Sonny Inspired is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the six-furlong Not For Love Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday and he looks vulnerable to me. Below is a look at the field:
1-BLU MOON ACE (9/2)
This guy has a big shot for Cory Jensen, an assistant to Jamie Ness who appears to have inherited Ness’ magical touch with thoroughbred racehorses. Jensen has won nine of his 34 starts (according to Equibase) and just claimed this son of Malibu Moon for Jagger, Inc. after the 4-year-old recorded a lifetime-best 95 Brisnet speed figure and a 0 late speed ration (also a career best) in an optional claiming event on March 12.
Fair Odds: 5-2
Fits with these and could improve in his third start of a layoff. I don’t love him, don’t hate him.
Fair Odds: 8-1
3-STOLEN LOVE (7/2)
He’s another major contender coming off consecutive scores against similar. His trainer, Claudio Gonzalez, is outstanding in non-graded stakes, winning at a 16 percent clip with a 61 percent ROI, and his LSRs are solid (-2 in each of his last two races).
Fair Odds: 3-1
Son of Cuba is undefeated on the dirt and possesses the third-best overall speed figures in the field. He has enough early lick to contend for the early lead should his jockey, Maryland mainstay Horacio Karamanos, desire and is yet another with the credentials to win.
Fair Odds: 4-1
5-SONNY INSPIRED (5/2)
Although he’s faced much tougher, including five forays into graded stakes company, this Phil Schoenthal trainee has recorded mediocre speed and pace figures of late and would seem to be at a disadvantage as a closer in a race without much early lick. As I always say: At long odds, I’d give greater weight to all the pluses in his past performances; but, at short odds, the negatives outweigh the positives, I’m afraid.
Fair Odds: 9-2
His last race was pretty good and he could be on the engine today, but his recent LSRs have been weak (for this field). That said, his effort on Oct. 9 probably wins this. Mixed feelings.
Fair Odds: 6-1
7-NICARADALIC ROCKS (12/1)
Like most in here, he’s got a chance; however, his overall resume doesn’t stack up well against these, so I’d insist on a good price.
Fair Odds: 15-1
8-JEEZUM JIM (10-1)
Broke his maiden in a slow time going five furlongs, but has won his other three races over a distance of ground. He’s talented, but I’d be surprised if he gets the job done on Saturday.
Fair Odds: 20-1