Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Southern District gets back on the right surface

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Chad Brown has a pair of runners in this race, of which Winter Pool (#6) is likely to attract more support. This 5-year-old gelding was in great form over the summer at Saratoga when facing starter allowance company before losing twice at relatively short odds in his last two starts at this level. However, he may not have appreciated the shorter one-mile distance in those races. He was against a slow pace two back at Keeneland, and then last time he just always seemed to be rushed along over the one-turn trip. Stretching back out to 9 furlongs should be key for him and he seems like a major player.

I’m more interested in Chad Brown’s other runner at what could be a better price. SOUTHERN DISTRICT (#3) tried dirt twice last year after beginning his career on the turf. He was a visually impressive winner of a maiden event at Churchill Downs before running deceptively well against winners on July 15. That Saratoga allowance event featured a very slow pace for the distance and Southern District was never in a comfortable position taking kickback while racing in mid-pack throughout. I have no idea why Chad Brown wanted to go back to turf after those solid efforts, but this son of Union Rags predictably wanted no part of the grass. Now he’s back to the right surface and is facing a field that he should be able to handle.

The wild card in this lineup is No Burn (#1), who was an impressive winner of a starter allowance event last time. However, I’m skeptical about the stretch-out, and he has to deal with the early speed of Top Gun Tommy. Waxman (#5) seems more dangerous as he stretches out off a maiden win, but Todd Pletcher has merely mediocre statistics with horses like this.

THE PLAY

Win: 3

Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,4,5,6

Trifecta: 3 with 5,6 with 1,4,5,6

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