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Big Apple Babies


Big Apple Babies, formerly Forbes' Firsters is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Big Apple Babies will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.


Big Apple Babies for Saturday, November 29, 2014

Susie Raisher

Big Apple Babies for Saturday, November 29, 2014

Race 1, 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 12:00pm

HEADY CREEK (dark bay/brown colt, Giant’s Causeway – Van Lear Rose, by Stroll) is the second foal from his dam and the first to race. Van Lear Rose won a pair of stakes races at Woodbine, including the G3 Mazarine Stakes, enough to earn her the Sovereign Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Both of those victories came on an all-weather surface. Simply Precious, a half-sister to Van Lear Rose, is a the dam of Bear’s Gem (Peaks and Valleys), a stakes winner of more than $360,000 who has also done her best running on all-weather.
Owner: MeB Racing Stables & Brooklyn Boyz Stables
Trainer: Dominick Schettino
Jockey: Manuel Franco
Sales history: $190,000 Keeneland September yearling

DONTBETWITHBRUNO (bay colt, Tiz Wonderful – Stomping, by Dixieland Band) is a half-brother to Cyber Secret (Broken Vow), winner of last year’s G2 Oaklawn Handicap and G3 Razorback Handicap. Cyber Secret was a debut winner at two before developing into a multiple graded stakes winner at four. Two other foals from Stomping have run with one being a winner.  Stomping is a half-sister to Open Toe (Proud Truth), a multiple stakes winner.
Owner: Repole Stable
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Sales history: $52,000 Keeneland November weanling; $100,000 Keeneland September yearling; $180,000 OBS March 2-Year-Old in Training (One furlong in 10.1: video)

Notes: The Catmancan’s second dam, To the Queen, was a G3-placed full sister to G2 winner Yarrow Brae. That’s the family of local stalwart Esteemed Friend. Rollie Mass just misses the cutoff. He is a half-brother to four stakes-placed runners, led by $260,000-earner Flashy Kid (Flashy Bull) and G3-placed Stoic (Forestry). Stoic is the dam of Peruvian Champion Imported Sprinter Ole Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus). Invisible Crown’s second dam is a full-sister to Sisti’s Pride, placed in the G3 Tempted here at Aqueduct as a two-year-old.


Race 5, 2-year-olds, 6 ½ furlongs, dirt, 1:52pm

MARCH (dark bay/brown colt, Blame – Lifeinthefastlane, by Unbridled’s Song) is a half-brother to speedy, though quirky, Eightyfiveinafifty. That one picked up a pair of impressive Aqueduct wins as a three-year-old, breaking his maiden by better than 17 lengths and taking the G3 Bay Shore. Five other foals out of Lifeinthefastlane have run and all are winners, though none at two.
Owner: Robert LaPenta
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Sales history: $320,000 Keeneland November weanling

GOOD PICK NICK (gray/roan colt, Tapit – Mayan Milagra, by Menifee) is a full brother to Dancinginherdreams, winner of the G2 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs as a two-year-old. Dancinginherdreams won both of her starts at two, with a sprinting win on Keeneland’s Polytrack preceding the Pocahontas. She earned over $320,000 and picked up additional graded placings in the G2 Davona Dale and G2 Forward Gal as a three-year-old. Mayan Milagra is also the dam of Doubled (Exchange Rate), winner of the Sorority Stakes as a two-year-old and stakes placed on three other occasions. Her only other foal to race was also a winner at two.
Owner: Stonestreet Stables
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Sales history: $625,000 Keeneland September yearling

ON TAP (gray/roan colt, Tapit – Fantastic Shirl, by Fantastic Light) is the fourth foal from his dam, all of whom have won and two of whom have earned black-type. Fantastic Song (Lemon Drop Kid) broke his maiden first out at two on the grass at Saratoga before finishing third in the G3 Pilgrim. Magnificent Shirl (Heatseeker) became a winner on the turf in February of her three-year-old season in her fourth lifetime start. She subsequently finished second in Santa Anita’s China Doll Stakes. She’s favored in the fourth at Golden Gate, a mile allowance on turf, about 3 ½ hours after On Tap’s race. Dam Fantastic Shirl, a stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed, comes from a tremendous family. She is a half-sister to MG1 winner and $1.2 million earner Shakespeare, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner and $1.3 million earner Perfect Shirl, and MGSW Lady Shakespeare.
Owner: Chester & Mary Broman, Sr.
Trainer: Linda Rice
Jockey: Cornelio Velasquez
Sales history: $200,000 Keeneland September yearling

Notes: Ship Distributer’s dam is a stakes placed half-sister to a multiple-stakes winner in Mexico.


