Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Whistling Birds is a threat in return to New York-bred company

Belmont | Race 7 | Post Time 4:45 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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I found this to be one of the most confusing races on the card. Merely identifying a morning-line favorite was a struggle, and I don’t even have much confidence that I’ve sorted that out properly. Playwright and Big Gemmy participated on Saturday, so they will scratch out of this spot.

Among those who are likely to go to post here, Ro Bear (#1) may be the horse to beat off his runner-up finish to It’s All Relevant last time. If you believe the Beyer Speed Figure, he has a significant advantage. However, I tend to think that the TimeformUS Speed Figure of 98 is a better indicator of the quality of that field. He’s still a major player off that number, but he doesn’t deserve to be a very short price.

I actually don’t think he’s far more likely to win than is Ten Twenty Nine (#2). The James Ryerson gelding beat an overmatched field in the slop last time, but prior to that, he had finished just a length behind Ro Bear at this level despite not getting much pace to close into.

Whistling-Birds.png

I’m using him at a price, but my top pick is WHISTLING BIRDS (#4). This horse may not go off at his 8-1 morning line, especially if there are scratches, but he’d be interesting at even half that price. He got the job done in his maiden win at Aqueduct two back and then ran very well behind the talented Spun to Run at Parx last time. He’s earned some competitive speed figures and still has room for improvement. Furthermore, progeny of Jimmy Creed do well over wet tracks, and he is likely to encounter those conditions Sunday.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,2,3,5
Trifecta: 2,4 with 2,4 with ALL

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