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Forbes' Firsters

 

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 Forbes’ Firsters will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.

 

Forbes’ Firsters for Friday, June 20, 2014

Jon Forbes

 

Forbes’ Firsters for Friday, June 20, 2014

Race 4, All 2-year-olds, $100,000 Tremont, 5 ½ furlongs, 4:02 p.m.

JAMAALAREE (chestnut filly, Congaree—Crafty Vanessa, by Crafty Prospector), a filly facing males, is out of an unplaced full-sister to More Crafty, who won a pair of sprint stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Crafty Vanessa has one other foal of racing age, Impressive Vanessa, who has one win in 12 starts, an $8,000 maiden claiming victory at Golden Gate.

Owner: Victor George Bahna, Jr.

Trainer: Wesley Ward

Jockey: Abel Lezcano

 

KING RONTOS (gray/roan colt, Unbridled’s Song—Distant Roar, by Storm Cat) is a half-brother to Butterfly McQueen, who was second in a listed stakes at Chantilly in France. Three of six foals out of Distant Roar, a daughter of Canadian Champion older female and Grade 1 Spinster heroine Wilderness Song, have won.

Owner: Rontos Racing Stable Corp.

Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Sales history: $150,000 Keeneland September yearling

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 19

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Thursday, June 19
 
Race 1:  #3 Special Skills made a promising return from over nine months away, posting new top figure while finishing a game 2nd behind Awakino Cat, who was posting his 14th career win; has always had potential, and any improvement on that effort makes him tough. #1A Lofty Heart has raced himself back into form after enduring an extended layoff, and he was compromised behind the top one last time when lacking room to rally inside.  #2 Thomas Hill was a little disappointing as a beaten favorite last time, but one could argue that he was too close to a fast pace in there, and he's consistently competitive in these races.  
 
Selections:  3-1A-2-5
 
 
Race 2:  #7 Contender's Queen takes a big drop in class while getting a positive trainer change, and lands in the right kind of field here to turn things around; had no chance against much better horses in last two, and was against the inside bias on March 3rd.  
#2 Brandini needs this class drop after disappointing consistently over first six career starts, and she's the horse to beat.  #1 Annie Walker has had trouble getting out of the gate to this point, and has also proven to be a handful to ride, so rail draw could really work against her, but she should also benefit from seeing maiden claiming company lining up with her for the first time. 
 
Selections:  7-2-1-4
 
 
Race 3:  Much attention figures to be paid to new face #7 Chocolat City, as the locals have all grown somewhat tiresome to this point, and she projects to be in a favorable situation on a clear early lead in this spot.  
 
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#5 Rettalfa has a race in her that would be tough for the top one to deal with, but she's been her own worst enemy breaking slowly from the gate week after week; needs to get out of there cleanly, and then catch some pace.  #2 High Inflation is the "other" Gullo horse in the field, and she's run races that make her competitive.  Last time was the time for #6 Copper Bluff, as she caught a contested pace on the drop and took full advantage, while being strongly bet. 
 
Selections:  7-5-2-6
 
 
Race 4:  #12 Kiss of Thunder has been very unlucky through four turf starts in 2014, and he ran very well in an extremely tough spot last time; sticking with him here.  #5 Zane landed in pair of tough spots to kick off his season at Gulfstream, then put in a strong run through the stretch to roll over a field en route to a big-figure win two starts back; fits very well here.  Be interested to see what happens with #3 Magna Breeze, who did all the racing on competitive paces when finishing first in back-to-back turf routes with cheaper at Lone Star Park; involved in another fast pace at Churchill last time, and he may not have wanted 9 furlongs there.
 
Selections:  12-5-3-8
 
 
Race 5:  #9 Corinthian Summer has been extremely unlucky in each of last two starts, which will not go unnoticed by any trip handicappers out there, and gets a class drop to boot.  Barn goes well with horses dropping in claiming tag, and with those running third time off a layoff; final chance for him.  
 
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#7 Dividend was also compromised in that May 23rd race behind Corinthian Summer, and he gets a full makeover of lasix and blinkers for trainer sending out live runners here.  #1A Azorian was too close to a pace that collapsed in first start off the claim, and has a chance to get clear early this time according to Pace Projector; entrymate Eight Cents has been ok on dirt, has some turf pedigree to work with.
 
Selections:  9-7-1A-1-8
 
 
Race 6:  #8 Caught by You is eligible to step it up some making second start back from extended layoff, and she has back races that would bury this crew;  we're using, as she was relatively close to the pace in a race that went to closers last time, but we can't fully trust her, and will go to #6 Gold Potion on top.  Gold Potion gets a turn-back that will help in this spot, and she has enough speed to keep Caught by You in range early; like the rider change for her, as well.
 
