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TimeformUS Analysis for March 1

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Sunday March 1st
 
 
Race 1:  #2 Feverish Loot appears to have found a good spot in the opener, as he drops in for $16k.  Dirt debut came vs. just two others, but the winner of that race was a MSW dropdown from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn who gave Feverish Loot little chance to contend.  #1 Thug Daddy is the main competition.  He has finished 2nd twice in his last three starts, and he did have some traffic trouble last time, though it is difficult to argue that it really cost him anything.  #4 Roman Magic has the advantage of being lightly raced, and he has yet to catch fast dirt, so one could still hold out the hope for better out of him, for now. 
 
Selections:  2-1-4-7
 
Race 2:  We're hoping #5 Saharan Serenade gets a fair chance for once as she returns from a layoff.  She has made 4 starts on dirt to this point, and has twice caught inside-speed-favoring tracks (note Race Rating Boxes shaded red for her races on Jan. 25 & Sept. 1 last year).  She was slammed at the start on May 27th before finishing up OK behind a wire-to-wire winner, and she got in tight and was shuffled back last time.  #6 Shotgun Love earned strong TFUS Speed Figure of 84 for solid debut effort contesting a fast pace.  Has had a couple of return engagements canceled due to the weather around here, but finally gets a chance to build upon that effort.  Horse Shotgun Love dueled with last time, #8 Stonely Heart, is also back in this spot.  She stayed on just a bit better in that race, but she's also had more chances.  #7 Southern Sunshine is clearly fast enough to win, but she has been burning money since arriving in NY.  Perhaps the change of scenery off the claim will have done her some good.
 
Selections:  5-6-7-8
 
Race 3:  Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap for this bottom-level claimer restricted to fillies and mares that have never won two.  #2 Over My Head may wind up being part of that pace as she stretches out, but she managed to run well from a tracking position vs. a better field over a mile back on September 18th, and the TFUS Speed Figure of 68 she earned for that effort fits very well in this field.  #9 Warm Heart stretched out effectively to break her maiden last time, but can run from off the pace, as well, and her trainer does well with last-out maiden winners (86 Trainer Rating, vs. an overall rating of 66).  Seems to be little between #4 Gingee and #10 Bella Fachi, and they both fit well enough here despite having already squandered too many chances.   
 
Selections:  2-9-4-10
 
Race 4:  Trainer David Jacobson has two entered for this maiden claiming sprint, including the ML favorite, #2 Sunny Puzzle.  No denying that this one is the horse to beat as he drops in class while cutting back to sprint on the dirt for the first time since his debut.  That was a good enough effort with a 66 speed figure, and he found a tough field on the stretch-out in his next start, which came over a speed-favoring track.  We'll take a shot against him with the other Jacobson runner, #6 Subcontractor.  He didn't get away from the gate sharply on debut, and he appeared to race greenly while just getting around there evenly.  He didn't have to love the sloppy track he encountered that day, and may show more with that experience behind him.  #8 Astron improved to be second best to a rare Jacobson first-time starter last time, and the good run continues for his trainer.
 
Selections:  6-2-8-9
 
Race 5:  Could make cases for a lot of different horses in this well-matched field, which may just come down to trips.  We'll hope that #7 Pura Vida Zen finally gets a good one after encountering trouble in each of her last two starts.  She was on a good run prior to those spots of trouble, and she is off the re-claim for Steve Klesaris, who gets a strong 94 Trainer Rating off the claim.  #8 My Donna Jean drops back down after trying tougher last time.  The version of #4 Matching Skies that she defeated two starts back is not the same one who appeared off the claim in her most recent start (which she won convincingly with an 88 speed figure), but My Donna Jean was game in closing that rival down on December 12, and she has been at her best over the inner.  #10 Rock Me Mama also drops in class after getting wired over a route of ground vs. tougher last time.  Sprints effectively, as she showed two back when finishing gamely for 2nd in the slop vs. a better field (Race Rating of 93, vs today's 86).   
 
