New Format, Detail for our “Question Mark” Speed Figures gives you an edge (updated with a new code)

Our customers bet off of TimeformUS Speed Figures, and we do not want them unknowingly placing faith in the occasional number that we are not yet confident in. From time to time, our figures are under review because the evidence that is ordinarily available to create them has somehow been compromised. What’s the best way to handle this challenge to help our customers?

The Origin of Question Mark Figures

One of the helpful features that Timeform Ratings (from the mothership in England) offer when assessing horses overseas is a question mark symbol when a horse’s rating is considered suspect. With that as inspiration, we implemented question mark symbols in TimeformUS Past Performances in the spring of 2015. An example of how Question Mark Figures were initially displayed in TimeformUS  is below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.49.56 PM

Beginning today, Question Mark Figures are being displayed in a new format, with a new level of detail to give TimeformUS Customers an advantage when betting.

Moving to The Left

Question Mark Figures are now shifting to the Race Rating field, to reflect that they apply to the entire race, not just the Speed Figure for one horse. Additionally, instead of the general question mark symbol, you will see  a specific one-letter code that indicates the main reason for the question mark designation. Here’s how these races will look for question mark figures assigned for races beginning January 25th or later:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 5.26.52 PM

Understanding The Codes

Most of the time a tough race to evaluate with a speed figure is marked as such for more than one reason.  The code identifies the main one. Here are the seven possible codes that you will see:

f – First Timers/Lightly Raced – The race was loaded with horses racing for the first time or with very few starts. If a turf or synthetic track race, there could be little to no form on the surface. This is never reason alone to mark a race as questionable. It is usually combined with other factors. For example, a 2yo maiden special weight race with first time starters only and it is the only dirt sprint on the card.

o – Only Turf / Sprint / Route – This one is exactly as described…only one race on the card was run under similar conditions. Much like the f code, this is never a sole reason for marking the race. Most times this is used the race was an “only” and comparing the performance of the horses in the race to the projections varied quite a bit from horse to horse.

p – Pace – There will be some races run with the pace so aberrantly fast or slow that it will cause the horses to all run unreasonably slow final times. Since TimeformUS Speed Figures combine pace and final time figures into one overall number, we’re typically able to capture these nuances, but sometimes the situation is so extreme that we don’t feel we’re able to properly measure it. These races are already flagged via color coding for the fractions/pace figures, but we will go a step further and apply this coding.  It is probably a good idea to ignore races coded “p” from a speed figure point of view.

t – Timer – Unfortunately this is becoming more common in the sport of horse racing. Timer malfunctions are way more prevalent than they should be and races where there was an issue are marked as such. In many cases these races are missing one or more fractional times. We do not attempt to make pace figures for points of call that are missing fractions. Also, there will be no final time figures for races that are not timed at the finish.

b – Breakout – The race appears unusually fast or unusually slow compared to others on the card, including those that come before and after it. Using the same variant as the other races would cause all the top finishers in a race to have aberrant numbers that don’t seem realistic.

n – Possible BreakoutThe race was strongly considered as a “breakout,” code b above, but in the end was left as is with reservations. This is the preferred choice between the two.

c – Track Conditions – Track conditions can change drastically during a card, usually due to weather, and the figures for the race are primarily based on only the horses in this one race.

There are now 2 new types of codes:

  • i – Insufficient data – There simply isn’t enough data to generate a speed figure with confidence. These races will be almost exclusively races for two-year-olds from days when there were no similar races on the card and the two-year-old race was hard to compare to the other races due to things like timing problems, changes in weather, or rarely run distances. As the horses run again, these races will be re-visited to see if enough data has come in to allow us to go back and make a figure with confidence.
  • z – No baseline for pace figures – The race was run on a track configuration that hasn’t been used before or has been used sparingly. The configuration consists of the distance and surface of the race, any temporary rail setting that may be in place, the run up for the race, and the “about” designation used at some locations.

