Bittel Road (2-1) is a worthy favorite even though he’s had only one start--and that at six furlongs. But it was very impressive visually; he seemed to want to go around again.
And even if the course were speed favoring, a two-year-old running six furlongs in 1:08 4/5 with a final quarter-mile in :23 flat is extraordinary. Moreover, he had speed in reserve as he crossed the wire. He’s been handled carefully and has found an excellent spot to have his mettle tested.
But it’s always about value and Skipadate (5-1) was impressive in another way. His debut was around two turns and over Saratoga ground. It was done with turf style--late speed, not early gas--and it was accomplished despite the loss of considerable ground. And it was done in refuse-to-lose style, Mark Casse’s colt struggling to finish on even terms for the win. And the trainer’s horses improve in their second starts going long, a profitable angle.
We’re taking Skipadate to win at 4-1 or greater and an exacta box with Bittel Road.
Running Totals: (264) 81-51-31. Total Dollar Return: $489.40 [win selections only]