09/09/2017 11:29AM

Saturday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Coal Truth can take a step forward in his second start


Belmont | Race 4 | Post Time 3:04 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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Super Sermon (#6) ran fine in his debut behind longshot winner Pure Shot. It’s never a great sign when you see a Todd Pletcher first-time starter wearing blinkers for his debut, and this one was basically ignored on the tote board, going off at over 6-1. I’m not that concerned about the distance since his dam is a half-sister to Louisiana Derby and Blue Grass winner High Limit. However, I’m just not convinced that this horse is really one of Pletcher’s better 2-year-olds.

Super Sermon is likely to win this race if he merely repeats his debut and none of the others move forward, but I’m expecting big improvement from Chad Brown's runner, COAL TRUTH (#5).

This Mineshaft colt actually ran quite well in his debut. He was off awkwardly, spotting the field a couple of lengths right out of the gate. He advanced willingly on the turn and just flattened out late in the stretch. While the final time of that race was slow, it was run at a point in the day when Saratoga was getting rain, and the main track had slowed significantly. Furthermore, the main track appeared to be favoring horses with speed (indicated by the red color-coded Race Rating), so Coal Truth was against the grain of the track. Lone Sailor got a similar trip in that Aug. 12 race, and he returned to win his next start, improving his TimeformUS Speed Figure by 20 points.

I’ll use Coal Truth with the favorite, as well as Indimaaj (#2), who may have needed his debut. He was a bit green in that race, and Kiaran McLaughlin has strong numbers with this move. Over the past five years, he is 5 for 15 (33%, $2.89 ROI) with second-time-starting maiden 2-year-olds stretching out on the dirt.


Win: 5

Exacta key box: 5 with 2, 6

Trifecta: 5 with 2, 6 with all