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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Monday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Ancient Brown can improve upon promising debut in her second start

Aqueduct | Race 4 | Post Time 1:56 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Ice Princess (#6) is obviously the horse to beat as she drops out of the Grade 1 Frizette. You can’t blame her connections for taking a shot in that prestigious race, but it was nevertheless a tall order for a filly who had merely beaten an overmatched group of turf horses in her debut. She put forth an honest effort, closing willingly to be fourth in a race that didn’t exactly set up for late runners. Her TimeformUS Speed Figures in the mid90s are clearly the best in this field and she still has room to improve in just her third career start. I’m hardly against her, but her merits are fairly obvious.

Ancient-Brown

I’m taking a shot with the second-time starter ANCIENT BROWN (#5). She made a decisive middle move around the far turn in her debut after breaking slowly and proceeded to draw off with ease in the lane. The problem with that race is that it was objectively slow from a speed figure standpoint. However, a longshot got loose on the front end through moderate early fractions that day, which may have negatively impacted the final time. It was also the first race of the day, and we have routinely seen this Aqueduct main track speed up throughout the afternoon. I think it’s also noteworthy that the runner-up from that race returned to win her next start by 10 lengths with an improved speed figure, suggesting that the race may be better than it appears. Ancient Brown figures to show more speed here and I don’t anticipate her having trouble with the added distance.

I would also include fellow recent maiden winner Myawaya (#3), though I’m a little less convinced that she’ll improve stretching out in distance. She was game to run down New York Supreme to break her maiden last time, and had previously faced a quality rival in stakes winner Critical Value. However, she could have plenty of company on the front end with speeds like Sneaky Surprise and Courageous Girl also signed on.

THE PLAY

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

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Monday, January 20

RACE 4: ANCIENT BROWN (#5)

Ice Princess is obviously the horse to beat as she drops out of the Grade 1 Frizette. You can’t blame her connections for taking a shot in that prestigious race, but it was nevertheless a tall order for a filly who had merely beaten an overmatched group of turf horses in her debut. She put forth an honest effort, closing willingly to be fourth in a race that didn’t exactly set up for late runners. Her TimeformUS Speed Figures in the mid-90s are clearly the best in this field and she still has room to improve in just her third career start. I’m hardly against her, but her merits are fairly obvious. I’m taking a shot against her with the second time starter Ancient Brown. She made a decisive middle move around the far turn in her debut after breaking slowly and proceeded to draw off with ease in the lane. The problem with that race is that it was objectively slow from a speed figure standpoint. However, a longshot got loose on the front end through moderate early fractions that day, which may have negatively impacted the final time. It was also the first race of the day, and we have routinely seen this Aqueduct main track speed up throughout the afternoon. I think it’s also noteworthy that the runner-up from that race returned to win her next start by 10 lengths with an improved speed figure, suggesting that the race may be better than it appears. Ancient Brown figures to show more speed here and I don’t anticipate her having trouble with the added distance.

———

RACE 7: HEAVY ROLLER (#2)

Wicked Trick continues to do his best impersonation of Cigar, as he has completely turned his career around since a switch to dirt. Linda Rice chose to bypass the Grade 3 Toboggan to instead target this starter allowance. The tradeoff in taking the path of least resistance is that he has to stretch out to a mile this time. He’s handled longer trips on turf, but the stretch-out is still a minor concern for a horse who seemed to wake up when turned back to sprint distances. He’s going to take plenty of money and there are plenty of viable alternatives in this field. Rob Atras has a pair of runners, the classier of which is Dynamax Prime. It’s been a little while since he’s won a race, but that is really the only knock against a horse who has otherwise been in fantastic form. His speed figures are among the best in the field and he’s getting significant class relief after meeting Mr. Buff in 4 of his last 6 starts. However, cutting back to a one-turn mile may not be ideal for him since he does seem to relish two turns. I prefer Atras’s other runner Heavy Roller. This 6-year-old is coming off a victory in the slop against a high-priced claiming group. These connections took quite a risk when they dipped in to claim him for $62,500 after he had previously been taken away from Atras for just $32,000. He delivered last time and he figures to hold that form since Rob Atras is 3 for 7 (43%, $2.69 ROI) second off the claim with last-out winners. Some may argue that he’s best with moisture in the ground, but he handles a fast track just as well and this one-turn mile distance figures to be right up his alley.

