Wednesday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Irish Prayer will appreciate more pace and distance

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Saratoga | Race 8 | Post Time 5:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs 

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While it’s become rare for fast paces to develop in one-mile races on the inner turf course, you would have to imagine that the early pace of this race would be somewhat contested. Crafty Concorde (#4), Damage Control (#6), No Texting (#2), and Ex Ex Ex (#8) all have run their best races when racing on or near the lead, so it seems unlikely their connections would want to rate them – but you never know on this circuit. I’m hoping that some pace develops, because I want closers in this race.

Mobridge (#5) is the horse to beat, but he got a smart ride from Jose Lezcano last time, when he was placed close to a moderate pace and got the jump on the closers. He can win again, but his form is exposed at this point. Therefore, I’m trying to beat him with IRISH PRAYER (#7), who should be a much more attractive price.

At first glance, it looks like Irish Prayer has lost a step, but I think he just hasn’t been in the right spots recently. He’s not really a sprinter, and he actually didn’t run that badly behind an impressive performance by runaway winner Made in Detroit two back. His last race feels like a tightener for this, as he was not competitive early and never had a chance to close into a very slow pace for the distance (indicated by blue color-coding in the PPs). Now he gets back out to two turns and is placed at an appropriate class level. Florent Geroux was aboard for his win here last season, and Mike Maker gets a 100 Trainer Rating with horses going from allowance to claiming company.

 

THE PLAY

Win: 7

Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2,3,6