Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Tuscan Queen can rebound with more aggressive ride

Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 1:45 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

O’Gotten Girl’s (#7) early speed probably makes her the one to beat in this 6-furlong allowance. She just missed at this level last time when run down by a superior rival but she nevertheless ran well in defeat. She carved out some honest fractions and did well to hold onto the place position. The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring runners or near the lead and she figures be controlling the fractions up front. I don’t think she has as much upside as some others in here, but she still makes plenty of sense. 

Messidor (#8) is an intriguing entrant in this race. I know her connections had wanted to run her longer last week, but that allowance race got rained off the turf. So instead they’re going to get in this turf sprint run before the season ends in New York. She has been best in each of her last two starts going a mile at Belmont, as she was compromised by a slow pace two back and then encountered significant traffic last time. That said, I don’t love the turnback for her, and her lack of early speed could be a real problem in this paceless affair. 

I want to go in a different direction with TUSCAN QUEEN (#5). Jose Ortiz made a tactical error last time when he reined her in immediately out of the starting gate, basically deciding to ride her as a closer before even seeing out the pace developed. She lost valuable early position and then was forced to cover more ground than anyone when making a wide rally on the turn. She flattened out late, but she was just never in a position to win. Her prior form is obviously good enough to make her a player here. She was compromised by a wide trip against a bias two back, and she hung with some good fillies in the Galway at Saratoga prior to that. I think her best effort can beat O’Gotten Girl, and she has the tactical speed to stay closer – if they use it.

THE PLAY

Win: 5

Exacta Key Box: 5 with 6,7,8,10

Trifecta: 5,7 with 5,7 with 1,6,8,10

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