#3 Wake Forest – I LOVED Wake Forest last time out in the Man o’ War and he didn’t let me down as he picked up the victory. I liked him going into the race a lot, but I liked him even more coming out of the race. He waited beautifully behind horses, and finally got an opening late in the stretch and flew by his competition. With his inside draw today there is no doubt that will be the goal again, and once again I think he will crush his rivals if he can find room in the stretch. I’m not sure he can compete with his stablemate Flintshire, but past him I think he could be the best male turf horse in the country. He could take the next step towards proving that with a big win here.
#4 World Approval – Last time out in the Manhattan he ran into a complete monster in Flintshire, but was only beaten by about two lengths and finished third. I looked at that as a great race, and the race before he nearly won the Grade 1 Churchill Downs Turf Classic as he was beaten a neck by the talented Divisidero. This spot is easier than both of those races from a depth perspective, however I believe Wake Forest is about as good as any turf horse in the country. World Approval is better than the rest of these, but he may play second fiddle to another turf start today.
#8 Money Multiplier – Won his first start of the year and then came right back to finish second in the Grade 1 Man o’ War to Wake Forest. In 2015 I was not that high on this horse, but he’s come back running this year as it looks like he’s on the improve. Javier Castellano picks up the mount today which is a great sign, and we know the distance suits this horse well. I think all systems are go for this race, and almost put him in the “likely winners” category but just liked the top two a tiny bit better.
#5 Mr. Maybe – Since moving over to the Chad Brown barn this horse has been about as solid as you can get. He rounded out his 2015 campaign with back to back victories, and then opened up 2016 with a decent third place effort. All three of those races were ran at a mile and three eighth’s, which is the exact distance of today’s race. My only concern is he has not started since March so he might need a race to get going again. Still makes sense underneath, but with the layoff that might be his ceiling.
#6 Triple Threat – Any horse that ran in the Manhattan last time out should get a bit of a pass considering the monster they were up against in that race. Triple Threat did finish seventh, but was only five lengths behind Flintshire so that’s not all that bad. Not saying he is a solid win contender, but underneath he certainly makes a lot of sense. He has nice back class and also a win on this turf course. He’s a logical one, but maybe a fraction to slow to beat the top two I have listed.
#1 Can’thelpbelieving – Have always liked this horse, and last time out he jumped up all the way to a Grade 1 and ran very well to finish third to Wake Forest. Obviously I have a lot of respect for Wake Forest as I’ve picked him on top in this race so Can’thelpbelieving isn’t too far behind him. However, he had been running and losing against allowance company before running in that Grade 1 last time out. Did he run out of his mind in that race? Will he bounce in this spot? Not totally confident in him, but if the price is right I wouldn’t mind playing a small ticket with him on it.
#10 Riviere Du Loup – Like many of these in here today he just doesn’t fit from a class standpoint. Just three races ago he was in for a tag of $35,000.
#9 Bigger Picture – This winner of a two in a row does come in flying under the radar, but the bottom line is there are a lot of quality horses to tackle in this spot today. Not completely crazy, but it’s asking a lot from him in this spot.
#2 Cement Clement – Not too bad of a horse on the turf and one I’ve supported in the past, but not in a spot like this one today. In over his head a little bit.
#7 Noble Road – Completely outclassed and would be a total shock.