Question Mark Figures: Why We Include This Data in Our Product

To review these suspect figures, we will typically wait for additional evidence to come in, in the form of horses from that race returning to race again. But even that has its limitations. Some figures are questionable when made and remain questionable months later or in perpetuity–because the runbacks do little to clarify the situation. This is rare but it does happen, and we believe it to be true for all Speed Figure makers. When a figure is under review, you deserve to know it.

As a player, you can then incorporate our lack of confidence in the available evidence into your own handicapping and assess additional elements of a horse’s form before placing your bets.

Additionally, if you refer to other speed figures when handicapping, the TimeformUS Question Marks will alert you to difficult conditions that likely affected other figure makers as well. They may not tell you, but we will. And now we’ll tell you why, too.

Related:

>How To Use TimeformUS Race Ratings

>Color-Coded Bias Indicators in TimeformUS Race Ratings

>How To Use TimeformUS Speed Figures

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Welcome to the TimeformUS Blog

Hello and welcome to the TimeformUS blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explain features of TimeformUS Past Performances, a new horse racing product which is optimized for tablets and the web. Currently, you can purchase TimeformUS Past Performances at TimeformUS.com or in the the TVG Handicapping Store.

This blog is also a great place to ask questions and provide feedback about our new product. Use the links below to get started, and if you have questions, email us at  Support@TimeformUS.com

Visit TimeformUS.com

More TimeformUS How-To Videos

How to use TimeformUS Past Performances
TimeformUS Help Legend (PDF)
The Fast PPs
• Result Charts
• The Race Finder Tool

How TimeformUS is Different
TimeformUS Speed Figures
TimeformUS Spotlight Speed Figures
TimeformUS Pace Projector
• TimeformUS Running Lines
TimeformUS Pace Figures
• TimeformUS Bias Indicators
Full Result Charts
Trainer Ratings
• Pedigree Ratings
• Race Ratings
Enhanced Foreign Running Lines
• Running Style and Early/Late Ratings

 

 

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How TimeformUS is Different

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TimeformUS
 is a new kind of horse racing Past Performances, optimized for tablets and PCs. At TimeformUS, we’re focused on helping you understand races faster. We’re perpetually refining the site and PPs: New features will be introduced regularly.  To start: here’s a top 10 list on how we’re making it easier to play the game; click the links next to each item for a deeper description or a video on how it works.

First thing’s first: if you’re looking for a PDF legend labeling all of our features, click here

1) How we make our Speed Figures
Our state-of-the-art, single-number measure of all-around performance.
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2) Our Pace Projector
The breakthrough timesaver that tells you where they’re gonna be early in a race, and more.
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3) Race Ratings
The TimeformUS Race Ratings help you quickly understand the quality of any race.
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4) TimeformUS Pace Figures
Based on the fractional times run by each horse at each point of call in a race, TimeformUS Pace Figures give you a clear sense of the pace scenarios that a horse has faced in prior races.
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5) TimeformUS Color-Coded Bias Indicators
When we see a surface that favored frontrunners or closers in a horse’s previous race, we flag that running line with red or blue coloring.
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6) Timeform Foreign Running Lines for shippers
TimeformUS PPs offer unparalleled info on horses who previously ran overseas.
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7) TimeformUS Result Charts
One-click access from the 1-2-3 section of every running line,  TimeformUS Result Charts are color-coded  and fully customizable.
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8)  Simplified but smart TimeformUS Trainer Ratings
Our Trainer Ratings show you instantly how a trainer performs overall and in specific situations.
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9) TimeformUS Race Finder
Use our Race Finder to quickly and easily find the types of races you like to play.
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10) TimeformUS Pedigree Ratings based on today’s surface/distance
On a 100-point scale and based on the surface/distance of today’s race, factoring in the TimeformUS speed figures assigned to the horses in the family of today’s runner.
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Visit TimeformUS.com, or see below for even MORE ways in which TimeformUS is different:

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TimeformUS Derby Prep Analysis: Lynn’s Map should offer value in a wide open Louisiana Derby

Fair Grounds | Race 12 | Post Time 4:49 p.m. (CT) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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While it may or may not turn out to be a prep race for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, Saturday’s Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds is nevertheless a lucrative spring prize for some of the top 3-year-olds in the country. An oversubscribed field of 16 has been entered with no clear standout among the participants.

