Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Winners Laugh should encounter softer pace scenario

Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 4:30 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

More Graytful (#4) and Seven Lilies (#5) look like the two who should vie for favoritism in this New York-bred optional claimer, the second division of today’s sixth race. More Graytful comes off a career-best performance when winning at this level last time with a 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure. He’s stretching out to 7 furlongs today, but he’s handled this distance in the past. He’s very much the horse to beat in his current form, but I think there are some question marks as he exits the Rob Atras barn. Ray Handal is having a great meet, but Atras really seemed to have the key to this horse and I wonder if he’ll regress here. 

He faces an Atras-trained rival in Seven Lilies, who is also in fantastic form right now. He ran out of ground when closing into a slow pace last time, and that’s come back as a strong race. Water’s Edge returned to win with a strong speed figure. Seven Lilies just missed at this level two back, and he should relish the slight turnback to 7 furlongs. 

I’m most interested in WINNERS LAUGH (#7) as an alternative. He finished sixth of seven runners in his return to the races last time, but he ran a lot better than the result indicates. That was a wicked pace and he outdueled the very fleet Steam Engine on the front end before both succumbed to closers. He earned a strong 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that performance, a number that puts him right on par with the two favorites. He figures to move forward off that return and he’s drawn well outside of his main pace rival.


Win: 7

Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,5

Trifecta: 7 with 4,5 with 3,4,5

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