Churchill Downs – 9th race – 3-Pyjama Party-Ire (9/2)
Tipped his hand with an excellent U.S. debut at Keeneland in late April, overcoming a rugged start to rally willingly and finish fourth, beaten just over a length, in a strong second-level allowance event on turf. The son of Rip Van Winkle shows a healthy, steady series of drills in recent weeks and should produce a forward move in this middle distance turf affair for a statistically powerful trainer/jockey combo. At 9/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.
Belmont Park – 8th race – 4-Mawthooq (5/2)
Was well-meant in his first start in 17 months but was worn down late and settled for second in a strong entry-level allowance dash in mid-May. The Kieran McLaughlin-trained colt should move forward considerably with that effort behind him, and this lightly-raced son of Distorted Humor shows three strong works since that race to add fuel to the fire. With the switch to Rosario and at 5/2 on the morning line, he’s worth using as a straight play and rolling exotic single.