I was looking for excuses to play against the favorites. Five-furlong turf stakes, the Turf Dash e.g., always seems to be my default position. But I couldn’t find a good reason to beat Justaholic (3-1) and not for a lack of trying.
Barring scratches he might not even go favored since he’s coming in off a 4-1/2 month layup, never raced on the Tampa lawn, and is toting highweight of 124 pounds.
But after watching two of his win efforts on the Monmouth Park grass, I decided this might be a legit graded stakes turf prospect. He’s won overnight stakes in the past but was troubled trip in his only graded try, Parx’s G3 Turf Monster.
While his last winning the Rainbow Heir was impressive, the race that clinched it was an optional claiming NX2 in June; first because it came at today’s 5F trip, not 5-1/2, and he showed an ability to sit off horses while losing ground, a possible scenario here.
All the more intriguing is that he’s a bullet away from the barrier, Jose Ferrer rides him like he owns him–five wins on the page–and the June score was coming off a year’s layoff. Big props to trainer Tom Clark.
Check out that rating effort at Monmouth, RACE 5, JUNE 8 on the Tampa Bay Today Video banner on our homepage. We’re taking him to win, no price restrictions, and key-boxing exotics with the very sharp Faction Cat (7-2), classy Extravagant Kid (5-2) and weight-getting price shot, Mai Ty One On (10-1).