Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Agent Creed should relish added distance in return from layoff

Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 4:40 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

A few horses in this field exit the May 28 race at this level, in which #5 Lord Flintshire lost by a nose after forging to a slim lead in midstretch. I thought he had every chance that day and showed his major flaw, a tendency to settle for minor awards. 

I prefer #7 Rally Squirrel from that affair despite finishing a couple lengths back in third. He did have to alter course in upper stretch, but really had an excellent trip without a major excuse. I just thought his tactical speed would play better in this spot. That said, this is a far more competitive field than that May 28 affair and I want to look at runners from other directions. 

#4 Front Line Dancer is somewhat interesting as he steps up against winners after breaking his maiden coming off a layoff last time. He was clearly best that day after going wide on the turns and launching a rally down the center of the course to get up. He managed to win despite racing a little greenly and failing to change leads in the stretch. I don’t think we’ve yet seen the best of him and won’t be surprised when he takes another step forward here. 

My top pick is #3 AGENT CREED. He returns from a layoff for new trainer Michelle Hemingway, who stretches him out to the 9-furlong distance. He didn’t get ideal trips in either of his last two starts of 2021, as he was ridden to make a premature move last time and encountered traffic in deep stretch of each of those starts. He’s run some of his best races at Belmont Park, and the way this inner turf course was playing last week would flatter his running style. I also like the rider switch to Luis Saez, who should fit this one-paced deep closer.

THE PLAY

WIN: #3 Agent Creed, at 7-1 or greater

UPGRADE: #4 Front Line Dancer, at 8-1 or greater

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