BEST BET: RACE 5, JUST LIKE LARRY
STRIKE IT ROYAL prevailed in a front-end battle before weakening to second at first asking in a seven-furlong maiden special a month ago. She only has to go three-quarters this time, and her hot trainer has excellent numbers with maiden second-timers. WILD N READY placed in back-toback starts before a fading fourth behind the top choice in her latest. VIVACITAS might be ready for an improved performance after working well with Delamar the other day.
PLACE THE BLAME is halving in price from $25K while changing surfaces to the Tapeta, over which she finished third in her lone start on it last fall at 2. ATIYA is another dropper who could be in the hunt. The chestnut is adding blinkers, which is a low-percentage angle for this productive barn. FLOATING RATE faded to sixth behind the top pick after fighting for the lead Sept. 28. The top bug Kimura picks up the mount on the daughter of Exchange Rate.
STORMY RUSH rode a speed bias to victory in a July 29 optional starter on the main track. He wound up fifth most recently in a key secondlevel optional claimer on the grass, and is moving back down to optional starter company in this six-furlong turf sprint. FOREST BROTHER scored off the McKnight claim in an N1X Aug. 12, and is coming off a second at this level to MARTEN LAKE, who came back to take another optional starter on the main track. The official six-furlong time of the latter race (1:08.86) is in question. Hand-timing reveals it should be approximately 1:09.70.
NIGHT WATCHMAN is adding bar shoes for the drop from 20K NW2 to $10K NW2 company. He’s back on the Tapeta surface on which he lost a fast route by a whisker Sept. 3. BOYHOOD DREAM is plunging to the lower ranks off a wide/non-threatening fourth for $40K. Hernandez is 10 for 39 at the meet for the Maker barn. GIANT MINE went four-wide on the first turn and five-wide on the second when fourth in a slow-placed event at this level Sept. 28. Use him underneath in the gimmicks, along with SLAM.
JUST LIKE LARRY has been scratched twice since his commendable effort in an Aug. 24 maiden special, during which he was herded out at the break before ending up second. The first and third horses from that seven-furlong sprint both came back to place in the G1 Summer, and War of Will eventually finished a close fourth in the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland. COMBATIVE got away slowly before going four-wide on the turn en route to a second as the favorite at first asking in a Tapeta sprint Sept. 23. Violence is a high-percentage turf sire, but the $500K 2yo purchase is bred for the dirt on the dam’s side. D MAGICIAN dueled for the lead before fading to fourth behind COMBATIVE in his opener, a race he can build on if he handles the grass.
JEAN ELIZABETH is 6 for 9 lifetime, which included four Polytrack victories at Arlington. The speedy shipper could go all the way with Valdivia riding for Rivelli, the same combo which won the nightcap here last Monday with a front-runner. GLAMANATION awaited room on the turn before closing from two lengths back to prevail by three lengths in a recent N1X Tapeta sprint. She’s found her calling as an off-the-pace sprinter, and has the highest