Selections:  7-8-4-10
 
Race 6:  #3 Tequila Hero was rated back to last as a moderate pace developed last time (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded blue), and he finished gamely after edging out widest in the stretch.  Figures to have a more reasonable set up this time, as he makes his second start for Rudy (92 rating second with trainer).  #5 Lieutenant Seany O drops back down after trying open allowance company in his last 4 starts to no avail.  He will also appreciate any pace that develops in this race.  #6 Lucky Lotto takes steep step up in class off the claim after burying weaker with a solid figure of 95.  He has really picked up his game since switching over to dirt, posting pair of wins and a close runner-up finish.  #2 Percussion continues his descent as he looks for a level where he can be competitive.  Took pressure on the pace and had no response to the closers last time, and he may have to deal with the talented returnee #8 Ruthless Alley early on in this spot.  Ruthless Alley was last seen posting strong back-to-back wins over this track with TFUS Speed Figures of 103 and 102.  May not be reasonable to expect an effort to that level after almost a full year away, but he's a dangerous horse in this race.
 
Selections:  3-5-6-8
 
Race 7:  Interested to see what we get from #8 Doc Daneka, who isolated himself from a bad field when switched to dirt last time, and just kept getting farther away from them en route to TFUS Speed Figure of 94.  This race is tougher, but he may be a different horse on the main track.  #3 Inca Saint took a hard bump at the start and then raced wide throughout when clear 2nd best to a good winner at this level last time.  #4 S'maverlous stretches out for his second start back from a layoff (100 rating for Jason Servis).  Lone route attempt directly preceded that layoff.
 
Selections:  8-3-4-1
 
Race 8:  #5 Green Gratto hasn't won a race in almost a full year, but he has continued to run well in some tough spots.  He projects to be in control early in this race, and he has earned TFUS Speed Figures of 111-105-107 for his last three starts, any one of which make him the horse to beat.  #1 Nubin Ridge is in tough today, but he will be running at the end, and he may have run every bit as well as #4 Regulus (who improved for Rudy) last time after being unable to get clear at a crucial stage.  #9 Sir Bond has tactical speed from the outside, and he has won three straight since adding blinkers, but this is a much tougher field.  #3 McKenzies Way makes his first start off the private purchase for Jacobson (100 rating First With Trainer), and he has managed speed figures in the past that are competitive here. 
 
Selections:  5-1-3-4
 
Race 9:  #4 Ride of Your Life ran a race that would make him very hard to beat in this spot the last time he was on dirt, earning a speed figure of 78.  He is returning from a long layoff here after failing to do any running at all on grass, but he has never raced this cheap on dirt.  #5 Sir Maurice is tough to take on top at 1-for-19 for low-percentage connections, but he stretches out second off the layoff, and his best races are all dirt routes.  We've seen enough of the likes of #2 Fictionalcharacter and #7 Hushhushmushmush, but either one can win this race.  
 
Selections:  4-5-7-2
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February 28

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Saturday February 28th
 
 
Race 1:  #7 Pulpit's Express feels like an all-or-nothing horse as he takes a big class drop for Jacobson in the opener.  He had nothing to offer on the cut-back last time, but his prior start, over this trip, was a very strong effort despite the ultimate last-place finish.  He lost all chance at the start that day, and actually made a big run to contention before tiring in the stretch.  He earned a 102 TFUS Speed Figure in his last dirt route prior to arriving in NY, and if he can still come close to that kind of race, he will be very hard on this field.  If it's all over for him, #3 Lubango has been holding good form without winning since racing shifted to the inner, and he has the speed to be a forward factor throughout this race.  #6 Solly's Mischief is the ML favorite off the claim for a hot trainer.  May need to do a bit better than the 81 TFUS Speed Figure he earned for win going long last time, but runners from this barn have been finding a way to improve all winter here.
 
Selections:  7-3-6-1
 
Race 2:  2nd may be a race open to a first-time starter, as the experienced runners have failed to impress so far.  #1 Personal Gold debuts for a capable trainer, though one who has a limited history with first-time starters.  Half-brother One More Chief was an early 2yo (finished a good 3rd on debut, and won his second start), and he is now a four-time winner, with over $138k in the bank.  #4 Devil's Silent has speed on both sides of her pedigree (84 Breeding Rating for dirt sprints), and debuts for Rudy, who has won with 8 first-time starters since the beginning of August.  #2 Papa's Missile chased the pace while three-wide in her first start, and she tired through the stretch while still appearing to be a bit green.  Can do better, and has valuable experience.  
 
