Belmont Highlight Horse for Friday: Exclusive Zip dangerous stepping up against winners

Belmont | Race 6 | Post Time 4:09 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

This is a fairly deep New York-bred allowance race, with major contenders coming from a multitude of directions. The runner likely to attract the most attention is Inheritthewind (#7), but I’m not convinced that he has as much of an edge as it might seem at first glance. He was not facing the strongest open-company field last time and really did not do much running at any point in the race. I’m more afraid of Vintage Matters (#6), who ran well in all of his races last year and goes out for a trainer who certainly can win off lengthy layoffs.

However, my top pick is EXCLUSIVE ZIP (#1).

I know that this 3-year-old will have to improve off his workmanlike maiden win at Aqueduct last time, but there is convincing evidence suggesting that he will. Jason Servis has exceptional numbers with horses coming off maiden wins on turf. According to DRF Formulator, over the past five years, he is 11 for 28 (39 percent) for a $4.24 ROI with that move. Don’t be surprised if this horse takes a step forward at what should be a square price. Furthermore, given the scratch of a few key speeds, he could find himself in an advantageous position up near the front early.

THE PLAY 

Win/Place: 1

Exacta Key Box: 1 with 4,6,7,10

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