Anyone who watched Yaupon (4-5) win Saratoga’s G2 Amsterdam knows he deserves to be the odds-on favorite for Thursday’s G2 Jim McKay and even with other early speed, he will be a very tough out.
All with 20-20 vision and a decent set of speed figures makes him appear unbeatable, as if Steve Asmussen and Johnny Velazquez weren’t enough–and the post draw gives him options.
But his competition is just as fast, they just haven’t had an opportunity to beat better horses than they have. Dreams Untold (8-1) with Trevor McCarthy has a recent figure that matches the choice but not against the same level of class.
Two other horses have the ability to make a serious challenge and possibly upset. At minimum, they rate to improve on their most recent efforts and appear to offer value should the tote allow.
Double Crown (8-1) was a bit flat in the G3 Smile at Gulfstream but owns the right stalking style to take advantage should the pace collapse.
But the better upset chance belongs to Arkaan (6-1) who set the set before fading to third in the fast two-turn Pegasus. Now he’s turning back to his most effective trip, is drawn just outside the favorite and Mike Stidham reaches out for Paco Lopez.
So, yes, Yaupon is the most probable winner but we’ll bet Arkaan to win at 4-1 or better, an exacta box with Yaupon, and use those two runners over Double Crown and Dreams Untold below in super-exotics.