Hunting Horn has a decent chance in a race with plenty of depth
22:48 - Hunting Horn
Aidan has won this race a few times in recent years and he has a couple of fair shots with the improving Lucius Tiberius and Hunting Horn, though that pair being drawn widest is hardly ideal, especially with 13 runners. But it is what it is, and the start is probably most important, and we know Hunting Horn comes into this race in progressive form, following up his Ascot win with a third to Catholic Boy and Analyze It in the Belmont Derby, pulling well clear of the fourth.
If he can break well and get a decent position then, form-wise, Hunting Horn has a better chance than most. There is plenty of depth to the race though - the Irish have a strong and varied hand, and Ming is interesting - with Analyze It in here again, lightly-raced improvers like Real Story and Untamed Domain has to be respected on his Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf second to Mendelssohn. Sniper Kitten is another who has to be respected too, as he looked good off a break last time.
In-form filly could produce another surprise
23:25 - Athena
Chad Brown has won the last three runnings of this race, and he has four in here, including the recent Saratoga Grade 1 winner Sistercharlie, who was second in the Prix de Diane when trained in France last season, and Fourstar Crook. Daddys Lil Darling looked good when winning here last time, though this is a fair step up for her, and the home team look very strong.
Nyaleti and my ride Athena, the only 3yos in the race, probably have similar form claims at their best, with the former better drawn for her run-style and my filly the more obvious recent improver. I expected her to go well in the Belmont Oaks last time but the manner of her victory certainly surprised us a bit. If she can improve upon that run, and get the breaks when needed, then we are in business.
Classy performer can bounce back against strong opposition
00:08am - Deauville
Again, probably not the best of draws in nine, and some pretty decent opposition, from here and from the home team. Last year's Secretariat winner Oscar Performance clearly has to be respected along with a few others, notably Money Multiplier and Divisidero, but Deauville is tough and classy, and he has been placed in the last two runnings of this race.
He wasn't beaten far in either - he was drawn 11 of 11 when beaten two necks in 2016 - and won't be again if he comes back to his 2017 best, when he finished third in a Queen Anne. He has to put two below-par efforts behind him, but it is not as if he has been running badly. I can see him running well back at this 1m2f trip.