Carter Handicap (06/06/20)

Belmont Park, Race 9

A stellar Grade 1 field will line up sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track set for a 5:36 ET Post Time. I'd like to pick on some runners from this field and present some interesting Pace Figure standpoints I believe you'll be able to build on and apply to your future handicapping. And of course let's not forget, The Carter Handicap is presented by Runhappy :)

#2 Performer 3/1

New Pace Top (NPT) is our most powerful Form Cycle Pattern for indicating improvement in a next out runner. However, let's not rush excitement and remember, NPTs work because of their form cycle effects on a campaign. Performer's 6 months laid off is reason for these effects to wear off. We're looking at a fresh runner, and the real decision will come down to weighing the offered payout versus Performer's ability to come off the bench after owning the fastest last Final Figure of the field.

#11 Vekoma 7/2

Ran on debut to a 78/75 compression line (COMP) resulting in a second out 80/73 NPT. Upon this year's debut we see a similar ability to run professionally when fresh with a compressed 78/78. If history repeats itself, we could see improved pace ability to accompany a similar Final Figure.

#5 Network Effect 8/1

When evaluating runners sprinting that have routing form, we can pull the “race from within the race” by utilizing the 6F Turnback Figure from the route. When we see a Turnback Figure from a route competitive with the sprinters' Final Figures, we have a good bet. Now Network Effect's 6F Turnback Figures within the 5 route races range from just the mid 60s to low 70s. At first glance, these are not competitive, but digging a little deeper it is well worth noting that in every one of those routes, the Final Figure was higher than the 6F Turnback Figure. This suggests the runner had more to give and had been rationing energy for the extra distance being run on those days. Had the race been shorter, that rationed energy could have been dispersed earlier. Thus, we see Network Effect cut back to a sprint last out and suddenly improve to 75/77. Dirt spreads (4F minus Final) over the last 3 races of +4 / 0 / -3 provide a clear pattern for a runner dispersing energy later. You'll find this same clear dirt spread pattern within the last 3 for #1 Firenze Fire 7/2.

#4 Nitrous 15/1

After a 7-month hiatus, this one appears to have had a strong winter of training. The first race back for the 4-year old season came in at 81/76. Nitrous has run an 80+ 4F Figure several times, but the 76 Final accompanying it is a substantial improvement from past Finals resulting from those 80+ 4F Figures. A repeat 76 Final likely wouldn't be good enough to win this race but consider the 81 4F Figure is 3 points faster than any of the field's last 4F. Nitrous is not a pacesetter running type and will likely relax that 4F Figure to fit this field resulting in better late energy to improve the 76 Final. The odds may be fair for this runner to be competitive.

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