Not much to separate the two choices, late running Gold Trippi (5-2) and the speedster R Clear Victory (3-1). But with the forecast calling for rain, we’ll err on the side of speed.
Gold Trippi is coming off a career best effort at the distance, and now returns to the track where he’s 1-for-1 lifetime and switches to Javier Castellano, the hottest rider on the circuit. Further, he takes the mount for Stanley Hough, a potent tandem. A five-week freshening should be enough recovery off the enervating run.
But R Clear Victory is, by definition, the fastest horse at the distance, makes his second start off a lengthy absence for Steve Asmussen who reaches out for the talented speed rider, Stewart Elliot. While he might face some early pressure, he is the speed of the speed and anyone who presses him early will severely compromise their chances. A speed favoring wet track would only enhance those chances.
Taking R Clear Victory to win at 2-1 or greater, and keying him in exactas first and second with Gold Trippi and price shot Portobello Road (12-1), who owns a competitive figure at Churchill Downs going seven-eighths and is coming off a new pace top, often a harbinger of improvement.
Running Totals: (127) 44-29-13. Total Dollar Return: $261.50 [win selections only]