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TimeformUS Analysis for February 22

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Sunday February 22nd
 
 
Race 1:  Todd Pletcher has few peers in this game with first-time starters, but he also gets a perfect 100 Trainer Rating with second-time starters, and his #6 Uninfluenced may be one to appreciate having some added ground to work with after getting outpaced and stuck wide first time out.  Gets solid 88 Breeding Rating for dirt routes, and Pace Projector has him forwardly placed on the stretch-out.  He has #1 Net Gain to beat.  The potential appears to be there for this well-connected colt, who just missed vs. the talented Far From Over two starts back (after a perfect trip), but he disappointed at a short price last time without apparent excuse.  #5 Johnny U flashed good speed in a tough MSW field first time out.  Trainer does well with second-time starters (93 rating).
 
Selections:  6-1-5-8
 
Race 2:  #8 Star of New York appeared to be back on point off the claim by Jason Servis, as he swept around an easier field through the turn after walking out of the gate before going on to post an easy win.  Steps up to face tougher, but has the back class to handle it.  #6 Ground Force figures tough on the big drop for Jacobson, though his last two have been dull, and he had picture-perfect set-ups when winning both three and four starts back.  #3 The Big Deluxe is cut in half off the claim, but this is the right level for him, and he is dangerous when able to make the early lead, as Pace Projector indicates is likely today.  We like #2 Joe Mooch as a horse, and have no problem at all with him turning back to sprint in this race.  
 
Selections:  8-6-3-2
 
Race 3:  Re-scheduled $100k Evening Attire found a couple of interesting new faces, led by #6 Kid Cruz.  His trainer tends not to send them out firing right off the layoff, but he's a talent and makes the job tougher for the rest of them.  #4 North Slope is an inconsistent runner, but one capable of big performances when circumstances suit.  He may be a bit better on the grass, but he earned a 110 TFUS Speed Figure when attacking a fast pace at Belmont last May 23rd, and his subsequent runner-up effort at Saratoga was also a fine effort.  #5 Cousin Stephen didn't pan out as a Triple Crown prospect early last year, but he appears to have come around for a top trainer recently, matching his career top figure of 97 in game runner-up effort two back, and then breaking through to a 103 in comprehensive victory last time.  #2 Mr Palmer earned solid TFUS Speed Figure of 109 while trying gamely to overcome a slow pace prior to the layoff, and he appeared to be getting in a prep sprinting at Laurel last time.  #1a Micromanage looks for three in a row, and remains a clear favorite on the ML.  He's back in good form, but may prefer longer, and the pace for this race doesn't project to be as competitive as the one he closed down last time.  
 
Selections:  4-2-6-5
 
Race 4:  #4 Violinist looms short price as the new face to slow group of maiden claimers, most of whom will have to stretch out for the first time.  She's an unknown on dirt, but Pletcher does well turf-to-dirt (92 rating) and this is a likely spot.  #8 Smart Cookie raced on ok for 2nd behind repeater Wild Freud on debut, and can do better for trainer pulling 95 rating with second-time starters.  Perhaps #9 Your Turn can pick up her game on the stretch-out for Mott.  She came away with no excuse last time, but the winner did come back to run well again.  #5 Caroline's Spirit has shown nothing while facing much tougher in her first two.  Big class drop for this.
 
Selections:  4-5-8-9
 
Race 5:  #11 C C's Pride stretches out off the claim for the dangerous Bruce Levine (88 rating off the claim) after catching pair of slow-paced sprints recently.  Has routed effectively in the past and Pace Projector indicates that she'll have a fast pace to close into.  #1 Hot Splash drops all the way down after dismal showing in her first start back from the layoff.  Pace scenario may work against her, but she is going to be too much for this field if she can still bring something close to her best.  
 
Selections:  11-1-9-8
 
Race 6:  #1a El Grillo improved on the stretch-out in start #2, contesting the pace all the way and staying gamely through the stretch before being narrowly outfinished and then eventually disqualified for late interference.  Makes second route attempt with Pace Projector indicating that he can land a nice trip tracking from the inside as his speedy entrymate cuts the pace.  #2 Unauthorized has run ok without quite enough since dropped in class for his last 2 starts.  Was drawn outside and raced wide in each of those, so better post for this one may lead to a better trip.  
 
