Today’s featured Grade 2 Sanford Stakes has been highly anticipated as a return spot for The Roundhouse, one of the more visually impressive maiden winners in recent years. After trailing rivals badly in the early going in his June 15 debut at Monmouth Park, he was taken very wide entering the stretch and roared home to win going away.

Juveniles break their maidens in many ways, but you don’t see what this colt did every day.

So, is he good enough to make it two straight? Not if Equiform performance figures are the measure. The line-maker gives him no respect either, 12-1, preferring uncoupled stablemate Ready’s Image (9-5).

Three others deserve serious consideration in this wide open renewal. From the rail out, Tale of Ekati (5-1), Sok Sok (8-1) and Fed Watcher (3-1).

Tale Of Ekati was most impressive drawing away from five rivals in his July 7 debut. But then so was Fed Watcher, beating seven rivals on June 30. Fed Watcher earned the clearly better figure but Tale Of Ekati did it at 5-˝ furlongs, not five. That’s significant when juveniles are asked to go six furlongs for the first time.

Ready’s Image is a deserving favorite. He has the most experience with three starts and is the most accomplished, having won the Tremont at Belmont last out. The Tremont has produced six winners of this race. He is the co-fastest horse and enjoys a slight pace edge, which he’ll need breaking from the outside in a field of nine.

We think Sok Sok’s the most interesting. He rallied from sixth off fast fractions following a poor start in an 11-horse field, and showed enough pop to win by three. He distributes his energy well and has worked five times since the maiden win. Steve Asmussen is a profitable 29 percent with his two-year-olds. Value should be fair.

Taking Sok Sok to win at 5-1 or greater. Also making trifecta keys with Sok Sok and Ready’s Image first, with Tale Of Ekati and Fed Watcher beneath.

Running Totals: (66) 30-13-10 Dollar Return: $171.10