When last seen in the spring, Aviano (6-1) was exiting a key race off-turfer [two next out winners] in which he rallied very wide and finished a creditable third. Today’s ninth race should be different.
In training since October over the deeper Palm Beach Downs surface, the Todd Pletcher runner has been working with purpose and returns to his preferred surface and course, one over which he earned a career best figure and upon which he broke maiden.
In fact, this $775,000 yearling never has run a bad one on the grass and has overcome wide draws in the past. He has showed that he can make a winning late rally but also attend the pace if desired. Tyler Gaffalione will make that choice.
It’s worth taking a look at his Hallandale maiden-breaker video and note his ability to handle adversity and still get his job done, that would be Gulfstream Park, FEB 28, Race 8. While several of today’s rivals appear live, 6-1 seems a fantasy especially given the connections.
We’ll take Aviano to win at 7-2 or greater and hope that HRI Horse to Watch, wide-in-a-pace-less-race Hombre (12-1) draws in from the also-eligibles, Luis Saez taking the call from Barclay Tagg.