Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Piece of My Heart should sit right trip just off the pace

Aqueduct | Race 3 | Post Time 2:23 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

The speedy #1 Miss Brazil returns from a lengthy layoff in this optional claimer. She showed real promise early in her career, posting a 110 TimeformUS Speed Figure to break her maiden before putting in admirable efforts against stakes foes. She was second by just a half-length behind top filly Search Results in the Busher, before turning back successfully over the summer. However, she was put away for the rest of the year after a disappointing effort in the Victory Ride. Tony Dutrow is just 1 for 16 (6%, $0.31 ROI) off 180+ day layoffs over the past 5 years. She’s a notoriously good work horse, and appears to have logged some fast drills for her comeback. Yet she has to break cleanly from the inside, and she could get some pressure from #2 Oxana in the early stages. 

That Tim Hills trainee won her first couple of dirt starts like she might be something special, but her speed figures sunk as she moved up in class. She was no match for the talented Glass Ceiling last time, and benefited from an inside trip on a rail-biased track. She’s dangerous if she can outrun the favorite to the lead, but I still prefer others. 

My top pick is #3 PIECE OF MY HEART. This mare settled for third at this level last time, making her first start off the claim for Danny Gargan while also returning from a brief layoff. She was a little chilly on the board that day, going off at 7-1, and she put forth a merely decent effort. She got a good trip stalking the pace but could never get close to the winner while passed from behind in the last furlong. Hey Mamaluke did return to win a stakes, as did Easy to Bless, who was off the board. Following a quiet few months, Danny Gargan has gone 12 for 36 (33%, $2.42 ROI) at all circuits over the past 60 days. It feels like the barn is waking up, so I view this mare as the chief threat to the favorite.

THE PLAY

WIN: #1 Piece of My Heart, at 3-1 or greater

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