|10:10 pm Thursday
I feel good about the chance of hitting with one of my 4 main contenders, whom I give a collective 65% chance of winning (Hunting Horn is the 4th). If I were to use a 5th, it would probably be Bandua. It could have been the added ground or the firmer going that left him wanting in his last two, or perhaps he just beat up on short fields of weaker foes in his first two.
Platinum Warrior and Captivating Moon are the value plays. In his G3 win two back, Platinum Warrior beat next out winner of the G1 Irish Derby. He was forwardly placed in 3rd position in the early going of that race, and it is notable that the pace players in 1st, 2nd, and 4th early finished 6th, 8th, and 9th of 10. PW was too far back of a slow pace last out in the aforementioned Derby, and he hit his mouth on the gate, returning sore and with a good amount of blood. I expect that contributed at least in some small part to his poor finish. Expect that he'll be more forwardly-placed here.
I was tempted to make PW my top selection here, but Captivating Moon was my first instinct, and I'm going to stick with him. The pace should be honest enough, and I think CM is the strongest finisher. He has talent, but he has languished too far back in the early going of most of his races. That could change with the added distance, as the pace should be a a little slower, allowing him to at least keep in touch from the outset. You know I love FloGo on the turf, and he retains the mount here. It's a plus that CM stayed at Arlington after the American Derby, so he does not have to ship from his home base. Note that the turf on American Derby day was extremely kind to inside speed, and CM ran against the grain of that bias. I think he's really live at a big price.