Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 5:17 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
The first thing to notice about this race is the Pace Projector. While I’m not the biggest fan of Hey Jabber Jaw (#6), he is predicted to be racing on a clear early lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. While there are a few pace-pressing types in the field, he is the only horse who is certain to be sent to the lead. Horses like Jan’s Reserve (#3) and The Gomper (#5) are both interesting contenders, but their late-running styles may not be conducive to success in this race.
I’m more interested in a horse who figures to be pressing the early pace. TOP BRASS (#4), who had previously been more of a midpack runner, was aggressively ridden last time out and ran the best race of his career. The pace was not extremely fast, but the race flow did not favor the front-runners. The minor placings were dominated by closers, while all the horses who had been battling with Top Brass early fell by the wayside. This is a step up in class, but I think that performance is better than it appears.
Jason Servis has fantastic numbers with horses coming off wins. According to DRF Formulator, over the past five years Servis is 32 for 108 (30%) with a $2.19 ROI when bringing back last-out winners off layoffs of 50-100 days. Top Brass’s jockey, Manny Franco, has been riding more aggressively this winter and should have him forwardly placed early.
Exacta key box: 4 with 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
Trifecta: 4 with 3, 5, 7 with 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8