Cherokee Country (7-2) has something going for him that no other horse has; he’s a specialist, winning both lifetime starts at this difficult distance. Further, his last effort was the best figure on the page. The concerns are that he returns on relatively short rest off a career best try and draws the pole. The good news is that he as the right style, a kick that will help off what promises to be a very solid pace.
Silver Source (5-2) makes his first start for Dick Dutrow, making him the most eligible to improve, as Dutrow is 29% effective with new acquisitions. He’s turning back a half-furlong off the 7-furlong Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream and attracts Edgar Prado. He has tactical speed and can finish.
Sports Town (5-1) offers good value at early line odds, is well drawn outside in a short field, and owns position-speed and kick. He’s been working strongly for several weeks and picks up Garrett Gomez, who’s especially effective with this kind of runner.
Trips very often determines the outcome of a race but no more so than in a small field when many of the horses own a similar style and talented riders are not prone to making mistakes. We’ll opt for position and, hopefully, get good value, too.
Taking Sports Town to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him in exactas and trifectas with Cherokee Country and Silver Source.
Running Totals: (21) 8-6-5 ROI (win selections only): $52.60