The lukewarm morning line favorite is Enforceable (#10), who won the Lecomte and finished second in a division of the Risen Star. He’s among the most reliable members of this field, having steadily improved with almost every start while showing no discernable distance limitations. The one concern with Enforceable is that he has a tendency to break a bit slowly, and that could be problematic in a field this large.

1-La-Derby-Pace-Projector

On the other hand, he owns the highest TimeformUS Late Pace Rating in the field (110) and the horse in that position is usually quite dangerous when the TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, as is the case in this Louisiana Derby. The Pace Projector indicates that Wells Bayou (#3) should be vying for the lead along with Ny Traffic (#11), with plenty of stalkers and pace pressers vying for position in behind them. Wells Bayou is certainly a threat to lead this field from gate-to-wire on the heels of his impressive 119 TimeformUS Speed Figure in the Southwest. However, it remains to be seen if he can duplicate that performance going 1 3/16 miles while sustaining added early pressure.

If the pace does fall apart, Portos (#9) should loom as another late threat. This plodding son of Tapit doesn’t have much turn of foot, but he stays on well in his races and should relish every bit of this distance while also aided by the long stretch at Fair Grounds. His recent pair of 107 TimeformUS Speed Figures compare very favorably to the local contingent of Louisiana-based runners and his TimeformUS Late Pace Rating of 107 is second in the field behind Enforceable.

I’m taking a stand against some others who figure to attract support. Modernist (#14) got a perfect trip en route to his victory in the second division of the Risen Star and projects to have a much more difficult journey from his outside draw here. Chestertown (#4) had legitimate trouble in his optional claiming prep last time, but he needs to run significantly faster to compete at this level. Royal Act (#8) earned a 114 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his runner-up finish in the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita last time, but the quality of that race is debatable following a poor subsequent effort by winner Thousand Words.

5-Lynns-Map

I want to look for better value so I’m taking a shot with LYNN’S MAP (#12). This colt ran legitimately well to win an optional claiming race on Dec. 21, overcoming a slow pace to run down subsequent Risen Star winner Mr. Monomoy. There’s no clear explanation for what went wrong in the Smarty Jones in his subsequent start, when he put in a dull effort. However, he rebounded last time in the Risen Star and only failed to hit the board due to a poorly judged ride. Corey Lanerie reserved him at the back of the pack after a mildly sluggish start, which was a new running style for Lynn’s Map. He was just given far too much ground to make up in the lane, yet he still passed about half the field while rallying to be sixth, passing horses quickly as they crossed the wire. He doesn’t strike me as one that will have major issues with added distance, and I like this rider switch to Tyler Gaffalione. If he’s anywhere close to that 30-1 morning line price, he’s an enticing proposition.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 12

Exacta Key Box: 12 with 1,3,4,8,9,10

Trifecta: 10,12 with 10,12 with 1,3,4,8,9,13,14
Trifecta: 10,12 with 1,3,4,8,9,13 with 10,12

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Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Our Last Buck’s recent form is better than it appears

Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 4:01 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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It’s difficult to predict how the public will approach this wide-open conditioned claiming event, which features horses converging from a variety of class levels. In some ways, the horse to beat might be Tiz Morning (#9), since he’s earned the fastest speed figures on dirt. He was claimed away from some low-profile connections by Tom Morley, who has been enjoying a strong Aqueduct winter meet. However, this barn doesn’t have the strongest statistics off the claim and it is a little curious that they’re not moving him up in class given his background.

