Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) victor and Eclipse Champion Hansen will go to the starting gate today as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the 59th running of the $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Hansen is clearly the class of the race which, for me, has lost some luster with the absence of Alpha who will wait to run in either the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) or Florida Derby (G1) and Consortium who is off the trail with an injury.
While Hansen should be competitive, the rest of field of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds competing for graded stakes honors appears to be pretty evenly matched and some long shots that intrigue me the most are Done Talking (20-1), Suns Out Guns Out (30-1), Tiger Walk (12-1) and Side Road (12-1).
Done Talking has not raced in more than three months but a string of sharp work outs since his last race could have him ready to run good in his debut as a 3-year-old.
In his last race, Done Talking was only beaten by one length in the Remsen Stakes (G2) and was a fourth-place runner up to victor El Padrino who has since gone on to win the Risen Star Stakes (G2).
Done Talking was closing fast in the Remsen and earned a 113 Brisnet Late Pace Figure for that effort. Any improvement in that performance will make Done Talking very competitive and, despite the layoff, trainer Hamilton Smith is optimistic about the chances of Done Talking to run a good race.
“I look for him to be on the board,” said Smith in a Daily Racing Form news story. “Other than Hansen, we belong with everybody else.”
Suns Out Guns Out is still a maiden after four previous attempts, but his speed figures have steadily improved and I like the way he always finishes strong at the end of each race – he earned a 108 Late Pace Brisnet Figure in his last race.
In his debut as a 3-year-old, Suns Out Guns Out only lost by three-quarters of a length and finished third to Teeth Of The Dog in a 9-furlong maiden race at Gulfstream Park on February 4.
A sharp work out on February 26 at Gulfstream Park could have Sun Out Guns Out ready fire a good race at a very good price.
Tiger Walk was one of the young colts I profiled in the Withers Stakes (G3) and I like him in today’s race too.
Tiger Walk closed his racing season as a 2-year-old with two first-place finishes and a third-place finish to Alpha in the Withers Stakes (G3) last month was a good effort coming off of a two-month layoff.
After three previous attempts, Side Road finally broke his maiden at Aqueduct on January 28 and could be improving at the right time of year. In his last race, Side Road was a convincing 4-length winner covering the 8-furlongs in 1:37.79.
A recent bullet work out on February 29 could have Side Road ready to run a good race.
A good run by Dynamical (5-2) in the 30th running of the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park could, perhaps, be a good sign for Suns Out Guns Out who is running in the Gotham. Dynamical narrowly beat Suns Out Guns Out by three-quarters of a length to finish second in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on February 4.