[Editor's note: Liam Durbin is owner/handicapper of e-ponies.com and creator of the One Click Pony, Pro Picks Mobile and Exacta Max apps.]
Analysis: Relentless Ride has been making a decent living out of finishing second or third. Has only missed the board once in eight starts. The only case to be made for him breaking the curse Saturday is that the field is not particularly strong. He dropped in class last time but didn’t pop. Should do so Saturday with the added distance. Margin took a drop in class last time and just missed. Should be in it.
For Value: Mount Coronet finished a miserable eighth last time out but found trouble at the start and never got going. That poor effort should inflate his odds, but behind the one bad effort are several decent performances against good company. Sneaky dangerous.
What to bet: Bet Relentless Ride to win. Box Relentless Ride, Mount Coronet and Margin in an exacta box. Include Rebel Spy to complete your trifecta box.
Analysis: Lunar Rock has been up and down the class ladder and has tried races of all distances. Still always seems to find a way to hit the board. Handled a class bump last time out but still finished third at a price. Many in the field are stepping up in class for the first time so Lunar Rock figures to contend well with them.
For Value: While many in the race are climbing the class ladder, Tooth N Claw has been here for a while. Has some nice back class, but has not fired since dropping down to this level. No obvious excuses for it, but the potential is still there.
What to bet: Bet Tooth N Claw to win. Key Tooth N Claw and Lunar Rock over Regal Warrior and No Brakes in exacta and trifecta wagers.
Analysis: Cheyenne Nation has been racing on the very competitive New York circuit. Should find the going much softer here. Handlers could be shipping him down for a nice score. Is older than most of these but can still run. Will probably be overlooked a bit in the wagering. Arrive comes in to this one off a nice win as the favorite in similar company. Figures to be well bet and to run well again.
For value: Love’s Not Fair could easily have been the morning-line favorite in this one, had he not tanked in his last one, finishing sixth in a field of eight. Before that, he has two seconds and a win in very similar company. Dangerous and odds of 12-1 look like value.
What to bet: If Cheyenne Nation odds rise above 4-1, he becomes a great value. Bet him to win. If not, bet Love’s Not Fair for better value. Box Love’s Not Fair, Cheyenne Nation and Arrive for exacta and trifecta wagers.
Analysis: Majestic Hussar comes in off a layoff, but should find this company much softer than what he is used to. Has raced well off a layoff in the past. Has been racing with much better horses and thus gets the computer’s best class score by a large margin. May be a nice price because he has only hit the board once in his last three starts. Mystical Terp is a strong player if this race is run on the main course instead of turf.
For value: Peppermint Prince ships from Tampa to take a crack at this one. His one start over this track was decent but not good enough to get much action at the betting windows. Has the class to win it.
What to bet: Bet Majestic Hussar to win. Key Majestic Hussar over Peppermint Prince, Star Maneuver and Silvertonguedtommy in exacta and trifecta.
Analysis: Happy My Way has been on a nice tear lately, with three wins and a second in his last four starts. Does not have to lead the whole way to win, but is never too far back. Should be near the front. Although this is his first graded stakes event, clearly belongs with these. Will probably be second betting choice to Service For Ten.
For value: Lemon Drop Dream may not be a long shot but should not drop below 9-2 and at that price is a good value. Comes in off a nice score from off the pace and looks ready for this step up.