Bebe Banker (#3) should appreciate the class relief as he drops out of New York-bred allowance company. He was overmatched in some recent spots, but he should have shown more last time when he had nothing left for the final furlong against a weaker group for the level.

Our-Last-Buck

I want to look for a horse coming from a different direction, and OUR LAST BUCK (#8) fits the bill. He’s stretching out on dirt for the first time, but there are some reasons to believe he’ll handle it. He was initially targeted at a one-mile race on turf in his career debut before they shortened him up. That shouldn’t have been surprising since he is bred to route, as a son of Courageous Cat out of a dam-side family that has produced primarily dirt and turf routers. His form looks spotty, but he has subtly improved since the trainer switch to Michelle Nevin. He ran a sneaky race two back when he lost interest coming to the quarter pole before regaining his momentum in the stretch. Then last time he stayed on gamely to lose by less than a length despite having to close up the inside on a day when that probably wasn’t the place to be. Furthermore, his tactical speed should play well in a race that lacks much pace.

THE PLAY

Win: 8
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 2,3,7,9
Trifecta: 8 with 3,9 with 2,3,7,9

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Sunday, March 15

RACE 2: CHASENBRYN (#4)

Make Or Break would be pretty tough for these to handle if able to repeat her maiden score from Feb. 1, in which she earned a field-best 91 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Yet in making her first start off the claim for Rob Atras last time she surprisingly underperformed, losing to today’s rival Vibrancy. Now she’s getting some class relief and it’s a good sign that she’s again withheld from being claimed. Furthermore, Atras is 11 for 31 (35%, $2.77 ROI) second off the claim over the past five years, so she may do better this time. Main rival Vibrancy made her first start off the claim for the Asmussen barn last time, and while she defeated Make Or Break, she still didn’t do much to write home about. She earned a competitive speed figure when she broke her maiden two back, though horses haven’t really come back from that race to validate the number. Getting back out to this distance should help, though it’s not as if she has much room for error at a short price. I want to go in a different direction, so I’m taking a shot with mid-Atlantic shipper Chaysenbryn. She made a long, sustained run from far back to get up going 6 furlongs last time. Now she attempts to stretch out for the first time and she does have some pedigree to do so, being a half-sister to turf router Mo Gee. This marks her second start following a layoff, so she also has a right to improve. Notably, though Jeremiah Englehart is having a slow meet, over the past 5 years he is 11 for 29 (38%, $2.73 ROI) with horses going from sprints to dirt routes in their second starts off a layoff of 120 to 240 days.

———

RACE 6: OUR LAST BUCK (#8)

It’s difficult to predict how the public will approach this wide-open conditioned claiming event, which features horses converging from a variety of class levels. In some ways, the horse to beat might be Tiz Morning, since he’s earned the fastest speed figures on dirt. He was claimed away from some low-profile connections by Tom Morley, who has been enjoying a strong Aqueduct winter meet. However, this barn doesn’t have the strongest statistics off the claim and it is a little curious that they’re not moving him up in class given his background. Bebe Banker should appreciate the class relief as he drops out of New York-bred allowance company. He was overmatched in some recent spots, but he should have shown more last time when he had nothing left for the final furlong against a weaker group for the level. I want to look for a horse coming from a different direction, and Our Last Buck fits the bill. He’s stretching out on dirt for the first time, but there are some reasons to believe that he’ll handle it. He was initially targeted at a one-mile race on turf in his career debut before they shortened him up. That shouldn’t have been surprising since he is bred to route, as a son of Courageous Cat out of a damside family that has produced primarily dirt and turf routers. His form looks spotty, but he has subtly improved since the trainer switch to Michelle Nevin. He ran a sneaky race two back when he lost interest coming to the quarter pole before regaining his momentum in the stretch. Then last time he stayed on gamely to lose by less than a length despite having to close up the inside on a day when that probably wasn’t the place to be. Furthermore, his tactical speed should play well in a race that lacks much pace.

