Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Market Alert’s recent form better than it appears

Aqueduct | Race 3 | Post Time 1:52 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

I’ll be interested to see how much money Milton the Monster (#4) takes in this optional claimer. He’s known as a wet track lover, and he figure to get his preferred conditions on Saturday with plenty of rain predicted. That reputation does appear to be justly earned as he has done most of his best running over wet, sealed tracks. Yet I still have some concerns about him getting a mile and don’t want him if he is indeed going to vie for favoritism. 

I’m also lukewarm on Kinetic Sky (#6), who has been short prices twice in a row. He got into great form off the claim for Linda Rice, but it appears that he’s gone the wrong way recently. I’m most interested in two horses, though one appeals to me a bit more than the other. 

Uncle Moonlight (#2) would be my second preference, though there are some reasons to like him in this spot. As the only member of this field who isn’t entered for the claiming tag, he’s been working his way through his allowance conditions. He hasn’t quite been good enough in either start at this level, but those were her first couple of starts after an extended layoff. I didn’t think he got the best ride from Jorge Vargas last time, who rode him tentatively early before moving to the lead on the turn. He could find himself leading this field depending on how others are ridden. 

My top pick is MARKET ALERT (#5). This horse has been in better form than his results might indicate. He didn’t get the right trip on Dec. 17 when breaking a bit slowly before making an awkward move to the center of the track. He then had to be used aggressively two back in the Say Florida Sandy, keeping the winner honest on the front end. He lost as the favorite at a slightly higher optional claiming level last time, but he again didn’t get an ideal trip. He was in a good position early but got shuffled back slightly on the turn before having to alter course multiple times through the stretch as rivals drifted in front of him. Now he gets Kendrick Carmouche back aboard and has landed in a slightly softer spot.

THE PLAY

#5 MARKET ALERT, at 5-2 or greater

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