Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Conquest Titan (Casse): With a lovely pedigree for long
distance, and his new found come from the clouds running style, Conquest Titan
looks like the one to beat here. Last out, he finished second to Cairo Prince.
His run looked even more impressive later on when the horse he beat, Intense
Holiday, won a tough Risen Star. This colt will love the stretch of Tampa Bay
and may find his way to Kentucky through Florida. Contender
Vinceremos (Pletcher): “The Other Pioneerof The Nile.”
Vinceremos is going into this race on a two race win streak. Last out, he got
lucky when the wire came. Harpoon, Cousin Stephen, and Matador were breathing
down his neck the last furlong. He is going to have to set slow fractions here
or sit off the pace. I have a feeling Surfing U S A and Vinceremos will be the
speed in the field. Contender IF he can slow it down to avoid other closing
into a fast pace or let Surfing U S A take the lead and press the pace.
Matador (Casse): Last out, Matador could be found hammering
Vinceremos, only to get squeezed out for 4th. He has a good pedigree
for distance, but still not sure what to make of him. May like him more or less
after this race. Only his run will tell me if he wants more ground, like I feel
he needs/wants. May look at him for an exotic bet.
Cousin Stephen (Brown): Last out, he was bearing down on
Vinceremos in the stretch of the Sam F. Davis. Harpoon beat him out for second
there. This field is tough, but he isn’t a stranger to some of these horses. He
has run at 9f, so I don’t see the 8.5f being a problem here. He is also by sire Proud Citizen, who finished second in the Derby in 2002, behind War
Emblem. This colt is worth a look.
Hy Kodiak Warrior (Bezara): Only out of the money once in
six starts, he owns wins in two of those races. He is another that comes from
off the pace to close in the stretch. Out of an Unbridled mare, he has distance
ability on the bottom of his pedigree. Wondering how far he can really go
Tuscan Getaway (Griffith): With a place and two shows in
stakes company, this colt had to return to the allowance ranks to get another
win to his record. Tuscan Getaway is well traveled also. Already having visited
four different tracks, he should be okay being shipped to Florida. I am not a
fan of his pedigree, but it seems to carry him the distance being asked here. I
am going to pass here.
Surfing U S A (Pletcher): Last seen eating Top Billing’s
dirt in an allowance back. Surfing U S A is a frontrunner with a pedigree to
carry it a distance (Derby winner on top and a Belmont winner on the bottom).
If he can settle a bit and let Vinceremos go to the lead, he had a chance here.
As the distances get longer, I am worried if he will be able to settle enough.
Coltimus Prime (Nixon): First off, I LOVE his name. I have a
transformers sticker on my Jeep. Anyway! Back to Coltimus; with a maiden win
and a stakes place, he seems to be able to step it up here. This will be a
tough field to step up into though. I love his pedigree as well. A classic
winning sire in Milwaukee Brew, out of a Distorted Humor mare, he should be
able to care some speed, especially around two turns. I’ll look to fill an
exotic with him.
East Hall (Kaplan): I liked him in the Fountain of Youth and
I like him here. I love his pedigree. The track in the FOY was all lovey dovey
with speed horses, and East hall is not a speed horse. The only horse to make
up significant ground that day was Top Billing, but there was daylight between
East Hall and the next horse. He should relish the Tampa Bay track and stretch.
I like him here. Contender.
Ring Weekend (Motion): Stepping up in class here, big time,
this Tapit colt only just broke his maiden last out at Gulfstream at 1 1/16. I
have always been weary of Tapit’s as the distances increase, but here, he
already has a win at the distance, so we know he can get it. He may have a
chance to flash his talent here, but this will be a tough task in this talented
Casey's Picks: Conquest Titan/East Hall/Matador boxed with Coltimus Prime
Written by Casey Laughter