Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Synthesis in top form for Toboggan

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:28 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

There isn’t that much speed signed on in this Grade 3 Toboggan, which makes the two front-runners in this field especially dangerous. The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, and depicts Pirate Rick (#2) and Little Vic (#8) well clear of their rivals in the early stages. Between the two, I prefer Pirate Rick. This gelding is returning on very short rest, just 6 days after he impressively beat an optional claiming field here. Yet this is what Lynn Cash does, and he’s had success bringing horses back on short rest. Pirate Rick is in the form of his career right now, and has proven that he can be effective with the pace is fast or slow. The stretch-out to 7 furlongs is a slight concern, but he can’t be ignored in his current form. 

Little Vic has won at the distance, but I have some doubts about the quality of the Gravesend, which he lost by a nose. He was game to re-rally between horses that day, but I think he needs to do better here. 

The only horse that I really want out of the Gravesend is Three Two Zone (#1). He didn’t run his race that day, but it wouldn’t be the first time that he’s needed a start coming back off a layoff. He’s probably a bit better at the 7-furlong distance and he figures to be a much more enticing price than last time. 

My top pick is SYNTHESIS (#9). He didn’t quite run his race the last time Jacobson tested him against graded stakes company in the Fall Highweight, but that race didn’t exactly flow in his favor. He was too far back early and was never put in position to make a run by Jose Ortiz. However, I like all of his surrounding races. He was on the best part of the track when he won that allowance race back in September, but I liked the grit he displayed in the last sixteenth as he fended off Happy Farm. He wasn’t beating the strongest field in his most recent victory, but I liked the way he relentlessly stayed on after a wide trip. He’s won his last 3 attempts at this 7-furlong distance, and I think Turkish jockey Gokhan Kocakaya will prove a good fit for him, since he’s aggressive and this horse needs a strong ride. The David Jacobson runners have generally been running well over the past month or so, and he used to be very dangerous with these types of horses.

THE PLAY

WIN: #9 Synthesis, at 5-1 or greater

USE: 1,2

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