Selections:  1a-2-8-7
 
Race 7:  #4 Prairie Stone stayed gamely after contesting the pace in her return from a layoff, and she raced wide throughout when unable to reach a couple of these last time.  May be set for best third off the layoff.  #6 Touching My Toes and #7 Saythreehailmary's finished just ahead of Prairie Stone last time, and are big players in here as well, though not so sure we like the latter as much as she continues to try her hand going longer.  #2 Familyofroses is interesting off the layoff, as she has earned speed figures in the past that stack up very well with this field.
 
Selections:  4-2-6-7
 
Race 8:  #1 Laila's Jazz was bumped at the start and then took the worst of it while on a wide chase after a front-running winner last time.  Owns good tactical speed and is capable of running a figure that would be hard on ML favorite #6 Writingonthewall.  May not be the best sign that the 10yo Writingonthewall has been listed as a vet scratch, and has seemingly been entered and scratched a few other times since we last laid eyes on him 102 days ago, but he will typically run a speed figure that ensures that someone will have to improve to beat him, and he has won 6 straight around one turn.  #8 Free Mugatu put up new top speed figure of 96 off the layoff, and his trainer gets good results second off the layoff (80 rating) and in sprints off of this kind of spacing (89 rating).  
 
Selections:  1-6-8-5
 
Race 9:  #8 Glickman shows 3 wins and a pair of 2nds since claimed by Jacobson for $20k at Saratoga, and now plunges in for $10k looking very hard to beat at a short price.  #2 Say Mr. Sandman came back from a needed layoff with a front-running win, and he had little chance when trying to circle the field from last after a slow start last time.  #4 Good Harbour and #6 Mop Head both fit well at this level, though they will have little chance vs. the good Glickman.
 
Selections:  8-2-4-6
 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February 21

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Saturday February 21st
 
 
Race 1:  #4 American Hero's last try sprinting on dirt was a good effort, and one that earned him a competitive speed figure of 65.  Like him turning back here for the first time since.  #2 Honor Bound and #3 Party On meet again after running 2nd and 3rd behind Hampden Fiveone, who returned to win again, last month.  Honor Bound may hold the advantage this time with his early speed.  #5 Frosty Pop Larry debuts for sharp young trainer with quick, if spotty, work tab in tow.
 
Selections:  4-2-3-5
 
Race 2:  #7 Signature Seven has not been competitive vs. much tougher fields since the claim (Race Ratings for last four starts: 100-98-90-95, Today: 84).  Was a clear-cut winner the last time he was in a comparable spot, has routed effectively in the past, and can get himself up close in this race, which lacks for much in the way of early speed.  #1 Pleiadian has been unable to make the early lead in any of his 3 starts since racing shifted to the inner dirt, and he stumbled badly at the start last time when in against a heavily favored dropdown winner from Jacobson.  Pace Projector indicates that the pace scenario will be more favorable for him today.  #5 Hop Skip and Away found a tough field for $25k last time, and gave way readily after an early chase.  Had been up against it in moderately paced sprints prior to that, and new trainer gets strong 92 rating sprint to route, and a 99 with claimers down 50% or more in claiming price.
 
Selections:  7-1-5-3
 
Race 3:  It is going to be interesting to see what #6 Condo Commando winds up doing this year.  She is clearly a filly of considerable talent, though she had highly favorable circumstances when posting pair of blowout graded stakes wins as a 2yo.  Either way, she has found a good spot to get started here, and is likely to be too much for these horse if close to ready.  #4 Overprepared won't have such an easy time of it on the lead this time, but she's pretty good with upside.  #2 Paulassilverlining is a better sprinter, but she's an accomplished stakes horse already and has a genuine quality about her.
 
