Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Secretary At War gets some class relief

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

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He’s probably going to go off favored in this race, but I just have trouble getting past SECRETARY AT WAR (10) in this spot. Unlike many of his competitors, he appears to be in excellent recent form. His return at Gulfstream in February was encouraging, and he followed that up with a strong effort in the Danger’s Hour last month.

Typically a speed horse, Secretary At War was taken farther back off the pace than usual in that Danger’s Hour as Junior Alvarado sought to get him cover in behind horses. That didn’t quite work out, since he ended up racing about three wide for much of his trip. He launched a wide, early run to the lead around the far turn, and just hit the front too soon in a race that collapsed late. This time, he should be able to work out a good trip stalking Fox Rules, and I think he’ll win if he runs as well as he did last time. A price of 5-2 or greater would be welcome.

His primary competition may be Snap Decision (7), but this 4-year-old needs to improve on his seasonal debut, which was somewhat lackluster. A big price to throw into the exotics is Monster Bea (2), who never really had a chance to close last time when pinned down on the rail and could have more to offer this time. Slim Shadey (3) has been in very good form for Jason Servis, finishing in the exacta in 6 straight starts, but he is stepping up to face a tougher group this time. I think all of these runners will have trouble overhauling Secretary At War if that one runs his race.

THE PLAY

Win: 10

Exacta Key Box: 10 with 2,3,4,7

Trifecta: 10 with 2,7 with 2,3,4,7,12

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