Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: High Promise gets back to the right distance

Belmont Park | Race 6 | Post Time 4:14 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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I think you have to start out any analysis of this race by excusing a trio of runners for their performances in the Aug. 5 allowance race at this level. That turf course at Saratoga was legitimately soft, and only a handful of runners in that field seemed to handle the going.

Gauguin (#7) clearly wanted no part of it, and he also was compromised by the race flow, as he was chasing a very fast pace for the distance. If Gauguin gets back to his prior efforts, he is going to be tough to beat. However, he’s also had plenty of chances to break through this level, and he’s failed at short prices under more favorable circumstances on a number of occasions. I think he has to be in the mix, but I prefer others.

Sentry (#1) is somewhat intriguing as he stretches out in distance for Shug McGaughey. This horse took a while to come around, but he appears to be in the best form of his career, and Shug has a way of getting these runners to excel at marathon distances.

I’m using these, but the horse I think will most appreciate the stretch-out is HIGH PROMISE (#6). I’ve always thought that more distance is better for this son of Mizzen Mast, and I’ve been baffled by his connections’ insistence on running him shorter. He ran very well when losing a 10-furlong maiden race last fall, and his only other effort at a marathon distance resulted in a decisive maiden win two back at Saratoga. I loved the ride that Manny Franco gave him that day, as this horse needs to be placed in the clear. High Promise can get rank when he’s in behind horses, and he tends to find trouble if he’s too far back. This time, he figures to work out a good trip stalking from midpack, and I think he’s the most likely winner.

THE PLAY

Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,5,7

Trifecta: 6 with 1,7 with ALL​

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