Four horses will attract the most attention and rightfully so, from the rail out, Kodiak Kowboy (5-2), Sargent Seattle (2-1), Riley Tucker (3-1) and The Roundhouse (7-2).
Kodiak Kowboy is a deserving favorite. After winning a listed stakes at Woodbine, he shipped down to Churchill and won the G3 Bashford Manor, always a harbinger of quality in early season two-year-old stakes. His performance figure was fast and he’s had sufficient recovery time (40 days) since. The rail post is winning at a 20 percent rate in recent Spa sprints. The Kentucky team of Steve Asmussen and Shawn Bridgmohan are the connections.
Sargent Seattle was a visually impressive maiden breaker over this racetrack for Stanley Hough, earning a competitive figure, and returned with a strong half-mile work subsequently. The :47 2/5 drill was third fastest of 61 on the day. Of the major contenders, he’s the only one with a winning race over the course.
Riley Tucker returns for Bill Mott after breaking his maiden with style in his very well meant debut. His figure was competitive and the 1:01 drill since should toughen him sufficiently for today’s demanding assignment. Edgar Prado rides the son of Harlan’s Holiday.
The Roundhouse was a very willing third behind impressive stablemate Ready’s Image in the Sanford on the second day of this meet, and that’s after being bumped fairly soundly at the break and carried wide into the stretch. Since he’s coming back a little quick for the Todd Pletcher barn (3 weeks) he’s had a usefully soft half-mile work in :49, a move termed breezing, with the hope that the work will keep him right where he is now. Garrett Gomez has the mount.
It’s a tough call for the win between the top and bottom horses; Kodiak Kowboy having an experience and position edge; The Roundhouse owning an edge on performance figures and a race over the track. It’s even harder to know which horse the crowd will prefer.
Taking The Roundhouse to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Kodiak Kowboy of equal strength, using the other two colts to fill out trifecta positions in the second and third spots.
Running Totals: (81) 36-17-10 Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only]