Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:55 p.m. (ET)
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I don’t have a big problem with Valenzan Day (#3), who looks like a logical favorite dropping in class for the dangerous Linda Rice barn. It seems like Linda is just acknowledging that she didn’t make a great claim, as he has not lived up to expectations since she paid $50k for him last December. I can excuse his poor effort in the Jerome, but it would have been nice to see him do a little more running last time, when he couldn’t even display the early speed he once possessed. He makes sense here against a softer field, but I think he faces one chief rival who is improving.
Rol Again Dancer (#7) finished behind Valenzan Day two back, and then was beaten by another of today’s rivals last time. Yet I think this horse has really improved since switching into the barn of Michelle Nevin. He was an unlucky loser of that February race, as he did all the hard work on the front end, contesting a very fast pace that fell apart. He battle back when challenged in the lane, but couldn’t hold off the winner. His 92 TimeformUS Speed Figure, enhanced due to a significant pace upgrade, stacks up well against even the favorite’s recent numbers. I like the slight turnback in distance, and he gets an aggressive rider on board in apprentice Jaime Torres.
The other interesting horse is Linda Rice’s other runner, Larz (#8). This is where Jose Lezcano lands as this colt looks to get back on track after a couple of disappointing efforts following his debut win. He was a pace casualty behind Rol Again Dancer last time, but may be capable of betting here as he draws the outside post.
#7 ROL AGAIN DANCER, at 3-1 or greater