CARTOON won well last time and has been flattered by the only one in front of him two back, Blarp, who’s since been competitive in stakes. Can’t recall seeing a horse from this outfit work a sub-1:00 5fs like he did on Jan. 24. Lightly raced with upside, though doubt he’s as high as morning-line odds. CANDY GRAN was drawn wide last time and made a nice run into a slow pace in race won by listed- stakes class horse. If he gets a better setup and moves forward at all, watch out. TREND had too much to do while rallying solidly again last time in a race at this class level, but poor outside draw could be his undoing on win end here.
JENSEN was fortunate not to win his career debut, in which he ran well, since he’s almost certainly meant to be a two-turn horse, and the loss gave him a second sprint as foundation for stretch-out. I think he’s talented enough to step up and like the way he goes, and anything close to morning-line odds would appeal. DOLPHUS got antsy, reared up, sat down, was lose for a moment, and was quickly scratched at gate for Lecomte. Was said to have suffered no injuries there, and indeed worked back two weeks later. He was surprisingly dead on the board at the time, something like 17/1, which I found strange, since I thought he had a reputation. Debut win came in a race too short, and he was probably too close to fast pace coming back fairly quickly in a fast N1X allowance from which the runner-up returned to be second in the Lecomte. Clear contender but will try to beat him on top. HARLAN PUNCH didn’t work between Dec. 29 & Jan. 24 & was scratched out of a race like this Jan. 18. Did show promise last year but considering the circumstances I have to be against him at a short price.
DOLPHUS is here to run if the race comes off turf. You can see my comments about him in the analysis of race 7. Also expected to scratch (some regardless, some if the race stays on turf, which it almost certainly will: SHEIKH OF SHEIKHS, TIZNOBLE, and TWIRLING CINNAMON. GOT SOME MOJO was rained off grass when a decent third last time and showed a nice finish winning his only previous turf try, an Arlington maiden race. He could easily be overlooked in the betting. OSCAR NOMINATED probably will be favored off his CD N1X grass run, but did he do much more there than gallop along on a slow pace over a laboring late-season turf course he happened to handle? Think he’ll be overbet. Still think ONE MEAN MAN can be a good grass horse, but also think he’ll need one turn to become one.
Trainer Steve Flint has sent a lot of live La-bred maidens from EvT to FG the last couple years, and homebred DIG DOWN DEEP debuts for 10X his sire’s published stud fee. He won an EvT training race and generally has encouraging drills. Geroux will hurt the price a but, but odds might still be fair. MSW dropper POWER AND GRACE can lead a long way if he breaks sharply and makes the front from the rail. I DON’T FLY COACH ran on debut like a horse that “needed” his first start. Blinkers, onelevel class drop, chance at a price.