The Sugar Bowl
I'm going to lump on a rather obvious play in this race but I am fairly confident of success. Sok Sok is 2/1 and may actually present value because I think he should be odds on. He has shown a good deal of class even if he is only a second tier 2yo. There is no one of his class in this race and it's the kind of event that ought to be meat and drink to him. I think he found his stamina stretched in the Iroquois and prior to that he ran a pair of races on the All Weather track at Presque Isle. He performed well there but his figures were a little lower. I chalk that up mostly to the fact that figures for Presque Isle should not have been made in the first place. It's far too early to establish reliable figures from that track. So I just look at the apparent class from those races. I think sprinting in this kind of company is exactly what he wants.
I'm not sure what's up with the morning line in this one. Stormin Baghdad is a pretty good horse and he might take to Turf. But handicapping 101 will tell you not to take a short price on a horse doing something for the first time. No Turf experience equals no support from me. I actually think quite a bit of Going Wild. This is the same Going Wild that Lukas used and abused through the Triple Crown trail. He was taken from D Wayne and given to Bret Calhoun who has coaxed a pair of second place finishes out of him including a narrow defeat to Stormin Baghdad. Going Wild actually does have a bit of form over the grass. Although he ran 5th it actually was a good effort during a time where he struggled to do anything well. I consider that a bit of hidden grass form and he should be the horse to beat in the lane. Staying in sync with my selection of the Canadian Sterwins last week I am also quite interested in another Woodbine based competitor Zetetic. The pace should be hot and Zetetic likes to have something to run at. He has proven himself to be quite an effective Turf sprinter in the allowance class. Now he's got a chance to step it up. Malcom Pierce has done very well at the Fair Grounds so far and Zetetic could be a square price.
This is a very difficult and confusing race. We really don't know much about how good these horses really are. Instead of going through all the different scenarios I can foresee I think I'll stick with my visual impressions of these horses. Since I don't plan on betting the race anyway I'll just rely on what I've seen on the video and my impressions of those runners. Colonel John has to be the horse to beat. I think he has Derby potential written all over him, he just needs to start winning some races in fast times. I adore his turn of foot and a burst like that can help a late runner get out of a lot of sticky situations. He will be the horse I'm cheering for primarily because I think he's got a great future and I'd love to see that opinion confirmed. The horse I am second most impressed with is Eaton's Gift. I find it curious that they're running this Zayat horse in the same race as Massive Drama, another Zayat horse with speed and that they shipped all the way from Kentucky just to do so. I think this means that the talented but lazy Massive Drama will be taken off the pace and will work on perfecting his stalking technique. Eaton's Gift was rumored to be a good one right from the start and I really like him at Keeneland. He justified my faith that day but blew me away with his manner of victory. He went straight to the front with ears pricked and would not let anyone by him. He seemed to love winging it on the lead and when he was asked in the lane he just skipped away from his rivals. He did the same at Churchill and while his times have not been great he has been extremely impressive to watch. I really have a hard time making an argument for him in this race. He is unlikely to get an easy lead and he might be intentionally sent as a rabbit. His stamina is questionable and his figures are pretty low. But I cant get over the way he's looked in his last two so he's one I'll cheer for as well. Indian Sun is an interesting play coming off the Turf. He's by Indian Charlie so I don't know why he couldn't handle this surface well. I think he'll stay the distance easily which will help. He was not good enough to catch the Leopard last out but that was right on the back of a maiden win on the downhill course at Santa Anita. Going two turns around Hollywood is a totally different task he he looked very good while conceding a huge class edge to The Leopard. Those are my big 3 in terms of visual impression. A good number of others could win this race and it wouldn't shock me but I'll be rooting for this trio.