Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Funny Joke can improve off Rob Atras claim

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:12 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

Printrack (#2) is the horse to beat and catch as he seeks to extend his run of good form since getting claimed by trainer Michelle Nevin. In addition to showing improved speed for this barn, he’s also displayed a newfound tenacity in each of his last two starts. He refused to yield when challenged through the stretch two back at Aqueduct. And last time he grudgingly gave way in the last eighth after setting a very fast pace. On TimeformUS Speed Figures, he actually improved to a 107 last time despite settling for second. A repeat of that performance will make him tough to beat, and it’s a good sign that he showed he can handle a sloppy track that day, as he’s likely to encounter similar going here on Friday. The main concern for Printrack is that there is other speed in this field to push him on the front end once again. 

One horse who should be attending the pace is Good Skate (#5). He’s not as fast as the favorite, but he did earn a competitive speed figure at Saratoga two back. His first start off the claim for new connections last time was disappointing, but he had little chance going 9 furlongs at the N1X level. I like the turnback and slight drop in class, and will be using him.

My top pick is FUNNY JOKE (#1). He’s another who is a little light on speed figures compared to Printrack, but I think he can do better here. I didn’t love the trip he got last time when he was just glued to the rail throughout in a race won by a horse who closed outside. That was also a pretty strong $35k claimer and I don’t think he’s meeting a much tougher field despite stepping up off the claim. Most notably, Rob Atras has claimed this horse for Michael Dubb, and they are 6 for 12 (50%, $3.31 ROI) first off the claim together over the past 5 years. He’s also getting this horse from a pair of trainers, Rudy Rodriguez and Orlando Noda, who have been in some slumps recently, whereas the Atras barn has been sending out many live runners lately.

THE PLAY

WIN: #1 Funny Joke, at 9-5 or greater

USE: 2,5

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