Indeed, it’s a small field with some nice horses that could develop into really good horses in time. Many have a good story to tell going into Saturday’s Grade 3 mile.
A maiden win at Aqueduct and a victory in Gulfstream’s Mucho Macho Man at today’s trip got players talking about Mihos (5-1). Unable to repeat in the G2 Holy Bull, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he would bring him back in the summer. Well, here he is, with Jose Ortiz in the boot.
Rowayton (3-1) was Grade 1-placed in two starts at 2 for Jerry Hollendorfer. Remember him? Anyway, his new trainer and former Hollendorfer assistant, Don Chatlos, will tighten the girth today. Emerging from a fast 6-1/2 furlongs in a recent Belmont debut, he seeks his first graded victory.
As a baby, Whiskey Echo (20-1) broke maiden on Long Island then was third in Saratoga’s G3 Sanford. Shut down after finishing second in the Ellis Park Juvenile, he was sharp winning his 3YO debut at Churchill Downs May 27. Steve Asmussen is here to find out which way to go at the Spa; shorter or longer.
Meanwhile, Majid’s (6-1) first defeat this year, likely to come today, will be his first in five starts at 3, winning four consecutively including the Easy Goer on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Rudy Rod taps Luis Saez here.
By no means least, Code of Honor (4-5), last seen being elevated to second in the Kentucky Derby following the Maximum Security demotion, was lucky to escape some damage himself when place in very tight stretch quarters on the fence.
He returns off a 63-day hiatus. Shug McGaughey said this week that the chestnut colt has filled out and has his mind right.
For those who need reminding, he was a very troubled second in the G1 on this track at 2. He has everything he needs to win: battle toughness; freshness; an appropriate distance; class relief and likely favorable dynamics–the whole package. A needed win would boost his confidence.
We can’t beat him on paper and will not try. Ante-post odds likely will be prohibitive, so we’ll try to optimize with a cold exacta over Rawayton–which won’t pay much either–and take Mihos and Whiskey Echo third in trifectas.