It might only seem like Barclay Tagg never loses but he’s really not that good. He’s only won with six of his last 11 starters! And it’s his Big Truck (7-2) that stands tallest in the way of immensely talented Tin Cup Chalice (2-1), looking to become the first horse to sweep the Big Apple Triple and its attendant bonus. Throw in Preakness third Icabad Crane and you get a very classy renewal of the Albany Handicap.

After winning the Tampa Bay Derby, Tagg decided to Ky.-Derby prep his three-year-old at Keeneland but he seemed to hate Polytrack. In any event, he go nothing out of the Blue Grass and never was a factor in Louisville. Subsequently, however, he’s trained in very high style, with about a month’s break in between, and looks back on high track right now. Eibar Coa figures to shadow the early favorite into the first turn.

Tin Cup Chalice is highly likely to go for the lead like he has in his last four appearances, but he’ll need to deal with improving, lightly raced Writingonthewall (6-1) who figures to take advantage of his inside position and stretch to two turns. This is ambitious but he might be this good. Tin Cup Chalice must prove that he wants all of nine furlongs. Either that, or his demonstrated class will get him there.

Since his disappointing effort in the key race Belmont that has produced three next out winners, Icabad Crane is training well at his Mid-Atlantic base for Graham Motion who gives a leg up to main man Ramon Dominguez. He has more tactical speed than the deep late runners and might get the jump on those, especially since he’s fresh. This is a hell of a horse race.

We’ll take Big Truck to win at 3-1 or greater and key him in exacta and trifecta money positions with his three rivals here.

Running Totals: (256) 79-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $481.80 [win selections only]