by Dick Jerardi
November 1, 2017
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TAKE THE HINT
by Dick Jerardi Philadelphia Daily News & Daily Racing Form
ANALYSIS: What we see personally often clouds our judgment. I hope that is not the case with IMPERIAL HINT, but I have only seen one sprint performance at Parx that compares with his incredibly easy win on Sept. 4. That would be Smarty Jones in the second start of his life as a 2-year-old in 2003. IMPERIAL HINT is a tiny horse with a giant motor. Not quite sure how he will adapt to California speed, but, other than that obvious concern, this colt has everything else, including the outside post, a great spot for a horse with his two-way style. This pace could be scorching, even by Sprint standards, with defending champ, DREFONG, in the starting gate alongside TAKAFUL and IMPERIAL HINT.
MAIN CONTENDERS: DREFONG comes into this race exactly the same as last year, off a late August Grade I win at Saratoga where he caught a race with no other speed and buried the opposition. Other than the first start of his career when he was off poorly and his first start this year when he ducked in and lost Mike Smith, this colt has been perfect, winning his six races by more than 26 lengths, a huge margin in sprints. IMPERIAL HINT has won five straight by a combined 23 lengths and, unlike some others, has the proven ability to sit off the pace and still come with his best run. ROY H would almost certainly be a perfect 5-for-5 this year if loose horse DREFONG had not impeded him in the Bing Crosby. AMERICAN PASTIME came east and ran the best race of his career in the Gallant Bob on Pennsylvania Derby Day at Parx. TAKAFUL is a very difficult horse to train and it is unclear how he will handle the cross-country journey, but this colt’s talent is unquestioned.
VALUE PLAYS: If they go too fast too soon, AMERICAN PASTIME is the most logical closer to get there.
WAGERING STRATEGY ($100):