Of the eight entered, three have the best chance, from the inside out; Holy Rock (5-2), Shone (5-1) and Hunting (3-1).
Holy Rock proved second best last out but it was an excellent try under similar conditions. A fast effort, Rick Dutrow has given the colt 41 days to recover and Holy Rock figures rock solid once more. Dutrow is 28 percent effective with beaten favorites.
On performance figures, Shone is the fastest horse and by a fairly significant margin. One of those figures came in a Gulfstream Park mile, a similar dynamic to today’s. He matched that figure going seven furlongs last out and could break through with another fast effort. Thus far the colt has lacked a killer instinct but maybe Garrett Gomez could wake up the horse for Nick Zito, a profitable 19 percent with stretchouts.
Hunting, however, looms the most probable winner. Edgar Prado jumps off Holy Rock to ride the Shug McGaughey trainee, who’s come into his own since stretched to a mile for his last two starts. He’s had sufficient recovery, 39 days, a forward looking pattern, sheds four important pounds and boasts a series of sharp, purposeful works. Stalk, then pounce, looks like a winning tack.
Taking Hunting to win at 2-1 or greater, and exacta boxes with the two listed contenders.
Running Totals: (44) 21-9-9 Dollar Return: $119.30 [win selections only]