Saturday, May 17th – Belmont
Scheduled local post time 4:18 pm
Wild Finish (#2, 6-1ML) has been well-beaten in each of his two starts since returning from a layoff that spanned almost one full year. Such an observation, if taken at face value, may cause a horseplayer to wonder whether this horse can run competitively anymore.
Allow us to attempt to allay any fears that may exist along those lines.
Unfortunately for Wild Finish, his first start back from that long break came on March 15, smack dab in the middle of a weekend run of gold rails and speed-favoring surfaces on Aqueduct’s inner dirt. (As shown above, speed favoring tracks are denoted by the race rating box shaded in red. More information our track bias indicators here.) And making matters worse, he was caught out on a three-wide chase the entire way, before understandably tiring in the stretch. His next start came on Wood Memorial day, and with a card full of stakes action taking place, it appears that no one was paying enough attention to that first-level NY-bred allowance race to notice that Wild Finish endured a troubled trip from start to finish. The trouble gets nary a mention in the chart comments.
Going back to his races prior to the layoff, Wild Finish earned the top TimeformUS Speed Figure in the field (97) for his win last February, and if he is ready to start building on that as he makes his third start back, we expect him to be very tough in this race.
Assuming he is around his 6/1 ML odds, we will make a win bet on Wild Finish and use him in exactas with John’s Island (#1, 3-1) and Brass Pear (#7, 15-1).