The race includes four serious contenders, from the inside out; Stunt Man, Chief’s Lake, Bustin Stones and Indian Camp. Each has a license to win.
Stunt Man has improved his figures dramatically since Gary Contessa’s claim. After finishing third, the colt turned back to seven furlongs and won by open lengths. Certainly fast enough, he now must turn back again, vs. tougher competition, and it’s unreasonable to expect another forward move.
Chief’s Lake makes his season’s debut for Steve Asmussen. Undefeated in three Belmont Park starts at 2, he has been in training since March, his most recent work a bullet best of 34 half-mile breeze in :48-flat. Given the maturity factor, an improved performance figure puts him in today’s photo.
Bustin Stones is undefeated in two career starts, winning both impressively, especially his last in the Times Square division of the Stallion Stakes. He, too, turns back with faster and returns on relatively short rest, 17 days. Lightly raced, a regression is not automatically assumed, however. He easily could be this good.
The fastest horse is Indian Camp and he should provide value. After a top figure score in a state-bred preliminary allowances, he regressed in the open, graded Bay Shore Stakes but only after engaging in a suicidal pace duel that earned an exceptional pace figure. One-for-one as a Belmont two-year-old, the surface switch is a non-factor that could help, along with reuniting with Eibar Coa, who was aboard for the win two starts back.
We’re taking Indian Camp to win, and keying him first and second in trifectas with Stunt Man, Chief’s Lake and Bustin Stones.
Running Totals (including Kentucky Derby results): (18) 7-4-4 ROI: $49.80