———

RACE 9: GANDY DANCING (#4)

Not Phar Now figures to attract plenty of support given that he fits the pattern of a Linda Rice second time starter who figures to improve. He didn’t run a particularly fast race first time out, but he had some minor trouble that day, stumbling at the start before rushing up to contest the pace on the backstretch. Some would also argue that the rail was the place to be that day – I’m undecided – and he was off the inside for his entire trip, so perhaps he deserves a little extra credit for the performance. I’m using him prominently, but he is going to have to improve quite a bit to take down fellow second time starter Ernie Banker. This John Kimmel trainee simply ran a faster race in his debut, earning a solid 90 TimeformUS Speed Figure while losing to the promising duo of More Graytful and Double Shot, the latter of which defeated Not Phar Now by over 5 lengths in his subsequent start. Ernie Banker was a little green that day and figures to do better with experience. However, John Kimmel is just 4 for 41 (10%, $0.51 ROI) with second time starting maidens on dirt over the past five years. I’ll use both, but there is a first time starter in the mix that merits attention. Gandy Dancing ships up from Chad Brown’s Palm Meadows base, and he looks very live. His workouts have been encouraging, especially considering the fact that most of them – including that bullet gate drill on Feb. 18 – were accomplished in company with a horse named Candy Machine. That runner recently finished a strong second in his debut at Gulfstream, earning a 96 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Gandy Dancing has a modest immediate pedigree, but these connections paid a hefty price for him and there is plenty of class deeper in his female family.

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Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Piedi Bianchi has found her niche as a sprinter

Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 5:01 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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The real question in this race is whether Bridlewood Cat (#2) can return to form, since most would consider her the horse to beat based upon her efforts two and three back. However, she disappointed as the 1-2 favorite last time, and that leaves some questions about her current form heading into this stakes debut. Furthermore, I have some doubts about the quality of those two victories on which she’s built her reputation. She was the beneficiary of a slow pace and favorable track profile when she broke her debut in October of last year. Then in her first start against winners in December she was aided by her main rival Newly Minted having trouble out of the gate, which essentially handed her the victory. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Newly Minted may have beaten her that day with a clean trip. So while I do believe that Bridlewood Cat is a top contender in this spot, I don’t think she necessarily deserves to be an exceptionally short price.

Piedi-Bianchi

I see no reason not to support the horse who defeated her last time, PIEDI BIANCHI (#5). This grey mare had everything working against her that day, having to chase wide while returning from a one-year layoff. Yet none of that bothered her as she resolutely closed through the lane to get up to win. The 106 TimeformUS Speed Figure that she earned doesn’t make her any kind of standout in this race, but she has a right to build upon that performance. Her connections have tried a variety of distances and racing surfaces with her over the years, but I really believe she’s best sprinting and she may now just be putting it all together as a 5-year-old.

I prefer her to the other legitimate player, Kept True (#4), who has mostly been facing weaker fields of New York-breds. Yet she is fairly trustworthy and will be ready to step into the spotlight if either of the two aforementioned runners fail to show up.

THE PLAY

Win: 5
Exacta: 5 with 1,2,4
Trifecta: 5 with 2,4 with 1,2,4

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TimeformUS Derby Prep Analysis: American Theorem looks set for a promising return in the Rebel

Oaklawn | Race 10 | Post Time 5:23 p.m. (CT) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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The Grade 2 Rebel drew an intriguing field topped by leading Kentucky Derby contender Nadal, who gets his first two-turn test as he seeks valuable qualifying points. He will also receive the most significant class test of his career, as he meets a pair of accomplished Steve Asmussen runners, in addition to additional key contenders.

The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, but that characterization really depends upon the tactics Joel Rosario decides to employ on Nadal. No Parole (#5) seems likely to speed off to the front, since that’s what he’s done in all three of his starts to date. Nadal can either contest the lead, ensuring an honest pace, or take back. Horses like Basin (#3) and American Theorem (#8) figure to be in close pursuit, with others rallying from farther back.

