Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Amundson’s pace advantage gives him the edge in Morrissey

Saratoga | Race 9 | Post Time 5:46 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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It’s pretty easy to separate the runners in this John Morrissey field into two groups – those with strong recent form and those without. The former group is the smaller one, as only Funny Guy, Bankit, and Amundson come into this race off performances that would be good enough to win here.

Many will gravitate toward those two classy runners exiting the Commentator. Funny Guy (#6) was the upset winner, benefitting from a perfect trip and ride by Joel Rosario. He got a strong pace to close into and saved ground all the way before the rail opened for him in upper stretch. That said, he still did well to come through and defeat a very good Mr. Buff, earning a career-best 121 TimeformUS Speed Figure. He’s arguably the horse to beat off that effort, but now he has to cut back in distance to seven furlongs in a race that doesn’t feature nearly as much early speed.

Bankit (#5) arguably ran just as well as Funny Guy last time, as he had to go wide on the far turn while launching his rally. However, Bankit often is content to settle for minor awards, and the lack of pace in here could be an even greater problem for a deep closer like him.

All of that points to AMUNDSON (#4) being the right horse to take. He may challenge the aforementioned pair of favoritism, but I think he should. Unsurprisingly, the TimeformUS Pace Projector depicts him on a clear early lead in a scenario favoring the front-runner. Furthermore, while this horse doesn’t have the classy company lines of some others, he’s coming off a series of strong sprinting performances. He ran an excellent race to win the Hollie Hughes over the winter and earned a career-best 121 TimeformUS Speed Figure over this distance last time, only losing to the promising Fortin Hill. Notably, the horse that he dueled with in that spot, Skyler’s Scramjet, returned to win here last Saturday, flattering Amundson’s effort. I think he’s going to lead them all the way.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta: 4 with 1,5,6,8
Trifecta: 4 with 5,6 with 1,5,6,8

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