Race 1: #4 Show of Force debuts for Dominick Schettino, who is quietly among the best trainers on the circuit with first-time starters (90 rating with first-time starters in sprints). Show of Force is a half to the speedy Shot to Win, a two-time winner in NY for these connections. #8 Awesome Lute had enough trouble in his debut earlier this year to be given some additional chances, and he was re-claimed immediately by these connections. Drops back down in class and trainer does excellent work turf-to-dirt (97 rating). #2 Thug Daddy has turned out to be a major disappointment after some 2yo promise. Has faced better than this, and he was crushed at the break of his last start, which cost him his best chance.
Race 2: No idea if either #1 Tiz Elusive or #6 Hythe Gardens can run, but they are favored on the ML as first-time starters for a reason. Overall, Ken McPeek, the trainer of Hythe Gardens, does a better job with first-time starters, so we will go there. Of the ones with experience, #2 Channel of Love hasn't been on fast dirt yet, which could make a difference, and her only start sprinting came in debut vs. The Lewis Dinner.
Race 3: #1 Patriot's Voyage has run the fastest races in this field by far, gets a trainer change to Jacobson for his NY debut (100 rating first with trainer), and has the speed to be up close. But he will be racing for just the second time in the last 566 days, and returning horses from layoffs is one of the things Jacobson struggles with (61 rating off layoffs overall, and a lowly 19 off this kind of long layoff). #7 Love to Run tired after cutting a solid pace going longer last time. He's better going shorter, and he looked good tracking and rolling over a field at this distance two starts back. #4 Piquant hasn't looked the same since taking a fall at Saratoga, but he has older races that would make him very tough in here, and he is first off the claim for Rudy Rodriguez (98 rating off the claim).
Race 4: #2 Summersault endured a tough trip in Saratoga debut when unable to find room to run in the stretch. Hasn't been able to get a turf race to go since then, but deserves another chance if we are back on grass for this. #4 Aussie Prayer was held up behind horses briefly as the winner was breaking things open up front in her debut, but she finished up well once clear. Appears to have some potential for an excellent trainer. #10 Sugar Mags was away from a slow pace when outkicked by Aussie Prayer in her debut. Has the pedigree to turn out ok, and will add lasix for her second start. #8 Krista's Persona has also had trouble getting turf races to go since her debut back in August, but she has been bringing improved speed to the main track, and those tactics could play well in this field.
Race 5: #5 Champagne Ruby has improved this year, and she earned a new TFUS Speed Figure top of 90 for her game effort chasing a fast pace last time. Doesn't project to have that kind of pace to deal with in this spot, and can land a more comfortable trip tracking up close. #7 Vicki's Dancer also chased that fast pace at Finger Lakes last time, and she has paired up 90 TFUS Speed Figures since switching back to dirt. #6 Sunny Desert has run the best races overall, but she has been a disappointment since returning from a long layoff this year. Like her better sprinting, but she can't have many more chances after this.
Race 6: 6th features the return of #8 Honor Code, winner of the Grade 2 Remsen and runner-up in the Grade 1 Champagne as a 2yo. He's talented, but just starting back from a long layoff and will likely be looking for longer races down the line. #2 Maleeh is also returning from a long layoff, but he's more of a sprint type, and he has flashed real ability in his brief career. Spotlight Figure of 109 is equal to that of Honor Code as tops in the field, and his trainer gets a perfect 100 rating off of this kind of layoff. With plenty of speed signed on to this race, we'll also include #10 Sam Sparkle, who can close from off the pace and has earned three straight 100+ TFUS Speed Figures for a solid trainer.
Race 7: #9 Idle American endured a very tough trip when returned from a layoff here last month, running quite a bit better than his 9th-place finish would indicate. He has posted all 3 career wins over this turf course, and he can put his field-best Late Pace Rating of 83 to good use here, as Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap. #10 Shatak disappointed at Keeneland most recently, but we've seen horses perform below their best over that course before, and his prior effort in NY was a solid effort. #8 Asset Inflation earned a big TFUS Speed Figure of 105 when taking third straight off the claim for Maker last time. Has to stretch out and may not be suited to the expected dynamics, but he has been in raging form.
Race 8: We've been chasing #1 West Hills Giant all year, and he has run well in some tough spots without winning. He should have some pace to close into in this spot, and he's the horse to beat today. #6 Readthebyline is a dangerous speed off the re-claim by Nevin/Scuderi. Think he's better as a router, and that big win in his lone start for these connections (110 TFUS Speed Figure) came with the benefit of a gold rail. #7 Gridley Here has clearly found his niche as a dirt horse, and he has been impressive in easily closing down allowance foes in his last two starts. May be ready to take this step.
Race 9: #6 Shetan found 1 1/2 miles too far at Saratoga two back, and he was compromised while trying to close into a slow pace last time. Class drop for this. #4 Cheyenne Nation is still rolling along at age 8, finishing 1st in three of his last four. Entered right back for $25k after being DQ'd at Laurel last time. #10 Here's Johnny drops again for Jacobson after failing to hold a stretch lead last time. Think he may be better from off the pace, and he will likely be taking back from his outside post.