01/21/2017 12:54PM

Saturday’s TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Coming off two tough trips, Benevolence is due for some luck

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Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

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Three of the main contenders are all exiting the same race on Dec. 30. Fratello del Nord was the only one to hit the board, finishing a game second after contesting the pace for his entire trip. However, I think the two horses that finished behind him are just as dangerous in this spot.

The pace of that race really held together, and closers had a hard time getting involved. Sky Chaparral’s last rider, Angel Arroyo, sensed this and tried to use his mount down the backstretch to get into the race earlier. He was successful at keeping him within striking distance throughout, but the early aggression may have detracted from his late run. This horse has run competitive speed figures in each of his last two starts and is a major threat to win today.

While I will use both of the two aforementioned runners, the horse that I want most out of that Dec. 30 race is BENEVOLENCE (#8).

This Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is in much better form than it appears as he has had trouble in each of his last two starts. Two back, he was shuffled back around the turn after his rider unwisely decided to rate him behind the speeds. Then last time, he was bumped hard at the start and forced to steady sharply. He spotted the field about five lengths through the opening furlongs and actually did well to make up some ground in the stretch. Today, he should show far more speed with a clean break, and I think he can turn the tables on his rivals.

While I will be keying on Benevolence, I also have to throw in Foreset, who turns back in distance after racing down inside along a dead rail on Dec. 7. That performance is actually much stronger than it appears and he has handled sprint distances in the past. Kendrick Carmouche figures to be aggressive from this outside post position, so he must avoid getting caught up in a pace battle with Fratello del Nord.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 8

Exacta Key Box: 8 with 1,4,9

Trifecta: 8 with 1,4,9 with 1,4,6,9,10