Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Mashnee Girl back on the right surface in return from layoff

Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:47 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Get the Candy (#12) could go favored here after posting one of the highest speed figures in the field last time out when finishing second at this level at Saratoga. She used her early speed as a weapon from the outside post position and just couldn’t quite fend off a longshot in the late stages. I thought that was an improvement on her maiden victory, when she had everything her own way on the front end and sprinted home over a weaker field. She’s obviously a contender, but there is far more early speed signed on this time and she has to overcome yet another wide draw. 

That could also be an issue for Blame It On Mary (#13), but at least she’ll be a more enticing price. This filly has only started once on turf, but it was a very good effort. She stalked a blistering early pace that ultimately fell apart and she hung around best of the other speeds through the stretch. She’s been off for a little while but she can factor here if she returns in top form. 

Given the amount of speed signed on, Tis a Pity (#8) seems like the logical closer. She was somewhat compromised by having to make a wide move at this level last time in a race where winner Jill’s a Hot Mess snuck up the rail with a great trip. That said, her form is now exposed as she improved on her visually impressive maiden win against weaker. I’m using her, but she’s going to be much shorter than the 7-1 she went off at last time. 

I’m getting more creative with my top pick. MASHNEE GIRL (#2) figures to be a generous price in here and she has a lot to prove as she returns from an extended layoff. Her speed figures say she’s too slow, but those were earned when she was a 2-year-old an competing in the wrong races. She was always meant for turf last year but was badly overmatched the one time she got to try it in the Miss Grillo. She was never going to be competitive there, against some legitimate open company fillies while going a distance that is too far. Now she’s returning from the layoff and appears to be working like a horse who has really stepped forward during the time away. I like that maiden-breaking jockey Jose Lezcano climbs back aboard, and she figures to be somewhat ignored in the wagering.

THE PLAY

Win: 2

Exacta Key Box: 2 with 8,10,12,13

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