July 22, 2024

Cody’s Wish meets eight in Met Mile; Elite Power tops True North

Cody's Wish wins the Churchill Downs Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Cody’s Wish and Elite Power remain eligible to meet up for the first time at Saratoga, but Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will keep his stars separated on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes undercard.

Following a stellar last-to-first win in the Churchill Downs (G1) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, Cody’s Wish will be the one to beat in the $1 million Metropolitan H. (G1). The five-year-old horse has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite among nine rivals, and Junior Alvarado retains the mount on the 126-pound highweight.

Cody’s Wish brings a five-race win streak to the prestigious Met Mile, capturing the Forego (G1), Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and Churchill Downs in succession. The Godolphin homebred son of Curlin is perfect from six starts at the mile distance.

Repo Rocks comes next on the morning line at 4-1 following a 5 1/4-length win in the Westchester (G3) at Belmont Park on May 5. Based at Parx, the five-year-old gelding has won five of his last six starts versus stakes foes, the lone setback being a runner-up in the Carter (G1) at odds-on two back, and Ruben Silvera rides the early/presser for Jamie Ness.

Grade 1 winner Zandon will make his second start of the year following a second as the favorite in the Westchester. Charge It is eligible to appreciate the cutback to a one-turn mile distance, winning the mile Dwyer (G3) by 23 lengths at Belmont last summer.

Multiple Grade 1 victor Dr. Schivel invades from California off a romping allowance win at Santa Anita four weeks ago, and Slow Down Andy rates as intriguing in his four-year-old opener. A graded winner on dirt and turf last season, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt exits a troubled third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

The first of nine stakes Saturday, the $250,000 True North (G2) at 6 1/2 furlongs, features champion male sprinter Elite Power, who heads a field of six. A maiden scorer in early June last year, the five-year-old son of Curlin has reeled off six consecutive wins since graduating. Elite Power captured the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and Vosburgh (G2) last fall, and the powerful finisher exits a sharp 3 1/4-length triumph over Gunite in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G2) overseas in late February.

Irad Ortiz Jr. guides the chestnut Juddmonte homebred, and Elite Power is pegged at 4-5 on the morning line.

Strobe rates as the main rival. A winner in four of six starts for Brad Cox, the four-year-old colt broke slowly in his stakes debut, the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn on April 15, and rallied well for second. Strobe possesses more early speed than he displayed, recording all four wins in frontrunning manner, and he figures to be forwardly placed with Florent Geroux.

Winner of last year’s 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn (G2), Fearless will cut back to a sprint in his first start since September. Today’s Flavor switches back to open competition after winning the restricted Affirmed Success S. in late April. Anarchist exits a Grade 3 victory on Woodbine’s Tapeta track, and last-out allowance/optional claiming winner Synthesis completes the field.