———

RACE 8: NEW YEAR’S WISH (#5)

Saguaro Row is the horse to beat in this Interborough as she drops out of a good second-place finish to the classy Spiced Perfection in the Grade 3 Go For Wand last time. While I acknowledge that she’s the class of this field, I’m somewhat concerned about the fact that she loses Joel Rosario for this race. Some riders just have the magic touch with certain horses and this mare is not an easy one to ride. Rosario has a way of getting this typically keen runner to shut off early and finish late, and her record with him aboard is quite telling. She’s 5-3-2-0 when Rosario pilots and 7-1-0-1 when ridden by anyone else. I’m not at all knocking Jose Lezcano’s ample talents as a rider, but it should not be ignored that he’s getting aboard this mare for the first time. The Pace Projector is predicting that Our Circle of Love will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner, and that may make her difficult to pass. However, I’m a little concerned about her getting the 7-furlong distance and I can’t overlook the fact that she ran considerably worse than New Year’s Wish in the Garland of Roses last time. New Year’s Wish probably should have won that race, but she blew the start, breaking about 4 lengths behind the field. Her gate antics have now been an issue twice in a row, and that’s a major concern. However, Linda Rice has said that she’s worked on her at the gate since that last race, and while she may not be completely over the problem, the only way that she can break worse than last time is if she utterly refuses to participate. As long as New Year’s Wish makes it out of the gate, she’s going to be pretty tough here based on that last performance. She’s always shown a great affinity for Aqueduct and 7 furlongs is the perfect distance for her.

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Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Alphadora is the best alternative to a vulnerable favorite

Aqueduct | Race 1 | Post Time 12:50 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Doll (#3) has been sent off at odds of even-money or less in three consecutive starts and she’s lost each time. Of greater concern is the fact that she has led the field into upper stretch on all of those occasions before allowing rivals to pass her in the final furlong. Clearly she’s lacking some will to win these races, but she nevertheless continues to earn speed figures that are superior to most of her rivals. I suppose it stands to reason that she’s eventually going to meet a field than can’t beat her, but is today that day? I find her hard to swallow at another short price.

Alphadora

There are a few alternatives from which to choose and the one that I prefer is ALPHADORA (#5). This filly’s 2019 campaign ended on a sour note, but she showed real ability in her first several starts. She was hindered by a significant rail bias when she made her debut in February, and immediately stepped forward with two strong performances thereafter. She really should have won on March 15, but a poorly judged ride cost her the victory. She was in over her head against the classy Newly Minted in a stakes thereafter before getting sent to the sidelines. This barn tends to fly under the radar, but they have sent out live runners on this circuit before and the bullet workout in late December is encouraging. She also gets a significant rider switch to Junior Alvarado in this return to the races.

The other alternative to consider is Enough Love (#4), who made her debut for Linda Rice two summers ago at Saratoga. She ran a typical first race for a barn that rarely has them ready for their debuts, but now she’s resurfacing 16 months later with Robert Falcone. One would assume she can do better now, but the time away is obviously a concern.

THE PLAY

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

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Sunday, January 19

RACE 1: ALPHADORA (#5)

Doll has been sent off at odds of even-money or less in three consecutive starts and she’s lost each time. Of greater concern is the fact that she has led the field into upper stretch on all of those occasions before allowing rivals to pass her in the final furlong. Clearly she’s lacking some will to win these races, but she nevertheless continues to earn speed figures that are superior to most of her rivals. I suppose it stands to reason that she’s eventually going to meet a field than can’t beat her, but is today that day? I find her hard to swallow at another short price. There are a few alternatives from which to choose and the one that I prefer is Alphadora. This filly’s 2019 campaign ended on a sour note, but she showed real ability in her first several starts. She was hindered by a significant rail bias when she made her debut in February, and immediately stepped forward with two strong performances thereafter. She really should have won on March 15, but a poorly judged ride cost her the victory. She was then in over her head against the classy Newly Minted in a stakes thereafter before getting sent to the sidelines. This barn tends to fly under the radar, but they have sent out live runners on this circuit before and the bullet workout in late December is encouraging. She also gets a significant rider switch to Junior Alvarado in this return to the races.

———

RACE 7: OUR SUPER NOVA (#5)

Bellera has run well in every race that she’s completed, only finishing out of the exacta when she lost her rider at the start of the Turnback the Alarm two back. She bounced right back from that disappointment to take down the Grade 3 Comely last time over the promising filly Arrifana while earning a respectable 108 TimeformUS Speed Figure. She’s proven that she relishes this demanding 9-furlong distance and she has the tactical speed to work out another good trip. I’m using her prominently, but I fear that she may be overbet based on raw results when others have run just as fast. For instance, her uncoupled stablemate Another Broad achieved a superior 115 TimeformUS Speed Figure when she finished a strong second in that Turnback the Alarm two back, and that number seems legitimate given that the classy Golden Award won the race. Another Broad disappointed in the Go For Wand last time, but she never had a fair chance that day given the shorter distance and slow pace. She figures to rebound here at a better price. I’m using both of them, but I have to bet Our Super Nova in this spot. This New York-bred mare is stepping up to the graded stakes level again after finishing a good third in the aforementioned Go For Wand two back. Some will be turned off by her loss as the odds-on favorite going this distance in the Bay Ridge last time, but she had a legitimate excuse for that performance. I think her rider Junior Alvarado would probably like to have his ride back, as she made the decision to rein her in coming out of the gate despite the fact that she broke on top of the field. Our Super Nova ended up getting her stuck in a pocket behind the leaders and she could never get into the clear when it really mattered. I’m not convinced that this distance will be a major issue for her since she’s handled two turns in the past and was best routing for her prior trainer. She figures to get a more aggressive ride this time given the lack of pace in here.

