We head to the non-existent inner turf course here at GP and look at the field for The Appleton (GIII), going a flat mile. I took the weight and went with Banshee Star today. He looked good winning over this track last out, thus the two extra pounds, beating similar in the Canadian (GIII) and I don’t think the impost is enough to look elsewhere. Cherokee Raj proved that he belongs, showing a solid second at SA vs. similar on the down-hill turn. Give him a shot here today, and he may have some odds with him.
First part of the Nak entry and he’s had a trio of less than thrilling starts after winning the Shadow Turf Mile (GI) at KEE in Oct. He also won the Wise Dan (GII) and put some serious cash in the bank last season, so if he can find some old form he could be dangerous.
Didn’t miss the board last year putting up a 2-2-2 from six starts but was sixth last out in the Canadian Turf (GIII) over this track. He was the runner-up in the Thunder Road (GIII) prior to that, so look for him to bounce back and be a handful today.
Back to back wins at the OptAlw level so he steps up to graded horses. He’s in very good form right now, but this is an acid test after racing at GG and TAM. Still, if you look at his current form, you have to think that he could be in the hunt here.
He’s been racing vs. softer but looked good with a runner-up (DH) finish in the San Simeon Stakes (GIII) to prove that he certainly can run with this type of competition. I think the added distance may be to his liking, so watch him in this.
The hostile takeover was executed four starts back, being tagged for just $5.000, and has two wins since the change of conditioners. Still, he’s been racing vs. softer and this is his first start since last season, so I want to see one before jumping on his bandwagon.
Carries the extra weight off of that win over this track in the Canadian Turf (GIII). Add in that he won the Bradley at FG prior to that to keep 22 perfect, and closed out ’21 with a win vs Opt Alw types… so with three in a row, the old boy might be able to keep it going today.
Had a nice 21 season with half of his eight starts and only missed one check, that was a twelfth place finish in the BC Turf (GI). He started the 22 season with a dud in the McKnight (GIII) over this track last out. They shorten him up, trying to wake him back up.