Spot Plays for York's Ebor Festival Aug. 19

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 18th, 2020

Even without Enable competing, this week's Ebor Festival at York is hardly lacking in star power. A case in point is the small but select group in Wednesday's featured Juddmonte International (G1). We'll take a shot in that race as well a Group 3 event for juveniles earlier in the card.

Race 2 -- Acomb Stakes (G3) -- 9:15 a.m. ET

This 7-furlong feature is restricted to 2-year-olds that did not break their maiden before July 9, so there are no at stakes veterans competing here. #5 PRAISE OF SHADOWS (12-1) is wheeling back only nine days after winning on debut at Chester going this distance, and he looked good doing so by three lengths. There are some things to like about his pedigree as well. By Exceed and Excel, he's out of a half-sister to Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Moon Ballad. Praise of Shadows' second dam, Velvet Moon, earned her signature victory at this fixture winning the Lowther (G2). This colt's an intriguing each-way play.

Race 4 -- Juddmonte International (G1) -- 10:15 a.m. ET

There's no value to be had with the big bears in the field -- #2 Ghaiyyath and #4 Magical -- and frankly it will be hard to beat both of them. But we'll take a chance on #3 LORD NORTH (4-1) continuing his rapid progression for the ever-dangerous John Gosden yard. The 4-year-old gelding has won six of nine, including both tries this season. The latest was a breakout performance in the Prince of Wales's (G1) at Royal Ascot against a decent field, though none obviously the quality of either Ghaiyyath or Magical. Still, as third choice in a small field of five, he's backable at this price.