———

RACE 8: BELLARMINE HALL (#3)

I don’t have a major knock against likely favorite Dawn’s Early Light, who was just in over his head at the maiden special weight level last time when beaten by the highly-regarded New York-bred Chestertown. While that wasn’t the fastest maiden event that we’ve seen, runner-up Forever Wicked did return to win and third-place finisher Wild Banker returned to finish an unlucky third next time after a poor trip. Dawn’s Early Light carved out legitimate fractions that day and he figures to be tough to run down as he drops back down to the maiden claiming level. Many will perceive his main rival to be Tapizearance, but I’m somewhat skeptical of this runner. He started out with promise over the summer at Saratoga and he carried that form into the fall at Belmont. However, his form really tailed off for Gary Contessa thereafter. Most will assume that he’ll improve under the care of Brad Cox, but I’m not thrilled with the fact that he’s stretching back out to a mile. I know that he seemingly handled it during the autumn, but I didn’t love the way he finished those races and believe he’s better going shorter. I want to go in a different direction, so I’m taking a shot with Bellarmine Hall. This gelding has only tried dirt once before in an off-the-turf race in October, and he was badly compromised by a poor start that day. Nevertheless, he earned a respectable 78 TimeformUS Speed Figure and was beaten by some rivals that would be short prices against this field. They went back to turf last time and he got a horrific trip which cost him any chance of being competitive. He’s better than those recent efforts and now he’s making his first start for the powerful Jamie Ness barn.

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Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: American Anthem can turn back the clock in the Toboggan

Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 3:55 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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The classy Mind Control (#8) was a Grade 1 winner at ages 2 and 3 and he seeks to regain his position at the top of the sprint division as he returns in this Grade 3 Toboggan. He has the speed figures to back up that impressive résumé, earning a 116 TimeformUS Speed Figures in winning the H. Allen Jerkens and a 122 when taking down the Bay Shore over this course and distance last April. He got a planned layoff following his Grade 1 triumph last summer, and he has apparently been training well for his return. The outside draw should suit him and his tactical speed should play very well in his largely paceless affair. He’s the horse to beat, but I’m always reticent to accept a short price on runners returning from layoffs like this, especially for a barn that hasn’t had much success with this move.

American-Anthem

His main rival is clearly AMERICAN ANTHEM (#2). It’s been a bumpy road for this horse since his successful 3-year-old season, which saw him win the Grade 2 Woody Stephens and place in a pair of Grade 1 events. He achieved modest success during an abbreviated 4-year-old campaign, but it’s been difficult for him to get back to that level since. Yet now makes his second consecutive start for a new trainer, this time going out for Danny Gargan. He disappointed when last seen at Keeneland, but he didn’t get an ideal trip that day, as he was shuffled back early and forced down inside for the stretch drive, which probably wasn’t the place to be. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead and he has the tactical speed to be in front of these early. I’m inclined to take an optimistic view despite some lingering questions about his form.

I would also include runners like Sunny Ridge (#1), Nicodemus (#4), and T Loves a Fight (#5), but all may be compromised by a lack of pace in this race. Of those, Nicodemus is the one who scares me most since his best efforts clearly make him good enough to beat this field and Linda Rice isn’t usually this aggressive off a layoff.

THE PLAY

Win: 2
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,4,5,8
Trifecta: 2 with 4,8 with 1,4,5,7,8

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Saturday, January 18

RACE 5: COOLBOY (#6)

Seven Is Heaven goes out for the powerful Linda Rice barn and just missed when outrun in the late stages by fellow closer Vicar’s Legend in a similar spot last time. However, he got a pretty good trip that day in a race where the pace fell apart and he’s meeting a slightly tougher field this time. Bustin Hoffman would be tough if able to run back to his performance two back when he was racing first off the claim for Rudy Rodriguez. He crossed the wire first that day but was justifiably disqualified for deep stretch interference. He disappointed against open company last time, but he’s back at the right class level now and has the tactical speed to work out a decent trip. I’m using both, but this is a competitive field where I think we can get a bit more creative. My top pick is Coolboy, who might be in the best form of anyone right now. That 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned for his last start is clearly the best number in this race and he achieved it the hard way, carving out very fast fractions on a clear lead before getting cut down by the superior Big Engine late. I loved the way this colt battled back when passed last time and I think he’s going to be tough if he repeats that performance. Some may question where that race came from, but he had run deceptively well in his prior starts. Furthermore, while the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, no one is quick enough to go with Coolboy early and he could just run them off their feet.

