By Rick Francis —-
Race 11), 1‚ Mile. Travers S. PRESENTED BY NYRA BETS. Grade I. Purse $1,250,000 FOR THREE YEAR OLDS
Post Time: ( 5:44)/ 4:44/ 3:44/ 2:44
Cloud Computing (1), Brown/Castellano; Preakness winner battled into the Jim Dandy stretch but weakened to finish last of five; works have been so-so since that defeat, however never underestimate this trainer here with a newly minted Hall of Fame jock.
Giuseppe the Great (2), Zito/Gaffalione; runner-up in both the G2 Stephens and last out the Jim Dandy. Maiden winner has a solid work tab to view, and with having finished better than both the Derby and Preakness winners in Jim Dandy, who knows.
West Coast (3), Baffert/Smith; Flatter colt ships in for 2016’s winning trainer/jock tandem and does so on a 3-race win streak. Strong works at Del Mar; you won’t get 13-1 as you did a year ago with Arrogate.
Tapwrit (4), Pletcher/Ortiz, J; Belmont Stakes winner makes first start since that 2-length score; and though this Tapit colt finished well back in the Derby, believe that distance of a mile-and-a-quarter will be his best distance.
Good Samaritan (5), Mott/Rosario; Harlan’s Holiday colt rewarded his backers by taking the Jim Dandy at odds of 9-1. Hall of Fame conditioner Mott is 20 percent with a last out winner.
Girvin (6), Sharp/Albarado; Tale of Ekati colt is another that wanted nothing to do with the Churchill slop on Derby day. Rebounded nicely off his late nose loss in the Ohio Derby by winning the Grade 1 Haskell by the same slim margin. Robby Albarado, aboard in the Haskell, stays.
Always Dreaming (7), Pletcher/Velazquez; Derby champ had nothing in the Preakness, and though he weakened once again in the Dandy, he looks like he’s regaining his Grade 1 winning form; Pletcher, 29 percent at the meet, is also 26 percent with beaten fave’s next out.
Lookin At Lee (8), Asmussen/Santana; Derby runner-up makes his eighth start of 2017 with that Derby finish being his best of the year. It’s been a long time since this Lookin At Lucky colt has seen the winner’s circle and doubt he’ll see it today.
McCraken (9), Wilkes/Hernandez, B; came back to win the G3 Matt Winn, which came after a tough eighth in the Derby, and last out an equally tough nose second last out in the Haskell. There’s a lot of upside with this once upon a time pre-Derby fave, and though his last two works were on the pedestrian side, he posted a bullet here on Aug. 10th.
Irap (10), O’Neill/Gutierrez; Blue Grass winner enters having taken both the Grade 3 Ohio and Indiana Derby’s; both victories posted triple-digit speed figures; hard to ignore a hot horse.
Gunnevera (11), Sano/Zayas; multiple Graded Stakes winner exits an overnight stakes score down at Gulfstream, his best finish since a pair of off-the-board efforts in both the Derby and Preakness. He’s been active over the GPW track in prep for this and would bring value to exotics.
Fayeq (12), McLaughlin/Saez; lightly raced Malibu Moon colt rolls in on a 2-race win streak including a last out coast here over first level allowance company; don’t overlook this guy, as his trainer is 24 percent at the meet.
Selections: 6, 3, 12, 4, 10.