Really enjoy doing these Triple Crown blog and this race looks very live with a betting score of *4*. With the transition to KY Derby Points versus graded earnings, this race has declined in importance. This race also has a very short run into first turn and has the early finish line. Horses on the lead should have the advantage.
#1 Jirafales - Horse won a weak state-bred MSW race in slow time. Horse is also a deep closer. No shot to win but getting Velazquez to ride makes me look twice. Horse is certainly eligible to improve and will be a giant long-shot. Might be usable in 3rd in trifectas.
#2 Willy Boi - Horse is 2 for 2 against state-breds and will likely get the lead early. Stretches out today so may weaken late under pressure from #3, #6 and #9. Loses Lanerie to #8 Sittin on Go
#3 Papetu - Improved significantly in first race as a 3yo in Mucho Macho stakes at 20-1. This will be first time going 2 turns and not sure horse will improve much off that effort. But he did beat Awesome Gerry and has a great post position stalking the #2. Weak trainer & jockey but excellent value at 15-1!
#4 Amount - Pletcher horse rises in class off MSW victory in slow time. However, horse rated in that race after a rough start and finished strongly. Saez ends up here as Irad stays on #6 Prime Factor and he is profitable with Pletcher at the meet. Repole got this son of Curlin for a bargain at $110K. Horse is not working quickly. Odds could rise on this one so watch the tote. Would be worth considering if odds doubled.
#5 Tarantino - Trainer doesn't give us confidence on the turf to dirt switch and times on turf are slow. Pass.
#6 Prime Factor - This Pletcher horse went wire to wire in debut going 6F in fast time and made its way onto Future Wager #2. Horse is working very fast for first start as a 3yo and could improve dramatically. Still tough to take 3-1 on this one and this one likely goes off as the favorite.
#7 Greatest Honor - I like this horse down the road as distances get longer but is in a tough spot as the 5-2 favorite here. No speed and should only use this one underneath. Very vulnerable favorite.
#8 Sittin on Go - Another deep closer somehow sits on top of my sheet due to running in classy 2yo races. But was no match for that level of competition and running style doesn't help him here. Toss.
#9 Awesome Gerry - Horse had the lead but couldn't hold off #3 Papatu. Now get a tough post with short run into first turn. Will be fighting for lead with #2 and #6 and should tire again late. Shows value on my sheet and gets the A+ grade.
Bottom Line - #6 figures to stalk #2 early and put that one away in the stretch but will face some pressure from #9 early as well. If #6 falters, #3 Papatu is a live longshot and odds should stay high due to the weak connections. #5 is a toss. #1, #7, #8 make sense only underneath but #7 is a bad wager. #4 is the wildcard but will wait and see until his times improve. I'd use #3 and #6 in horizontal wagers and bet the #3 to win and underneath ALL in exactas of various wager amounts depending on the pay-outs.