Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Zapruder should appreciate surface switch

Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 2:14 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Bourbon Chase (#1) has been the runner-up in both starts despite going off as the odds-on favorite each time. He was beaten by a pretty good foe on debut, but I would have liked to see him take more of a step forward last time, when he had to work hard to merely secure second. He now stretches out as a son of Practical Joke, who has better stats with his sprinters overall, though the dam did win going a mile. Pletcher has a $1.29 ROI in an 89-horse sample with maidens adding blinkers on dirt over 5 years. I prefer horses exiting other races. 

Inspector (#3) was rumored to be a good one ahead of his debut, and hasn’t delivered on the promise. Yet he’s been hampered by some gate issues and hasn’t run as badly as it might seem in either start. He now stretches out as a son of solid dirt route sire Flatter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show more speed if he can finally break cleanly. 

My top pick is ZAPRUDER (#4). This homebred debuted going long on turf where he was never seriously involved. However, a close viewing of that race suggests that he may have some upside. This gelding showed some immaturity throughout, but he was really running through the wire once he was fully set down for the stretch drive. Trakus caught him getting his final quarter in 23.21 seconds, and a final sixteenth in a flashy 5.75 seconds. What’s more interesting is that he’s actually bred for dirt. The dam has produced 6 dirt winners from 7 winning foals, including stakes winner Blindwillie McTell and solid allowance type Duquesne Whistle. Bill Mott is 13 for 54 (24%, $2.25 ROI) with maidens switching from turf to dirt routes over the past 5 years. I’m expecting a better effort this time.

THE PLAY

WIN: #4 Zapruder, at 4-1 or greater

USE: 3

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