Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: New and improved Altea can finally get back to the winner’s circle

Saratoga | Race 4 | Post Time 2:54 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Two of the mares who figure to take money in this Perfect Sting are dropping out of the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, which was won by the talented Rushing Fall. Of that pair I strongly prefer ALTEA (#4).

I know this 5-year-old has developed a reputation of settling for minor awards, but I think a big part of that is the fact that she’s just been a little unlucky. That was certainly the case two back when she lost the Mint Julep by a length after getting held up in traffic in upper stretch. Then last time Joel Rosario tried to tip out at the top of the stretch to make a rally, but ultimately had to angle back down inside for a clear path, and she was finishing best of all at the end of that race. It appears that Chad Brown has gotten her into the best form of her career right now, and I think this drop in class might do the trick for her. There isn’t much pace in this field, which is a concern for everyone, but at least Altea has the best finishing speed, as her TimeformUS Late Pace Rating of 124 is the highest in this field.

I don’t mind Chad Brown’s other horse Cafe Americano (#1), who certainly has a right to improve as a 4-year-old. She also may possess better tactical speed than her stablemate. The other horse that intrigues me is Feel Glorious (#5). She’s really stepped forward this year for Christophe Clement, as she only finished a neck behind Waya winner My Sister Nat in the New York two back and then closed well in the late stages of the Matchmaker at Monmouth last time. This distance is perfect for her, but she’s another one who will need some pace to set up her late kick.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,5,6,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,5 with 1,5,6,7

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