Race 9: #10 Mr. Lit is a horse sure to attract some attention in the Wednesday finale, set for 1 1/16 miles over Aqueduct’s inner dirt course. His position has improved following the scratch of two of the shorter prices on the ML, including the early favorite, #1 Maximus Mike, but his potential value has accordingly taken a hit. Still, there is much to recommend Mr. Lit in this race, and we will stick with him as our Aqueduct Highlight Horse.
Mr. Lit recently returned from an extended layoff of 589 days and raced at Finger Lakes. Unfortunately, he found himself in one of the toughest scenarios that a racehorse who has been away that long can face: facing a fast pace. It’s one thing to have a horse fit to run off of such a long break; it’s another thing entirely to have one fit enough to be able to work hard from start to finish in a quickly run race. With a pair of his rivals racing away through fast early fractions (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded red), Mr. Lit’s stamina was put immediately to the test in that race, and, while he was never a late threat to the winner, he did well to come along to finish 3rd.
We will expect him to step forward off of that race, and if he does, it’s nice to know that he has the back races to make himself very tough on this field. Mr. Lit was a winner over the inner track vs. maidens way back at the end of 2012. He stretched out for his next two starts, and earned TFUS Speed Figures (89 and 90) that safely make him the fastest horse in this race.
He will also get a trainer change to Michelle Nevin for this race. Nevin has begun to make a name for herself in NY this year while winning races in bunches, and she gets a perfect 100 rating with horses making their first start out of her barn. We would like Mr. Lit in this race even without that change, and having Nevin’s name appear in the program will likely cost us a couple of points on the tote board, but it’s hard to argue with the success she has had.