Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Moon Hunter has been the victim of poor trips

Belmont at the Big A | Race 8 | Post Time 4:22 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

This conditioned claiming event is arguably the most wide open race on the card. The favorites don’t stand on particularly firm ground and there’s some kind of case to be made for almost every runner in the field. Golquist (#3) or Maseta (#1)appear most likely to take money in this race, and I wouldn’t be particularly fond of either one at short prices. The former seems like an especially poor gamble, as he is totally unreliable to show up from race to race. He also achieved his best result when benefited from a rail bias and slow pace going two turns. Maseta is a little more appealing, as he hasn’t ever gotten a chance to sprint on turf. He’s a handy horse who may not mind the turnback, and William Morey has done well with turf claims in the past. I just want to search for some better value in a race that looks so competitive. 

He’s Got It (#4) should go off at a better price than both aforementioned runners. While he’s never actually crossed the wire first in his career, he did show he could handle this distance when justifiably put up via disqualification in his maiden score over this track. Since then he hasn’t hit the board in any of his starts for James Ryerson. However, he did run deceptively well two back when chasing outside against a rail bias. Then last time he set an extremely fast pace in a race that fell apart. I like the turnback in distance for him and believe he’s in better form than it appears. 

My top pick at what is likely to be an even bigger price is MOON HUNTER (#2). He looks a little slow from a speed figure standpoint, but he’s had significant excuses in every start since getting claimed by Gary Sciacca. He was off awkwardly on Aug. 14, never raced on the rail during a rail bias period, and was compromised by an extremely slow pace. He again encountered trouble on Sep. 3 when racing wide every step of the way against a much tougher field. I don’t care about the dirt race last time, as his form is now so obscured that he has to be a generous price. He’s getting back to the right surface and distance, and takes a needed drop in class.


WIN: #2 Moon Hunter, at 6-1 or greater

USE: 4

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