Grand Champion (5-2) is the now horse for Jimmy Jerkens, a late developing four-year-old gelding who might be capable of a true breakthrough performance. Jerkens is having an excellent year, batting a profitable 26 percent for 2007, and is adept at getting recent winners to repeat with 24 percent efficiency.
Owning tactical speed that should put him in this from the start given an alert break, he also owns the kick to clear the pacesetters in deep stretch. The caveat is that he seems to need his move timed perfectly. He worked a strong five-eighths in preparation for his first start in nearly six weeks--good spacing--and reunites with Eibar Coa. He carries 130 pounds and is in receipt of three and four pounds, respectively, from highly competitive rivals.
Park Avenue Ball (7-2) never fired in the Breedersí Cup Dirt Mile but might do so here on the drop-down and turn-back. He attracts Alan Garcia whoís winning with everything, including a riding triple yesterday. He would benefit from fast fractions and any remaining moisture in the surface.
Running Totals: (134) 46-29-15. Total Dollar Return: $272.10 [win selections only]