Friday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Improving longshot Thirsty Donnerstag is a late threat

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Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 2:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
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Lacking runners who bring particularly solid credentials to this affair, a horse like Fielding Gold (#5) is probably the one to beat. He has at least run reasonably well at this level twice since returning from the layoff. Furthermore, his last race was actually better than it seems, since the running-line comment fails to note that he broke about two lengths slowly out of the gate. Considering that early trouble, he did well to finish second to the more talented Deep Sea. I think he’s one whom you need to use, but he doesn’t figure to offer much value as one of the favorites in an otherwise wide-open race.

Fellow short price Archie (#2) is more of an enigma. He ran a competitive speed figure in his return last time, but the stretchout in distance is a bit of an unknown. I actually prefer a horse who finished just behind him in that Dec. 3 race.

THIRSTY DONNERSTAG (#6) is a deep closer who is often doing his best running too late. However, I do think it’s worth noting that he has improved substantially since being returned to the dirt this winter. While that Dec. 3 sprint was falling apart late, Thirsty Donnerstag still made up a ton of ground in the stretch going a distance that is too short for him. Next time out, he was badly compromised by a slow pace going seven furlongs. However, last time, when stretched out to 1 1/4 miles, he actually ran deceptively well. That race was dominated by horses who rode the rail, as the top three finishers spent the majority of their trips racing in the inside path. Thirsty Donnerstag was the only horse in the race to finish with interest after racing off the inside. He earned a competitive speed figure that day, and now I think he finds himself in an appropriate spot. There is supposed to be at least a fair pace in here with Wilshire Star and Guick likely to show early speed. If Abel Lezcano can prevent Thirsty Donnerstag from giving away too much ground in the early going, he should be running on late, and a mile may be the perfect distance.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 6
Trifecta: 5,6 with 5,6 with ALL
Trifecta: 5,6 with ALL with 5,6

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