Selections:  6-4-2-5
 
Race 4:  We've been on a hard chase after #7 What the Frost for a while now, so it was nice to see her circle the field and gallop away through the stretch last time, albeit without a rider on her back.  Not really looking to go back to her, but she'll be a price once again and can beat this field with her good race.  #5 My Tee Time the one to beat on a big class drop for Jacobson.  She parlayed pair of soft trips into victory two and three starts back, but she ran well in a much tougher spot last time. 
 
Selections:  7-5-4-3
 
Race 5:  #6 Ridingwiththedevil isn't very good, but she has managed a couple of wins for this trainer and is supposed to be too tough on the massive class drop here.  #1 Share 'n Stone was finally back sprinting on dirt last time, and she was an easy winner vs. a weaker field.  Can improve further for a good trainer.  #7 Manhattan Gin has the speed to be effective in this spot, though if Ridingwiththedevil is right she will be able to keep up with her early.  #8 Epiphany wound up in a match race with Painted Poney after scratches last time, and was dusted through the stretch.  Maybe we'll see a better version of her in her second start off the layoff. 
 
Selections:  6-1-7-8
 
Race 6:  #5 Sea Raven received a conservative ride in a moderately paced race last time and couldn't impact a pair of rivals who were forwardly placed throughout the running.  Giving him one more chance for a new trainer, as his prior route efforts out of low-percentage barn hinted at some ability.  #1A Changewilldoyagood has switched over to dirt without issue recently and he faces a slightly easier field this time (Race Rating of 85, vs. ratings of 89 and 91 for his first two dirt starts).  Did have a perfect trip when coming up short last time, but his tactical speed is an asset in this field.  #6 Giantinthemoonlite got control up front in route debut last time, but he couldn't see out the distance and settled for 2nd best at the end.  Projects to be on the early lead once again.  #2 Huge Asset will only need to bring his out of town form to NY in order to be effective in this spot, and he can get the right kind of trip from his inside post.
 
Selections:  5-1A-6-2
 
Race 7:  #2 Camille's Storm raced greenly throughout debut after getting away toward the back of the field and has since gone back to the drawing board.  Took some money in that spot to be second choice to odds-on winner Sonora, and is eligible to step forward quickly with some experience.  #7 Ginned Up bombed at a short price on the stretch-out last time.  Sprint debut was a good effort, and getting back to an effort like that one makes her a contender.  #5 Zippa Tequila just missed after a late surge in her second start, but she may have to do better than the 72 TFUS Speed Figure earned there in this spot.  #9 Non Finisce Mai rallied well from the back of the field to get 2nd in that Sonora maiden-breaker, and her trainer has been on fire over the past couple of months.  Not thrilled that she has been scratched a couple of times since that debut, which is now 90 days in the past.  
 
Selections:  2-7-5-9
 
Race 8:  #2 Sustainable may be the horse to beat in this race as she lands in a softer entry-level allowance for her 3rd start back from a layoff.  She is, however, a little hard to trust, and seems in danger of being overbet.  We admit to having grown tired of #7 Kara's Match Point, and had sworn her off immediately following no-factor 4th last time, but she does fit this race well from the standpoint of pace, and her best race, should we finally see it again, will make her very tough to deny.  #8 Dulcify was outrun early in fast-paced race while making her dirt debut last time, but that race came off the layoff, and she was racing on gamely to the end.  She had more speed on synthetic prior to arriving here, and can be dangerous at a price if ready to improve off of that deceptively good effort last time.  
 
Selections:  8-2-7-10
 
Race 9:  We'll see what happens with big dropdown #6 John Silver, who will beat this field if he can still run.  That may be a dicey proposition for a horse dropping so precipitously off of such a dull effort, let alone one who was listed as a vet scratch here three weeks ago.  #2 King Gettigan has had no chance in pair of starts since being claimed by talented trainer, and he was unlucky to drop in class last time only to face a pair of rivals taking a big class drop.  Getting out of the gate cleanly is key for him, but he can run a little when he breaks with the field.  #3 Kodiak Kody has run well enough in last two to contend here, and may catch the right set-up with pair of speeds drawn to the two outside posts and #5 Little Rocco, who lost his rider at the start last time, having plenty of early pace.  
 
