08/09/2017 11:03AM

Wednesday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Verdant Pastures a wire-to-wire threat off the layoff

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Saratoga | Race 7 | Post Time 4:24 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

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Three Eighty Eight (#3) was installed as the morning-line favorite, but I didn't like her last race, where she had no excuse not to catch the tiring runner-up. She probably will handle the distance, but she has some hang in her and doesn't figure to offer any value. I'm also against About That Base (#1), who will get bet off her turf speed figures but has never run particularly well on dirt.

The horse I want to bet is VERDANT PASTURES (#6).

I know that Verdant Pastures looks a bit too slow, but remember that all of her races came as a younger horse. She actually earned a competitive 98 TimeformUS Speed Figure when dominating a maiden race back in January, setting a fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs) before drawing off late. Her next start looks disappointing at first glane, but she was hindered by a two-wide trip over a rail-biased surface after she was inexplicably rated early. Something also may have happened that day since she didn’t return to the work tab for nearly three months after that start.

Today, the Pace Projector is predicting that she will be clearly in front early in a situation favoring the front-runner. I think this filly is better than she looks, and Charlton Baker has superb numbers off layoffs of this type. Over the past five years, he is 9 for 23 (39 percent, $2.86 ROI) with horses coming off layoffs of 90 to 180 days in dirt races on the NYRA circuit.

 

THE PLAY

Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,4

Trifecta: 6 with 3,4 with ALL