Two state-bred turf events at nine furlongs, one for the boys, one for the girls, is the highlight on today’s card and we’ll choose the West Point, given the larger field. There are three that are the most interesting; from the inside, out: Gimme Credit (9-2) Banrock (5-2) and Al Basha (7-2).

What Gimme Credit lacks in company lines, he makes up for in his love for the course, undefeated in two tries on Saratoga turf. His best go was three starts back, significantly at today’s distance, he makes his third start following a layup, a good percentage play for this barn, has drawn a coy inside position and gets Edgar Prado on the re-ride. Having survived rough trips in both recent starts, he appears set now.

Banrock is arguably the most accomplished, hence the short early odds if you’re classifying on the grass, never a bad option. A winner of the Thunder Puddles in his Belmont finale, he’s won over the local ground, too, however it does appear he’s at his best at a slightly shorter route. Kent Desormeaux will try to win his second straight on the five-year-old for a barn that’s gotten off slowly at this meet.

Al Basha, rated into submission in slow fractions in his recent four-year-old debut, finished willingly when cut loose and clearly should benefit from the season’s opener. Like Gimme Credit, he’s undefeated in two starts on the Spa turf and has won half his six starts at today’s distance. The main challenge for re-rider Cornelio Velasquez is overcoming the wide draw.

Taking Al Basha to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (249) 78-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]