01/27/2017 12:20PM

Friday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Timber can chop down Lord Commander

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Aqueduct | Race 3 | Post Time 1:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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Lord Commander (#6) is the horse to beat as he drops in class after losing at the $50,000 level last time. Horses racing on the rail seemed to be at a mild disadvantage on Dec. 8, and he went three wide around the turn. That said, he still has been a disappointment and it seems like he's heading in the wrong direction for a barn that has not exactly been winning at its typical rate at this meet. Furthermore, he will likely have to deal with the early speed of Pop the Hood, so he may not have an uncontested lead.

I'm hoping to beat him with TIMBER (#4).

This horse raced against an even more pronounced rail bias Dec. 17, when he made a wide rally to get up to win for a lesser claiming tag. The waters get a bit deeper today, but I'm taking it as a positive sign that Chris Englehart, who gets a 91 Trainer Rating second off the claim, is moving him up in class. Englehart also connects at a high rate with horses that are coming off wins (93 Trainer Rating). This horse always showed potential on dirt and he may just be putting it all together now.

 

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,6