Selections:  1-4-2-3
 
Race 3:  Not trying to beat #7 Hidden Warrior, a heavy favorite on the ML as he drops all the way down in class.  Has speed and has run the fastest races of this bunch.  #3 Prime Time City also has some speed, and he was racing effectively at this level on the inner last year.  Makes second start back off the layoff after a sprint prep and would be our alternative.  #5 No Nukes stretches back out after failing to impact shorter race off the trainer change to the streaking Gary Gullo.  He did improve once getting into the Jason Servis barn last summer, but he may be a bit better over shorter distances.
 
Selections:  7-3-5-2
 
Race 4:  Bruce Levine has entered the pair of MSW droppers #1 David Rocks and #1a Call Me Stoney with the same rider named, so only one will go.  Either one figures tough, but we prefer David Rocks, who ran very well when earning TFUS Speed Figure of 83 in his debut and was eliminated at the start last time when he reportedly bled.  If he doesn't go, we'll take #7 Stone Crab, who was green early before finishing gamely for 3rd first time out.  He'll add blinkers for his second start, which is a highly rated move for this trainer (97 rating).  #4 Suckitupbuster could never get near a strong winner in his debut and settled for 2nd best with a figure of 68.  Trainer has had little success with first-time starters so far, but has gotten improvement with racing.  
 
Selections:  1-7-4-9
 
Race 5:  #7 Harpoon didn't pan out as a Derby prospect, and didn't take to turf all that well last summer, either.  Hasn't sprinted since the first two starts of his career, but still think that going shorter trips on the dirt is going to be his best game, and he is reportedly a new gelding for his return.  #6 Round looked good breaking his maiden off of a layoff last summer with a figure of 95, and he has run well since with some excuses.  Like him turning back for this, and he has the potential to still be better than he has shown.  #2 Brass Pear is facing tougher here, but he has dangerous speed, and he has improved his speed figures significantly for this trainer.  If those last two indicate what he is truly capable of at this time, then he is a contender in this race.  
 
Selections:  7-6-8-4
 
Race 6:  #4 Coast of Sangria is the horse to beat as she drops back down to the level of the claim.  She hasn't won since being taken by this outfit last October, but she has been in tougher races, and she has managed to earn three TFUS Speed Figures in the 80s in that span, which is a level most of her competitors have had a hard time reaching.  #9 Tarty to the Party seemed to handle dirt fine last time, but she lacked a stretch kick over that longer trip after moving into contention.  Like her turning back for this race, and she goes first off the claim for Jason Servis (96 rating off the claim).  #2 Just Catty crushed a weaker field going long last time, but she ran a deceptively good race sprinting two starts back after getting a less-than-inspiring ride. Goes off the claim for low-percentage trainer, but picks up a top rider. 
 
Selections:  9-4-2-7
 
Race 7:  #8 Flag on the Play is entered back to a spot where he can win right back after taking maidens wire to wire over this track last time.  Has a recency edge on the runners who appear to be his main competition.  #3 Sidearm is dropped in class for his return from a layoff, and he is apparently a new gelding for this race, as well.  He was a listed vet scratch 3 times last summer prior to getting an extended break, but is clearly a dangerous horse in this race, assuming all is well.  #5 Street Gent also takes a big class drop for this race after failing to be competitive with much better horses.  Still not sure what his best game will end up being, but he did sprint effectively over a muddy track at Saratoga last summer.  
 
Selections:  8-3-5-1
 
Race 8:  #2 Son of a General returned from a layoff over this track/trip last month to overpower a solid field with a TFUS Speed Figure of 99.  Trainer tends to get better results with racing, a good sign for this horse, who has much faster back races to get to.  #3 Conspiracy came through with a big effort under aggressive handling two starts back, and earned a strong TFUS Speed Figure of 104 for the effort.  More conservatively ridden last time, and he wound up blocked in the upper stretch before settling for 2nd best.  #8 Wealth to Me will appreciate getting stretched back out in distance for this after turning back to sprint last time.  #5 Classic Sense is the ML favorite, looking for three in a row for Chad Brown, but his TFUS Speed Figures (new top of 96 last time) leave him something to find against this field.  
 
