Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Added distance and more pace will suit Affable Monarch

Belmont at the Big A | Race 8 | Post Time 4:41 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Golden Alchemist (#3) could go favored in this N1X allowance affair. He looks pretty formidable if you draw a line through his last race, where he disappointed in a Grade 3 at Parx. Some horses just don’t perform over that track, and he never really got involved in the race that day. His maiden victory in July was excellent and he’ll be tough to beat if he builds on that performance. I’m just not so keen to simply dismiss the last race of a horse who is going to be a short price. 

Todd Pletcher sends out two of his main rivals in Gasoline (#5) and Up to the Mark (#6). I’ll be interested to see if they both run, since they possess similar running styles. Gasoline is proven at the distance after breaking his maiden going this far last time, though he got a perfect setup in doing so. 

Winit (#9) easily defeated Gasoline when he broke his maiden in July at Belmont, earning a speed figure that makes him formidable here. However, he failed to back up that performance last time at Saratoga. He did have an excuse that day, as he was off a step slowly and rushed up while getting too keen after that. I think he’s a candidate to rebound here at a better price. 

There appears to be enough pace in here to set up a late closer. AFFABLE MONARCH (#8) comes into this NYRA start a little light on speed figures, but I think he be ready for a step forward. This horse showed promise as a 2-year-old, impressively winning his debut before immediately stretching out in distance. He was slow to come around when he returned from a layoff this year, but his last few starts have been heading in the right direction. I thought he ran particularly well last time when overcoming a moderate pace to just miss. He seems like one that’s crying out for 1 1/8 miles and Manny Franco should be a good fit for this grinder.

THE PLAY

WIN: #8 Affable Monarch, at 5-1 or greater

USE: 9

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