How to bet the Damon Runyon Stakes
A total of nine three-year-old Empire State-bred runners will vie in Sunday’s $100,000 Damon Runyon S. at Aqueduct. The seven-furlong feature boasts a well-matched field of sophomores going a tricky distance, and the chances for a decent payoff is possible.
#5 Excellent Timing, who was privately purchased following a dominant maiden score on the track in December, will be the one to catch in his debut for Chad Brown. The dark bay son of Not This Time shows nine sharp morning drills in succession and will be showing big early foot from the opening bell. The colt will have Manny Franco in the controls, and the race goes through him. He gets the nod to lead the field every step of the way.
I am a fan of stakes winner #2 Eagle Orb, who chased a clear leader before tiring late in the recent Withers S. (G3). The bay son of Orb, who was a clear second in the Jerome S. two prior, has not had much of a break since debuting in August and could be a bit dull of the cut back from 1 1/8 miles. Vargas will ride the talented colt, who will surely be in the hunt with something resembling his best effort.
The debut score by #1 A Longlongtimeago impressed me and I will give the son of Maclean’s Music a top-three chance despite his lack of experience. Trained by Jorge Abreu, the $120,000 yearling purchase broke last in his first offering but got into contention approaching the turn for home, and he gamely wore down a tough foe in delivering a smart score. The bay colt has posted a quartet of morning drills since, and if he breaks in good order, then I expect the second timer to be well placed as the field turns for home on Sunday. I will use the interesting prospect in the gimmicks.
Rego Park S. hero #3 Perfect Munnings and sharp recent maiden winner #7 Reggae Music Man also has intrigue, and I will surely include the duo in the vertical exotics.
Damon Runyon Wagers
- $20 Win: #5 Excellent Timing ($20)
- $1 Trifecta: 5 with 1,2 with all ($14)
- $1 Superfecta: 5 with 1,2 with 1,2,3,7 with 1,2,3,7 ($12)