#4 Lord Nelson – The talent Lord Nelson has shown at times is second to none as he’s tackled some giants. The key now is consistency as he’s also ran some poor races. All signs point to a big effort today though as his prep race for this one was outstanding. I like that he can sit close to the pace yet he doesn’t have to be on the lead. Look for him to get the first jump on the leaders, and more importantly get the jump on the late running Kobe’s Back. If he can get enough of a jump on him I think he could hold him off and just barely pull off the win. I expect a close race between the two.
#2 Kobe’s Back – He’s running better than ever this year, and I believe today’s distance is where he really excels. With Subtle Indian in the race it almost makes it a lock that the pace will be fast today, so holding off this horse is going to take a massive effort. This horse is one I never seem to get right…he’s beating me one way or another almost every time he runs. No need to over think things though as there is no doubt he has a huge shot.
#6 Subtle Indian – Catch me if you can! On a personal level this is one of my favorite horses. He’s one of the fastest horses in the country, if not the fastest, but I am fairly worried about him going seven furlongs. Last time out he went six and half furlongs and got caught at the wire, so I’m not sure stretching out even further is going to help today. At six furlongs I think he could beat anyone. Going farther…he becomes venerable as I do not believe he can ration out his speed. Will be rooting for him, but playing him underneath.
#7 Home Run Kitten – Highly interested to see what he does here today. He’s really a mysterious one because almost all of his races have come on the turf, but I can’t get one race out of my mind with him. That race was the Grade 3 American Stakes at Santa Anita which ended up being an off the turf race ran over a “wet fast” track. Home Run Kitten was not a horse I thought would not excel in that dirt race, but ran his best race ever to win the American Stakes. Maybe dirt is what he’d wanted to do all along…the price is going to be right on him. Time to take a swing.
#8 Coastline – There is no doubt they’ve found a niche for this horse as he’s running some of his best races while sprinting. Like most of these in this category though he just hasn’t shown he can actually beat the top ones in here, but he is at least competitive.
#5 Ambitious Brew – Seems to fair better against state bred company so this could be a tall order today. Ran a bang up race last time out, but not looking for a repeat today.
#3 Cautious Giant – Has ran consistently behind some of the top ones in here, and has been competitive at least. However, he hasn’t proven he can beat them and this field is pretty strong.
#1 Clever Royal – Has ran pretty well since switching to the dirt, but I’m afraid from a class stand point he just might be a little over his head. Not the worst longshot you could try, but he’s not one for me.