Thursday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: A fitter Unrepented should enjoy the stretch-out in distance

Aqueduct | Race 3 | Post Time 1:47 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
 
Land Mine (#2) and Literata (#4) figure to vie for favoritism in this spot. The former has more upside, as she’s only raced five times, and has won both of her starts routing on dirt. Literata is more of a known commodity, but her speed figures are consistent and you can usually rely on her to run well enough to win races at this level.
 
If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably have to give Land Mine the edge, given her tactical speed and effective turn of foot, which was on display last time. Furthermore, horses have come back out of that Nov. 8 race to run well. Third-place finisher Frost Wise won her next start, improving her TimeformUS Speed Figure by 16 points, while fourth-place finisher Gobi also returned to win, running 12 points faster.
 
I obviously respect these two runners, but I want to take a small shot against them with UNREPENTED (#1), who may get overlooked in the wagering here.

 
 
 
On her best day, Unrepented is capable of running speed figures that put her within striking range of the two favorites, and she clearly handles this one-mile distance, having finished in the money in 12 of 13 starts at this trip. She’s raced sparingly over the past year, and her last two runs have been lackluster, but I think she may be set for a better effort here. Racing first off the claim for Robertino Diodoro last time, she was sluggish and just may not have been fully fit. After all, she had only gotten one turf sprint – where she barely lifted a hoof – under her belt between March and December. Over the past five years, Diodoro is 14 for 40 (35 percent, $2.13 ROI) second off the claim with horses that are also racing second off a layoff on the dirt.
 
THE PLAY
 
Win: 1
Exacta key box: 1 with 2, 4
Trifecta: 1 with 2, 4 with all
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