Aqueduct’s Saturday Highlight Horse: Keep Bustin (10-1ML) looks for a fair racetrack


>Aqueduct / Feb 14 / Race 5 /  2:42 EST

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Keep Bustin was stuck on a speed-favoring track last time she ran, as indicated by the bright red 93 to the left of the running line.

>Learn How TimeformUS PPs are different

#6 Keep Bustin began her career in a fashion suggesting that she may have had NY-bred stakes in her future. She won 5 of her first 12 starts, and she finished 2nd in another 4. She earned TFUS Speed Figures in the low 90s at her best (the ML favorite for today’s race, #7 Court Dancer, earned a new career top figure of 90 in her last start), and she was effective from six furlongs to one mile. After a long series of races without any break at all (she went non-stop from December 12, 2012 through to March 23, 2014, and she got the 93 days off between that 3/23 race and her next start only because she was a listed vet scratch in between).

The end result of her finally being stopped on last June is that she is now a 5yo mare starting over a bit, having made only 3 starts as a 4yo, and with her solid early-career form seemingly in the rearview mirror. The question facing her today is: Can she still race effectively at this allowance/optional claiming level? Based on her last race, which was her first after 213 days on the sidelines, we think the answer may be “yes”. January 23rd was a day here that seemed to be favoring speed (note Race Rating Box shaded red in your TimeformUS PPs) and, even more, the inside paths. As noted in the expanded chart comments for the 7th race that day, Keep Bustin spent much of the race racing wide and at the back of the field: “3-4w toward rear, urged overland 3/8, 2w 1/4, by tired foes.”

It was not an ideal trip off the layoff, but, to us, it served the purpose of showing that Keep Bustin could still run a little. After being stuck wide in the early stages, she was well-ridden in dropping to the better inside paths at the top of the stretch. And from there, she rallied with enough interest for us to view that effort as a good place to start. She will have to step forward with that race under her belt, but, assuming she benefits from that first start off the break, she has the back races to get to, and we’ll take it as a good sign that she was entered back quickly (22 days) by an excellent trainer.

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