07/27/2017 10:32AM

Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Candid Desire has an upset chance in the John Morrissey

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Saratoga | Race 9 | Post Time 5:40 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs 

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This is one of the deepest John Morrissey fields I can recall. There's no clear favorite, and so many runners appear to have legitimate chances. Weekend Hideaway (#1), the 2014 Morrissey winner, was installed as the morning-line favorite. He's been in great form recently, and should appreciate this slight turn-back to 6 1/2 furlongs after just outlasting the talented Diversify going a mile last time. However, he will have to avoid getting caught up in what should be an honest pace, with speeds like Bustin It and Breakin the Fever drawn outside of him.

I think this race could come apart in the late stages, so I want to primarily focus on closers. The one that I think will offer the best value is CANDID DESIRE (#8).

I know it appears that he's gone slightly off form, but a closer examination of Candid Desire’s recent races reveals that he's had excuses. He's never cared for a wet track, so I can forgive his last effort. Prior to that, he ran well against a solid open-company field in May. When he last met some of today's runners in the Affirmed Success, he was hampered when trying to rally through traffic in the stretch, whereas eventual winner Celtic Chaos worked out a clear run outside. I think he could get ignored here, and he's talented enough to win as long as the rain holds off.

 

THE PLAY

Win/place: 8
Exacta key box: 8 with 1, 5, 11, 12