Friday February 28 – Aqueduct Top Play
Scheduled Local Post Time – 2:21 pm ET
#1 Violet Hour (7-2 ML) has a good shot to win the fifth today at Aqueduct.
In her last race, which took place 43 days ago, Violet Hour set a rapid pace in a one mile starter allowance before fading late. Both of her last two figures, a 91 and an 85, are better than many in today’s field have ever run, and she has run only five times in her brief career. This improving four-year-old filly should love the cutback to 5.5f, where she projects to have an inside trip up front in a race that favors horses on or near the lead. These are some powerful handicapping angles, and we would anticipate some erosion in her morning line price.
If she doesn’t get the early lead, Violet Hour seems likely to end up in the “garden spot” in this short sprint, though it’s possible she and the morning line favorite, #8 Your Time Is Up, will engage in a virtual match race, in which case we like Violet Hour’s chances to gut out a dogfight in the lane. She’s by versatile sire Elusive Quality, and her damsire is a horse named AP Indy. Her pedigree rating of 97 is well deserved. She also has better late pace figures (59 vs 46) than Your Time Is Up, and she gets a 3-pound weight allowance from that one. Your Time Is Up is coming off a big career-top, and she figures to run reasonably well, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see her regress off that huge effort and come up a bit short to Violet Hour in what shapes up to be a good battle.
The only thing that gives us pause is the gap in Violet Hour’s work pattern, and the fact that she was entered for a tag in her US debut. It’s possible she is damaged goods. But even if she is bet down to as low as 2-1, we will take our chances that she’s a little too good for the rest of these.
The Play: #1 Violet Hour to win. Straight exacta #1 Violet Hour over #8 Your Time Is Up.