Flashstorm is a talented colt that deserves a little more luck than he’s had. But when spotted properly, such as today’s middle distance sprint, he’s very effective. When last seen, he was setting a legitimate pressured pace in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy. However, he was a very good second in a one-turn mile at Churchill earlier this year. Cornelio Velasquez accepts a call from Wayne Lukas.
Shopton Lane showed immediate improvement in his first start for Bruce Levine, an open lengths winner of a high level optional claimer around two turns at Monmouth Park, earning a lifetime best performance figure that puts him right in the middle of this chase. He has won sprinting and takes a three-race win streak into this. Richard Migliore, apparently back home during the Southern California fair season, takes the mount.
E Z Warrior comes from the white hot connections of Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat. The only two races he lost came in Grade 1 company, one on Polytrack, and was a good third despite a very tough trip in Hard Spun’s King’s Bishop on the Travers undercard. Following a troubled start, he showed a new dimension as a late rally performer while racing beyond six furlongs. Interesting that David Flores is not letting the colt out of his sights, in from California for the ride despite the modest purse. Speed and stamina augurs well for his chances here.
Tiz Wonderful was just awful in the Jim Dandy, chasing Flashstorm before stopping badly at mid-turn. It was the first start of the year for a colt that surely would have been one of the Kentucky Derby favorites had he not suffered an injury early in the Triple Crown campaign. He has speed and class and comes into this off a series of stamina works for Steve Asmussen. He will be a much tougher customer here with Johnny Velazquez taking the return call.
Taking E Z Warrior to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in trifectas with the other major contenders listed.
Running Totals: (99) 39-24-11. Dollar Return: $227.30 [win selections only]