Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
I like OXBOW. I think he can be useful in the future, but I see him in the bottom 10 here. He's drawn the de facto rail and looks to me like he may find some trouble as he's been pulling his head around and drifting out at the turn in workouts. To be honest, none of the Oaklawn horses really do it for me this year. Oxbow could be ready for a well-deserved break after this one.
GIANT FINISH would be a giant surprise. His lone dirt win was a state bred OC on the inner track at Aqueduct.
I have never been a fan of PALACE MALICE, so I'm not going to make a case for him now. He was thumped by good horses in the Louisiana Derby and now will wear blinkers for the first time. No thank you.
LINES OF BATTLE will not end the drought.
FALLING SKY will never, ever win a 10f race. He is a nice horse, but this is a pipe dream.
CHARMING KITTEN: I am sick of these Ramsey Kittens.
WILL TAKE CHARGE takes a very curious path here. 20-1 seems low. His lone race on an off track was also the worst of his career.
People seem to like FRAC DADDY. I am not one of them.
VYJACK is a good, steady horse, but we all know where he's drawn. I could see him in the 5-9 range, but that's it. I hope for a long, solid career from this gritty gelding, however.
On (or off) the Fence:
NORMANDY INVASION is a horse I have liked all year. Despite being by Tapit, he does have other breeding qualities which suggest he can get 10 furlongs. He is slight of build, however, and his running style ensures he will have to deal with traffic. While they may be trying to keep him closer to the pace, if I were backing him and waiting for him to get the extra distance he so seems to crave, I would let him do his own thing. We will see where he is positioned, but at this point I will play him to get third or fourth at best.
OVERANALYZE has a serious every-other pattern and right now we're on the other. He has run in 6 graded stakes in a row, though, and has never been disgraced, but he has not beaten any horses that I particularly like during that stretch.
ITSMYLUCKYDAY: I was ready to hand him the roses in January, but now it's may. He looks to me like a damn nice middle distance horse, but as his buzz increases, so does my feeling that he will not factor. I can't see him running better than he did in the Holy Bull, and he will need to to win here.
There is much love for MYLUTE, and although I like Revolutionary and
Departing a great deal, I can't say the same for this one. However, he
is poised to make his third start off a layoff and should have his best
run today. That could be good enough for a piece.
GOLDEN SOUL has generally been gaining in his races, he's been pointed here for a while, and he is truly bred to run long. As those in here who are not collapse in the final furlong, I think Golden Soul could collect some garbage and cap a nice tri- or superfecta.
JAVA'S WAR has been on my watch list for a while. He is bred to run longer than most of these horses, and while one could certainly knock his talent to a degree, he will be doing his best running when most horses are not.
I have been down on the following two horses all year, but as their odds go up, I begin taking a longer look.
I truly don't see GOLDENCENTS winning, but I think he will be in the vanguard turning for home. He's a borderline underneath-type, but it's not his fault they can't fill stakes races in California. I think his races have been better than he is given credit for and I could certainly see him being a major factor at what may be a decent price.
As for VERRAZANO, I can see him finishing up the track, but if he goes up around 10-1, I'll consider using him. Nobody is picking him; I could find worse horses to be contrarian about.
REVOLUTIONARY has had a tough road to hoe on his way here but he's turned all the soil. I've picked him on top before and do not see him out of the money tomorrow. I picked him on top in the HRN Blogger's Selection sheet when his morning line odds were 10-1, but as the price goes down, so does my interest. Still, I will leave him off very few tickets - those on which I single the following horse:
ORB. The only trepidation I had was odds-based, but as he looks to go off at 4- or 5-1, I'm all in. He's beaten good horses, he's trained well, he's been pointed here, he's won a Grade 1 race, he's bred for the distance, and he has a running style which should take full advantage of every furlong.