Grand Minstrel (3-1) middle-moved into a hot-for-the-day pace in his latest start, effectively ruining his winning prospects. His prior performance figure was a career best effort, the best in the race, and he’s come back subsequently to work purposefully and fast. He’s recent bullet half-mile was best of 89 workers and Jimmy Jerkens switches to Eibar Coa, a winner of two of five for this barn recently. He figures to be in this from his inside draw throughout.
Red Reef (9-2) is undefeated in two career starts and has shown the ability to kick late, an effective ploy if suicidal fractions prevail here, a distinct possibility. The white hot Tony Dutrow saddles this one for the prolific Zayat Stables and the Red Ransom colt gets a switch to Ramon Dominguez, who’s nine for his last 19 rides for this barn. He’s worked thrice at five-eighths since his latest Pha. Park score, including two over today’s surface. He would benefit most from a pace meltdown.
Go Go Shoot (8-1) is a well named home-bred owned by sensational Duke point guard Bobby Hurley. The gelding set a pressured, albeit relatively soft pace, but then drew off strongly from in front to earn a competitive figure score. The Songandaprayer gelding won its first race and now returns from a barn, Jimmy Ryerson’s, that’s a profitable 24 percent effective with second-time starters.
But we’re taking the new-pace-top, Grand Minstrel, to win at 5-2 or greater, and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.
Running Totals: (146) 53-31-16. Total Dollar Return: $318.40 [win selections only]