The Martin Luther King Day feature is one of the tricky, trappy optional claimers with a small field each have similar styles, recent maiden wins and not much to separate them on paper. Worse, Claudio Gonzalez saddles two of the top three favorites.
The only option is to try beating them all at a price and that brings us to Whiskey and You (6-1) who exits a race that’s produced two next-out winners and his recent work on JAN 11 was the second fastest of 79 peers to work that week at Laurel Park.
What we liked most about his last out maiden win, albeit at 5-1/5 furlongs is how he came back to Feargal Lynch in the run down the backside, showed excellent turn of foot nearing headstretch on his own, remained straight and strong galloping out very well passing the finish line.
His 5-weeks spacing is perfect entering this minor stretch-out spot and the presence of two high-profile outfits–Mike Trombetta’s being the other–would seem to assure that the price will be fair at minimum for this low percentage barn.
We’ll bet Whiskey and You to win at 4-1 or greater and key-box exactas with both Gonzalez runners; Bernie’s On Fire (3-1) and Pitching Ari (2-1).