Aqueduct Thursday Highlight Horse: Hyde Park Express gets back on her preferred surface

Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 5:17 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

HYDE PARK EXPRESS (#6) has run the fastest turf races and is clearly the horse to beat in this spot. However, due to her low-profile connections and mediocre interim dirt form, she may not even be the favorite in this race. This daughter of Hat Trick put things together last fall when her connections finally decided to focus on turf races and put capable riders on her back. Since a good third over this turf course last November, she has run twice on dirt and didn’t disgrace herself in those races. Her third-place finish two back was easily the best dirt race of her career, and last time, she was badly overmatched against a salty maiden special weight field. I think she’s subtly in the best form of her career, and now she gets another positive rider switch to apprentice Hector Diaz. She’d be a bargain at her morning-line 7-2 odds.

I’ll use my selection with a few runners in exactas. Those include the logical pair of Celtic Serenade (#2) and Sharp Lacey (#8), who both bring reasonable turf form to the table. At bigger prices, I also want to include Pure Gemmz (#9), who has some turf pedigree and deserves another chance over this surface, and Down Royal (#5), who makes her grass debut but has plenty of pedigree on her dam’s side to suggest she’ll handle this surface switch.


Win: 6
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,5,8,9



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