Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Slick Silver should appreciate the switch to turf

Belmont Park | Race 5 | Post Time 3:41 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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This is arguably the toughest race on the card, since you can make valid cases for all of the 10 runners. I don’t want Hangman or Overnight Success, who both figure to take money after running well against a weaker group last time. The horse with the best recent turf effort may be Union Ranks, who set a legitimate pace last time while facing a strong field. He should appreciate the turnback to 7 furlongs. I’m using him, but I’m most interested in new faces.

There are reasons to like both first-time turf horses in this race, but the one that I want to bet is SLICK SILVER (#1). You generally want to avoid horses that are going to get bet off dirt efforts when they’re moving to turf. However, this horse has proven that he possesses real ability and I believe he will be well suited by this surface switch. His lightly raced dam won her only turf start, and Kantharos has proven to be an excellent turf influence, especially in sprints (18% winners). You don’t see too many Steve Asmussen horses ship into New York from a different circuit outside of Saratoga, so I think it’s meaningful that they’re getting ambitious for this colt’s turf debut.

The other horse that I want to include at a massive price is first time starter Carom (#4). This may just be too difficult a spot for a horse to debut, but there are reasons to believe that this one has ability. I loved the way he was moving in his drill at the OBS sale last year, and it seems that others did, too, since $185,000 is a lot of money to pay for a son of Data Link. He comes from a classy female family that has produced top turf horses Jimmy Simms and Well Monied, as well as dirt horse Economic Model. Robert Ribaudo’s stats are skewed by a large number of cheap horses, but he knows how to get a firster ready.

THE PLAY

Win: 1
Win/Place: 4
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,4,5,6,8,10
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 3,5,8

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