As with the juvenile fillies, there is no much early speed in this race either. Last time Kentucky Downs stakes winner Snapper Sinclair (11) and Hemp Hemp Hurray (12) are likely to be forwardly ridden. As they are drawn wide, it may force some of the riders of the runners inside them to hustle their mounts to get a good early position. Masar (6) and Mendelssohn (1) both have decent draws and have the pace to be handy. There may be a late clue to the chances of the former as Happily who beat him at Chantilly runs in The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. That was his fourth and best start to date. A light campaign and a summer break suggests today’s race was always on the radar for The Godolphin owned colt. He like all the English and Irish trained runners will race with lasix for the first time.
If he doesn’t miss the break, Mendelssohn (1) has a plot draw. With stable mate US Navy Flag trying the dirt tomorrow, he represents The Group 1 Dewhurst form. He ran second in an event dominated by Aidan O’Brien trained runners. After running no race (on good to soft) the time before, he was 50/1 shot at Newmarket. Although some of those behind him ran below form, he did run a personal best by some margin in blinkers first time. It may be significant that he is the only representative from Ballydoyle who often have multiple entries in two year old stakes.
JAMES GARFIELD (7) steps up in distance after a victory in the six furlong Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes. His form is not far off the best of the invaders and there may be improvement to come now trying a mile. So could Beckford (5). His best effort came when second in The Group 1 National Stakes at The Curragh. He’s never raced on ground faster than ‘good’. The Richard Fahey-trained Sands of Mali (3) is another encountering firm ground form the first time. The Group 2 Gimcrack winner has to rebound after a poor effort next time. His presence here suggests he may well do. He draws much better than Rajasinghe (14).
Like Aidan O’Brien, Chad Brown unusually relies on one entrant here. His Voting Control (8) didn’t make his career debut until 55 days ago. After winning then, he was bumped at the start and hung wide when second in a Grade 3 at Belmont. At this stage of his career, his form only looks on a par with a few of the home team.
Untamed Domain (2) outfinished Hemp Hemp Hurray (12) to win a Grade 2 at Woodbine in September. Prior to that he closed well when third to Catholic Boy (4) in a Grade 3 at Saratoga. Flameaway (10) is interesting. Both his scheduled turf starts have been rained of the grass.
The California trained runners are worth a look. My Boy Jack (13) outfinished a field to win a stake at Santa Anita last month. Prior to that, he lost narrowly to Encumbered (9) in back to back starts over today’s course and distance. The worry with both of them is they are late runners who may not get a fast pace to chase down.
Selection: JAMES GARFIELD (7)
Exotic Play: (no exotics)