Three-year olds and older are going to be on the dirt on Saturday at the Awesome Again Stakes, and the winner is very likely to end up going on to the Breeders' Cup Classic to take on some of the best ponies in the world.
1: Hard Aces 4/1
2: Sammy Mandeville 10/1
3: Point Piper 8/1
4: Global View 12/1
5: Hoppertunity 3/1
6: Imperative 6/1
7: Smooth Roller 6/1
8: Bayern 5/2
You're not going to find American Pharoah in this race, and as a result, you're not going to find a tremendous favorite. It's incredibly odd to see a race with just eight horses without an odds on favorite or anything even close to it.
Hoppertunity and Bayern are the two choices of the oddsmakers at 5 to 2 and 3 to 1 respectively, though with only two horses of the eight lined as double-digit underdogs on the morning line odds, Sammy Mandeville and Global View, any of the eight surely have a legit chance of winning the Awesome Again Stakes.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
Hoppertunity is our choice of the two favorites, though we're not all that sure that either he or Bayern is deserving of being a big time choice of the oddsmakers.
Hoppertunity has been incredibly consistent. His Beyer Speed Ratings have all been at least 95 in his last 10 races, a remarkable feat for any colt.
However, Hoppertunity isn't necessarily winning a ton. He hasn't finished worse than fourth in any race in his career, but he also only has four wins in 13 runs.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
We're going to take a stab on Smooth Roller here, simply because there aren't a lot of other elite level horses in this field. Bayern and Hoppertunity haven't been in great form, and in fact, there are only two horses of the eight who even won their last race.
Smooth Roller was a late starter in his career, running for the first time in June as a four-year old. That said, we don't know a heck of a lot about him.
Here's what we do know, though. He has Beyer Speed Ratings of 101, 101 and 95 in his career, and he is showing improvement with every race that he runs. Yes, he finished fourth in an ungraded stakes race in his last run, but Smooth Roller stumbled at the start and still posted a 101 Beyer Speed Rating.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
We're going to be all about the price here at the Awesome Again Stakes. As we stated earlier, we have no confidence in the favorites here, and that leaves all of the underdogs up for grabs.
Point Piper is surely going to get some run here. He won his last race as a 30 to 1 underdog, and he did so against Smooth Roller. However, his 102 Beyer Speed Rating was a massive outlier when you look at the rest of his career.
With no other horse coming off of a win, or even a remarkable race, we're going to get on the Smooth Roller bandwagon. Don't be stunned though, if he ends up coming down in price severely before the Awesome Again Stakes goes to post, because this is a very popular pick of horse racing pundits.
Play Smooth Rider to win Awesome Again Stakes
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