What is there to say about the Travers Stakes? It was certainly an exciting race, but I highly doubt any of these horses will play major factors in the Breeders’ Cup in the fall. I like Alpha, but he just has not shown that he is fast enough and will have to do better than finishing in photo finish with Golden Ticket and Fast Falcon to be taken seriously as one of the best in the nation.
The three year-old that may still have something to say come Breeders’ Cup time actually ran on the west coast. Dullahan was extremely powerful winning the Pacific Classic and has just looked invincible on synthetic surfaces in his short career. I don’t care what surface you’re running on; anytime you run a mile and a quarter in 1:59 2/5, you’ve run a monstrous race. I hope that his owners abandon ideas of running him in top dirt races and focus on the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Breeders’ Cup Turf. This could be as good of a turf three year-old we’ve seen since Kitten’s Joy.
As for today’s races at the Spa, most of them are for two year-olds, and while those will be fun to watch, I don’t like to have strong opinions in races with so much uncertainty. Instead I’ll focus my wagers on two of the races for older horses, one of which features Pervis, who feels like he’s been on my “Horses to Watch” list forever:
Race 6: The Win Stakes at one mile on the turf
It is glaringly obvious that Yield Bogey (#6) is the only frontrunner in this race, so perhaps I’m not going to get as big a price as I’d like to on him, but I can’t pass up an opportunity like this. Yield Bogey is a classy horse that needs particular circumstances to really show his best form these days. He got those circumstances three races back in the Poker Handicap (G3) when he was able to set slow fractions and hang on for third late while only getting run down by the classy Clear Attempt and Compliance Officer. In his two most recent races he had the excuse of running the wrong distance and, last time, being over-matched when facing the likes of Wise Dan. If Prado can slow down this old-timer early and get him to sprint home, he may just be able to hold off likely favorites Right One, Paris Vegas, and Beau Choix. The only other horse I’m a little afraid of is Nine O Wonderful (#5), just because he is in form right now and was not at all compromised by a slow pace when sprinting past the field late last time. He may be the one moving in the right direction in a field where many of these horses have seen better days.
$10 Win 6
$6 Win 5
Race 9: Claiming $20,000B at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
Especially now with the scratch of Jet to Classics, longtime “Horse to Watch” list member Pervis (#12) figures to be the lone speed in this race. However, even without that tactical advantage I’d be very interested in him because he’s finally getting into a spot in which he belongs. After running against tougher allowance foes in three of his last four starts, he is now facing a field that he should be able to beat. His price should be decent with all the off-the-board finishes showing recently, but if you go back to the last two times he raced for a $20,000-$25,000 tag, he put together two nice second place finishes. Today, with no other speed to challenge him early, he should be very tough to hold off. I will bet him to win and also use him with Gimme Credit (#1), who is taken a drop in class that looks pretty logical. After running well versus tougher optional claiming company, it appears that Chad Brown and Michael Dubb are just trying to drop him into a spot in which they think he will win. He very well may, but he’ll have to run down Pervis.
BEST BET OF THE DAY: $10 WIN 12 (Pervis)
$5 EXACTA BOX 1-12 (Gimme Credit – Pervis)