Top 3: 7-2-6 In The Lee, Inflexibility, Hogans Holiday
Overlay: In The Lee, Hogan’s Holiday
Odds: In The Lee 7-5; Inflexibility 4-1; Hogan’s Holiday 7-1; I’m So Fancy/Viva Vegas 10-1; Mitchell Road 14-1
Money movers: Horses taking more $: I’m So Fancy, Mitchell Road
Horses taking less: Hogans Holiday, In The Lee, Viva Vegas, Barkaa
ABC chart: 7,2/6/1,8,4
In The Lee has 4 wins in 10 races lifetime. Gained from 77 BRIS to 88 last time out in an 87k allowance at Keeneland. One prior win was from a 5 lb. gain in weight carried. It was 1st off layoff, with a gain at 2nd call and some improvement on the leader at that point. Takes on 4 lbs more today. Waiting 5 weeks to stretch out in distance.
Hogan’s Holiday has 5 wins in 15. Won a 75k ungraded stakes event last November, and had better success vs optional claimers. Fully recovered in pace by early March, following a 7 week layoff. She reached his peak with a 96 in the Grade 3 Honey Fox. That race was a small new top that she’s still under influence of.
CHICK LANG STAKES:
Top 3: 8-3-7 Preamble, Malpais, Pyron
Odds: Preamble 2-1; Malpais 4-1; Gladiator King/Pyron 5-1; Lexitonian 9-1
Horses taking less $:Lexitonian, Gladiator King
ABC chart: 8/3,7/6,1
No real value in this race, as I do predict a chalk finish. The one I like here for value is Lexitonian. Winner of his maiden debut with an 81, he dropped to 70, finishing 6th in the Sanford. With 7 weeks off he finished 5th and 78 BRIS in a 75k optional claimer. Following trainer change from Todd Pletcher to Jack Sisterson, plus 6 months off, Lexitonian raced at Churchill on Derby Day, same class as previous race. He did finish 5th but scored an impressive 91. He had to run wide in that race, so it’s possible he could have ran faster.
You have to credit him for his performance first after layoff.
Top 3: 4-10-7 Paret, O Dionysus, Real Story
Overlays:These three, plus Just Howard
Odds: Just Howard 5-2; Paret 3-1; O Dionysus 7-2; Real Story 9-2; Catholic Boy 19-1
Horses taking more $: Just Howard, Real Story, O Dionysus, Inspector Lynley
Horses taking less $: Catholic Boy.
ABC chart: 2,7,10,4/12
Catholic Boy appears to be a false favorite in a race with a number of directions for value.
Paret has exclusively raced in Australia, in top handicap event. He gets Lasix for the first time, and takes a positive drop in weight carried. He had previously won with this variable in place. He’s also waiting since March to stretch out.
O Dionysus had won 2 events last year at Del Mar and an optional claimer here at Pimlico prior. Last time out in the 100k Henry Clark, he ran a small new top of 94, albeit wide throughout. Running first after layoff, he surpassed his prior 2nd call scores, plus gained a bit on the leader.
Real Story was 2nd last time out in the Henry Clark, first time vs 3YOs. Prior to this, 2nd again in an 75k OC race. 9th prior to this in the Secretariat. Won a Grade 3 race at Arlington on 7/7. Last 3 races, the BRIS scores were 93 through 96. Only horse with exploding/forging pace in the field. I rate this sprinter as the true speed. His own effort last time out in the Henry Clark was also a bit compromised, as he had to survive bumping at the start.
Just Howard has had rather mixed blessings in his career. Last won vs 25k optional claimers last August with a dazzling 100, best of the distance of today’s field. Prior to that he had won the 2017 Commonwealth Derby and the Find, both at Laurel. Best AWD numbers here (English Channel/Aruban Sandwich, out of Alphabet Soup). He also had a quality run in the Henry Clark, and had to be steadied late in the race. He ran with improved numbers first after layoff, and gained 1 length on leader by the 2nd call.
Preakness thoughts in the next post!