Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Lucky Mucho Man has more to offer on turf

Belmont | Race 9 | Post Time 5:12 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

The 4-year-olds in this field own some faster speed figures than their younger rivals, but I wasn’t thrilled with the two who figures to take the most money. #4 Pivotal Run and #12 Bless Bless met in a race at this level last November and neither was a serious factor. The former did have traffic trouble in the lane, but he’s always going to need some luck with his trips as a deep closer. Bless Bless made up ground late after dropping too far back in the early going, but I thought he was somewhat fortunate when second at a big price in his prior turf start last fall. They’re obvious contenders, but I was most interested in a couple of the 3-year-olds in this lineup. 

My top pick is #7 LUCKY MUCHO MAN. I had tabbed this horse as one that should move up on turf last time given his pedigree and the fact that he moved like a turf horse in his dirt races. He certainly proved his affinity for turf in that spot, but he was unable to do more than pick up pieces given his poor early position. Jose Lezcano just made no real effort to get him forward that day and he just dropped so far back in a race that was dominated towards the front end. He put in a strong final three-eighths despite going wide on the far turn. Belmont Park should suit him better, and I think there’s more ability here than he displayed last time. 

The other horse that I’d want to use prominently is #6 Drums of War. He got a strange ride and trip in his debut last year, but fared better in his second start at Aqueduct. He was wide around both turns that day but never totally gave up. He should appreciate the drop in class and he gets a positive rider switch to Manny Franco in his return from the layoff.

THE PLAY

WIN: #7 Lucky Mucho Man, at 4-1 or greater

UPGRADE: #6 Drums of War, at 8-1 or greater

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