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Win – #11 King Henny
Exacta – Play your lucky numbers, or your birthday numbers.
Trifecta – Same as Exacta.
Horses to Use in Vertical Wagers – 1,2,5,7,9,11
Speed – Smack Jack, King Henny
Stalkers – Steeleman Run, Exploring, Best of Birdstone, Worldventurer, Texas Bling, Channel Isle
Closers – Will Take Charge, Backstreet Hero, Hornet, Hardrock Eleven
Before I “project” the order, please note that I have no confidence in this race at all. It’s a great race for square prices, and you can make a case for almost any horse. Good luck to all playing.
#11 King Henny (KY) – He’s two for three lifetime, and won the local prep for this one last time out. I like his early speed, but can he get an extra furlong? In races with all kinds of mystery some might believe going with a longer price would be smarter, and they’re probably right! But, I’ll stick with King Henny because of his prior success at Remington, and because I’m obviously confused when it comes to this race.
#1 Steelman Run (KY) and #1A Smack Jack (KY) – Both horses are owned by Toby Keith, and both have shown some positives. Steeleman Run, however, is the better half of the entry and showed a tremendous turn of foot when winning an allowance race on the turf. He was beaten in the Clevor Trevor Stakes last time out, but he basically beat himself by starting poorly, and then trying to run the wrong direction by running towards an open gap between the track and the seven furlong chute. I expect him to have a smoother trip this time, and might be talented enough to get it done. Smack Jack was an impressive maiden winner last time out, and is a decent horse that you basically get for free if you bet the entry.
#2 Exploring (KY) – Comes into this with the highest speed figure, but you can’t say he’s been overly impressive. His third at Churchill Downs in an allowance last time out was strong, and you can bet he’s got a shot to be in the mix of things here.
#9 Channel Isle (KY) – First of two D Wayne Lukas entries, and in my opinion this is the better of the two. Channel Isle reminds me a lot of Optimizer, another Lukas horse that is better suited for the grass and races longer than this one mile distance. If this one where on the turf he might be my top pick, but his dirt form has to be in question until he proves it.
#5 Best of Birdstone (AR) – Ran a solid third in the Clever Trevor Stakes last time out, and enters this one with just as good of a chance as any. He does have a stakes win to his credit, although it was only an Arkansas Bred race. I like the breeding as far as going two turns, and I’ll be looking to see if that moves him past the top few in here.
#7 Worldventurer (TX) – You can never ignore the Calhoun/Berry connections at Remington Park. Worldventurer has ran solid races in each of his seven starts, although this will probably be his toughest challenge yet. He finished second in an allowance earlier at Remington Park to Steeleman Run, so with a little improvement he could make some noise.
#6 Hornet (KY) – This one finally graduated in his sixth try so obviously this will be a big time class test for him. I like that he’s tasted the winners circle recently, but don’t think he’s fast enough to win the whole thing.
#4 Backstreet Hero (KY) – Backstreet Hero came from out of nowhere to almost win the Clever Trevor Stakes last time out, and this time he gets an extra furlong to work with. I’m a little concerned with what looks to be a slight lack of pace for him to run at, but wouldn’t be shocked if he’s charging hard when the wire approaches.
#3 Will Take Charge (KY) – This is the second Lukas entry, and one that I’m not real high on. He basically has been slow in two tries on dirt, with his lone win coming over the poly track at Keeneland. There is no doubt this one is bred to do BIG things, but we’ll have to see if he can rebound from a horrible performance at Churchill last time out.
#10 Hardrock Eleven (FL) – His races away from Remington have been great, but his one race over the surface here wasn’t good. His best career race probably came last time out over the turf, so I’ll take a wait and see approach with him and the dirt.
#8 Texas Bling (TX) – It took him eight starts to finally break his maiden, and then he finished sixth in a stakes after winning. Out of them all, this is the one that looks out-classed.
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