As well as one and a half million dollars in total prize money this race serves as a “Win and You’re In” contest for the Breeders Cup Mile late in the year so plenty to play for here for the eleven combatants. Mind Your Biscuits would be a very popular winner after his exploits in Dubai but he has to give eight pounds to BOLT D”ORO and that may well prove to be a step too far stepped up to the mile. The selection found the trip too far when strongly fancied in the Kentucky Derby but has been clocking some amazing times on the training grounds this week and if he can repeat those in a race dropped back to a mile he will take all the beating at these weights.
1 MIND YOUR BISCUITS – Anyone who witnessed his second consecutive Dubai Golden Shaheen won’t be forgetting it in a hurry after the five-year-old sat a long long way off the early pace before appearing on the scene like a rocket to get up close home to win by a head from the classy X Y Jet. That was over six furlongs but this is a mile and although he has run well over seven furlongs and this trip before with a second to Sharp Azteca in the Cigar Mile but there is a worry that he may not be fully wound up after his return from Dubai while giving weight away all round looks to make his life that little bit more complicated.
2 BOLT D’ORO – Mick Ruis’ Medaglia d’Oro colt didn’t run anywhere near as well as expected in the Kentucky Derby when beaten twenty-four lengths by Justify but he will be far happier returning to a mile here. Reports from his morning work suggest he has clocked some blistering times in the run up to this contest and is in really good form and although he takes on his elders here, this has long been the plan and a huge run is expected by connections today.
3 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL – Yet to win or even race over this trip and better known as a sprinter, she did win over seven furlongs last month in the Grade Two Churchill Down Stakes for the second season in a row. Clearly this is a step up in company as well as distance and the son of Successful Appeal needs a career best by some margin to even compete, but if they go slow from the start he may yet get home and surprise a few here.
4 MCCRAKEN – Well supported in the early markets in recent weeks and he showed his wellbeing with a cosy half length win at Churchill Down on Kentucky Derby day on his first run for over six months. This would be his first win in Grade One company were he to succeed and he could have been found an easier race, but he has a good record at this sort of trip and won’t be far away from the places at the very least.
5 GOOD SAMARITAN – He had some very decent form as a three-year-old with a win at Saratoga and two places ahead of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming. His fifth to Backyard Heaven last time out does leave him with a lot to find and he may not be best suited by the drop back to a mile, but he still has chances here on his very best form for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Jose Ortiz.
6 ONE LINER – Just the three career starts for Todd Pletcher’s four-year-old with an impressive victory at Oaklawn Park before a third at Gulfstream Park, a win at Keeneland, and a second to Irish War Cry in the Grade Three Pimlico Stakes over nine and a half furlongs in May. Fancied for the 2017 Kentucky Derby until injury intervened he ought to be spot on now but whether he can ever reach his potential after injury remains open to question.
7 DISCREET LOVER – Owned and trained by Uriah St Lewis the Repent five-year-old is a useful tool when campaigned in the right company and has won over £340,000 in prize money after three wins and five places. Last time out he finished fourth to Irish War Cry at Pimlico and a place and a length and three-quarters behind One Liner at level weights. No reason to expect that form to be turned around now and needs a weaker race to win again.
8 RANSOM THE MOON – A way above average sprinter with a 2017 win in the Grade One Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Amar and a fifth in the Breeders Cup Sprint but whether he can produce that kind of form over a mile seems pretty unlikely despite being by Malibu Moon. This race seems sure to be run at a suicidal pace from the off putting even more emphasis on stamina and if that is the case he may well struggle to get home.
9 WARRIOR’S CLUB – Only a head behind Limousine Liberal at Churchill Downs over seven furlongs last time out in a Grade Two after beating the same rival by a neck at Keeneland the race before. Owned by a syndicate they will roar themselves hoarse if he can get in to a challenging position though sadly that looks unlikely in this line-up, though he does still have room to improve further over time.
10 BEE JERSEY – A confirmed front runner with three wins from three starts this season he deserves the step up to Grade One class after a five and a half length romp in the Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park in early May. He does ned to step up on that in this company but could well get a soft early lead in this field and if they let him slip his field he will take some catching under Ricardo Santana Junior.
11 AWESOME SLEW – Placed finishes in fifteen of his nineteen career starts include a third in the Breeders Cup Mile last season and a second in the Grade One Carter Handicap as recently as April, yet he still looks likely to come up short in this field. He does stay a mile, but his best form is generally over seven furlongs and he may well find a few with too much stamina for him at the death today.