Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Royal Mover likely to improve with clean trip

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

Ee Yah (#7) could go favored in this maiden claimer for 2-year-olds as he drops in for a tag following a decent runner-up finish on debut at Monmouth. That has proven to be a strong race, as winner Great Navigator returned to finish a good second in the Grade 3 Sanford in his next start. Additionally, the third-place finisher returned to win with an improved speed figure. He makes sense as he switches into the barn of David Jacobson, who is seeking his first victory since a recent return to training. Yet I prefer a different runner from that same Monmouth race. 

ROYAL MOVER (#6) finished fourth, about 4 lengths behind Ee Yah when they met on debut, though the Pletcher runner was finishing better and galloped out well. The major difference between them is that Royal Mover has gotten in an additional start, having raced at Monmouth again in late July. While it might appear that he regressed that day, the trip just did not work out. He showed improved tactical speed on the backstretch, but was then eased off the pace and found himself in a difficult position pinned down on the rail. He had some run in upper stretch, but could never get out from in behind a tiring foe while stuck on the rail until it was too late. I think he’s better than his past performances indicate. Furthermore, Todd Pletcher is 7 for 12 (58%, $4.28 ROI) with 2-year-old maidens making their third career starts at Saratoga.

THE PLAY

WIN: #6 Royal Mover, at 2-1 or greater

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