Rebel-Pace-Projector

Nadal (#1) is all upside at this point, and that’s likely going to result in him being wildly overbet. He’s done nothing wrong in two career starts, but he hasn’t yet proven he’s the second coming of Justify. His maiden score was solid, and the 120 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned in the San Vicente is among the best numbers achieved by any 3-year-old in the current class. Yet he’s hardly a standout and may need to produce the best effort of his career to defeat this solid group. I’m using him prominently, but he’s unlikely to offer any value from a wagering standpoint.

Asmussen’s two main contenders each have their merits. Basin (#3) is more of a wild card as he returns from a lengthy layoff in this graded stakes, something Asmussen doesn’t do quite as often as one would assume. He showed potential last summer at Saratoga and is certainly bred to handle added ground, so he’ll be somewhere on my tickets. Yet Silver Prospector is the more trustworthy option, having just recently achieved an impressive 118 TimeformUS Speed Figure in winning the Southwest over this course and distance. He did work out an absolutely perfect trip that day, but he figures to get another favorable setup here.

American-Theorem

I want to get slightly more creative, so I’m taking a shot with the returning AMERICAN THEOREM (#8). This grey colt won his debut at Del Mar last summer despite racing greenly and lugging in through the lane. He corrected those habits second time out when finishing a distant second to Eight Rings in the Grade 1 American Pharoah going this distance. While he was no match for the winner, he nevertheless put forth an encouraging effort in his first start at a route distance. Trainer George Papaprodromou gave him plenty of time off after that, electing to skip the Breeders’ Cup, and it appears his decision may now yield dividends. American Theorem appears to be working very well for his return, easily reeling off some visually impressive six-furlong drills in preparation for this start. I like his outside post position and won’t be surprised if this maturing son of American Pharoah is able to take a significant step forward.

THE PLAY

Win: 8
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,3,4,6
Trifecta: 8 with 1,4,6 with 1,3,4,5,6
Trifecta: 1,4,6 with 8 with 1,3,4,5,6

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Saturday, March 14

RACE 4: SMALL BEAR (#3)

Crea’s Bklyn Law gets a drop in class after failing in recent attempts at the N1X level. He’s never been a winning type at just 3 for 32 lifetime, but he has nevertheless earned a series of speed figures that make him the horse to beat here. He was mildly steadied at the start last time and was out of position for most of the race before making up some ground in the lane. He does figure to be more forwardly placed this time, and should be right there at the end with his typical effort. I’m hardly against him and prefer him to Shalako. This gelding earned a speed figure that would make him formidable here last time, but did so in a $10,000 claimer. The race came up very fast, but it remains to be seen if he can reproduce such an effort against stronger competition. He hasn’t exactly been the picture of consistency over the past several months, and while it does seem like Rudy Rodriguez has him heading in the right direction now, it’s really just that Feb. 9 performance that suggests he’s good enough to win this race. I want to beat him with the dropping Small Bear. This former stakes winner is plummeting down to this open claiming level after competing in a series of optional claimers during the past year. His form has clearly tailed off, but he’s nevertheless still earning TimeformUS Speed Figures that would make him competitive in this race. He had little chance to close in a race that was dominated up front last time, and he was simply overmatched prior to that. It’s very possible that facing this softer group could rouse him to produce a better effort, and that would make him tough to beat.

