Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Life in Shambles will appreciate the cutback and return to Belmont

Belmont Park | Race 2 | Post Time 1:04 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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This allowance-optional-claiming race is seemingly wide open, as a number of contenders have run well enough to win at this level at some point. The one that appears to be coming into this race with the most upside is Almithmaar (#4), and perhaps that will make him the favorite. I thought this gray gelding did well to close from the back of the pack – contrary to his typical running style – to beat a weaker field than this one. He can take another step forward here, but he will likely need to do so.

Long Haul Bay (#2) would be a strong favorite in this spot if he were guaranteed to run back to some of his efforts from earlier this year. However, he disappointed as the favorite in the John Morrissey two back and didn’t appear to be the same horse last time over fast going. I’m somewhat against him resurrecting his form in this spot.

The Pace Projector is predicting that Delta Bluesman (#3) will be tough to run down on the front end, but I don’t fully trust him to get the 6 1/2 furlongs, or to bring his best form to New York.

The horse that I want to bet is LIFE IN SHAMBLES (#6). This horse was acquired by top claiming trainer Jason Servis prior to his last start on Aug. 19, and he disappointed considering the usual improvement displayed by such runners. However, I think he had some excuses that day. After breaking very sharply, Irad Ortiz made the questionable decision to drag him back off the pace, and Life in Shambles ended up getting left with too much to do. He was on the best part of the track toward the rail last time and didn’t make up much ground. However, he’s never run particularly well at Saratoga, and Belmont Park has always been this horse’s favorite racetrack. Now he’s drawn in the outside post position, which should help him attain a more forward early position.

THE PLAY

Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,3,4

Trifecta: 6 with 2,4 with 1,2,3,4

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