Saratoga Highlight Horse for Wednesday: Heldatgunpoint looks dangerous dropping out of stakes company

Saratoga | Race 8 | Post Time 5:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

I’m not in love with the favorites in this race. Gehrig looks formidable off his runner-up finish at this level last time, but he got a perfect trip that day and might be facing a stronger field here. Elenzee will also attract support, but he’s never raced at a distance shorter than seven furlongs on turf and may prefer more ground. The speedy Freud’s Friend may have needed his first start back off the layoff, and even Uncle Tbone and Animal Posse have chances if they can overcome their wide post positions.

Clearly, a number of runners have legitimate chances to win this race, but the one who I think will offer the best value is HELDATGUNPOINT (#4).

His most recent effort, which came in New York-bred stakes company, was very strong, and his low Beyer Speed Figure does not fully encapsulate his performance. He was setting a fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the TimeformUS PPs), and the two horses chasing him in the early going both faded badly in the stretch. Crawdaddy and T Loves a Fight, who finished first and third in there, are talented runners who would be formidable in this spot, and you can make the argument that Heldatgunpoint ran better than both of them. I don’t mind the turn-back to 5 1/2 furlongs for him since he showed in his maiden win that he’s comfortable stalking the pace. He would be a massive overlay if he were to go off as high as his morning-line odds of 12-1.

THE PLAY 

Win: 4

Exacta key box: 4 with 3, 7, 8, 9, 10

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