Sunday, May 18, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: #2 Offlee Catty ran well enough to win this race with a 70 TimeformUS Speed Figure in her debut, and didn't get the cleanest trip in the world last time despite an alert break. Trainer gets a strong 92 rating with blinkers-on, and Pace Projector indicates that this filly has the best early speed in this matchup.
TimeformUS Trainer Ratings box for our selection in Race 1.
Both #5 Baby B and #6 Official are dropping in class while turning back, the former while switching from turf to dirt, the latter with a trainer change to David Jacobson (100 trainer rating with that move), but we'll take the improved #4 Mary's In Utopia as our other horse, as she enters here third off the layoff after earning the top figure in the field last out.
: We were impressed with #4 Brilliant Command
in both starts last year, as he displayed ability despite not getting an easy trip in his debut, and then raced much better than it looks despite having no chance from behind a slow pace after that; returns from the layoff for a red-hot trainer. #8 Dr. Abramson
appeared to be prepping in speed-favoring Keeneland synthetic sprint debut, and now stretches out on grass, which his pedigree suggests will suit him better (TimeformUS Pedigree Rating
of 84 for turf routes; his dam is a sister to Spring House, a multiple graded stakes winner who made over $1.1 million on grass).
#5 Knight of Valor also figures to improve in his second start after finishing with some interest from far back in his debut.
Race 3: #1 Imagine Tomorrow blew away a field of two-life claimers with a strong speed figure three starts back, and has been placed in way over her head in her next two starts; Jealous, the horse she left behind on February 1st, has subsequently confirmed the strength of that performance by finishing close up to the ML favorites in this field,
#5 Purling and #6 Rettalfa, and then posting a blowout win of her own. #7 Bridgetta returns from a long layoff for the streaking Bruce Brown and has races to get back to that make her almost unbeatable in here, but those efforts came in 2012, and it doesn't seem that she could be any kind of interesting price in this race.
Race 4: Tough turf sprint for NY-breds brings several contenders back from layoffs, so we'll take one with recency in #6 Jitney. Just 2-for-10 on turf in her career, we think she's better than the bare record indicates, and Pace Projector for this race has several up there together early, which would help her late kick. #5 White Sangria is the horse to beat off a pair of strong efforts at Gulfstream, the last one just failing to stop the late run of recent stakes winner Free as a Bird. #9 Neck of the Moon is a logical contender off the layoff for Chad Brown, though she was consistently over-bet last year.
Race 5: #5 Sea Trial has only been OK though three career starts, but she does figure to appreciate getting to try a dirt route (95 pedigree rating) for the first time, and if her main rival is the #1 Palestrina, then that may make this an even better spot. We wouldn't overlook the two turf-to-dirt runners entirely, as #2 Rapid Repair and #4 Lusaka may move forward on the main track--Lusaka in particular, as she was part of a contested pace that collapsed in her last start, and has more of a dirt pedigree, being by Distorted Humor and out of a dam who is a half-sister to 2yo champion Halfbridled.
Race 6: #3 Legendary raced on well to be a clear second-best to the impressive Draw Two over 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland in his stateside debut, and along with #2 Papy, figures to have landed in a likely spot here. Papy picked up the pieces in an unimpressive off-the-turf route here opening week, and he was a perfect-trip winner going long when last on grass. #1 Away Game is at least one to consider as he tries 1 1/4 miles and turf for the first time with a perfect 100 pedigree rating for the assignment.
Race 7: Pace Projector indicates that there could be a contested pace in this race, which would benefit #2 Another Incident, who impressed breaking her maiden from off the pace in a one-turn mile at the end of last year and has been in vs. some tougher horses in Florida since then. Cuts back a bit here for a trainer off to a good start at the meet.
TimeformUS Pace Projector, shown here for Race 7, displays the expected running positions after 1/4 mile for sprints; 1/2 mile for races one mile or over. To see Pace Projector for all of today's Belmont card, click here to purchase our PPs for just $3.
#6 Star Magnolia stepped it way up first off the claim, routing maiden claimers in a race that went faster than older male claimers two races earlier on the card; distance may be a challenge for her with some other speed signed on.
Race 8: #8 Filimbi finished ahead of several of these despite a less-than-clean trip at Keeneland last out, and does appear to be the one to beat after arriving here having won three of her last four in France. We will use her, while taking a shot against her with #3 Gathering, who has flashed plenty of potential despite her quirks, and was given a no-chance trip and ride when behind Filimbi last time.
Race 9: #3 Vagarious has been in some tough spots on the main track, and now switches to turf, which figures to suit him, as his dam, whose only career start was a winning effort on grass, is a half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner Perfect Sting, who made over $1 million on grass. #2 Macgone had plenty of excuses in his open-company debut and can do better here. #7 Point Roll disappointed as a heavy favorite over good ground vs. NY-breds at Aqueduct, but he had some issues in that race, and is going to be very tough in here if running back to his debut.