Remsen Stakes (GII)

A 2YO battle at 9 furlongs on Aqueduct’s Outer Track leads the Kentucky Derby trail this week. It’s a great day of racing at the Big A, including the Cigar Mile, so be sure to check out the card. This especially includes the late Pick 4, which adds the Demoiselle, a 9-furlong battle for 2YO fillies and a turf maiden sprint for 2YO fillies. There should be some good action on the Pick 4 — let’s take a look at the Remsen, the featured event for aspiring 2YO’s.

This is a nice field with several horses we will hear from next year — whether turf or dirt. Triple Dog Dare has run well at a route and should appreciate the strechout. There is one catch — he’s still a maiden. Honestly, that doesn’t matter that much at this stage and it should raise his value as the public thinks differently. Avery Island won the G2 Nashua, but in a relatively slow time. I do need to say I think Joe Bravo is overated. He’s actually a minus factor for me in evaluating a horse. Joe Bravo rides Avery Island today.

Biblical cost $800K for the China Horse Club, who is a growing force in top-level American racing. So far, he’s not fast enough and he’s already run at the distance. I’d pass today, but he could develop into a monster in time. Catholic Boy is fascinating. Running 4th in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, he’s never run on dirt. He’s likely a bit better on turf than dirt, but everybody has to take their “run my good turf horse on dirt just to see if he’s a Derby horse.” While they sometimes win, I tend to pass on them.

Alkhaatam is another who is still a maiden. But he ran fast in his maiden race and should appreciate the extra distance. Vouch won huge in a maiden at Laurel. I’d pass — the class jump usually gets horses shipping from the mid-Atlantic (PARX, Delaware, Laurel/Pimlico). VIP Code — see above. Yes, he ran fell on turf in the Awad, but this dirt makes him 5 lengths slower.

A few horses I didn’t mention, but remember there still young and can develop quickly, so if you feel a longshot, especially in appearance this is a race to go for it.

I like Triple Dog Dare. He won’t be 6/1, but I don’t think he’ll be 9/5, either. Play him at 5/2, but look for value in other pools, both horizontal and vertical. It should be a solid P4, with 4 good races.

Good luck at the races today!