Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Caitriona should appreciate the switch to turf

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Belmont Park | Race 9 | Post Time 5:50 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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Dream Passage (#8) has consistently run the fastest races among her competitors, and this 7-furlong distance seems to be ideal for her. Her first race back from the layoff last year was actually quite good, so there’s reason to believe that she can fire fresh once again. I’m certainly not against her, but there are other options to consider in this intriguing maiden race.

Among the top challengers are those with prior turf experience. Kreesie (#6) ran well last November and draws Irad Ortiz for her return. Out of Orbit (#12) should appreciate a cutback in distance after finding two turns to be a bit too far in her grass debut. Ailish (#3) is coming out of a weaker race last fall, but ran a bit better than it seems considering her wide trip.

I’ll use them as backups, but there are some first time turfers to consider. The obvious one is Exceed the Goal (#2), whose pedigree is full of turf influences. She was runni​ng late in her dirt debut a few weeks ago and should appreciate this switch to grass.

I’m certainly using her, but my top pick is CAITRIONA (#9), who may fly under the radar in this race. This filly actually has plenty of turf pedigree. She’s by 13% turf sire Munnings, and is out of a dam that handled turf despite never winning a race. However, the second generation of her female family is full of grass influences. Her second dam, Irish Actress, was a multiple turf stakes winner during her career and has been a solid grass producer. She produced Bella Attrica, a full sister to Caitriona’s dam, who won over $200,000 while racing primarily on turf. Caitriona’s return last time was not as bad as it seems and she showed some ability as a two-year-old. She should offer value in this competitive spot.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 9

Exacta Key Box: 9 with 2,3,6,8,12

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