Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Added distance should suit Harajuku in Long Island

Aqueduct | Race 9 | Post Time 3:43 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up

Christophe Clement holds a strong hand in this Grade 3 Long Island, sending out a trio of entrants, all of whom have a legitimate chance to win. Among those is last year’s winner of this race, Mutamakina (#7). She has really come back into form in the second half of this season, having been well-spotted in a couple of Woodbine stakes. She held on to win the Dance Smartly over the summer and then beat a strong field, including her stablemate La Dragontea (#4), to take down the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor last time. Mutamakina has tactical speed but doesn’t need the lead. Dylan Davis is undefeated aboard this mare, and she has to be considered the one to beat, among the Clement trio and the rest of this field. La Dragontea did run well to be second to her stablemate last time, closing into a slow pace. However, she was racing over her preferred boggy going in the E. P. Taylor, and she’s yet to show that she’s quite as effective over a firm course. 

Sorrel (#8) is the wild card among Clement’s contingent. She ran on decently in her U.S. debut back in March, chasing home division leader War Like Goddess. Her European form had been trending in the right direction at the end of last year, and she would be a major player here if she could build on that form in her return. 

I’m going in a different direction with HARAJUKU (#3). She looked like a 3-year-old filly with promise off her third-place finish in the Jockey Club Oaks two back. She did ride an advantageous rail path most of the way, but she still closed well into a slow pace behind the talented Shantisara. That rival came back to dominate the Grade 1 QEII Challenge Cup at Keeneland in her next start. However, Harajuku took a step backwards last time in the Sands Point, checking in last first off the trainer switch to Graham Motion. I think the turnback in distance may not have suited her, since stamina was her greatest asset when she was competing in France earlier this year. Now she stretches all the way out to 12 furlongs, which should suit her as a daughter of Deep Impact.

THE PLAY

Win: 3

Exacta Key Box: 3 with 4,6,7,8

Trifecta: 3 with 7,8 with 1,4,6,7,8

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