Visual handicappers looking to get their Late Pick 5 off on the good foot, there are two races that can give hints as to which of the seven horses entered for older optional claiming/secondary allowance types are the two that, for us, will come down to: Cool Arrow (5-1) and Eye of the Jedi (8-5).
If all horses come with their ‘A+’ the favorite looks too fast and too classy not to get this job done. Exiting four straight graded races, gelded 6-year-old gets huge class relief and his best effort would beat these by open lengths.
The replay to watch is from GP, DEC 12, Race 9. Like today, ‘Jedi’ was coming off a similar layoff and was a willing second while racing a bit heavy-headed on the day; he was sharp next out. But today, owner/trainer Steve Budhoo has engineered a series of five sharp drills, several of the bullet and near-bullet variety. Sharp, fresh and classy but lugs 125 pounds with a rider switch.
Cool Arrow is better value based on early line, recency, competitive back-figures, and a chance to work out a garden trip from the pole with his tactical speed in a relatively pace-less matchup, He gets five pounds from the choice and switches to Chantal Sutherland, riding in good form here, as Leonel Reyes jumps off his regular mount, preferring today’s solid favorite.
Still, check out his last race at GP on AUG 15, Race 9, in which he moved forward slightly, chased the pace from close range while racing three- to four-wide throughout, and even a bit sider into the lane. He gets five pounds from the public choice in a return to his optimal distance (7) 3-1-0.
We’d use both horses in horizontals but for out purposes here, betting Cool Arrow straight at 3-1 or greater and a quinella with Eye of a Jedi.