Awfully Smart is racing in raging form for Alan Goldberg, a prolific ship-in horseman. Attracting an underrated Rajiv Maragh, this four-year-old is by definition the fastest of this group. Not only does he have excellent tactical speed but his stamina will permit him to run early and late and still get the job done. At early line odds, he is an attractive play for a barn that’s 21 percent efficient with horses seeking to repeat.
Barcola clearly is the most improved horse in this group and comes up to this seven weeks fresh for Mark Hennig. We might be caught in an early line trap here as it’s a poor percentage move backing an runner from the extreme outside slip with the short run into the first turn, particularly as the favorite. But if the crowd sees it the same way, his post time odds might be even higher than the early line. Hennig has been impressed with how Kendrick Karmouche handles the 4-year-old and the rider will ship north from his Maryland base.
Taking Awfully Smart to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Barcola. (These two are so close that if their odds were reversed, so might have been the play. Interesting two-turner, indeed).
Running Totals: (131) 46-29-14. Total Dollar Return: $272.10 [win selections only]