Race 8 (8.5F Turf) 30K Optional Claiming 4yo+
Main Contenders: #1, #3, #7, #8
Can Chief Exchanger (#3) wire this field for his third gate-to-wire win in a row? As the only clear front runner, he could potentially duplicate his almost too easy effort from February 24th. However, at short odds of 7-2 M/L (the weddings at 12-1 and 9-1 have been missed), an additional 1/16 of a mile to negotiate and the likelihood of a slightly more challenging pace, I’m looking elsewhere.
Global Entry (#1) comes off a nice wire-to-wire effort at 9F on February 18th and retains Castellano (who leaves Royal Blessing). I think the possibility of him going head to head with Chief Exchanger is doubtful. I see him tracking closely on the inside and making a run. It all sounds reasonable, but his past races seem indicate to me that he lacks that closing punch to get things done.
Given that I don’t trust these early pacesetter/pressers, this feels like a turf event where the fastest closer wins. To me that’s Royal Blessing (#8). He’s no mean value but he has the class and recent speed numbers to overtake this field if he fires.
Sit and pounce: Royal Blessing winning a similar turf event on March 7th:
Barney Rebel (#6) and Cut to Order (#9) are a tall order for the win, but could offer significant exacta value for second. Cut to Order no doubt needed a race after 8 months off and has every right to improve here.
$10 Exacta 8/1-3-6-9
$2 Trifecta 8/1-3-6-9
$4 Exacta (Saver) 1-3-6-9/8