Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:22 a.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up
I’m squarely against Vive Bien (#1), who could take money as he returns from a layoff and drops in class. This horse had shown some talent early in his career, but he really went the wrong way last season and is now returning for Gary Sciacca, dropping to the lowest conditioned claiming level. He’s clearly had some issues staying on the track, and it’s not surprising when you review his races. He’s a big, heavy horse who may just struggle with physical issues that impede him from showing his talent. He’s also drawn a difficult rail post position with other speed drawn just to his outside.
Naked and Famous (#5) figures to gun to the front after successfully utilizing front-running tactics to break his maiden last time. Yet he’s also a little tough to support given the expected dynamics. Jet Speed (#2) is a little more logical as he makes his first start off the claim for Charlton Baker, but he’s another who hasn’t had much success without the early lead.
Many may view Ginnsu Warrior (#6) to be the logical closer, and I do think he makes plenty of sense in this spot. He put in a decent late run to get up for third on Dec. 31, and has some back races that would make him dangerous here. He’s also reunited with Dylan Davis, who has ridden him well in the past.
Yet I’m more interested in CAN’T BEAT ME (#8) at what should be a bigger price. This gelding faced off against Ginnsu Warrior on Dec. 4 and finished just ahead of him despite encountering significant traffic trouble in the lane. He arguably would have won that race with a clear run. He then came back in another division of a Dec. 31 race at this level and put in a decent rally for fourth while facing the superior Amedeus Music. We also saw runner-up Braciole exit that race to win here last weekend. Can’t Beat Me now makes his first start off the claim for former Mark Casse assistant Jamie Begg. He figures to fly under the radar due to those low-profile connections, but he fits the race flow and is in better form than it appears.
WIN: #8 Can’t Beat Me, at 7-2 or greater