04/29/2017 10:01AM

Saturday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Class drop, return to sprinting can work for Astrologist

Email

Belmont | Race 2 | Post Time 2:01 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

Not a TimeformUS member? Sign up now

 

There is no question that Shiraz (#4) is the horse to beat in this race. Not only is he exiting some tough stakes races down in Florida, but he already has been successful sprinting on turf and should greatly appreciate this turnback in distance. He ran an excellent race to win his maiden over this course and distance last fall, and that performance looks even better in retrospect considering what third-place finisher Holiday Stone has gone on to accomplish.

While I like Shiraz’s chances here, he is not going to be much of a price, and there's another runner at a more generous price who also intrigues me.

Like Shiraz, ASTROLOGIST (#5) won sprinting over this course as a 2-year-old, but then he wasn't seen again for more than a year. He finally returned as a 4-year-old this past February and put in a performance that is better than it seems. He was off slowly and squeezed back at the start, which is why he was so far back early. From there, he never had a chance to make up ground but still put in a mild late run to finish within five lengths of the winner. The horses who finished right around him are all talented runners who would be short prices in this spot. I like the turnback for him as well.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 5
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,4,8
Trifecta: 4,5 with 4,5 with 1,2,6,7,8