Turfway Park: The Grade III, $500,000 Spiral at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 50-20-10-5)
There’s little doubt synthetic racing has fallen out of flavor in recent years, which is why it’s a bit surprising that the GIII Spiral will still (essentially) award an automatic starting berth into the Kentucky Derby, but that’s exactly the case this year, when a mixed bag of 12 3-year-olds take part in Turfway’s signature race.
In a year when Todd Pletcher can seemingly do no wrong with his 3yos, let’s give an upset look to #10 BRONSON, who impressed in his lone turf start, when a very troubled second sprinting two-back at Gulfstream Park, won in the slop there last time and should handle the Polytrack in his first attempt.
While he’s made his name running on the turf, you have to think #8 KITTEN’S CAT is another who will like the Poly, especially since he’s the definite class of the race and has run some very fast figures when stacked up against the rest of the field, not to mention that owner Ken Ramsey loves to take this route to Louisville. The wildcard looks like #9 PARLOR, who is lightly raced and a little late-arriving, but impressed in his comeback win over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs last time and showed a lot of talent as a 2-year-old as well. Price players can give a look to #4 CONVICT PIKE, who was a fine second in a stakes at Ocala over the Poly last time, drew well and has a tactical gear that should allow him to trip out nicely and get first run off the far turn.
#8 Kitten’s Cat
#4 Convict Pike