* Is out of a graded-stakes-winning mare
* Is a sibling to a graded-stakes winner
* Is out of a Grade 1-placed mare
* Is a sibling to a Grade 1-placed runner
* Is out of a black-type earning mare who earned at least $300,000
* Is a sibling to a black-type earner who has earned at least $300,000
* Has a second dam who was a Grade 1 winner
* Has a second dam who produced a Grade 1 winner
* Sold for at least $300,000 at auction


TimeformUS Analysis for November 27

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Thursday November 27th
Race 1:  #7 Foxbeau makes her second start back from a layoff after contesting the pace and tiring in her return.  Drops again, and has the speed in a race for which Pace Projector gives the edge to frontrunners.  #4 Radiant Cut couldn't impact after a wide chase back on dirt last time, but that came over a sloppy track, and her better dirt races have come over fast tracks.  #1 Heidi's Holiday is tough to take at 2-for-31 lifetime, but she's a trier, has run some competitive figures, and tends to outrun her odds.
Selections:  7-4-1-5
Race 2:  Turf racing is in jeopardy considering the forecast this week, which is unfortunate, as this shapes up as an interesting maiden race on the grass.  We thought #9 O'Bear ran very well, and quite a bit better than it may appear, last time.  He had to steady hard early on before putting in a long middle-move, and he continued on quite well before finally flattening out in the stretch.  We like him at a price on turf, and can stick with him if he elects to stay in on the dirt.  #11 Memories of Peter also came through with a solid effort when stretched out for his second career start.  Dangerous if we are on turf and he gets in.  #2 Brother O'Connell and #4 Space Oddity have both run well enough to win this on grass but figure to offer little in the way of value.
Selections:  9-11-4-2
Race 3:  One final chance for #5 Giantinthemoonlite, who to this point has been unable to back up his impressive debut win back in May.  He hit the sidelines for 101 days after that win, and has been unfortunate to have been wired in each of his last two starts.  #2 Mighty Zealous came with a good run off the layoff here just 12 days ago, but was ultimately turned away by favored Leroy Jr. and settled for 2nd best.  Earned new TFUS Speed Figure top of 86 for the effort.  #4 Howaboutwe is interesting at a price as he makes what is essentially his 3yo debut and does so while finally getting back to a sprint, which figures to suit him better. 
Selections:  5-2-4-6
Race 4:  #4 Wild Freud was a big price but ran very well on debut after breaking slowly and rushing up to contest a fast pace on the rail, which was not the place to be on November 15.  #10 Scattered Dreams drops back down for third start off the claim, and he will appreciate the turn-back, as well, after chasing and tiring over a mile last time.  #11 No More Options can be given another chance or two back on dirt, which is the surface he's bred for.  Raced greenly when outrun in debut.  Drops in class.  #1 Chasing Bubbles has speed on the rail and tries again after failing to hold stretch leads in both prior starts at this level.   
Selections:  4-10-11-1
Race 5:  Our Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is in the offing for this solid allowance/optional claimer with seven entered.  That is the opposite scenario encountered by #5 Saint Vigeur upon his return from a long layoff at Belmont, where he trailed a slow pace and failed to impact.  #3 Erik the Red has found a tough spot off the layoff, but he's a solid fit from a TFUS Speed Figure perspective and is a solid closer.  #4 Mosler has taken advantage of back-to-back favorable pace scenarios in posting a win and a second-place finish with a new speed figure top of 99 recently.
Selections:  5-3-4-1
Race 6:  Considering the early forecast around here, it seems unlikely that we will have turf racing on Thanksgiving.  If we do, #1 Beauty Surprise is dropping in price after getting wired last time for $35k.  Prior turf form makes her a clear horse to beat here.  #4 Reckless Move was outfinished by Beauty Surprise when they met back in September, but her turf form is competitive, and she figures even more dangerous on the main track.  #3 Academyperformance has been competitive since dropping down in class and is a solid fit here based on her TFUS Speed Figures.  On dirt, #10 Three Way Ticket exits blowout score in scheduled dirt race in Kentucky and figures tough to beat with a similar effort.  #13 Stage Name is a better dirt horse, but would have to show up with something more than she brought last time.
Selections:  1-4-3-10
Race 7:  #1 Indian Brut is returning from a layoff of 439 days, but he earned a solid TFUS Speed Figure of 88 in lone start as a 2yo, and did so while against the grain of an inside-speed-favoring track.  Lasix will be on this time.  #4 Flat Jack and #9 Flag On the Play are the logical horses based on prior performance, and they exit November 1st affair in which they had little chance vs. the stakes-bound Pulling G's.  #2 Seagate has a big pedigree (99 Breeding Rating for dirt) for top connections and is one of the few firsters from this barn to get lasix on debut.  Be no surprise to find that he can really run.
Selections:  1-4-9-2
Race 8:  Grade 3 Fall Highweight drew a strong field (109 preliminary Race Rating), led by the pair of #1 Salutos Amigos and #5 Bakken dropping out of the Breeders' Cup Sprint.  Bakken has been a talent from day one, but late to come around this year, and will be making his third start back from a layoff (100 trainer rating for Chad Brown).  This is a good spot for him to finally break through.  Salutos Amigos finished well to continue his good 2014 run since joining the Jacobson barn, and he did so despite wheeling back quickly and shipping across the country.  Closing sprinter should have plenty of pace out in front.  His entrymate, #1A Strapping Groom, is a prior Grade 1 winner and is the actual highweight in the Highweight.  He is first back from a layoff here.  #7 La Verdad is a fast filly getting in light at 126, and she has run the fastest TFUS Speed Figures in the field.  
Selections:  5-1-7-1A
Race 9:  #10 Better Man has run the fastest dirt figures in the field and is taking the kind of class drop here that is supposed to make him tough.  With Pace Projector indicating that a fast pace is on tap, he figures to get the right trip.  #6 Market Sense switches to dirt on the drop after chasing a fast pace on turf.  Half-sister Gee Linz was a 7-time winner on dirt, with earnings of over $164k.  #11 American Gold was outrun over a sloppy track first time out.  Trainer has been getting better results from maidens with experience as opposed to first-time starters.
Selections:  10-6-11-4

