Monday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Practical Coach faced strong field last time

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 4:26 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

No Burn (#7) could go favored here off his 4-length victory at the N2X level in his prior start in January. He got a strong 119 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that performance, but he’s facing a different set of circumstances this time. While he did set an honest pace that day, he got a muddy track which he clearly handles and was beating a pretty weak field for that level. He drew well outside this time for the turnback to a mile, but I think this is a more interesting race than defaulting to him. 

Market Alert (#3) finally showed some subtle improvement in his third start off the claim for Rob Atras last time. He was aggressively ridden to push eventual winner Wudda U Think Now on the lead and gamely battled back for second in the late stages. Perhaps it’s a slight negative that he now comes back for this $80k tag rather than running in the Haynesfield, but the distance may have something to do with that. He’s a contender with a similar performance. 

I also think we could see a better effort from another New York-bred, Lobsta (#1). His return last time felt like a prep, as he was used to chase the fleet Pirate Rick in the early stages before fading while racing off the rail against an inside bias. He’s won at this distance before and should be forwardly placed from this rail draw with the switch to an aggressive rider. 

My top pick is PRACTICAL COACH (#6), who is a new face at this level in New York. Trainer Butch Reid tends to send live runners to this circuit, going 10 for 61 (16%, $2.17 ROI) at NYRA tracks on dirt over the past 5 year, with 61% of those starters hitting the board. This horse might look a cut below these at first glance, but he showed some potential when finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones last fall. Since then he’s improved in his last couple starts, just missing against claimers two back before running deceptively well at Laurel last time. That Jan. 14 race featured a pretty strong field, and he was game all the way through the stretch to finish fourth. Horses have run back out of that race to improve, including runner-up Southern District, who just missed in his next start on this circuit. This son of Practical Joke figures to appreciate the one-turn mile, and it strikes me as a good sign that he’s so ambitiously placed here.


WIN: #6 Practical Coach, at 6-1 or greater

USE: 1,3

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