Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Added distance and switch back to turf should aid Two Graces

Belmont | Race 4 | Post Time 3:08 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Amarone (#3) is arguably the horse to beat as she moves back down into New York-bred company. She slowly but surely has been coming around after a dull start to her career. She outran her odds in that Monmouth race last time, but the event was dominated by longshots, and she worked out a perfect trip. Nevertheless, she’s going to be a handful if she repeats that performance.

I would also use Petalite (#1), who was ambitiously spotted in her turf debut against open company and now drops back into the New York-bred ranks. She will have more to offer on turf now that she’s back at the right class level. The lone first-time starter Pecatonica (#7) may also attract some support, since she has plenty of pedigree to handle this surface. She is a half-sister to three turf winners, including stakes-placed Dreaming of Cara. However, Chistophe Clement has not had much success with first-time starters in turf routes at NYRA over the past five years (4 for 66, 6 percent, $0.68 ROI).

Two-Graces.png

I’m taking a shot against these runners with TWO GRACES (#8). This filly dropped down to the maiden-claiming ranks for her turf debut two back, and she ran on well after waiting in traffic in upper stretch. The speed figures for that race were slow, but we have seen some also-rans return to do well out of that spot. She then took another step forward when switched back to dirt last time, suggesting that we haven’t yet seen her best. While she does not possess overwhelming turf pedigree, it seems that added distance has been the key to her improvement. She should relish this nine-furlong trip and meets a relatively weak field for the level. It’s encouraging that leading rider Jose Lezcano keeps the mount, and she figures to be a square price.

THE PLAY

Win: 8
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,3,5,7
Trifecta: 8 with 3,7 with 1,2,3,5,7

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