Twin Spires Turf Sprint the spot for a Powerful rebound

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 6th, 2016

In addition to my Kentucky Oaks (G1) selection of Weep No More, my firmest opinion among Friday's other stakes at Churchill Downs is Power Alert in the $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3).

Winner of the five-furlong dash last season, the Australian-bred enters this title defense in virtually the same fashion as a year ago. After successful outings in 2015 and 2016 at Gulfstream, Power Alert twice met defeat as the favorite in the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland. Seeming not to handle less-than-firm going in 2015, the gray rebounded with a course-record performance in the Turf Sprint, scoring at odds of 5-1 in a time of :55.17.

In the April 9 Shakertown, Power Alert again turned in a dud finishing eighth. While you can't blame course condition as it was firm, the gelding simply doesn't seem to be a fan of the lawn in Lexington.

At 5-1 on the morning line, Power Alert's price should approximate what was on offer a year ago. This difficult field includes the Wesley Ward-trained Hootenanny, likely bound for a third trip to Royal Ascot next month, and the sharp California invader Guns Loaded. Other potential dangers are Something Extra, first and second in the last two Shakertowns, and the late-running Summation Time.

However, the similarities to Power Alert's 2015 form cycle is too hard for me to ignore. I'm expecting a strong rebound from him today.