Friday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Highland Sky seeks to recapture top form in his return to the NYRA turf

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Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 3:38 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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At his best, Wake Forest (#1A) is more talented than this field, but nine furlongs is not his best distance, and he could need a race coming off the layoff. Furthermore, he had gone off form prior to the layoff, and you have to wonder if he can recapture his top form as an 8-year-old. I’m trying to beat him.

The obvious alternative is Designed for War (#4), from the hot Mike Maker barn. I’m not overly concerned about his poor effort at Turfway last time since he’s not a synthetic horse. His Pan American in April 2017 was excellent, but that’s the only race he’s run that makes him especially formidable here. I respect him, but I want to go in a different direction.

I’m giving HIGHLAND SKY (#6) another chance. I know that this horse has been a massive disappointment, but I do think he’s landing in an appropriate spot here. He never had a chance last time going a flat mile over a hard, chewed-up course at Gulfstream. He’s best at distances between nine and 10 furlongs, and he gets that here. Furthermore, I like that this race is on the outer turf course since he’s a runner who needs to wind up his move on the far turn. The fact of the matter is that despite losing at short prices, his 2017 form actually gives him a big shot here. If he can run back to his Sept. 9 performance at Belmont, he’s probably going to win this race.

THE PLAY

Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,4,5

Trifecta: 6 with 1,4 with 1,3,4,5,7​

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