#8 Alternation (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 6.15
Well here he is again, the Racing Dudes’ favorite horse is back to show everyone once again that he is the top older horse in the country. He draws to the outside again just like the Pimlico Special, and I think you’ll see the same exact race from him. He has developed the kind of running style that you have to love as a trainer. He can take the lead if nobody wants it, but can also stalk the leaders if they are going to quick up front. Look for him to get the perfect stalking trip for this outside post, and extend his win streak to five!
#4 Nehro (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 5.00
He’s baaaack! The Nehro we are all used to seeing showed up in a big way last time out in the Pimlico Special as he made another furious rally only to lose out in a photo to Alternation. Nehro has had some tough luck with finishing second in big races, and so has his owner Zayat Stables. So can Nehro break through and finally end that streak? It looks to be a very good possibility, as there is little difference in my mind between him and my top pick. The pace will be pretty decent, so look for Nehro to be flying late again. Can he catch Alternation this time, or will it be another heart break?
#5 Ron the Greek (FL) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.17
Even though Alternation berate Ron the Greek by over two lengths in the Oaklawn Handicap, I still believe he ran a very strong race. In that race Alternation was able to control the early pace, and pretty much lulled the rest of the horses to sleep. Ron the Greek was the only closer that actually made any sort of move, and I think the pace will be a little sharper up front so his closing kick will be more effective. Bill Mott has really gotten this one to come alive, and you have to think he looms as a very dangerous threat to take them all down Saturday night.
I know all the racing media people are in love with these two, but to me this is a major prove it race for them. Trainer Charles Lopresti has stated several times that he won’t run both of them, and that Wise Dan is the first choice. Wise Dan is the most logical winner of the two, and his last race was huge! But, can he do it against top competition like he would see in this field? Even if he does, can he stay healthy for a full season campaign? The same can be asked about Successful Dan as well. There is no doubting that these two horses have an abundance of talent, but in my mind they still have a lot of proving to do. This looks like a favorite that is very beatable.
#7 Mission Impazible (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.28
Mission Impazible has had some tough luck lately in losing some close photos, but he had no excuse last time out for his fourth place finish in the Pimlico Special. He returns back to Churchill for this one where he has run pretty well, so maybe that will help him move forward somewhat. Expect his same usual effort, but there is no way I’d bet him to win. Consistent on the board horse, but that’s where it ends.
#2 Nates Mineshaft (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.73
I think he’s more of a Grade 2 or 3 type horse, but with his early speed and blow out victories you can never throw him out. To be honest with you, he’s very difficult to read. He’s kind of an all or noting type horse. On his best day he can run with these, but on his worst he probably couldn’t beat a field of claimers. Who knows what he’ll do in this one, but his price will be right for all you longshot players.
#3 Fort Larned (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.21
Not sure he has the class to hang with this bunch, but he could show some early speed that might help closers like Nehro and Ron the Greek.
#6 Rogue Romance (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.63
Rogue Romance comes into the race with some decent back class, but I think he’s just going to be overmatched in this ultra tough field. I think an easier spot for him would have made a lot more sense as he’s been thrown into the deep end of the pool in this one.