Selections:  2-6-3-4
 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February 14

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Saturday February 14th
 
 
Race 1:  #2 My Son Ernie makes second start back from a layoff after getting outrun early and finishing with interest behind an impressive debut winner at Laurel last month.  Flashed good speed and stayed stubbornly in first two career starts, and lands in a race where he could play out as the main speed.  #3 Forest Boy has run the fastest races while coming up short so far.  Trainer wins a lot of races and does many things well, but returning horses from layoffs is not one of them (57 rating).  #6 Point Hope drops in for a tag and turns back looking to break through for a top trainer.  Hasn't sprinted since debut way back in August of 2013, and may need things to fall apart up front considering his lack of early speed.  #4 Sherifco sat a nice trip and was no match when dropped to this level off the layoff, and he has been listed as a vet scratch since that race.  Had trip trouble each of his two prior dirt sprints, and can factor if stepping forward in second start back.
 
Selections:  2-3-4-6
 
Race 2:  #3 Shot to Win has had issues at the gate in the past, but he is fast when breaking cleanly, and has consistently earned TFUS Speed Figures that are faster than anything his main rival #2 Oghma has been able to produce.  Wound up chasing three-wide after a stumbling start on January 23rd, a day when inside speed was in favor (note Race Rating Box shaded in red).  Oghma is cut in half after failing to fire vs. a tougher field last time (Race Rating 85 vs. today's 75).  Excellent trainer gets perfect 100 rating with runners dropping 50% or more in claiming price.  #5 Kitchen Police flashed the kind of speed early in his career that could make him dangerous at this level, but he was dropped precipitously off the claim and layoff, and has had little to offer since.  #4 Ausable River seems to be a bit better over a route of ground, but he is capable of a race that would make him competitive in here. 
 
Selections:  3-2-4-5 
 
Race 3:  With the top TFUS Speed Figure for the experienced runners sitting at 58 (from 25 combined starts), this may not be a bad spot to take the new face.  That would be #1 Face, a half to 2 multiple winners (92 Breeding Rating for dirt sprints), and it doesn't hurt that he starts for the streaking Gary Gullo, who has won with 4 of the last 10 runners he has debuted in MCL company on dirt.  #4 Larry Boy debuted with nothing for Pletcher over a muddy track 142 days ago.  Was claimed by Jacobson out of that race, and while he excels off the claim (100 rating), he has been less effective off of layoffs (57 rating).  
 
Selections:  1-4-3-7
 
Race 4:  #2 Boldlee was unlucky not to break his maiden on turf in his second career start, and he has had legit trip trouble in both dirt sprints as well.  He remains something of an unknown on the main track, but he's tough to resist at a big number on the ML in this field.  #7 Pierce's Prize has run the best races overall to this point, at least on dirt, but he was a total no-show as a heavy favorite when last seen 85 days ago.  Figures tough if bouncing back to one of his good races.  Todd Pletcher is a well known ace with first-time starters, and he unveiled a good-looking one here last Saturday, but overall he has not brought out his good ones on the inner dirt (5 for his last 34 with first-time starters here).  His #6 Sebonack is out of a Grade 1 winning dam (Meadow Breeze upset the then-Grade 1 Matron at Belmont at 34/1 back in '06) who is a half-sister to the Grade 1 winning dirt router Overanalyze, who made over $1 million for Pletcher a couple of years ago.  Brought $75k after working a 1/4 in :21.2 at Ocala, which seems a light number considering that dam-side pedigree and how well the Super Savers were selling.  
 
Selections:  2-7-6-1
 
Race 5:  #6 Keep Bustin eventually got to the inside, which was the place to be on January 23rd, but not until the top of the stretch, and she had too far to come at that point.  Still liked the way she rallied to just miss 3rd, and she has the back races to get to as she takes the next step back after a long layoff.  #2 Here's Zealicious was wide every step of the way in that same 1/23 race, and she stayed gamely to get 3rd despite never threatening the leaders.  Has been back in form recently after tailing off last year.  #7 Court Dancer finally broke through to new TFUS Speed Figure top when posting long overdue second career win last time.  Would be no surprise to see her keep it going now.  
 
