Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 3:24 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up
I’ll be interested to see how the pace develops in this conditioned claimer. It appears that multiple horses want the front end, but two of those come from the same barn. Tom Morley trainees Mauritius (#3) and Built to Last (#6) possess similar running styles, both doing their best work on the front end. It seems counterintuitive that both would be used aggressively to duel for the lead, so perhaps this pace won’t be quite as fast as it looks on paper.
That could work against a horse like Necromancer (#1), who would fall into a great trip in four horses did battle for the lead. I’m just skeptical that scenario will transpire.
The pace shouldn’t bother morning line favorite Jester’s Song (#5) too much, as he’s generally pretty versatile. Yet I have some doubts about this runner’s current form. He has faced much tougher fields in each of his last two starts, but he still didn’t do any running in those races. Now he returns from yet another layoff dropping down to a realistic level. I just wonder if he’s still capable of producing those speed figures he was earning in the middle of last year.
I want to go in a different direction with UPPER LEVEL (#8). I think this horse is as likely to win as anyone else in this field and I doubt he attracts enough support to be favored. He’s been facing better fields at the starter allowance level and hasn’t run that badly in his recent starts despite the fact that he hasn’t been ridden that aggressively. This horse had the misfortune of facing off against the speedball Ikigai twice in a row, and it’s nearly impossible to outrun that rival to the front end. Last time Jose Gomez didn’t even try, experimenting with rating tactics. I expect the intention is to be more aggressive here with the switch to Jaime Torres. He’s drawn well on the outside and I think he’ll be tough to beat if he can reproduce either of his first two efforts after being claimed by Natalia Lynch.
#8 UPPER LEVEL, at 7-2 or greater