Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Rye Runner gets significant class relief in return to dirt

Aqueduct | Race 1 | Post Time 12:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Mister J T (#7) figures to attract some support here after finishing third in his return to the dirt last time. This David Donk trainee has run well in each of his last three dirt sprint starts, with two of those coming last spring. However, I wasn’t thrilled with the field he faced last time, and I think there are some more interesting options among his rivals who are dropping in class.

The one that interests me most is RYE RUNNER (#1). This horse has not raced on dirt since the first couple starts of his career as a two-year-old in which he participated in two of the best maiden special weight races contested anywhere in the country last year. He finished behind the very talented Olympiad in his debut, and his second start on Oct. 11 has produced 5 stakes winners, including Greatest Honour, Miles D, and Bourbonic. Rye Runner obviously didn’t do much running in those spots, but at least he showed some early speed before retreating. I’m not sure why they brought this son of Upstart back on turf this year, but now he may just finally be returning to the right surface.

I would also use another dropdown who may get somewhat overlooked. Run White Rabbit (#11) faced much better company in his prior starts against maiden special weight foes, even when he was racing at Parx two and three back. He got in a prep on turf last time and now switches back to dirt for the Juan Vazquez barn, which won four races on Friday’s card. However, Vazquez typically fares much better with short prices than he does longshots on this circuit.

THE PLAY

Win: 1

Exacta Key Box: 1 with 7,8,9,11

Trifecta: 1 with 8,11 with 7,8,9,11

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