Yours truly is a bit woolly headed today, which is ridiculous given that I only had two beers last night with one kick ass movie in between them. This makes me all the more impressed with my colleagues who can drink buckets of Funky Cold Medina and then compose lengthy well thought out emails!
As for the Lexington, there’s a lot to like! I’m looking for St. Joe and Samba Rooster to set a fast pace and more than likely knock each other out as I don’t see any indication that either of them can rate. I would have to see some endurance works rather than speed works given that both of them are stretching out, St. Joe more than Samba Rooster.
I really like Atoned and I’ll be happy if he does well but I’m not convinced here. I know he can get the distance but I’m not sure about the surface (even though his last work at Keenland was nice) and I’m not sure what he’s gonna do with a fast pace given that all but his first two races where on the slow side. Of course a faster pace could be just what he needs but I’m going to look elsewhere today.
Salute the Sarge looks interesting and I’m somewhat tempted but not all synthetic surfaces are equal so I’m not counting on his west coast synthetic record to automatically transfer here. I think he could handle the pace and the distance but I’m going to look elsewhere given his odds.
There are 3 that I like almost equally, Racecar Rhapsody, Riley Tucker and Tomcito. All will do well with a fast pace and all of their running styles will do well with a speed duel, should it materialize.
Racecar Rhapsody is cutting back in a 2nd off start… this should suite him. He likes Keenland and if Tomcito doesn’t like the surface I think RR is the closer here. I really liked his inside move in the Lane’s End and thought he looked game in the stretch, give him a faster pace on a proven track and he looks attractive.
Let me just say that I really want Tomcito to win because I really want him in the Derby. I’m not saying he’s my pick to win the Derby but I think he’ll make it more interesting. After seeing his first U.S. performance we can now tell that he will probably do well with fast fractions, but in addition to the concern about the surface, I’m also wondering if this is actually enough distance for him? Also of note, his handled gate work at Keenland is kind of insane!
And last but not least there’s Riley Tucker. His last out at the distance at Keenland was nice and I’m guessing he’ll do a bit better off a faster pace but he’ll have to work get a good position breaking from the 10th. It’s hard to tell anything from Mott’s training style sometimes and this is one of those times… consistent 4F at 48 for the last 4 works.
I just got off the phone with Swifty… he also likes Behindathebar. My concern about him was the same with Salute the Sarge, not to assume all the synthetics are equal. I think he can do well given the pace so I’ll probably include him too if for no other reason than to avoid what happens every time Swifty and like different horses.
Good luck everyone!
Picks: Riley Tucker, Tomcito, Racecar Rhapsody, Behindathebar