Big Apple Babies for Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Susie Raisher

Big Apple Babies for Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Race 3, 2-year-olds, 1 mile, dirt, 1:18pm

ARCH IN THE PARK (dark bay/brown filly colt, Arch – Century Park, by General Meeting) is the first foal from his dam, a graded stakes winner of over $230,000. Century Park broke her maiden in November of her two-year-old year after hitting the board in three of four prior starts. That win came at 1 1/16 on turf, while her biggest win, the G3 Santa Ysabel, came at the same distance on all-weather. She also took the TVG California Cup Distance Handicap on turf and picked up additional stakes placings on turf and dirt. Century Park is a half-sister to Racing Aptitude (Aptitude) a stakes winner at two and three who was also stakes placed at six this year. This is also the family of precocious two-year-old Career Collection, a dual G2-winner at two who finished second in the 1997 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and G1 Hollywood Starlet.

Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Luis Saez
Sales history: $435,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling


* Is out of a graded-stakes-winning mare

* Is a sibling to a graded-stakes winner

* Is out of a Grade 1-placed mare

* Is a sibling to a Grade 1-placed runner

* Is out of a black-type earning mare who earned at least $300,000

* Is a sibling to a black-type earner who has earned at least $300,000

* Has a second dam who was a Grade 1 winner

* Has a second dam who produced a Grade 1 winner

* Sold for at least $300,000 at auction


TimeformUS Analysis for November 26

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Wednesday November 26th
Race 1:  #1 Flaring gets a positive class drop for this after facing a pair of much tougher fields at Belmont recently (Race Ratings of 96 and 98, vs. today's 77).  With all of #2 Cynical Storm, #3 Currency Union and #4 Betty Bing Bing possessing some speed, she may wind up in a perfect trip.  Betty Bing Bing is up in class off the claim, but claiming horses from California was once a potent move for this owner/trainer combo.  She looked good burying cheaper horses two starts back and has gotten the best of the draw toward the outside.  Cynical Storm remains open to further improvement as she makes just her second start as a 3yo.  Never looked comfortable while chasing the pace and giving way in her return, but her new trainer has been doing good work all year.
Selections:  1-4-2-3
Race 2:  #2B Barrel of Love gets a big class drop for first start off the Rudy claim after holding his own with the top NY-bred turf horses all summer and then landing in a tough open allowance/optional claimer.  From a value perspective, would prefer to play him on his own, as his entrymate, #2 Treasury Devil, while not without a chance, will certainly hurt his price.  #3 Street Game has been back in good form for Michelle Nevin, and he impressed in facile last-to-first score most recently.  Handles "give" in the ground and has the tactical ability to run from anywhere in the field.  If we're off the turf, #10 Associate figures tough to go against.
Selections:  2B-3-1-5
Race 3:  #4 Mawthooq was unlucky to run into the talented Ready for Rye on debut, but he put in a strong run to contention after getting squeezed back at the break.  Figures tough if running as well second time out. #1 Wild Dynaformer had the right set-up in a race that fell to closers, but he rallied gamely through traffic to get 3rd and has improved with racing.  #2 Unbridled Hero is also eligible for better second time after landing in a very strongly run race first time out.  
Selections:  4-1-2-3
