Race Conditions: OC25Kn1x one and one sixteenth mile (TURF) 3 year olds and up which have never won a race other than maiden, claiming, starter, or Indiana bred or claiming price $25,000
1-Patriot Drive(2/1): Tom Amoss trainee and ML favorite comes in off a pair of off the board finishes at low odds in entry level allowance races at Churchill and Fairgrounds. Was showing early speed last year, has now resorted to a closing style that has resulted in only 1 ITM finish last 5 starts, his win 3 back in February. Am wondering if new jock on him James Graham will go back to being close to pace?
2-Rollin Smoke(10/1): Does come in off a win, but was on dirt in a 12.5Kn2x. Has really ran only one race on turf, his Maiden breaking win a year ago, that says he can compete today.
3-Sekondi(9/2): Way outran his 54/1 odds last out, 3rd beaten less than a length in an entry level allowance, placed 2nd via DQ. Was first start off 5 month layoff. Unfortunately won’t be getting anywhere near last race’s price. Could be stalking pace, but entirely possible he ends up on the lead early.
4-Slickly Done(20/1): Beaten 70 lengths in last 3 races doesn’t inspire confidence. Before that did have 2 nice races in a row here last year before the last 3 defeats. Is 2nd off the layoff and does return to turf today. Ive seen worse 20/1 horses to be honest.
5-Bourbon N Lime(15/1): One of 4 in here for a tag, has ran well here in the past (13-4-2-3) but nothing in his form says he’s a legitimate Challenger today.
6-Silver G T O(15/1): Another in for the $25K price. Has just 2 turf starts, first in over 9 months since he gained only career win. Why do connections switch a horse from a surface they just proved they can handle, I’ll never understand this way of thinking. Trainer Cipriano Contreras is 32% at the meet, 29% with shipping horses in. However is 0 for last 16 going dirt to turf. Ironically Silver went dirt to turf in aforementioned maiden win. Intrigued.
7-Husky Clipper(4/1): Showed decent form on turf last year in Illinois. Not sure the level of competition he faced, but rates as a contender. Am thinking he will be close to early pace.
8-Sunrise Hawk(10/1): Very little early speed, and really only has moderate late speed. Rates a contender if the race gets taken off the turf, but don’t care for otherwise.
9-Luvinmeiseasy(8/1): Not been seen on turf since last year at Canterbury, on speed numbers fits well here. Trainer Randy Matthews has only 1 win in 2018 however. Only 1 ITM finish in 6 turf starts. Need more than that to consider for the top spot.
10-Tolstoy(12/1): Is 2 for 2 on turf, both at Tampa in gate to wire fashion. Another strong positive is this is a Trainer re-claim; Was claimed from Darrin Miller 2 back after 2nd turf win, who promptly got him right back in next start as the connections so wisely decided that the best spot for a horse who is 2 for 2 on turf is back on the dirt. Interestingly was trained by Todd Pletcher in debut. Honestly not much not to like, except the fact he won’t be close to 12/1 ML.
11-Big Kick(9/2)MAIN TRACK ONLY: Is in for a tag as well. Really don’t know how to gauge his chances since it would depend on who stays in the race should it come off turf. Was uninspiring 4th at today’s level last out.
Betting Strategy: Definitely playing TOLSTOY to W/P. Probably $5 win, $10 Place. Exacta COLD: 10-1. Trifecta 10/1,3/1,3,4,6,7,9