Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Originator steps back up off confidence booster

Saratoga | Race 3 | Post Time 1:54 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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My principal opinion in this race is that I’m not particularly thrilled with any of the fillies exiting the July 17 race at this level. I didn’t get the sense that Lady Lawyer necessarily ran her best race going that 5 1/2-furlong distance, so I’m not inclined to bet back those who finished just behind her. Olendon (#1) has generally been a bit of a disappointment and had no excuse to lose with a perfect trip last time. Turf War (#7) and Lost Ticket (#4) both stayed on for minor awards and may improve here, but I don’t see much more pace to aid them in this spot.

I’m interested in bigger prices. Kitten’s Covergirl (#2) has to be considered as she turns back in distance. A mile was too far for her last time and she was hardly disgraced against a better field. She appears to be in better form since the trainer switch to Mertkan Kantarmaci and she at least showed over the winter that she could handle true turf sprint distances.

Yet I want to get even more creative by going with ORIGINATOR (#8) as my top pick. She was facing cheaper company at Churchill Downs last time and got a great trip to win, but a mile isn’t her best distance. I understand why they dropped her that day, but I think her prior form at this level isn’t as bad as it seems. She didn’t get the most comfortable trip two back in a roughly-run race, and I’m willing to excuse her early season efforts at Gulfstream. She was good enough to be competitive with a field like this last year and I have confidence that Ian Wilkes can get her back into form.

THE PLAY

Win: 8
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,2,4,7

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