Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Honest Banker’s debut stronger than it appears

Aqueduct | Race 2 | Post Time 1:50 p.m. (ET) 

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Curlins Choir (#5) and Lady Shylock (#1) could vie for favoritism in this starter optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies. The former suffered her first defeat at this level last time, but ran a decent race considering her wide trip, staying on mildly at the end to get up for third. She arguably isn’t facing a rival as tough as winner Howzyourcashflow, but she will have to turn the tables on the runner-up from that race.

Lady Shylock showed a new dimension at this level last time, as she got outrun to the early lead and was forced to rate. I thought she stayed on pretty gamely in the stretch despite having to alter course late. Her connections are likely to get more aggressive here as she breaks from the rail, but there is some other speed drawn outside of her. She’s the one I would want most out of that race, but I think another rival will offer better value.  

HONEST BANKER (#6) might look inferior to this group based purely on that modest 75 TimeformUS Speed Figure on debut. She was a well-kept secret that day, as she went off at 15-1 for a barn that typically sends out short-priced winners. She moved into a fast pace – indicated by red color-coded pace figures in TimeformUS – and put away her rivals convincingly to win in commanding fashion. A few horses to run back out of that race have subsequently improved their speed figures significantly, particularly those who contested the pace along with her. She now returns in a tougher spot, but she’s not in for the tag and has drawn well on the outside again. The price figures to be fair in this competitive field.

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