Handicapping wise guys–and we mean that as a compliment–often look askance at huge-figure debut winners in their second start, especially if they’ve done so on the lead.
Two reasons: Frontrunning scores are common-place for debut winners with ability, but sometimes, too, the effort is so fast that a regression is more probable than not.
How many Seattle Slews are there, after all?
We’re not making comparisons in the le,ast but it’s extremely hard not to be impressed by Petulante’s big figure score which he won drawing away by 9-1/4 at the end of 6-1/2 furlongs, a challenging for any debut type unless he’s the real deal.
That’s a premature call at this point, but it’s hard not to be impressed after breaking nearly two lengths slowly from the gate, rushed up to engage the leaders, mostly on his own power, was pressed hard every step of the way thereafter but flicked his rival off at headstretch, never threatened.
See if for yourself: Gulfstream Park, JUL 22, Race 6. And know that Victor Barboza repeats at a 22% rate following a maiden win.
Going a tad longer here takes some of that early pressure off, as does getting off the rail and moving outside, allowing Edgar Perez to play it comfortably off the break.
We’re betting to win, no price restrictions on the anticipated odds-on choice, and taking a cold exacta with Felix (7-2), proven at the trip and nicely freshened by Ralph Nicks for this.