Kelso Handicap Gr.2 winner and Klaravich Stables’ stable star Complexity is not just the favourite he has also drawn post 10 in the US$1 million Dirt Mile.
Complexity first appeared at the year-end World Championships in 2018, when he entered the Juvenile Gr.1 unbeaten but exited a disappointing 10th. He made only 3 starts in 2019, winning once against the optional claiming company, but trainer Chad Brown’s patience and handling have turned the Maclean’s Music colt into a potentially elite 4-year-old. After defeating optional claiming rivals at Belmont Park to start the season, he missed by a 1/2-length in the Forego Stakes Gr.1 before championing the Kelso, but he now faces the tough task of winning his first two-turn event in what will be his final start before retiring to stud.
Knicks Go is the main challenger having scorched the local dirt last time out with a track record-setting time of 1:40.79 while covering 1 1/16 miles. Now undefeated in 2 starts since changing to the Brad Cox barn last winter, the 4-year-old Paynter colt (bred in Maryland and now owned by the Korea Racing Authority) returns to the World Championships after finishing second at 40/1 in the 2018 Juvenile. Prior to that, he was a 70/1 upsetter in the local Breeders’ Futurity Gr.1.
Cox will also saddle Owendale, whose 4 career stakes wins include the 2019 Lexington Gr.1, held at 1 1/16 miles on the local dirt. Though he tried making one long, sustained run to the front in most of his first 16 starts, he showed in his 2 most recent appearances that he can be equally effective when pressing the pace, as evidenced by runner-up efforts while going slightly longer in both the Alysheba Stakes Gr.2 and the Pimlico Special Stakes Gr.1.
Art Collector could enjoy returning to Keeneland, site of his impressive 3 1/2-length victories in the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass Stakes Gr.2 this past July that came against several strong 3-year-olds, including the eventual Preakness Stakes Gr.1 champion and Longines Distaff Gr.1 contender Swiss Skydiver. He won his first 4 starts after owner/breeder Bruce Lunsford moved him to current trainer Tommy Drury Jr., but he finished a well-beaten fourth in the Preakness last time out. He drew the rail and is 6/1 on the morning line.
Dale Romans trainee Mr Freeze, who drew post 9 for his first attempt in a Breeders’ Cup event, began the year auspiciously, finishing second in January’s Pegasus World Cup Gr.1 before winning the Gulfstream Park Mile Gr.2 a month later, but then endured a 3-race skid that ended last time out in the 1 1/8-mile Fayette Stakes Gr.2. He also finished second in the 2019 Fayette and broke his maiden going 7 furlongs on this dirt, so expect another strong effort here.
While the 2019 Preakness winner War of Will is slated to exit post 4 as he makes his final career start before the breeding shed calls his name. Following a gruelling 2019 campaign spent competing against the best runners on dirt, he missed nearly seven months before resurfacing on turf and won the local Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes Gr.1 in his second of 3 starts this season for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.