Wednesdays’ seventh race in the bluegrass is a real challenge in which the top four contenders are hard to separate, the dynamics suit their chances, as do their figures, all hail from top barns and all have top riders in the boot.
Patriot Drive (8-1) showed improvement in his first start for Maker and has trained very well since; Tigers Rule (8-1) caught a flyer out of Kentucky Downs gate, came back to the field and held stubbornly; Combatant (4-1) has transferred his classy dirt form to the turf and, well, Emaraaty (7-5) hails from the team of Chad Brown and Javier Castellano–’nuff said.
We’re taking Combatant who returns with good spacing off a devastating hard-bob defeat at KD, loses Joel Rosario but returns with Tyler Gaffalione from a good post, mid-gate in a bulky lineup. He who trips out wins.
Taking Combatant to win at 3-1 or greater, boxing an exacta with Patriot Drive, and adding Tigers Rule and Emaraaty to the super-exotics mix.
YESTERDAY: Either Catholic Boy was woefully short of condition or is still not quite his 3-year-old self from 2018; no pop at any point. Lucullan, his principal rival who finally had a clear trip, won it with a strong late finish. Wish I knew how to read the dubious Catholic Boy scenario…