Forevamo may need a race
Forevamo is ready to make his first start since August in the featured eighth race Friday at Fair Grounds, but ready to start is not the same as ready to win.
With leading Fair Grounds jockey Florent Geroux named to ride and some degree of name recognition behind him, Forevamo might be bet below fair value in a secondlevel, dirt-route allowance also open to $40,000 claimers, a race that is very solid for the class level.
Forevamo ran below his best form when he finished a onepaced sixth Aug. 6 in the West Virginia Derby. Trainer Al Stall and owner Brittlyn Stable decided thereafter to pull the
plug on Forevamo’s 3-year-old campaign and point to 2017, and here they are.
“He’s been training really well and he looks great,” Stall said. “Does that mean he’s ready to win? I don’t know. We’re just looking forward to getting him started. Nothing’s been rushed.”
At his best, Forevamo finished second, beaten just a half-length by Grade 1 winner Gun Runner in the Risen Star Stakes about a year ago at Fair Grounds. In May, in the Pat Day Mile around one turn at Churchill Downs, he was second behind Sharp Azteca, who, after a win last weekend, looks like one of the top dirt milers in North America. Those two races beg the question: Is Forevamo better at one turn or two?
And here’s a question regarding Flashlight, who is 6-1 on the morning line and a potentially attractive play in the Friday feature: Has a switch from turf to dirt suddenly revitalized him?
Flashlight, who races under the $40,000 claiming option, ran into the extremely talented and stakes-bound December Seven in a race at this class level Dec. 29. Stuck behind horses along the rail, 7-year-old Flashlight pulled hard on the reins like a young horse still trying to figure out how to race, but the larger takeaway was how strongly he traveled over the main track, easily holding second in an encouraging performance.
Also worthy of win consideration are the two horses from the last Fair Grounds race at this class level and distance, Valiant City and Egyptian, who were one-two Jan. 22, with Valiant City rallying late to edge Egyptian. Egyptian, who is lightly raced with more upside than Valiant City, has led in his last two starts, but on Friday could wind up pressing the pace of the fast stretch-out sprinter Exodus.
Also in the field is another 4-year-old making his first start of 2017, Synchrony, who is unraced since finishing third in the Grade 3 Lexington last April at Keeneland.