Saturday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Two Down One to Go gets back on right surface

Belmont | Race 5 | Post Time 3:07 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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If Bancroft Hall (#8) runs back to his effort at Aqueduct on April 8, he’ll almost certainly win this race. I know he disappointed in his only subsequent dirt start, but that race at Monmouth wasn’t nearly as bad as it looks. That sloppy track was favoring speed on July 14, and Bancroft Hall just didn’t appear to be handling the track as he struggled to keep up from the outset. Now he gets a rider switch to Kendrick Carmouche, who will take advantage of his early speed.

I think he’s the horse to beat, but I want to take a small shot against him with TWO DOWN ONE TO GO (#7).

This horse has been campaigned primarily on turf in recent starts, but I think he might actually appreciate this switch back to the main track. After all, he’s finished in the money just twice in 11 grass starts and has hit the board in 6 of 7 starts on dry dirt tracks. With the exception of his effort on June 8, which came against a particularly tough field, all of his dirt races from this past winter give him a shot here. He has to prove he can handle the turnback in distance, but Dave Cannizzo has good numbers with this move. Over the past five years, he is 6 for 25 (24 percent, $4.31 ROI) with runners going from turf routes to dirt sprints.

THE PLAY

Win: 7

Exacta Key Box: 7 with 1,3,6,8,9

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