———

RACE 5: FAIR LASSIE (#4)

Abraxan and Sunshine Gal should vie for favoritism in this wide open conditioned claiming event. The former is coming off a victory against a softer field last time, when she just dominated throughout after opening up a clear lead right from the start. The Pace Projector is indicating that she should get another favorable setup, but she will get a bit more early pressure from Teletype to her outside. She can obviously win here, but she was in pretty poor form just prior to that victory last time, so she’s not exactly trustworthy. The same goes for Sunshine Gal, but at least she has multiple prior speed figures that would make her formidable against this group. She never made an impact in her return last time, but she was meeting a significantly tougher field at the N2X allowance level. Now she’s getting some needed class relief and she just seems to fit really well against this field from a speed figure standpoint. As long as she gets a little pace to close into, she’ll be right there at the end. I’m using both of these, but my top pick is Fair Lassie. This filly should appreciate the cutback in distance after fading going a mile last week. While she finished far back that day, she still earned a respectable speed figure. Prior to that, she closed well for second at this level, finishing between next-out winners Dovey Lovey and Dirty Bird. She might have gotten closer to the winner that day had she not had some trouble at the start, forcing her out of position in the early going. She loses Manny Franco this time, but promising apprentice Luis Cardenas may be an ample replacement.

———

RACE 9: DARLING’S CURE (#10)

Honey Money fits the profile of a winning Linda Rice second-time starter. She showed some promise in her debut and seems likely to take a significant step forward with that experience under her belt. My only concern is that, unlike many first time starters for this barn, she was really meant to win first time out, getting bet down to even-money favoritism. Part of that was due to the field quality, but she was certainly live on the board. She still figures to do better here, but this is a much tougher assignment and I don’t think it’s just a given that we can apply the magic Linda Rice statistic this time. A horse like Dancing Kiki has run faster in a few starts, though she has less upside after having raced 6 times. Yet there are other second time starters to consider, including some with speed, such as Charlotte Webley and Leyte. If the pace is honest, that could help set things up for the late run of Darling’s Cure. This filly made her debut against open company at Laurel last time and put forth a solid effort to be third with a decent 76 TimeformUS Speed Figure. She was shuffled back behind a moderate pace in the early going and did well to continue to make up ground through the lane in a race where no one else really closed. This trainer isn’t known for success on a major circuit like this, but the filly showed ability first time out and she may get some what ignored here due to the low-profile connections. She’s apparently trained well out of that race and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an improved effort this time.

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Frozen Account can improve upon eventful debut

Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 3:25 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Whichwaytomalibu (#4) chased home gate-to-wire winner Jerry the Nipper last time while never really a threat. He was perhaps carried along by the track, as Feb. 22 was a day that appeared to favor forwardly placed runners. He is bred to be more of a sprint type, but he handled a mile well enough last time. He may have an easier time of it on the front end here, since he’s one of the few major contenders that possesses any real speed. Others do have more upside, but he’s the one to beat and the one to catch.

Beg to Differ (#6) closed steadily from far back to get up for third last time, but did so with the help of a fast and contested early pace. Nevertheless, that was his first start in 3 months, so he has a right to improve second off the layoff. That 87 TimeformUS Speed Figure puts him right in line with the other major players and he arguably has more room for improvement in just his second dirt start. He just needs to show a bit more tactical speed since there doesn’t appear to be much pace signed on this time.

Frozen-Account

I’m interested in some of the second-time starters, the most intriguing of which may be FROZEN ACCOUNT (#3). This colt broke with the field last time and initially tried to show speed before getting steadied out of position. That caused him to become extremely green, as he lost contact with the field leaving the backstretch. He eventually regained his stride and put in a strong stretch run while never threatening the winner. Runner-up Jerry the Nipper returned to win next time out with a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Frozen Account now goes out for Kelly Breen for the first time, and this barn does well off trainer switches.

I would also use Liquor (#2), who steadily made up ground while racing wide in his debut. He gets a rider upgrade for James Ferraro and is bred to relish added ground as a son of Tonalist. Signified (#7) also figures to improve out of that same race. He got a good education encountering traffic at a couple of points. Pletcher is also 41 for 125 (33%, $2.20 ROI) with maiden second-time starters going from sprints to routes on dirt over 5 years.

THE PLAY

Win: 3
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,4,6,7
Trifecta: 3 with 2,7 with 2,4,5,6,7

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