Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Ruse coming off deceptively strong effort

Saratoga | Race 4 | Post Time 2:49 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

A few runners in this New York-bred optional claimer exit a July 15 race at this level. The runner I want most from that affair is sixth-place finisher #3 RUSE, who arguably ran the best race of all. He was chasing a fast pace that fell apart while racing 3-wide around the track during a time when closers seemed to have an advantage on the inner course. I like the slight cutback to a mile for him, and he’s drawn well towards the inside this time. If he merely maintains his recent form, I think he’ll prove difficult to beat in this spot. 

#2 Barrage achieved the best result of those exiting that July 15 race, checking in second after working out a pretty good trip. He did go wide on the turns, but got plenty of pace ahead of him. He’s going out for a dangerous barn and worked very well up here last week, so I’m expecting another good showing. 

#1 Ghost Giant had to briefly pause in midstretch of that race, but it didn’t significantly affect his performance, and he had gotten a great trip up until that point. I feel the same way about #7 Straw Into Gold, who did have to alter course in mid-stretch but had a lot go right for him and just lacked some late punch.

THE PLAY

WIN: #3 Ruse, at 2-1 or greater

USE: 2

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