The 7TH Race at Turfway Park on Thursday is an optional claiming event at 6 furlongs on the All-Weather oval. A well-matched field of nine will go postward in a dash that lacks a standout. I am going to make a pace play with a contender at a fair price, and key him on top of my trifecta wager.

#5 Johnny Unleashed (5-1) will make his first appearance on the surface for conditioner Eric Foster. The gelded son of Colonel John is the speed of the speed, and he comes in fresh with four useful morning drills in anticipation of his local bow for a capable outfit.

The dark bay 4-year-old has fairly consistent turf form, which often transfers to success on the synthetic, and I love that he got a half-mile drill in on the surface on Saturday, as well. Santiago Gonzalez will be in the silks, sending my selection from the opening bell in hopes of running the field off of their respective feet from the break.

I will focus on a trio of runners to include with my top pick for the vertical exotics. #4 Aggressivity (4-1) has flashed a lot of potential since moving to the All-Weather two back for Ewing. Dialed In gelding was an allowance winner two races ago, prior to finishing fast in a stakes event at Presque Isle Downs most recently. The 6-year-old will be rallying from off the pace under Mojica.

#7 Secretary of War (6-1) has placed in two straight on the course while running into strong winners on each occasion, and the Garcia pupil makes a lot of sense for the gimmicks in this spot. #1 Moonoverseba (3-1) has finished third in each of his four tries since arriving in the barn of Eddie Kenneally. The morning-line choice will be a logical top-three contender if he handles the Turfway strip in his first local assignment.

Thursday Trifecta Play:

  • $1 Trifecta: 5 with 1,4,7 with all ($21)