Phantom Currency is a vulnerable favorite in the Appleton Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 1st, 2022

Nine horses will travel one mile on the Gulfstream Park lawn in Saturday’s grassy $100,000 Appleton S. (G3). The morning-line choice is Brian Lynch’s #7 Phantom Currency (3-1), who was last seen bagging the 2021 Mac Diarmida S. (G2) on the course more than 13 months ago.

The six-year-old son of Goldencents is obviously talented, and he likes the surface shown by his 2-for-2 mark at Gulfstream. Kentucky-bred has done much of his best work when running longer and when controlling the tempo from the start, and I don’t believe that the potential race set-up will aid his chances with Irad taking the reins. The gelding will be a bet-against at this distance off the long absence.

There is an abundance of early speed in the field which will benefit horses coming from off of the pace. A pair of horses are of particular interest to me, led by one-run closer #2 Scarlett Sky (6-1) from the barn of Shug McGaughey. The four-year-old picked up his biggest win to date when taking the 2021 Transylvania S. (G3) at Keeneland, but he has failed to hit the board in a trio of subsequent efforts since.

Sky Mesa colt put in a pair of fine efforts on this surface as a three-year-old, including a runner-up showing in the Palm Beach S., and he has been training well since the middle of January. Joel Rosario riding adds to his appeal.

Graham Motion’s #9 English Bee (7-2) does not possess the same turn of foot as the aforementioned, but the English Channel chestnut does have the right running style to make a late impact in the event. Kentucky-bred six-year-old has won or placed in five of seven local showings and has a lot of top-three appeal with Saez in the silks. I will also include the stalker in all multi-race plays, too.

I am also having a hard time deciphering how the pace scenario will shake out, so I will use the ‘all’ button in some rungs of the verticals.

Appleton Wagers

  • $20 win #2 Scarlett Sky ($20)
  • $2 trifecta 2 with 9 with all ($14)
  • $1 trifecta 2 with all with 9 ($7)
  • $1 trifecta 9 with 2 with all ($7)