Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Be Better looks ready to step up in Curlin

Saratoga | Race 7 | Post Time 4:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

I’m a little skeptical of #7 Creative Minister as the likely favorite in this Curlin. He’ll be awfully tough for this field to handle if he runs back to his third-place finish in the Preakness. And I suppose one can forgive his Belmont since he doesn’t necessarily have to be a 12-furlong animal. Yet they asked an awful lot of this horse in a short period of time during the Triple Crown season, and I wonder if it’s taken a toll on him. He’s looked a little dull in his recent workouts, actually having to be asked a bit more than today’s uncoupled stablemate Wolfe Country in a couple of their recent drills. 

I want to look elsewhere at a short price. Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher both have entered some promising prospects. #9 Artorius has a stellar pedigree, by Arrogate out of top sprinter Paulassilverlining. He ran well to win a strong maiden event at Belmont Park last time, but I’m a little skeptical of him stretching out further in distance. 

I think this spot is a great fit for #8 BE BETTER. This son of Uncle Mo showed some hints of ability closing behind Jack Christopher in his sprint debut last summer. He needed plenty of time off after that, but he’s returned in strong form at Monmouth this season. He overcame a slow pace to break his maiden two back, and took a big step forward to beat a solid allowance field last time, drawing off impressively at the end. He gives the impression that more ground will suit him and Luis Saez should be a good fit for a horse that can take a while to hit top gear. 

The other runner I would use is #1 Western River, who will obviously have no problems handling the distance, exiting a 1 1/2 mile allowance win last time. I worry about a lack of pace, but he’s moving in the right direction.


WIN: #8 Be Better, at 2-1 or greater

USE: 1

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