Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Impressionist will be tough with a cleaner break

Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 2:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

I’m not trying to beat likely favorite IMPRESSIONIST (#1). This gelding put in a big effort in his career debut, closing resolutely for third despite a poor start. He really did get slammed coming out of the gate and found himself last in a 12-horse field heading down the backstretch. He showed real determination to overcome traffic and all of that kickback. While he did flatten out a bit in the last furlong, but had every right to get tired. Impressionist is bred to be a good one as a half-brother to Grade 1 Arkansas Derby runner-up Conquest Mo Money ($510k), and all of this dam’s foals have been runners. Atras is just 1 for 16 (6%, $0.73 ROI) with maiden 2nd time starters over 5 years, but there haven’t been many quality horses in that sample. I would expect him to show more speed this time with a cleaner break.

Highlighting Impressionist’s last trip (3rd replay in video)

His main rival may be Relate (#7), who finished just behind him last time. This colt went for a whopping $685k at the OBS April sale last year after working a quarter in 20 3/5 seconds. However, it took him a while to get to the races and he was a little chilly on the board in that Dec. 5 debut, going off at nearly 5-1. He showed good early speed from the rail and looked like a real threat when he switched outside at the quarter pole before flattening out late. He should have gained some fitness from that run, though he had a much better trip than today’s rival Impressionist. Though Steve Asmussen is just 1 for 16 (6%, $0.35 ROI) with maiden second time starters in Aqueduct dirt sprints over 5 years.

The Institute (#4) is worth including underneath. He showed some promise in his career debut, but has subsequently struggled to finish off his races. Perhaps the addition of Lasix will help.

THE PLAY

Win: 1

Exacta: 1 with 4,6,7

Trifecta: 1 with 4,7 with 3,4,6,7

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