Selections:  6-2-7-4
 
Race 6:  #1 Organic Gemini had an easy trip and didn't make it as close as it may appear when 2nd best to a geared-down winner last time, but he still ran well, and he ran equally well two back after losing all chance at the start.  #4 Possessed may be the one to beat turning back out of a tougher spot.  Didn't appear to handle the distance of that last one, but both of his efforts over this distance are good ones, and make him tough in here.  #7 Buddy the Elf tried a turf sprint and a dirt route around a solid effort sprinting on dirt last October.  Cuts back as an apparent new gelding for an excellent trainer.  #3 My Bobby is a half to the speedy Sense of Peace (four-time winner of over $100k, 102 TFUS Speed Figure top) and debuts for a red-hot trainer who gets strong 88 rating with first-time starters. 
 
Selections:  1-4-7-3
 
Race 7:  #1 My Won Love has picked up her game for Steve Klesaris, earning the three top TFUS Speed Figures of her career since the claim, and she projects for the right kind of trip from her inside post.  #7 Jazzminegem flashed plenty of potential last year and should be set for her best in third start off the layoff (93 rating for Linda Rice).  #10 Darn That Trip may be a little cheap, but she has speed for a good trainer and has already won 8 races in her career, and she is capable of a race that would make her competitive with this field.
 
Selections:  1-7-10-2
 
Race 8:  #1 Blithely came away unlucky from 3rd place finish behind #4 Isabelle and #5 Atlantic's Smile here two weeks ago after getting locked in along the rail and then being unable to find a lane to run through in the stretch.  Isabelle has displayed real talent from the jump, and she did well to pick up that win in what was a tough spot off the layoff.  Put up new top TFUS Speed Figure of 103 in that spot, and did so while displaying new-found tactical ability, which will serve her well going forward.  Atlantic's Smile brings dangerous speed to the table, but she figures to have a tough time of it against the top two going forward.  
 
Selections:  1-4-5-2
 
Race 9:  #7 Iknewuweretrouble is lightly raced with speed, and she takes a big class drop in second start for Jacobson, which is something he seems to get away with more than anyone.  #5 Little Gidding settled for 2nd best after taking a shot at front-running Island Candy, who came back to win again.  Won't be surprised if she finds more in first start off the claim for streaking trainer.  Too many negative signs to take a short price on #1 Bella the Bandit, who drops all the way down after a long layoff, but when right, she is capable of a race that would be too much for these horses.
 
Selections:  7-5-1-6
 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for February 12

Timeform US Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at Aqueduct on Thursday February 12th
 
 
Race 1:  #3 Holy Invader was behind a couple of these last time, but we were encouraged that he bounced back to a better effort there, and did so despite a less-than-ideal ride.  Earned 96 TFUS Speed Figure in victory over this track during last year's meet, and he ran much better than it looks in pair of subsequent starts here before the layoff.  He figures to have #1 Petrocelli to catch and beat as that one goes second off the claim for a hot trainer.  Thought #4 State Flag was disappointing when falling short after a perfect trip last time, though the horse he was defeated by did come back to win again while upping his figure a few points to a 96.
 
Selections:  3-1-4-5
 
Race 2:  Too many questions for us surrounding the stakes-quality #6 Manando as he makes his first start off a 531-day layoff, though he has dangerous speed when right.  #1 Erik the Red is going to appreciate turning back to sprint after a pair of route attempts at the end of last year.  String of TFUS Speed Figures between 100 and 106 over sprint distances prior to the stretch-out makes him the horse to beat.  #2 Palm Island drops a bit in class for this, though this is no easy $50k claimer, and he will not be happy to have Manando keeping him company on the pace, assuming that horse still has his speed.
 
Selections:  1-6-5-3
 
Race 3:  #1 On a Snowy Evening disappointed last time after pressing the pace from the outside, but she has improved for these connections and may be better from a tracking position away from the pace, which should be available to her today from her inside post.  #4 Flirtatious Spring hooked up with On a Snowy Evening last time, and got the better of that rival before settling for second best to a closing winner at the end.  Holding good form right now for a top trainer.  #5 Lutheran Miss has picked up her game since coming back to dirt recently, but she had all the best of it last time on an easy pace and figures to be tested more sternly in this spot.
 
