05/21/2017 10:01AM

Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Longshot Pagliacci is in better form than it appears


Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:13 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs 

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Jimmy Jerkens has two runners in this race who are coming off extended layoffs. Three Perfections (#7) is likely to take more money, and he can certainly win this race, but I think Cloontia (#11) is the more interesting of the two. He was involved in a very fast pace in his 2016 finale. Mighty Mo, who was also contesting the pace, came back to win in his next start last fall, so there’s reason to believe that Cloontia ran much better than it appears in that race. I’ll use him strongly, but there’s another runner at an even bigger price that intrigues me.

PAGLIACCI (#4) won his debut on turf and then was simply overmatched against some of the best horses in the 3-year-old turf division in the Palm Beach in his next turf start. He also did not get an ideal trip in that race after racing wide around both turns. Next time out at Keeneland he actually ran deceptively well when setting the pace over a surface that was favoring horses making outside closing moves. Note the blue color-coded race-rating box in the TimeformUS PPs, indicating a closers’ bias. Pagliacci is probably better on turf and he gets back to that preferred surface here.

I'll use him with the Cloontia, as well as Bealestreet Dancer (#2), who got a very wide trip last time and is capable of doing better here.



Win/Place: 4

Exacta Box: 2,4,11

Exacta Key Box: 4 with 3,7

Trifecta: 4,11 with 2,4,7,11 with 2,3,4,7,11