Race 1: #7 Fictionalcharacter has endured his fair share of tough trips, and while much of that is of his own making, he drops to this level for the first time today, and he may appreciate getting back on fast dirt. Clean trip may be all it takes. Taking a horse to get to the early lead in a race like this may not be the worst idea in the world, and our Pace Projector indicates that that horse will be #3 American Hero. In his last start, he kept close to a front-running winner in a race that turned into a stagger-fest late, with the 0-for-59 #6 Keyaly closing from last to get 2nd. #4 Doc Daneka has never run on dirt, which isn't necessarily a positive, but he's the kind of unknown commodity that can be interesting in this kind of race.
Race 2: #4 El Deal was let go at a big price for under-the-radar trainer on debut, but was impressive nonetheless in convincing score. TFUS Speed Figure of 80 for the effort gives him a big look right back, even if he fails to show any improvement. #2 Whateveryouwant goes first off the claim for dangerous team of Riccio/Nevin, and does so directly off of career-best effort with 82 speed figure. Horse to beat looking for three in a row. #7 Breach of Duty is a filly facing the boys, but is also first off the claim for a capable trainer, and she may be best suited to take advantage if a contested pace develops (race best Late Pace Rating of 54), which is certainly a possibility.
Race 3: #6 Piccolo Flats impressed in breaking her maiden despite sending into an early run two starts back, and she took an even bigger step forward in blowout win last time (88 TFUS Speed Figure) despite making a wide run from off the pace over a track that was favoring inside speed. #3 Touching My Toes put up new top figure of her own (92) under aggressive handling last time. Dangerous if taking no prisoners up front once again. #4 Saythreehailmary's may be a bit better off over shorter trips, but she has never failed to fire and consistently runs figures that make her a major player in here.
Race 4: #1 Brannaman is entered for $12.5k in first start off apparent private purchase by Jacobson. Returned from long layoff in fine form for Baffert, posting three straight TFUS Speed Figures (102-98-97) that "lay over" this field, and he projects to be on a clear early lead. Mate #1A Indy Sea is taking the kind of negative drop off the claim that only Jacobson seems able to get away with, and his best race makes him a capable backup. #3 Star of New York is interesting off the claim for Jason Servis (98 rating off the claim) as a 9yo. Like the turn-back, as he prefers shorter, and he was sprinting effectively through most of 2014 before tailing off late in the year.
Race 5: #1 Money Multiplier was outrun early before coming with a good run through the stretch in solid 81 speed figure debut. Stretches out for second start with strong 94 Breeding Rating for dirt routes, and does so for a trainer who is 5 for his last 12 stretching out maidens on dirt off of a sprint debut. #4 Net Gain took the expected step forward last time after tough trip against a strong inside track two starts back, but he somehow came up short after getting a perfect trip and taking dead aim on the eventual winner. Still think he has some talent. #7 Dontbetwithbruno was three-wide throughout debut against that gold rail on Cigar Mile day, and he stepped it up in game try vs. the talented March last time. Still not sure added distance does him any favors, and he didn't draw all that well on the outside, but he can run. #3 Mister Monolo has found a tough spot for his 3rd career start, but he was caught brutally wide throughout when behind Dontbetwithbruno last time, and he gets a positive rider change for this.
Race 6: #5 Miss Bellamy raced greenly while wide in debut, and she flashed much more speed second time despite rider keeping a strong hold early. Goes first off the claim, and should be speed in here with a more aggressive ride. #9 So Let It Be So hesitated at the break before rushing forward with speed and tiring behind a blowout winner in sloppy track debut. May not be the best sign that she returns for a tag 108 days later, but she is clearly eligible for much better here. #8 Childhood Dream is a half-sister to the talented Gridley Here. Debuts for Rudy, who has sent out 8 debut winners dating back to early in the Saratoga meet, 6 of those in maiden claiming company. #12 Partytime Chill may be the horse to beat as she drops in class for the first time, but this appears to be an above average maiden claimer. #14 Weekend Score will need a couple of scratches to get in, but she ran deceptively well first time out after racing greenly early and winding up far back in the field to the top of the stretch.
Race 7: #6 Stage Name paid the price after chasing fast paces both two and three starts back (note Pace Figures/fractions shaded in red), but ran winning races both times. Deserves another chance after losing her rider at the start last time, and Pace Projector favors front-runners in this race. #5 Pitched goes first off the claim for a young trainer on the rise, and she was always outside vs. that gold rail here on December 28th. #9 Kleptocrat has earned three career TFUS Speed Figures in the 70s, which is a level unfamiliar to most of her rivals in this spot. She's more of a closing type, and exits a disappointing effort off of a short break, but is clearly one to fear. We've not been big fans of #7 Mr Rico Is Valid, but he is difficult to dismiss out of hand considering the run his trainer has been on recently.
Race 8: #10 My Super Nova lost all chance when stumbling badly at the start over a speed-favoring track two starts back, and she simply got the wrong ride last time when electing not to use her speed on the stretch-out. Only other start sprinting over fast dirt was excellent debut effort with a 94 TFUS Speed Figure. #2 Sonora gave an experienced and heavily favored My Super Nova all she wanted first time out, and came right back to bury maidens with a solid figure of 91. Could easily be considered the horse to beat in this spot. Interested to see what we get from #1 Graeme Crackers, who was game in dueling down The Lewis Dinner (now a multiple stakes winner) on debut before having something go wrong second time out.
Race 9: #9 John Silver drops for third start back from a long layoff. Figures tough at this level, and projects for good tracking trip in race not lacking for pace. #2 Hold Everything ships over for debut run out of the Jacobson barn (10 rating first time with trainer). Was a speed type going longer in California, and was done in by dueling a fast pace when last seen out there.