If you’re entering the Rainbow 6 or Late Pick 5 pools, the penultimate race on the card, the G2 MacDiarmida is going to give you fits.
Thirteen have been entered overnight and did our best to whittle it down to four; top choices Astronaut (5-2) and Highest Honors, early line value, Value Engineering (10-1), third in the recent McKnight, and price shot Time for Trouble (20-1).
Drilling down, Highest Honors had a perfect trip in his last run when beaten on the square by Astronaut. He’s a big one-paced for my taste but it’s Chad Brown and pole sitting Irad Ortiz; no easy toss!
Valid Engineering got perfect handling from Jose Ortiz last time, was forced to move to the lead likely earlier than Jose wanted, but his hand was forced. He finished well down the center of the course and ran too good to lose.
Time for Trouble found all sorts of trouble, checking twice at the first, forced wide down the back and the third turn, and actually did well to nearly beat half the field.
But we can’t get Astronaut’s last out of our minds. Yes, he set a controlled pace very well to win his Red Smith fall finale but I loved his turn of foot on the lead, as he kicked away late in a strong pace setting performance.
Wise guys will be out in force to beat him in season’s debut, creating some value, and Tom Albertrani has a knack with turf handicappers. This guy has been training right along with purpose.
He’s run well here, obviously handles the trip, and could have a better speed partner than Luis Saez. Check out the Red Smith at the Big A, NOV 26, Race 9 and decide.
We’re betting Astronaut to win at 3-1 or greater and key boxing exactas and trifectas with his rivals above.