Selections:  1-4-6-5
 
Race 4: #7 Darling Bridezilla got back to one of her good races off the claim by Charlton Baker, getting the best of a pace battle and only succumbing to a closing #4 E Z Passer inside the stripes.  Good post for this, and unlike E Z Passer, her turn-around isn't attributable to a comfortable trip over a wet track.  Both of those things figure to have helped E Z Passer return to form.  Not knocking a horse who managed 6 wins in 2014, and started 2015 1-for-1, but she has certainly had her share of advantageous circumstances.  We liked #6 Matching Skies quite a bit last time, and she wasn't quite good enough after taking a game front-running try.  Figures tough off the claim for dangerous connections, but we don't necessarily want to go back to her as the ML favorite.  #5 Liberty Fuze was also part of that contested pace on January 4th before being outfinished by E Z Passer, among others.  Can have another chance at this level over faster ground.
 
Selections:  7-6-5-4
 
Race 5:  #7 Maximus Mike stretched out and got back to his top TFUS Speed Figure of 82 in blowout win second off the claim last time.  Entered back at proper level by trainer who couldn't be going any better than he is right now.  #4 Grand Strand may be the horse to beat as he drops in class for Jacobson, but we have never been fans of his, and we don't trust him off the no-show performance at Laurel last time.  #3 Mr. Lit has yet to run particularly fast since returning from a long layoff, but he proved an easy winner last time and has faster back races to get to for a top trainer.  
 
Selections:  7-3-4-2
 
Race 6:  #1 Call Wil appears to prefer fast ground on dirt, as his two career dirt routes over tracks rated "fast" have resulted in a blowout maiden win and a strong effort two back with a TFUS Speed Figure of 93.  Not familiar with his new trainer, who starts horses on this circuit infrequently, but he gets a solid rating of 77 First Time With Trainer, which is an improvement over his overall rating of 66.  #2 Son of Dixie arrived in NY with solid back form, and has maintained it here for a very good trainer.  Drops back down after reaching his top TFUS Speed Figure (88) last time vs. a tougher group.  #7 First Bid drops in class for his return from a layoff and figures tough with something like his best effort.  Pace Projector favors front-runners in this race, and indicates that he can make the early lead.  #3 Ultimate Empire has been badly off form recently, and it is unclear whether catching 4 straight sloppy tracks is at all responsible for that, as he has handled those conditions fine in the past.  He may be the horse to beat, if he can still run, but we're not convinced.
 
Selections:  1-2-7-3
 
Race 7:  #5 Readthebyline is at his best when able to control the action, and, according to our Pace Projector, he figures to have the opportunity to do just that in this ultra-tough NY-bred allowance.  Lost his best chance when missing the break last time.  We like #6 Readtheprospectus quite a bit as a racehorse, but it is difficult to know what to expect as he makes just his second start since October of 2013.  The bigger the price, the more interested we will be.  #1 Awesome Vision disappointed last time off a wide trip, but looked good beating a similar group two starts back.  #4 Beautyinthepulpit is holding the best recent form, but he exits a perfect-trip try in the Alex Robb, and he needs some pace to close into, which he may not have here.
 
Selections:  5-6-1-4
 
Race 8:  #3 Vitani and #9 Mine for Life ship to NY after debuting in the same race at Gulfstream, which was dominated by heavily bet firster Wind Racer with a 90 figure.  Vitani had little to offer in that spot, but goes for trainer who is getting perfect 100 rating with second-time starters, and who has won with 7 of the last 11 maidens he has sent out for their second start sprinting on dirt.  #4 Relax was bumped hard at the start and wound up chasing four-wide to the impressive Via Strata, who came right back to bury allowance rivals here last week with an 88 speed figure.  5yo mare was a listed vet scratch on January 4th.  
 
Selections:  3-9-4-6
 
 
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