Race 1: Our top pick is LUCKYBUCK SYNDROME (#8), who ran like a horse who needed his first start. After breaking alertly, he just appeared to have no idea what he was doing, racing greenly and getting shuffled out of the race down the backstretch and into the far turn. When Luis Saez swung him out into the clear heading into the stretch, he actually leveled off and finished up with some interest. That was a day that you wanted to have speed and stay towards the rail early on in the day, so he may have been compromised by his trip. This son of Lookin At Lucky figures to improve with the stretch-out in distance. Linda Rice does excellent work with her second-time starters, and R F Burton (#1) ran a bit better than it appears in his debut after chasing wide on the turn. Silent Glory (#2) is a full-brother to Naughty New Yorker, but may need this one.
Selections: 8 – 1 – 2 – 6
Race 2: OUR CARAVAN (#6) did not handle 12 furlongs two back in the Greenwood Cup, but each of his other three races this year were excellent. His speed figures of 117, 112, and 116 point him out as the horse to beat. Last time, he might have won had he not hopped at the start, putting him behind the eight ball in a race dominated on the front end. Freestyler (#7) is an honest gelding who always seems to run his race. Just Call Kenny (#4) appears to be rounding back into form and actually ran quite well last time, but has not won since January 2014.
Selections: 6 – 7 – 4 – 5
Race 3: There is a ton of speed in this race and the Pace Projector, unsurprisingly, is calling for a fast pace. Closers Wind Warning (#7) and Tino (#4) are the most logical contenders based on prior turf form, but we see an interesting first-time turfer that’s worth a look. KANGAROO STYLE (#5) is by turf sire Silent Name out of a mare by Freud, so he figures to take to this surface. His lone race on a synthetic track, against open maidens, was an even effort, suggesting that he has more to offer than what he showed in his New York dirt starts. Michelle Nevin can win off layoffs, and we think he’s worth throwing into the mix at a big price.
Selections: 5 – 7 – 4 – 8
Race 4: There is a shocking dearth of early speed in here, especially for a graded sprint stakes. For that reason, we cannot resist taking a shot with GREEN GRATTO (#4). This horse is very dangerous when left alone up front, which was the scenario that nearly led to a shocking result in this spring’s Grade 1 Carter Handicap. As one would expect, the TimeformUS Pace Projector shows him on a clear lead in a situation favoring the frontrunner. We like El Kabeir (#5) turning back in distance, but he’ll need to be ready for his best effort off the layoff and does not figure to offer value, especially at his morning line price.
Selections: 4 – 5 – 2 – 6
Race 5: Summer Reading (#6) and Deltalina (#7) put in even efforts in their respective debuts and should be able to build off those efforts. We’re not against them, but want to take a small shot with GOLD TINKER (#4), who is a half-sister to the brilliantly fast turf sprinter Thieves Guild. Alan Goldberg doesn’t have great overall debut numbers, but he’s a bit better with his turf horses. Crazy About Jazz (#9) is a half-brother to winning turf sprinter Super Colossal and is worth throwing into the mix as well.
Selections: 4 – 6 – 7 – 9
Race 6: Bajan Summer (#3), Regal Minister (#7), Triple Play (#9), and Ground Control (#10) all take significant drops in class. Of those, we prefer Bajan Summer, who doesn’t need the lead and has run dirt races that make him competitive with a field of this quality. However, our top pick at a price is MR. AMOS (#6), who gets some logical class relief as well as a rider upgrade to Dylan Davis. Last time, he acted up at the gate and then had to endure a wide run around the far turn. We admit that we’ve had somewhat of a fondness for this horse, but we do believe he’s landed in the right spot here.
Selections: 6 – 3 – 9 – 7
Race 7: We don’t see a compelling reason to oppose heavy favorite ELMUTAHID (#7), who takes a fairly logical drop in class after failing to break through the N1X allowance level. The lack of speed in this race should also work to his advantage. The Pace Projector is predicting a pace scenario favoring horses on or near the lead, and Elmutahid, as the only runner in this race with a running style of at least “Tracker,” figures to be right up on the pace, if not setting it. Chunnel (#8) ran fairly well after getting shuffled back midway through his last race, but seems more likely to complete the exacta or trifecta.
Selections: 7 – 8 – 4 – 1/1A
Race 8: Despite coming into this race as a maiden, Llanita (#6) is the horse to beat, having been rerouted to this spot once she was excluded from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She’s one of the main players today, but she figures to take money once again off her even Miss Grillo effort, and it’s not as if this field came up all that soft. Our top pick is BELVOIR BAY (#10), who ships in from Great Britain and makes her first start for trainer Bill Mott. She has come along nicely through her first five starts, topped by a good fourth place finish in Group 3 company behind Hawksmoor, who returned to finish third behind Minding—the top filly in Europe— in the Group 1 Fillies Mile. Wedding Dress (#11) scored a more commanding victory than the final margin would suggest last time after she got to wandering late in the stretch. She still has some upside.
Selections: 10 – 6 – 11 – 12
Race 9: We’ve been waiting for SNAKE OIL CHARLIE (#5) to run back after his unlucky trip last time. Snake Oil Charlie’s form is still somewhat buried out of that effort, and he figures to go off at double-digit odds once again. We wish this race were being run over a mile, or even seven furlongs, but nevertheless cannot pass up an opportunity on this horse. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, so he figures to have dynamics in his favor, which has not been the case in his last few starts. If he gets the right ride and trip, he’s good enough to win.
Selections: 5 – 1 – 6 – 12
Race 10: Horses like The Undersheriff and Extinct Charm are most logical based off their last efforts behind impressive winner Storm Prophet. However, both got good trips in that race, and we feel there are more interesting, lightly raced horses at bigger prices this time. Our top pick is BEN’S MIRACLE (#1), who was checked at the start and slow into stride in his debut. The pace really slowed down midway through the race (note six-furlong split color-coded in blue) and Ben’s Miracle did well to pass the field late through a swift final quarter-mile. We’re also interested in Summer Candy (#4), who was somewhat sluggish in his debut, but got rolling late and galloped out well. He’s a half-brother to a slew of accomplished New York-bred turf runners. Mr. Logistics (#6) lost all chance at the start last time when he walked out of the gate. He briefly moved up to catch the field before being eased late. He’s interesting at a huge price, as is first-time starter Sweetbitterjustice (#8), who has a ton of turf pedigree on the bottom side of his pedigree.
Selections: 1 – 4 – 6 – 8