So the draw is finally over and we know the post positions for the Pegasus. Without further hesitation let’s look at the field.
- Bravazo – Luis Saez. This is a real closer that will be able to get a perfect stalking trip from the inside post. This Awesome Again colt was second to Justify in the Preakness. He is a tough one and was not disgraced when third behind City of Light and Seeking The Soul in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. A place is well within reach and he can stage un upset under Saez who knows his Gulfstream.
- Something Awesome – Edgar Prado. Just like Bravazo he is by Awesome Again but this eight year old is more of a seasoned handicap horse and not a horse for the great stakes. Outclassed.
- City of Light – Javier Castellano. City of Light won the draw and is almost a certainty to lead at the quarter pole. Javier Castellano is perhaps the world’s best jockey from the lead (though especially on turf) and if Castellano will get his way in the front then City of Light is the horse to beat. He won the Breeders’ Mile with ease, but this distance will invite the closers, very much so if there will be someone pressing for the lead.
- Seeking The Soul – John Velazquez. This closer will have Jimmy V aboard again and despite that promising fact Seeking The Soul must hope for a very fast pace in order to improve on his fifth place in this last year.
- Accelerate – Joel Rosario. He doesn’t really need an introduction and will go off as a heavy favorite. He comes from four straight Grade One wins amongst them the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This will be his last start before stallion duties and you can count on John Sadler having him primed for this with nothing spared. Accelerate will be happy to stalk the leader/leaders and Rosario won’t be shy pressing the pace if that should be an issue. It is very hard to see him lose, but odds will be prohibitive and this is horse racing after all.
- Tom’s d’Etat -Shaun Bridgmohan. This is a horse with six wins from nine starts and actually one of the most interesting runners. By Smart Strika out of a Giant’s Causeway mare this six year old has only managed nine starts and the sky could still be the limit. Even though a lot of horseplayers thinks he is a AOC horse I would argue that he is promising enough for a race like this. It will all come down to if he is fresh and sound and able to show his best. He will probably be value at odds over 25/1.
- True Timber – Joe Bravo. This is the longshot of the race. The rank outsider. The one with no chance at all etc. Stamina is an issue as well as class. Form is very good though as he was a close second to Patternrecognition latest. Call us if you want to risk 1 dollar to win 50 on him.
- Gunnevera – Irad Ortiz Jr. Personally we prefer Irad to Jose but we doubt that any of the brothers will enter the winner’s circle today. Gunnevera is clearly held by Accelerate and must rely on Rosario getting into a battle for the lead/misjudging the pace to win this. Gunnevera won’t be hurt by the draw but should it be reversed with Accelerate’s he would be in a better position. The way we read the race Gunnevera will be a bit to far away with Accelerate in a good position to strike early.
- Kukulkan – Frankie Dettori. I very much remember when I had the opportunity to spend some time with Frankie in Sweden before a great race. The man is a world class jockey and very professional in every aspect of the game. With this Mexican champion we would be surprised if we would witness a jumping dismount from Frankie but as serious handicappers we have to acknowledge that Kukulkan is a somewhat unknown quantity. He is unbeaten and could of course be better than most of the USA horseplayers thinks. He should be able to stalk the pace and follow Accelerate in his attack before punching his blow. Normally just one for the exotics.
- Audible – Flavien Prat. Audible like this track, and is a good one. This draw and his inferiority to Accelerate makes us judge him a bad play as he will probably be the second favorite. A trifecta without Audible could pay out handsomely despite the jolly obliging.
- Imperative – Tyler Gaffalione. This horse has ”only” six wins from 44 starts. Nothing in the form suggest he could go close. His owner is not in it to win it, he wants some time in the limelight.
- Pattern Recognition – Jose Ortiz. This Chad Brown protegé had no luck in the draw. Drawn on the inside he could challenge for the lead, but now giving that tactic a go would probably just diminish his chances. Pattern Recognition is a good miler, but over this trip he should just drop in and hope that the leaders come back to him. A place in within reach despite the draw.
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Accelerate eller City of Light? Man vill ju välja en. Allt annat är fusk i det här löpet 😉 Jag tänker så här: Accelerate kommer förmodligen inte att löpa upp till sitt bästa (Pacific Classic på Del Mar förra året) medan City of Light nog kan höja sig ett litet snäpp. Jag tror ända inte att det räcker mot storfavoriten. Det ser ut att bli ett hårt tempo, kanske ursinnigt tempo, och om det i slutändan handlar om stamina kommer Accelerate stå som segrare. Det blir mitt tips. Gunnvera klar tredjehäst.