09/15/2017 10:36AM

Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Despite troubled trips, Realm rounding back into form


Belmont | Race 9 | Post Time 5:45 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

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The likely favorite is You're to Blame (#2), who was exposed as not really wanting to go a two-turn 1 1/8 miles when finishing a tiring fourth in the Curlin last time. He's much better around one turn, and this one-mile distance should suit him. If he can get back to his Easy Goer effort, in which he was second to the eventual Travers winner West Coast, he should be tough to beat. The only major knock against him is the lack of pace in this race since he is a confirmed closer.

The Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors runners on or near the lead. That early leader could turn out to be Mo Town (#7), as predicted, but I think that REALM (#1) may be in front early as long as he's ridden properly.

Jose Ortiz was too passive aboard Realm in the early going last time, allowing him to drop to the back of the pack in a race that did not feature a very strong pace. From there, he encountered traffic trouble at multiple points, had to alter course when shut off in the lane, and actually did very well to lose by only a length to Mo Town. I think he can turn the tables on that foe here. Prior to that, Realm was no match for the improved Seymourdini at Belmont in July, but he did encounter minor traffic trouble in the stretch of that race that may have cost him a higher placing. This distance is perfect for him, and I think he's shown some subtle signs of life lately after going off form this spring.


Win: 1
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,6,7
Trifecta: 1 with 2,6,7 with 2,5,6,7