Then there’s the surging Grand Champion; the super talented but troubled Songster, and either of Rick Dutrow’s pair--quick turnaround Stormin Normandy and his new acquisition by way of Kentucky, Nakayama Arashi. Dutrow is 36 percent efficient first time off the claim. Despite the apparent lack of proven high class, the percentages favor Grand Champion and Nakayama Arashi.
No member of this field seems to be doing better at this moment than the Jimmy Jerkens five year old gelding. He’s won thrice beneath Eibar Coa, is the defending champion in this race, fits the race shape nicely with his tactical speed and late kick. And what he might lack in class he makes up for in consistency, with five wins in 11 starts at the distance with one off-the-board performance and he’s won two of three on the Big A main oval. He should sit an inside trip until Coa pushes the button.
Nakayama Arashiwas claimed from the underrated Akiko Gothard. This developing four-year-old has a pair of fairly recent races that would be very competitive here, he has the right running style vis a vis race shape and at 126 pounds gets in "light." Another factor: Normally outside positions are an advantage in one-turn sprints and--this colt is well drawn--that's especially ture under higher imposts. You don't want your momentum broken then try to re-rally under high weights.
So we'll take Nakayama Arashi to win at 8-1 or greater and exacta key boxes first and second with Grand Champion and Fabulous Strike, a classy weight carrier with regular rider Ramon Dominguez up.
Running Totals: (318) 96-65-43. Total Dollar Return: $661.00 [win selections only]