Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Honor Up back at the right level in his second start off the layoff

Belmont Park | Race 8 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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I’m not sure what to do with the pair of Chad Brown runners in this race, and you’re unlikely to get much of a price on either one. Take It to Scale (1) deserves credit for winning his debut routing, but that was a fairly weak maiden special weight field and this is a significant step up in class. Born for a Storm has run well on occasion, but he needed a race off the layoff when he returned at Saratoga last year. I prefer others.

Speke (7) has to be considered a top contender. He was game in defeat behind today’s rival Danny California two back before impressively winning a solid maiden race on Gotham day. He obviously handles the distance and figures to get a good trip. I’m using him, but the horse that I really want to bet here is HONOR UP (8).

Honor Up showed real ability as a 2-year-old once he was finally stretched out in distance. He gave Audible a run for his money back on Nov. 15 before easily handling an overmatched group in similarly fast time. It took him a long time to get back to the races and they took a shot in the Lexington. He appeared to be moving well on the turn before something apparently went amiss and Jose Ortiz eased him up to the wire. It’s a good sign to see him back just four weeks later and he doesn’t need to improve much on his 2-year-old form to beat this field.


Win: 8

Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,3,7,9

Trifecta: 7,8 with 7,8 with 1,3,9​

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