09/28/2017 1:03PM

Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Hit the Diamond should appreciate switch to turf

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

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Of the runners with U.S. turf form, Le Pin (#5) is probably the horse to beat. He was unwisely rated three wide in his last start and was not able to overcome that trip while going a distance that may be too far for him. If he runs back to his prior sprint at Belmont, he'll be formidable.

The Christophe Clement-trained Sethary (#1) also has a right to show more speed after getting rated too aggressively last time. I'll use both of them, but I'm interested in some new faces. One interesting runner is Clement's other entrant, Charnley River (#3). Over the past five years, Clement is 4 for 14 ($2.44 ROI) with foreign shippers in turf sprints, but this runner would probably need to improve on his most recent form.

I'm taking a shot with HIT THE DIAMOND (#7), who makes his turf debut while returning from a lengthy layoff.

Hit the Diamond faced some tough fields on the dirt and is bred for this surface switch since his dam was a synthetic stakes winner who hails from a family of primarily turf horses in the second generation. Over the past five years, trainer Brian Lynch is 5 for 16 ($6.35 ROI) with horses coming off layoffs of 120 to 240 days in turf sprints. Watching his dirt races from over the winter, he definitely has more of a turf-inclined action to his stride, and I think he can really turn things around with this move to grass.

 

THE PLAY

Win/place: 7

Exacta key box: 7 with 1, 2, 3, 5