Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Turf-to-dirt move can work for Starlite Mission

Belmont Park | Race 3 | Post Time 2:37 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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This race is tricky because all of the horses who finished behind Take Charge Aubrey last time are going to take some money, and I’m just not convinced that any of them are very good. The Great Johanna (#1) seems like the most reliable option, but her best speed figure came over a sloppy track two back, and I wasn’t thrilled with her late response last time. I think this race is crying out for new faces, and there are a couple of options to consider.

In Denile (#3) stretches out for her second career start as she gets Lasix for the first time. She’s certainly bred to handle added distance as a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile out of an A.P. Indy dam. While she’s a half-sister to Grade 1-winning sprinter Artemis Agrotera, there is plenty of stamina in the second generation of this female family. I’m using her, but she does need to improve significantly on her first outing.

I want to bet STARLITE MISSION (#5), who may fly under the radar given the multitude of chances she’s had. While her dirt speed figures don’t indicate that she’s any faster than her rivals, she did face some decent foes in those winter races. Her lone start going a route distance on dirt was arguably her best main-track effort, as she finished second to the talented Split Time. I don’t know what happened in her most recent turf start, but she has worked well since then. Furthermore, Gary Contessa – who has very few positive DRF Formulator angles – has fantastic numbers with this move. Over the past five years, he is 13 for 52 (25 percent, $3.20 ROI) with maidens switching from turf to dirt routes.


Win: 5

Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1, 2, 3

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1 Response to Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Turf-to-dirt move can work for Starlite Mission

  1. rick baldwin says:

    I know Contessa is hot,but so does everybody else.A win is a win but I was hoping for more than $7.00 & $13.70


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