05/29/2017 12:21PM

Monday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: A one-turn mile suits Empire Dreams in Commentator

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Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:13 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs | Not a TimeformUS member? Sign up.

This might be the most interesting race on the whole card. Diversify (#5) is a deserving favorite off his solid runner-up finish to the talented Rally Cry last time, which was just another in a series of excellent performances by this lightly raced colt. However, he is going to have to deal with plenty of early pressure from a slew of stretching-out sprinters. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace.

I think this is a race that could set up for the closers. The one most will gravitate toward is Governor Malibu (#9). He was pretty dull last time, but he may have needed that race and figures to be set for a better effort here. That said, a mile may be a bit short for him.

I’m instead going to take EMPIRE DREAMS (#10) off the trainer switch to George Weaver. I’ve always thought that distances of about a mile around one turn are perfect for this horse, and that’s exactly what he gets today. He’s often run a bit slower than some of the top contenders, but he is capable of producing an effort that can beat a field like this when he’s at his best. Furthermore, his form from this past winter is better than it appears given that he was hindered by a slow pace two back and he lost to the talented Send It In last time. He has handled wet tracks before and should work out the right trip under John Velazquez.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 10
Exacta Key Box: 10 with 4,5,9
Trifecta: 9,10 with 4,5,9,10 with 4,5,6,8,9,10