#5 Palace Malice (KY) – He’s the obvious choice in this spot considering his Belmont victory, and his massive workouts. Todd Pletcher is not usually one to over exaggerate a horses talents, so his high praise for Palace Malice means a lot. The son of Curlin looks to be coming on at the right time just like his daddy did. The Belmont bounce is the only question mark.
#8 Mylute (KY) – Always the bridesmaid, never the bride! Mylute has run three straight solid races in a row, but has had to settle for minor awards in each of them. This spot isn’t any easier than what he’s faced this year, but he should be coming into this one rested and ready to go. Logical second choice.
#3 Will Take Charge (KY) – America’s most inconsistent horse is back! Will Take Charge was super in winning the Rebel Stakes in March over Preakness winner Oxbow, and as we all know he was getting ready to run a big Kentucky Derby until he had major traffic issues. His Preakness and Belmont races were disappointing, but perhaps the freshening is what this horse needs. Lukas knows he can have him ready to fire off a layoff, so he could be dangerous here.
#2 Code West (VA) – We’ve been high on this horse since February, and as of late he’s been running solid races. His grind it out style suits this distance, and his ability to be towards the front will suit the Saratoga surface well. Definitely one to play underneath, but not one that has a great chance of winning.
#4 Moreno (KY) – Huge blowout winner of the Dwyer Stakes is back looking for more, and with a repeat performance he’ll have a big chance. Another one that is a worth playing underneath, but can he put back to back big races in a row together? Playing the wait and see game with him.
#7 Freedom Child (KY) – This horse went into the Belmont with a ton of hype, but he was basically ran into the ground by Oxbow and was done before they even entered the turn. The distance cut back is going to be a big help for him here, and the paces should be a little more to his liking. If he can bounce out of that Belmont race with a little steam left, he could be one to pull an upset.
#9 Looking Cool (KY) – Quietly, this horse is improving and flying under the radar. His connections know exactly what they are doing, and his win last time out in the Iowa Derby was easily his best race yet. This is going to be a class test for him, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he shows up and runs a nice race.
#1 Bashaar (KY) – He may have been the best in his last two races, and there is no question the added distance is what he needs. However this will be a big class test for him, and the excuses are getting old. Nice horse with some ability, but can’t support today.
#6 Perfect Title (KY) – The horse is progressing nicely, but this looks to be too steep of a class test for him at this time.
#10 Vyjack (KY) – Just looks like this horse needs a distance cutback which they have not allowed him to do. Not sure there is much left in the tank.