Selections:  2-8-3-5
 
Race 9:  #8 Cosmo Storm drops in to face maiden claimers off the layoff after showing speed and stopping in grass attempt when last seen.  Debut was not a bad effort vs. a solid field of NY-bred maidens, and he will have lasix for the first time on dirt today.  #1 Wild Freud figures the one to beat, having earned field-best 71 TFUS Speed Figure two starts back.  Has run well without winning in all three sprints over fast dirt.  #7 El Viejo Verde tries again with his good speed after getting run down by a big longshot here three weeks ago.  Speed figures are steadily improving.  
 
Selections:  8-1-7-6
 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February 27

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Friday February 27th
 
 
Race 1:  #1 Money Machine finished well after extricating himself from some traffic at this level in his first start for Jacobson, and he had to be taken out of his game to chase in a pace-less race (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded blue) when up in class last time.  Drops back down and gets a big rider change for this.  #2 Pegasus Red will need to improve in order to win this race, but it may be wise to expect that today as he goes first off the claim for dangerous connections.  #8 Horatio has become a hard-luck horse in the trip department lately, and he ran very well last time despite being forced into a wide run through the turn in a race without much pace.  We could use him at a price, though it always pays to remember that he was losing races consistently without excuses, and at short prices, in another lifetime.  #7 March Too is the ML favorite, and may be the one to beat as he drops back down in class, but we haven't been thrilled with him and want to try to beat him in what projects to be a much tougher $25k claimer than the one he easily defeated two back.
 
Selections:  1-2-8-7
 
Race 2:  #1 Golden Gem has to stretch out, but she has drawn the right post from which to try it for the first time, and she should be right up on, or sitting just behind, the early lead.  TimeformUS Speed Figures for her first two starts (80-77) make her competitive here without any further improvement, assuming she can get the distance.  #2 In Spite of Mama bested a couple of these when grinding out second best at this level last time.  #3 Stolen Victory had little to offer after taking a bump at the start last time, and she was wide in the Busanda two starts back.  Had been in improved form prior to those two efforts, and may offer some value in this race.  We'll see what happens with big maiden winner #6 Jackie Black, who demolished a weak field with a 90 speed figure here last month.  We're not betting on her, but a repeat of that speed figure would likely be enough.
 
Selections:  1-3-2-6
 
Race 3:  This race hinges on the early scratches, as #1a Snake Pit, who is on the AE list, figures tough to be against if he gets in, and it will be only a question of whether Jacobson wants him in, as he could simply scratch the other half of his entry, #1 Duke of the City, to make it happen.  Snake Pit will be tough to trust on the massive class drop, one he makes despite being in very good form, but Jacobson gets away with this stuff more than anyone, and Snake Pit's good race is too much for these horses.  Jacobson will still hold a strong hand should he elect to stick with Duke of the City, who dominated a field on the drop last time with a 93 TFUS Speed Figure.  Has the tactical speed to sit the right trip in this race, which is expected to unfold at a fast pace, according to our Pace Projector.  That projected pace scenario would work against #3 Love to Run, but he has been back in form recently and has been effective from a stalking position in the past.  Assuming we get that expected fast pace, #2 Playing a Joke and #4 Sacred Ground are the closers most likely to take advantage.
 
Selections:  1/1a-3-4-2
 
Race 4:  Tough maiden claimer for fillies going long features several stretching out for the first time.  This is another race where it will pay to wait for scratches, as there are some runners on the AE list who will be competitive should they get in.  #3 Downton Alley stretched out last time and ran the second-best race that day despite winding up 3rd at the finish behind heavily favored dropdown Good Shot.  TFUS Speed Figure of 53 earned there should play well in this field, though this is the kind of race in which, if you have an idea, you may want to take a shot.  
 
