The seven furlongs Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes is the premier sprint race of the year for three-year-olds. Notable recent winners include Forestry, More Than Ready, Pomeroy, Lost in the Fog, Henny Hughes and Hard Spun. This year’s field is of tremendous quality and the winner is likely to join the hallowed list of names above.
#1 Willy Beamin (Suave x Big Tease by Golden Token) 10-1: Keep in mind that this gelding went nine furlongs in a NY-bred stakes race just two days ago. He seemingly didn’t break a sweat and was eased up at the wire, but two days rest into a Grade 1 race is still a tough pill to swallow.
#2 Gun Boat (Congrats x Whittle Ruffle by Vigors) 5-1: Lost all chance after going to his face at the beginning of the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes. Rafael Bejarano is likely to work out a good trip behind the speed and might be the one to get first jump on what projects to be a very quick pace. Anything is possible when you have trainer Bob Baffert in your corner. Don’t sell this one short as he races with blinkers for the first time.
#3 Currency Swap (High Cotton x Echo Bluff by Pine Bluff) 5-2: Drove past a tiring Doctor Chit to win the Amsterdam when last seen. Without a trip near the front he isn’t effective. The pace figures to be deadly hot this time and he couldn’t get by Trinniberg when they met in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens. Why should we believe he can do it now? It’s tough to back him a short price. Rajiv Maragh stays aboard for trainer Terri Pompay.
#4 Fort Loudon (Awesome of Course x Lottsa Talc by Talc) 12-1: Went head to head with Trinniberg in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes and scored the win. His foe might not have been fully cranked that day though. Fort Loudon returned on short rest to the Amsterdam Stakes where he regressed while finishing a close fifth. Some time off and a switch to top local rider Junior Alvarado will improve his chances. He figures to get a favorable pace setup. Nick Zito is the trainer.
#5 Laurie’s Rocket (Bluegrass Cat x Clay’s Rocket by American Chance) 20-1: Fired a career best race while finishing a good fourth in the Amsterdam. He made a move at the top of the stretch and couldn’t get by the leader and then came on again to get a little closer at the end. Trainer D Wayne Lukas has won the King’s Bishop a record four times and the colt picks up an ace jockey in the form of Joel Rosario. The pace setup will work well for him as will the extra ½ furlong. There is more to like than to dislike and he’s going to be a huge number.
#6 Spin Out (Hard Spun x Island Queen by Oxygian) 20-1: Not sure what Nick Zito is thinking about entering this colt here. He appears way over matched as he owns only a single win and has never tested stakes company in the past. Anna Napravnik stays aboard.
#7 Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie x Bally Storm by Summer Squall) 12-1: The connections have always thought very highly of this colt. He works like a very good horse, but has trouble putting it all together in the afternoon. The two runners that beat him last out in the Curlin Stakes are both headed to the Travers. The work Ever So Lucky has done around a single turn has been much stronger, so the turn back in distance will favor him. John Velazquez keeps the mount for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
#8 Unbridled’s Note (Unbridled’s Song x Siberian Fur by Siberian Express) 10-1: Looked to be finished at the top of the lane, but came on for third in the Amsterdam. Jockey Julien Leparoux finds himself on a colt that will race third off the shelf today for trainer Steve Asmussen. Seven furlongs figures to suit him better, but a career best race will be required to win. That is within the realm of possibility, but are you willing to bet on it?
#9 Trinniberg (Teuflesberg x Bella Dorato by Goldminers Gold) 7/2: This colt is likely the fastest three-year-old in the country around a single turn. The connections say he is doing beautifully and will run the race of his life. That’s good, because despite his obvious talent he will need to run a cracker to win. The pace will be hot and intense and he has to be on the lead. Willie Martinez retains the mount for trainer Bisnath Parboo.
#10 Doctor Chit (War Front x True Gritz by Yes It’s True) 5-1: Set a warped pace in the Amsterdam before ending up with a second place finish. He’s going to find himself going just as fast here and maybe even faster, if you can believe it. The extra half panel figures to dig his grave. Ramon Dominguez rides for trainer Todd Pletcher.
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