Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Captivating Cara in strong form for class hike

Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:57 p.m. (ET) 

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I don’t have a major argument against likely favorite Bella Principessa (#4), who ran pretty well in her return from a layoff last time. This mare had shown good dirt ability when she was competing at Aqueduct in the winter of 2022, picking up a pair of victories against claimers before running competitively at this level. She made a nice move to the quarter pole last time before flattening out and can build on that performance here. The one concern is that she’s doesn’t possess much early speed, and there isn’t exactly a ton of pace in this race.

I want to play against some others who could take money, particularly Cadencia (#5). This mare has primarily been a turf runner and feels like one that is taking advantage of this starter allowance condition to get in a prep before turf season returns. 

I would rather take a runner with recency who is in strong form right now. CAPTIVATING CARA (#3) may get dismissed by some handicappers due to the rise in class and perceived negative trainer switch. She did win for the Rob Atras barn last time out, but it’s not as if she really improved for him, actually earning a lower speed figure than she had in her prior start. Yet I did like the grit she displayed in victory last time, fighting back between a couple of rivals that are stronger than those you would typically find at that $25k claiming level. New trainer Greg DiPrima doesn’t have great stats off the claim, but he’s claimed this horse for Double B Racing, who also owns Repo Rocks and had great success with that runner off the claim. I think her tactical speed will play well in this field and the price figures to be fair.

The other horse that I could use is Game Theory (#6). This underrated mare can be a little unreliable, but she ran very well at this level last time and is another who could take advantage of a lack of pace in here.

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