Sunday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Battle Station returns to sprinting in the Rego Park

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Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:58 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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This featured Rego Park Stakes drew only five runners, but it’s certainly not lacking in depth. The likely favorite is New York Hero (#2), who turns back to a sprint for trainer Linda Rice. I actually like that they’re cutting this horse back to a shorter race despite his pedigree to handle longer distances. He strikes me as the kind of runner who possesses more speed than stamina, and he was able to use that speed to win his maiden going a mile after setting very fast early fractions. However, the same tactics didn’t work next time out when he was run down late. The winner of that race, Jaye Jaye, returned to run poorly in his next start, but I’m not so concerned about that. New York Hero showed that he can be effective as a closing sprinter in his debut, and he figures to get a good setup in this race, sitting a few lengths off the speeds drawn to his outside.

Morning Breez (#4) is another likely to attract support, and for good reason. He’s run well in each of his last two starts while running some of the fastest speed figures in the field. He didn’t quite get a mile last time and should find this six-furlong distance to be more to his liking.

I’ll use both of these colts, but the one who interests me most is BATTLE STATION (#1).

This Wesley Ward trainee has had some ups and downs in his short career, but he’s run extremely well in all three of his sprint races. The only two times he hasn’t shown up were in routes. The Churchill Downs allowance race that he contested two back was flattered by the subsequent performance of Seven Trumpets in the Withers and illustrated that he’s comfortable rating off other horses. He’s been gelded since his most recent start in the Damon Runyon Stakes and enters this race following an encouraging workout last week.

THE PLAY

Win: 1

Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,3,4

Trifecta: 1 with 2,4 with ALL​

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