Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Big Engine should get right pace setup off the claim

Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:22 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

The scratch of morning line favorite Sheriff Bianco (#4) is not a big surprise, as he would have been wheeling back in just 5 days. His main rival, and now the likely favorite, appears to be Nova Rags (#8), who make his fifth attempt to break through this level. Recently he’s settled for second in similar spots, but he’s been beaten by good horses in each of those last two starts. He will also benefit from any pace that develops up front, and it seems likely the early tempo will be fast given that most of the speeds that entered have stayed in after scratches.

A quick pace would also benefit Linda Rice’s remaining entrant BIG ENGINE (#3). He finished 6 lengths behind Nova Rags when they met here in December, but he just got too far back in the early stages. He was also trained by Rudy Rodriguez then during a time when the barn was in a slump. Now he’s been claimed by Linda Rice, who is 19 for 47 (40%, $2.81 ROI) first off the claim at Aqueduct over the past 5 months. She has had success with this horse before, and he’s run speed figures in the past for Rice that would make him very competitive against this field. He gets a positive rider change to Jose Lezcano after the scratch of his stablemate. He’s supposed to get the right setup and should be a square price. 

The other horse that I want to use is Gagetown (#1), part of the Lynn Cash entry. He’s a nice complement to his speedier stablemate, and he ran pretty well here two back when making an early move into a quick pace. He’s comfortable rallying from further back in the pack, so he figures to sit the right trip.


WIN: #3 Big Engine, at 4-1 or greater

USE: 1,8

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