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Win – 4
Exacta – 3,4,6,7, Box
Trifecta – 3,4,6,7 Box
Horses to Use in Vertical Wagers – 4,6,7,3
Speed – Roman Unbridled, Albano, Vicar’s in Trouble
Stalkers – Smarty’s Echo, Plug Catcher
Closers – Rainbow Trip, Got Shades, Gold Hawk, Silent Ruler
#4 Gold Hawk (KY) – Perhaps the early hype horse for the Kentucky Derby can gain a little more steam with a victory here. He’s a perfect two for two, and both wins were effortless! It’s hard to win at Churchill Downs on debut going seven furlongs, but Gold Hawk did it with ease. Then he returned at the Fair Grounds in an allowance going a mile and seventy yards, and cruised again. With great connections, a win at the distance, a win over the surface, impeccable breeding, and a boat load of talent, he’s clearly the one to beat in this field. Here’s hoping the bandwagon isn’t already too full so we can get somewhat of a price on him this Saturday.
#6 Albano (KY) – He won the Sugar Bowl Stakes last time out in a workman like effort, so obviously this is the next step for him. You have to like the fact that both of his wins have come over the Fair Grounds surface, but they both have also come at six furlongs. However, I don’t think the mile and seventy yards will be an issue for this horse, and I do like his running style. He’ll could press the pace, but I also believe he can rate off the pace when going longer. He’s coming in off a sharp workout just a few days ago so all systems are go for this big test.
#7 Vicar’s in Trouble (LA) – If you are a fan of speed figures, this is your horse! Last time out he absolutely crushed a field of Louisiana bred maidens by an eye-popping thirteen lengths. The race gave him instant hype, and also gave him a speed figure that is double digits better than anything else in this race. However, that race was just six furlongs so how he stretches out will be the key. Love that the top jock is on his back….he’s definitely the wild card of the bunch.
#3 Got Shades (KY) – You have to love how respectable this horse has been in races that have been pretty tough. He’s a two-time stakes winner at Louisiana Downs, and ran third and fifth at Santa Anita in two other stakes, one being the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. So the class is there…but can this horse run on dirt. All five of his lifetime races have come over the turf, so obviously that will be his major question mark.
#1 Roman Unbridled (KY) – This one comes in hot off a wire to wire eight length stakes win at Delta Downs, but can he carry that form with him to the Fair Grounds? He’s been well beaten in both races he’s ran that are a mile or longer, and his only graded stakes try was a fourth place finish; beaten eight lengths. His natural speed is a danger, but is he classy enough? I’m guessing not at this distance/level.
#5 Smarty’s Echo (KY) – Could this one be better on turf or synthetics? He’s hit the board in all three of his starts on those surfaces, but in his only dirt try he finished tenth, beaten sixteen lengths. Of course that race was the Breeders Cup Juvenile, but his absolute no show in that race raised a lot of red flags for me. A wait and see approach with him…
#2 Rainbow Trip (KY) – He comes in off a nice allowance win at Retama, but the waters get deeper today. Probably out-classed in this one, but its worth a try considering the history of long prices that have come in at this track.
#9 Plug Catcher (KY) – Finished third in the race Gold Hawk comes out of so it’s hard to see him beating him today. Maybe I’m being a little harsh ranking him second to last, but he just looks to be a bit overmatched.
#8 Silent Ruler (KY) – Still maiden…never good when facing stakes company. Even though he did actually finish first in a maiden special weight two races back and was DQ’d, this is still too steep of a race for him to be in.
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