Friday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Road to Perfection gets back to the scene of her best run

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

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The two fillies who are going to take all the money are Tapella (#2) and Full House (#6). Tapella won her maiden in her third attempt last time, winning a hard-fought photo finish over the turf horse Bogulator. She certainly has a right to keep improving, but she’s not the kind of runner I want at a short price. Full House’s maiden win was aided by a rail bias, but she followed that up with a solid run against stakes company last winter. She probably has more raw ability than Tapella, but I’m not sure what to make of her as she returns from the layoff.

If I’m going to take a layoff runner in this race, I want it to be ROAD TO PERFECTION (#7).

I know this filly looks a bit slower than the aforementioned runners, but I like that she’s getting back to one turn on the main track. The best dirt race that she ever ran came last October at Belmont in a one-turn dirt race. That day, she rated off the pace, and came with an explosive late run to win going away. I know that her recent form isn’t quite as inspiring, but she ran better than it appears in a couple of starts at Aqueduct over the winter. Two back, she was wide through the second half of that race on Jan. 13, a day when horses racing on the rail had a clear advantage. Then, in her last start before the layoff, her fifth-place finish was not nearly as bad as it seems given the slow pace of that race. David Donk has decent numbers with runners coming off layoffs of this type, and I think this filly is slightly better than it appears.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 7

Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2, 3, 6

Trifecta: 2, 6 with 2, 3, 4, 6 with 7

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