09/21/2017 11:27AM

Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Classic Covey has room for improvement in his return

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Belmont | Race 5 | Post Time 3:36 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

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Chad Brown entered two well-bred first-time starters who came with hefty price tags, but only one will start. Untraceable (#1) worked a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds at the Fasig-Tipton sale in 2016 and is a half-brother to Bear Tough Tiger, a talented sprinter. This barn will take its time with horses when necessary, but it's still somewhat concerning that this colt is debuting toward the end of his 3-year-old season after showing precocity at the 2-year-old sale.

Of those who have run, Jahaafel (#3) figures to take the most money. He rode the rail, which was definitely the place to be on the Saratoga turf course, whereas Now in a Drive (#4) had a much tougher trip in that race. While Jahaafel was cutting the corner, Now in a Drive had to steady and got spun out in the 3 or 4 path around the far turn. He's the one I would want out of that race, but he's had many chances already at this level.

I instead want to get a little creative, so I'm taking a shot with CLASSIC COVEY (#7) off the layoff.

Classic Covey ran well in his debut last fall at Aqueduct, making a belated bid behind the talented runner Yoshida after being reserved in the early stages. Bill Mott’s runners improve with racing, and Classic Covey returns as a new gelding and with Lasix for the first time. Furthermore, over the past five years, Mott is 9 for 39 (23 percent, $2.22 ROI) with maidens coming off layoffs of 180 days or longer in turf routes.

 

THE PLAY

Win: 7

Exacta Key Box: 7 with 1,3,4,9

Trifecta: 7 with 1,4 with 1,3,4,6,9