Race 8: OC $62.5k 6f (T)
Lone speed in here cutting back at a nice price.
- Best Value: #2 Nantucket Red (8-1) Has clear speed in this event today. Last out was sent straight to the lead and was chased down. The finish was a non-effort, the jockey wrapping up the horse in the final 1/16th of a mile. The other two turf tries this season have posted strong figures. Today gets the cut back and should be much better suited at this distance. The rail draw works to this one’s favor. Value line is 7/2.
- Most Logical: #6 Eyeinthesky (9/5) Without too much pace pressure in this event, this one should be able to get a nice stalking trip and make a wide move. However, we have seen this act a few times: stalks, can’t close. Today the class level is much lighter so maybe that will be the difference. Value line is around 2-1 as will have to navigate traffic with speed-and-fade types or go wide.
Race 9: MOC $40k 8.5f (T – inner)
There’s some value to be had standing against the two likely favorites.
- Best Value: #2 Dictate (10-1) Love seeing this one show such great speed from the start. I’m not worried about the beaten 10 lengths. That race looked to be a prep race through and through, with the jockey giving the easiest of rides around the track. The morning training tab looks great and what caught our eye was the turf workout on 9/6. The timing is strange of that lone turf work in relation to the last race. If the lone workout on turf was so great, why choose Tapeta for debut? Maybe just noise and happenstance. Either way, this projected loose leader, which the inner turf favors, 2nd off the layoff, should be good value at 6-1.
- Beatable Favorite: #1 Jlohr Jan (2-1) Sure has posted competitive numbers with this bunch and will be on or near the lad; however, this one has not been able to pass horses late. I think we’ll see a carbon copy of the 9/13 race: stalk pace, flatten out for a good 3rd.
- Other Beatable: #8 Freedom Machine (3-1) Got the best of trips two back skimming the rail and still couldn’t turn the tables on Jlohr Jan.
Race 10: Breeders’ Stakes 12f (T)
Mighty Heart looks tough in this spot, but there’s an upset contender.
- Best Value: #11 Told it All (12-1) Keeps stepping forward in each race. Last out faced a tough bunch of graded stakes turf horses, including the invader from Saratoga, Proven Strategies (eventual winner who led the entire race). In that last race had a sneaky bad trip getting stuck in behind a 60-1 shot. The 60-1 shot faded, causing #11 Told It All to steady. After the steady, the jockey gives this one a soft hand ride the last 1/8th. Two back won a listed stakes event going wide and tending to a hot pace and drew away impressively from the closers (very difficult to do on Tapeta). Today gets the added distance which shouldn’t be a problem. For a professional trainer like McKnight, the last three workouts have been only 4f. If he was concerned about stamina, wouldn’t he work out a little longer at 5f or 6f?. Value line stands at 8-1 for this one.
- Most Logical: #3 Clayton (6-1) I’ve been against this horse in the past but the post draw has me back on this one. Today should get a clear path to the lead and should show best form. Instead of being drawn wide and being forced to make early moves, this one will get the inside trip today. Don’t count this one out.
- Too short to back: #8 Mighty Heart (1-1) today will be tested on turf going the farthest ever. This horse’s running style could be compromised with the wide draw and the pace that could be in this race. With all these factors, the value line for us stands around 5/2, but will likely be evens on the day.
Race 11: 6f (T) clm $10k
Drinking theme for my top picks.
- Best Value: #12 Twomanyshots (12-1) Against pace flow last race, stringing them out 12 lengths in the early parts of the race. Finished well out of the money but put up a “non-finish” efffort. The eventual 1st and 2nd place were in the back of that strong out group, closing well. Today this horse has the speed to get position and clear from the far post, gets the class drop today, cut back in distance.
- Next Best: #10 This Round’s Mine (8-1) Comes off a bit of a break, but was training on well enough. Today gets the wide stalking trip that should setup well. Class relief and Emma Jayne stays aboard.