Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Ryan’s Cat should get better pace setup this time

Belmont | Race 4 | Post Time 2:29 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

There is no shortage of early speed in this N1X allowance affair. While the TimeformUS Pace Projector isn’t predicting a fast pace, run-off speed #2 Prisoner almost guarantees that they’ll be moving up front. That could spell trouble for others who want to be forwardly placed, particularly #6 Reggae Music Man and #7 Montauk Daddy. Prisoner is undefeated in 3 career starts, winning each of his races by open lengths. However, he’s working his way up the class ladder after being risked for a $25k tag upon return. This is by far the toughest field he’s met and he’s returning from a brief layoff. 

If he comes back to the field, #1 Scilly Cay is the most obvious beneficiary. He’s run well from off the pace in the past and put in a good effort in his lone prior start at this level in May 2021. The only problem is that we haven’t seen him in action in nearly a year. Chad Brown does well off 180+ layoffs in general, but he’s just 22 for 99 (22%, $1.36 ROI) off that type of break in dirt sprints. Narrowing it down even further he’s 3 for 6 ($3.51 ROI) off a trainer switch within that sample. I won’t be surprised when this horse runs well, but it’s not like he’s a standout in this field.

I’m going in a different direction with #4 RYAN’S CAT. He possesses the highest TimeformUS Late Pace Rating in the field, which is always a positive in potential pace meltdowns. This horse obviously hasn’t gotten back to the speed figures he achieved in early 2021, but he’s slowly been working his way back into fitness since returning from a layoff this year. I’ve liked each of his recent races more than the last, and want to give him extra credit for closing into a slow pace last time. He figures to work out the right trip here and could be sitting on another improved performance.

THE PLAY

WIN: #4 Ryan’s Cat, at 7-2 or greater

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