Selections:  3-4-5-6
 
Race 5:  #7 Amulay won all three starts once switched over to dirt in Southern California, and her last 4 starts out there overall, and she has continued in good form since arriving in NY with 3 wins and 4 2nds from 10 starts.  Took the worst of it while wide vs. a strong rail last time.  Has the speed to clear from her outside post in this race, which is expected to favor front-runners according to Pace Projector.  #1 Lady Gracenote and #6 Majestic Marquet are both closing types, and as such may be compromised by dynamics, but they are the most dangerous rivals for the favorite.  
 
Selections:  7-6-1-2
 
Race 6:  Layoffs rule the day in this MSW sprint for NY-breds, as no fewer than 4 of the 11 entered are returning from layoffs of 250 days or longer, including both ML favorites.  We'll side with them.  #5 Stardom put in a run while green in his debut, which came against the talented Captain Serious, and he showed greenness once again when moved to turf for his second start.  Returns as a new gelding.  #11 Old Friend had trouble at the start and wound up at the back of the field in a race won wire to wire at Keeneland in his only start.  Gets a trainer change to the excellent George Weaver for this (97 rating first with trainer).  #2 Ziggy Moondust has speed and figures to appreciate turning back in distance after trying to carry that speed around two turns last time.  
 
Selections:  5-11-2-8
 
Race 7:  #1 Broadway Bay was unable to keep up early when returned from a layoff on 
February 5th, but he gathered late momentum and finished well with a good gallop-out.  That is a similar profile to his first career start, and he was able to parlay that into a win in his second career start.  #3 Lulu Rocks has been holding good form for Bruce Levine, and he earned a new career top TFUS Speed Figure of 89 for game runner-up finish last time.  Has the speed to be a forward factor throughout.  #9 Groupthink is tough to take on top after several short-priced defeats, but he is apparently a new gelding off the short layoff.  #8 Mighty Zealous has come back from a layoff in good form, but does not yet have a win to show for it.  Came away from 2nd place finish last time with no excuse after breaking away to a clear stretch lead, but he did earn a new top figure of 92.  
 
Selections:  1-3-9-8
 
Race 8:  #2 Billypaysthebills owns the top 2 last-out TFUS Speed Figures (68 and 71) in this field by a clear margin, but has come away 2nd best in each of those races.  Has other speed to deal with once again, in the form of #10 Wishandaprayer, who was overwhelmed by a blowout winner after cutting the pace here 19 days ago.  #9 S S Dixie drops way down in class for this while putting blinkers back on.  Figures to be trying to close in late, and there is plenty of speed signed on to this race.    
 
Selections:  2-9-10-4 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February26

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Thursday February 26th
 
Race 1:  #3 Island Candy and #6 Discreet Force ran 1-2 when they ran this $10k claimer for fillies and mares 18 days ago, and they figure to be tough on this group once again while taking the majority of the wagering dollars.  Island Candy wound up clearly best after a perfect trip last time, and will be looking for her third straight win, while Discreet Force contested a solid pace before settling for 2nd best in that February 8th race, and she goes for a streaking trainer.  #5 Purling feels like the best option of the others, but she may need the top 2 to go after each other early.
 
Selections:  3-6-5-4
 
Race 2:  #2 Hollywood Idol makes his two-turn debut after being forced to chase a fast pace off the long layoff in a race won by Street Babe, who just upset the Grade 3 Mineshaft at Fair Grounds last weekend.  Well-bred colt is still lightly raced and eligible to improve for an excellent trainer.  #8 Chase the Love goes for low-percentage outfit (trainer gets 0 overall rating), and didn't fair well at the draw, but he has earned competitive TFUS Speed Figures of 80 and 82 for his first two starts and will get lasix for the first time today.  #5 Zingarelli debuts going long for McLaughlin, which is not one of his strong suits (53 Trainer Rating with first-time starters in routes).  Will have lasix for his first start, and certainly has a pedigree to run to (98 overall Breeding Rating for dirt), being out of the multiple Grade 1 winning dam Octave.  
 