———

RACE 7: ANCIENT BROWN (#6)

Fierce Lady figures to be a prohibitive favorite in this spot as she returns following a brief layoff. While she owns a set of speed figures that make her the horse to beat, she’s a filly who came out ready to fire early in her 2-year-old season and her form has subtly but steadily declined in each start since then. Her new off-the-pace running style has worked when she’s drawn outside post positions in each of her last two starts, but she could find it more difficult to close from behind breaking from the rail this time. I’m inclined to try and beat her, but all of the logical alternatives in this race come with flaws of their own. Big Q would be the biggest threat if able to run back to her impressive score in the Key Cents two back, but you have to wonder where that effort came from given her surrounding form. A Freud of Mama took to dirt last time, winning that $500,000 stakes as an overlay. While she may have appreciated the muddy, sealed track, she could get that kind of surface again with rain and snow in the forecast. I’m using all of them, but I want to take a shot with second time starter Ancient Brown. I just want a new face in this race since I’m not thrilled with those that we’ve seen at this level. Ancient Brown ran an objectively slow race first time out, but she did it the right way. One of the reasons that the final time was so slow was due to some slow early fractions set by a longshot. Ancient Brown broke slowly and found herself behind a wall of horses down the backstretch. Yet I liked the way she split horses and made a middle move on the turn before taking command in the stretch. She figures to show more speed this time and I think she’s capable of running much faster with that experience under her belt.

———

RACE 8: AMERICAN ANTHEM (#2)

The classy Mind Control was a Grade 1 winner at ages two and three and he seeks to regain his position at the top of the sprint division as he returns in this Grade 3 Toboggan. He has the speed figures to back up that impressive résumé, earning a 116 TimeformUS Speed Figures in winning the H. Allen Jerkens and a 122 when taking down the Bay Shore over this course and distance last April. He got a planned layoff following his Grade 1 triumph last summer, and he has apparently been training well for his return. The outside draw should suit him and his tactical speed should play very well in his largely paceless affair. He’s the horse to beat, but I’m always reticent to accept a short price on runners returning from layoffs like this, especially for a barn that hasn’t had much success with this move. His main rival is clearly American Anthem. It’s been a bumpy road for this horse since his successful 3-year-old season, which saw him win the Grade 2 Woody Stephens and place in a pair of Grade 1 events. He achieved modest success during an abbreviated 4-year-old campaign, but it’s been difficult for him to get back to that level since. Yet now makes his second consecutive start for a new trainer, this time going out for Danny Gargan. He disappointed when last seen at Keeneland, but he didn’t get an ideal trip that day, as he was shuffled back early and forced down inside for the stretch drive, which probably wasn’t the place to be. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead and he has the tactical speed to be in front of these early. I’m inclined to take an optimistic view despite some lingering questions about his form.

 

 

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Countable likely to step forward second off the layoff

Aqueduct | Race 2 | Post Time 1:21 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Sadie Lady’s (#3) first start off the trainer change to Rob Atras was pretty disappointing, but she basically lost all chance at the start. She found herself back in last after breaking awkwardly and was just never in position to be competitive thereafter. She had a legitimate excuse that day, and I wouldn’t hold her last turf race against her either, since she got embroiled in a ridiculously fast pace. Sadie Lady’s prior form was solid, and while she may be a bit better on turf, she’s run competitive speed figures on dirt before.

Some may perceive her main rival to be Cape Cod Diva (#4) off her victory at the N2L claiming level last month. Yet, that was a weak field and her main rival Wisconsin Night returned to bomb as the odds-on choice next time. While that last race may suggest that she should have been running on dirt all along, she still has to prove herself against a legitimate field of dirt horses.

Countable

My top pick is COUNTABLE (#5) as she makes her second start off the layoff. She wasn’t exactly beating the toughest field at Finger Lakes last time, but she was game to earn the victory in a fight to the finish. Prior to that she had achieved some respectable results in her first few dirt sprint attempts at Aqueduct, and has some foundation to build upon that form now. Notably, Linda Rice is 8 for 15 (53%, $3.12 ROI) with last-out winners making their second start after layoffs of 120 to 240 days in dirt sprints over the past 5 years. Additionally, Rice has fantastic statistics with blinker additions in general. There are plenty of reasons to expect Countable will improve here and she figures to offer fair value.

THE PLAY

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

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