can compete. I put him in the “party crasher” spot because I think he is a better horse than the two in the “exotic plays” but can’t trust him going this far. He does possess a lot of talent though, so maybe his class will show in a big way Saturday night. Another aspect that would help is if this race were ran at his home track of Monmouth Park, but he also does have a nice win at Churchill Downs. Should be a factor in the pace scenario as well…we’ll see if he can hold on.
#1 International Star – Have never liked this horse, and probably won’t start anytime soon. Doesn’t look to me like he fits in in with this bunch.
#5 El Kabeir – I’m at a loss for what they are doing with this horse. He needs a class drop and confidence booster, but instead gets to run in a grade 1 race. This is a weak grade 1 at least, but I can’t see him winning.
#6 Are You Kidding Me – No we aren’t kidding you…we are taking you off a surface you like and can win on and brining you to run on the dirt at Churchill Downs! You’re welcome.