By Tim Holland
#9 Kayseri (6-1) was claimed by Bobby Dibona when fading to finish unplaced facing better in her latest over the course and distance last month in her second start after a short break. Blinkers are removed by Dibona, who wins with a solid 21% of runners first time off the claim and has won with 24% at this meet. Daughter of 15% turf sire Get Stormy can be in good early position and some value may be found with Pletcher runner likely to be a short-priced favorite.
In this maiden claimer on turf, #8 Island Song (7-2) has been a money burner being beaten as the favorite in his last four outings but drops to the lowest level in his career. Son of good turf sprint sire Speightstown gave way badly on the main track at Keeneland in his latest last October, but has hit the board in two of three starts sprinting on turf. Gray has posted a string of solid 4-furlong works recently for trainer Kenneally, who wins with 14% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more. Gelding can be tough at this level with Castellano taking the mount.
Trainer Graham Motion wins with 15% of his runners on grass and saddles #4 Sister Otoole (3-1), who finished well when third after being taken back at the start in his latest over the course and distance in her first outing since her debut in January. Daughter of young sire Amira’s Prince is out of an unraced half-sister to Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Well Armed and Motion has had a good meet winning with 21% of his starters. Filly can be along from off the pace with Castellano remaining aboard.
#8 Too Much War (6-1) likely needed her latest when unplaced over 1 1/16 miles at this level last month in her first start in over a year. Filly has won one of six starts on grass and makes her second outing for trainer Gargan, who has won with 30% of runners this meet and who wins with 19% of starters on turf. Daughter of He’s Had Enough is a half-sister to Mom’s On Strike, who won the Bewitch (G3) on turf at Keeneland. Bay can be along from off the pace under Saez who won with one of last four rides for Gargan.
Newcomer #1 Battlebot (15-1) has a good win-early pedigree being by 13% first-out sire Sky Mesa and out of a mare by Old Fashioned, whose offspring win 12% of their first outings. Works include a sharp 3-furlong work in :36 4/5 from the gate nine days ago for trainer Mason, who wins with 14% of her first-time starters. Rail post is not the best to debut from but filly may be sent with apprentice Bailey up.
In this competitive allowance over 6 furlongs, #6 Twelfth Labour (4-1) comes off a third-place finish as the favorite after a rough trip at Fair Grounds last month in his second start after a short break. Gelding has won 2 of 13 starts on dirt and trainer Stewart wins with a high 27% of runners third time off a layoff. Son of Quality Road has tactical speed and can be in good position just off the pace with Talamo in the irons.
Trainer Knippenberg won with one of his last five first-time starters and saddles newcomer #9 Gypsy’s Feather (15-1), who has a good win early pedigree being by 16% first-out sire Munnings and out of a mare by Capote, whose offspring win 12% of their first outings. Dark bay is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed Featherbed and has been working forwardly for barn that won with two of last 10 runners in maiden special weight events. Dark bay appears worth a look at likely good odds with apprentice Ramos up.
#7 Shakes Creek (6-1) was reclaimed by Genaro Garcia when fading to fifth over the track and distance facing slightly better last month. Son of The Factor won at this level earlier in the meet and Garcia has won with a solid 18% of starters at this meet. With tactical speed, gray can be in good position throughout with apprentice Ramos retaining the mount.