Race 4:  #5 Miss Macarena put in a solid run without threat while earning this field's top last-out TFUS Speed Figure over a mile last time.  Down in price while turning back, and has found the right field.  #6 Hangingwithsonny has more than once run well enough to win a race like this one, and she stayed gamely to just miss over this track and trip last time.  #1 Crystal Rocket has been away for 420 days, so we'll see what she can do, but she had been earning competitive figures as a 2yo, and her trainer gets a 79 rating first off the layoff.
Selections:  5-6-1-8
Race 5:  #10 Weather Girl had speed but could only chase in fast-paced debut, from which runner-up Sonora emerged to post romping win here on Sunday.  Half to Downtown Hottie, who won 4 times and made over $180k on grass, figures to handle the surface switch for trainer pulling 95 rating with second-time starters.  #4 Midsummer Delight was off slowly and outrun in debut before coming with a good run through the stretch to get 3rd.  Can improve with that one behind her, and gets a trainer change to Mott.  #11 Broken Border took advantage of some horses who did more work on the pace to get up for second in her debut, but is also eligible to improve for a top trainer.  
Selections:  10-4-11-7
Race 6:  #6 Shaunna Alexandra finished just behind #4 Colonel Juanita on October 13, but earned a higher speed figure after contesting the pace from between horses all the way.  Earned back-to-back TFUS Speed Figures in the low-90s earlier this year, which is a level most of her competition has yet to reach, and doesn't need to be fighting out the pace in order to run her race.  Colonel Juanita sat the trip and got through on the rail to nab 2nd from Shaunna Alexandra last time, but has that kind of tactical ability, and figures tough right back if able to work out something similar.  #7 Tiz May West goes first off the claim for a hot trainer and is competitive with her typical effort.
Selections:  6-4-7-1
Race 7:  #1A Run to Mama drops back down after trying way to tough in the Ticonderoga last time.  Has earned top three TFUS Speed Figures of her career since returning from the layoff.  #6 Miz Owell has also faced tougher recently, and she posted a big win the last time she raced over this turf course.  Handles yielding ground effectively, should those conditions prevail.  #5 The Tea Cups has posted back-to-back TFUS Speed Figure tops since shipping to NY to race against fellow state breds and getting a trainer change.  Projects to be in the right trip with Castellano sticking.
Selections:  1A-6-5-9
Race 8:  Charlton Baker is an underrated trainer, and he saddles a tough entry in this spot in the form of #1 Make the Moment and #1A Expression.  Expression figures to be the tougher of the two, as she has more speed, and she makes her third start off the layoff after finishing well for 2nd in each of her prior two starts.  #6 Voodoo Tales ran a pair of races at Belmont over the summer that would make her too tough for this field.  Hasn't been seen in the same form since returning from a short layoff.  #7 Trail Walker finished well into a fast pace when behind Expression last time.  Got a nice post on the outside and has a top race that makes her tough.
Selections:  1/1A-6-7-5
Race 9:  #4 Tapin Mojo was unlucky last time after missing the break and then rushing up into some traffic early.  Is going to be tough in this field based on that performance, though he has now been away slowly in both starts, and it has cost him.  #5 Heading to Boca wheels back quickly and drops in class after encountering trouble approaching the stretch here 5 days ago.  #10 Inca Saint has run the best recent races and drops in class in first start off the claim for Drawing Away/Adsit.
Selections:  4-5-10-11