Selections:  2-8-5-3
 
Race 3:  #5 Sarah's Big Day ships in for a good trainer (88 rating) and projects for a nice up-close tracking trip as she drops in class.  #4 Golden Cheetah drops back down after trying too tough of a spot last time (Race Rating 81, vs. today's 71).  Had a perfect set-up rallying into a pace that collapsed two starts back, but there is some speed signed on to this race, as well.  #8 Appearance was stuck chasing down toward the deeper inside paths when returned from the layoff in November, and she was compromised by a bump and stumble at the start and then a wide trip away from a front-running winner last time.  Goes for an excellent trainer and has handled a two-turn mile.
 
Selections:  5-4-8-9
 
Race 4:  #7 First Bid hasn't sprinted since his debut way back in October of 2013, but he takes a big drop in class for his return from a layoff, and he has won each of his last two starts over tracks that weren't wet and sealed.  #8 War Hero took his big drop in class last time, and he prevailed with a figure of 85.  Entered right back for $16k off the claim for Kenneally (66 rating off the claim, vs, overall rating of 82).  #5 Hold Everything will have to run better than he did in defeating a weaker field off the trainer change to Jacobson last time, but he is eligible to do so and is the best alternative to the two favorites, both of whom can be picked apart a little.  
 
Selections:  5-7-8-1
 
Race 5:  #3 Graeme Crackers had to steady from a tight spot early when returned from the layoff, and wound up losing further position while down on the inside behind horses all the way through the turn, before coming with a good run for 3rd.  But that was a nice place to start for runner who flashed plenty of potential in game debut before having something go wrong last summer.   #6 Bourbonstateofmind is a wild card turning back from longer race after solid debut win in the slop.  Wouldn't want a short price on her, but won't be surprised if this filly turns out to be a runner.  #7 Evrybdymstgetstonz has dangerous speed making 3yo debut in first non-stakes race since blowout debut win.  
 
Selections:  3-6-7-4
 
Race 6:  #5 Weekend Score seems set to improve second time out.  She raced greenly after an alert beginning in her debut, and she came with a good run from too far away in a deceptively good effort. Gets a positive rider change for this.  #9 Barrel of Dreams and #11 Miss Bellamy (also entered on Friday, so check early scratches) both have dangerous speed.  The former is also dropping in class and turning back in distance, and may be the horse to beat.  #12 Mrs. Sunday had to steady a bit after the start and was no threat behind drop-down winner Partytime Chill last time.  Would benefit should the two speeds hook up early.  #3 Not About the Nail had no speed and raced evenly in a race that fell apart a bit on debut, but she can do better with the class drop for Rudy (87 rating MSW-to-MCL, 92 with second-time starters).
 
Selections:  5-12-9-3
 
Race 7:  #8 Bullheaded Boy has been a bit of a hard-luck horse for Pletcher while enduring his share of tough trips since debut win sprinting at Saratoga, but he may get the right set-up here in race not lacking for speed.  Good effort despite one of those tough trips when last turned back from route to sprint in $100k stakes three starts back.  #7 Possilicious should also appreciate turning back after trying to stretch out in the Damon Runyon last time.  Earned solid figure of 84 in front-running debut win over pair of next-out winners.  #6 Final Chapter was one of the horses to exit that Possilicious debut to win his next start, and he did so in convincing fashion for an excellent trainer (Hushion gets strong 97 rating with last-out maiden winners).   #4 Copernicus steps up sharply in class off front-running domination of maiden claimers, but he owns the top last TFUS Speed Figure in the field (88) for that win, and goes first off the claim for dangerous connections.  
 
Selections:  8-7-6-4
 
Race 8: First two starts of #2 Don't Blame Her were separated by 274 days, and it has been another 265 days since she was last seen at Belmont on May 17.  Takes big class drop for return, and has run well enough in much tougher spots to be too tough here, assuming she is close to ready.  #4 Moonlight Fantasy has been a disappointment, and she was a total no-show after acting up in the gate on the drop when last seen in December, but she has speed and owns a pair of TFUS Speed Figures that give her an edge on this field.  Won't expect Jacobson to improve her from the excellent Mike Hushion, but he gets a perfect 100 Trainer Rating off the claim, and he may need only to have her set for her best race.  #14 Starship Marquis is one to consider on the class drop for a solid trainer, assuming she draws in.  
 
Selections:  2-4-9-10
 
 
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