Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Esotica should improve on the switch to turf

Belmont | Race 9 | Post Time 5:12 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Quantitativbreezin (#3) is clearly the horse to beat as she returns from a layoff and drops back down in class to face $40k maiden claimers. She displayed a nice late kick in her career debut last year, closing willingly from off the pace to get up for second. The winner of that heat went on to do some nice things later in the year, but there wasn’t much of quality behind her. She was understandably no match for tougher maiden special weight rivals at Saratoga before she was forced to miss the rest of the turf season. Now she makes her 4-year-old debut in a realistic spot, but she’s going to be a very short price and there are some questions hanging over her head. 

The great thing about this race is that there are plenty of appealing alternatives at better prices. There are two in particular that interest me. 

One of those is Quiet Type (#11), who is probably getting back on the right surface but may be going the wrong distance. I’ve always wanted to see this filly get back on grass after she hit her best stride too late in her turf debut last November. She improved a bit over the winter racing on dirt, but I think she’ll appreciate this switch to grass as a daughter of sneaky turf influence Commissioner. The problem is that she probably wants more ground than 6 furlongs. 

My top pick is first time turfer ESOTICA (#10). I made a note when this filly ran her debut that she might take to turf eventually based on the way she was striding through the stretch, with that bouncy action often seen from turf horses. Laoban has yet to establish himself as a turf sire, but her dam did run her best speed figures on grass and there is some turf pedigree going back generations in her female family. Furthermore, Mike Maker is 5 for 15 (33%, $4.02 ROI) with 3YO+ maidens trying turf for the first time in sprints over the past 5 years. I don’t love that she could take some Irad Ortiz money, but I do think she’ll still be a square price due to the imposing presence of the favorite.

THE PLAY

Win: 10

Exacta Key Box: 10 with 3,9,11

Trifecta: 10 with 3,11 with 3,4,6,9,11

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