Of all the races on the Showcase Day card for New York breds on Travers Eve at the Spa is the Funny Cide for juvenile colts at 6-1/2 furlongs.
In it, we’re breaking a personal handicapping dictum, that when young horses meet, favor those with experience.
There are two debut wins that handicappers need to see to make up their minds as to which was the more impressive effort; that of early line choice City Man (3-1) or price shot Opportunist (10-1).
Going a bit deeper, we need to favor City Man because his debut victory came over today’s racetrack.
Following a wide run down the backstretch going 5-1/2 furlongs in an off-turfer last month, she swooped the group on the turn, momentum carrying her 6-wide into the lane, she caught the leaders and drew off strongly late.
But then there is Opportunist, who broke maiden on debut at Gulfstream Park, a different animal to be sure, but it as against open rivals that included a speedy heavy-favorite Kantheros newcomer with rail position.
The favorite was about five in front into the stretch while Opportunist was trying to find his best from impossibly far back on the fence. But find it he did, very, very late, surged wildly and got up to dead-heat for the 6F win.
The final time was slow, not close to the favorite on the Thoro-Graph scale, but there are three that have run a tad faster than the favorite.
But no runner here was as impressive as either of the two debut maiden breakers. Judge for yourself.
Going on record with City Man to win, 2-1 minimum ante post with no program scratches, boxing an exacta with Opportunist, and adding new gelding Mission Wrapitup (5-1) to the exotics mix.
YESTERDAY: Don’t win too many turf races with the kind of trip Javier gave his filly. She finished well, after the fact, for third, and galloped out strongly. Stable mail for me.