#1 Tax is a son of Arch for the Danny Gargan barn with Junior Alvarado in the irons. This gelded son of Arch should be up close and settle nicely. His victory in the G3 Withers was better than appeared as he stumbled and still hung in to win. Alvarado is rolling to the winner’s circle at a 24% clip at Aqueduct. #4 Haikal comes from the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin with Rajiv Maragh in the driver’s seat. He is looking for his 4th straight win and 3rd off the layoff for this stone cold closer. He may be maturing at the right time and I’m looking for a strong effort. #2 Tacitus is a son of Tapit for Bill Mott. He’s a perfect stalker and should enjoy the added ground. 2nd start of the year and 2nd time Lasix where Mott wins 20% on the medication change.
#2 Vekoma exits the G2 Fountain of Youth off a less than ideal trip. They switch riders from Manny Franco to Javier Castellano and he is the new ‘money man.’ 2nd time Lasix for this son of Candy Ride for George Weaver and he should get a perfect stalking trip. He is lightly raced and deserves serious consideration before making a wager. The barn wins 25% on the medication move and the rider change is a positive sign. #8 Win Win Win is a son of Hat Trick for the Mike Trombetta barn. He was a beaten favorite in the Tampa Bay Derby rolling 5 wide and shows a red hot work. Irad Ortiz back in the saddle and that moves his chances up greatly. #11 So Alive is a son of Super Saver and is a bit of an outside shooter. He is lightly raced and has the services of Luis Saez in the saddle. He can easily pick up his head and come rolling for minor awards today.
Race #8 – The G1 Santa Anita Derby – 1 1/8 – 6:30 pm EDT
#6 Game Winner is a monster son of Candy Ride. Joel Rosario has the call for Bob Baffert and they were getting to them late in the G2 Rebel getting beat a dirty nose. Overall, he didn’t have to win the race and use all his gas, but he looked terrific just picking them up late in the lane. I think he is a good looking colt and it looks like Team Baffert is loaded again. His race to lose at Santa Anita. #5 Instagrand is a speedy son of Into Mischief and Flavien Prat will be calling the shots. He is lightly raced and owns some sparkling works at Los Al in preparation for this big race. If he gets loose and can go the distance he may play a perfect role of the spoiler. #3 Nolo Contesto is a perfect stalker who had an eventful trip last out. He’s gonna need his A game against this compact field as Joe Talamo picks up the action in the saddle. The added ground won’t hurt and Talamo has sprung his fair share of upsets.
#4 Syndergaard has the services of John Velasquez in the saddle and is 3 for 3 ITM at Aqueduct. A versatile sort who is cutting back from a mile where trainer John Terranova is 51% ITM. Johnny V will have him in a perfect stalking position and he’ll move around the far turn to be in position for the stretch drive. #3 Skyler’s Scramjet is a speedster from the Michelle Nevin barn. He’s been off for 49 days and his works are sparkling. Look for Dylan Davis to be right at the front, and if the freshening has him ready he’s gonna be a handful. #5 Bavaro is a son of Freud looking for his fourth straight win. Junior Alvarado is the reinsman and he is rolling at meet winning 23%. Look for him right on the engine duking it out with anyone who has enough early speed.
Race #10 – The G3 Gotham – 1 mile – 5:09 pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections / #6 – Instagrand / #3 – Mind Control / #5 – Haikal
#6 Instagrand is a son of Into Mischief who is a perfect 2 for 2. He ships in from Del Mar off a 7 month layoff and a couple of ten length wins. Jerry Hollendorfer and Javier Castellano team up for a big run. His works are hot and Castellano moves up his chances to put on a big show. He should be right on the hook and tough to deal with. Catch him if you can when they turn for home. #3 Mind Control has John Velasquez in the saddle and makes his 2nd start of the year. Two back he tossed in a clunker in the BC Juvenile after getting caught in tight and forced to check. He came right back and rolled in the Jerome and should lay just off the speed. #5 Haikal is a deep closer who should enjoy a field chock full of speed. He is a neck short of being three in a row and Rajiv Maragh calls the shots for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn. He will come flying late and should enjoy the added distance.
Race #11 – The G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks – 1 1/8 – 6:37 pm EDT
#10 Somelikeithotbrown is a son of Big Brown for the Mike Maker barn with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons. His victory in the John Battaglia Memorial was impressive as he makes his second start of the year. He has a quick turn of early speed and should be right in the top flight. Gaffalione coming in from Florida and Maker being loaded with quality stock looks like the race is for place if he gets a clean start. #9 Curlin Grey is a strong closer for trainer Ken McPeek. This is his 3rd start off the layoff and McPeek wins 19% going from dirt to synthetic surfaces. McPeek always has to be respected when he ships into Turfway. #4 Dabo is a son of Temple City and has a nice late punch. Dale Romans is the trainer and last out he looked like he needed one closing stoutly in the John Battaglia. Luan Machado in the irons and he has done incredibly well at Turfway. This is his 2nd of the year and the distance should be no problem. Look for him to rolling as they turn for home. I like his chances overall and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he improves off his last race to take down the prize.