Exotics Plays for the 2023 Bryan Station Stakes
A total of 10 sophomores will go a mile on the Keeneland lawn in Saturday’s $300,000 Bryan Station S. (G3). Morning-line choice #9 More Than Looks (9-5) looks formidable and will be keyed in the first and second spots of the vertical exotics.
Bryan Station Exotics
Trained by Cherie DeVaux, the dark bay colt has picked up wins in three of his last four assignments, led by a score in the Manila S. (G3) at Belmont three back and a powerful coup in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs last time out. The More Than Ready three-year-old possessed the best turn of foot in the group, and he will receive a healthy pace to run at turning for home with John Velazquez accepting the mount, as well.
Shug McGaughey’s #1 Talk of the Nation (5-2) is the main threat to the selection. The two-time stakes victor has been first or second in all but one lifetime appearance to date and is well perched on the rail to avoid losing ground. Quality Road colt aced the Gun Runner S. at Kentucky Downs in his latest showing and loves a target to run at late, which the dark bay will have in this tilt. Jose Ortiz will be in the stirrups.
Steve Asmussen’s #2 Gigante (12-1) is a bit inconsistent and hard for me to read, but he has compiled a trio of stakes trophies on turf in his career, led by a late-running victory in the Secretariat S. (G2) two prior. The son of Not This Time has been doing his best work from off the pace in 2023, and he will make one run late with fine turf rider Joel Rosario in the controls.
Klaravich Stables’ #10 Appraise (8-1) finished second best in the Hall of Fame S. (G2) at Saratoga in August and is a very logical top-three threat for conditioner Chad Brown. Mike Maker’s #4 Smokey Mandate (9-2) has shown improvement since having the blinkers removed two back and comes off a clear second-place result in the Jefferson Cup. James Graham will guide the homebred.