Selections:  6-8-2-5
 
 
Race 7: #1 Anmaat looked good winning debut over rival who has come back to win twice since, and he was caught up contesting a hot pace in race moved to the main track when last seen; Pace Projector puts him on a clear early lead here.  
 
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#12 Permanent Campaign surprised us when posting romping win at a short price in turf debut last month; another one like that makes him tough to beat, but we kind of want to see him do it again.  #6 Handsome Dennis had NY debut rained off to dirt, and he ran well there; claimed by Rudy, and he has useful turf form.  #8 Madam I'm Adam and #9 Smokey Brown both ran well enough last time while settling for placings without any excuses; either, or both, could factor again.
 
Selections:  1-12-6-9
 
 
Race 8:  #1 Very Cherry Candy has really taken to dirt since switching over at the start of the year, improving her figures from start to start, which culminated with a new top of 102 for solid win over a good field last time; has ratable speed to get the right trip from her inside draw.  #6 Tahoe Tigress is at her best in these one-turn routes, and she's a solid fit in this race in her second start off the layoff; figures to have at least an honest pace to run into, with speedy #5 Our Amazing Rose attempting to stretch out for the first time here. #2 Miss Besilu is dropping out of graded stakes tries, but she's been a big-ticket bust to this point, and it's been disconcerting to see her compete over turf for the most part, considering her pedigree.
 
Selections:  1-6-3-2
 
 
Race 9:  #2 Petrocelli has run races in the past that would make him tough in this spot; don't know if he'll run one of those as he starts back off the layoff, but he's a price, has a stalking gear to use in race that projects to be run at a fast pace, and we don't trust the favorites in here.  #7 Beyond Empire took a nice step forward in second start off the layoff and may have been best despite getting run down by a perfect-trip closer.  #4 Noble Cornerstone blew to a clear stretch lead and appeared home free when returned to NY-bred company last time, but was run down late in what was a disappointing loss.  #9 Wake Up in Malibu has the upside, but has to stretch out and projects to be part of that fast pace.  
 
Selections:  2-7-4-9
 
 
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TimeformUS Wednesday Analysis

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Analysis for Wednesday June 17th at Belmont
 
Race 1:  We've said this more than once before, but #6 Cost Affective is the horse to beat here, and, based on his career to this point, we have to be against him.  Yes, he exits the strongest effort of his career, posting a new top speed figure of 99 in a narrow loss at this level, but that was yet another no-excuse loss in what is becoming a long line of them for this horse.  Our alternative to him in here is #1 Yankee Dime.  He starts for the hot Nick Zito barn, and he showed enough in a pair of tough NY maiden races last year to give him a look in here.  #3 My Son Ernie ran talented stablemate Profluent to a photo first time out, and exits a live race at Pimlico last out; speed-type may be compromised with #4 Perfect Danger drawn right outside him.
 
Selections:  1-6-3-4
 
 
Race 2:  #6 Barbara's Smile impressed with wide run in debut win, and comes back to a spot in which she fits well.  
 
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The others have had their chances, and while #4 Sundae School ran well last time, we prefer #1 Devilish Love (who has a long layoff to overcome) and #2 Medaglia d'Argento (who took advantage of a fast pace last time) to her.
 
Selections:  6-1-2-4
 
 
Race 3:  This seems a good spot for ML favorite #6 Penthouse Party, who earned speed figures for her last two dirt races that are faster than anything any of her rivals has run recently, and she has proven in the past that she can bring her race to NY; projects for nice trip out in clear tracking her main rival, #2 Platinum Bombshell, who has the speed and has posted 2 of her 3 career wins over this distance.  
 
Selections:  6-2-1-3
 
 
Race 4:  #11 Stormkeeper could only be second best as a heavy favorite in her debut, but she ran well that day in putting in a game stretch run once altering off the inside, and she figures to benefit from both that experience and the drop in class.  #1 Tordita also ran well while settling for second best last time, and she is an interesting case for our new pedigree ratings as, while she doesn't get much turf influence from her sire, she gets plenty from her dam, who was a three-time turf winner herself and is a half-sister to the graded stakes performer Somali Lemonade.
 
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#2 Prove It All Night flashed plenty of speed and little stamina as a 2yo, so returning at this shorter trip makes sense; drop in for the price won't hurt, but there is other speed signed on here. 
 
Selections:  11-1-2-3
 
 
Race 5:  We expected more from #1A Kate Greenaway last time, and were frankly disappointed with her chase-and-fade effort that day.  In her defense, she caught a muddy track, which she didn't have to like, and she also ran into a very impressive winner.  With a perfect post on the outside from which to track the pace, she can be given one more chance, and perhaps at a slightly better price this time.  #2 Shayjolie made a highly promising debut of her own last time, taking money and closing gamely despite being forced to go around horses to the outside as the winner got a neat split to make the lead; normal caveats apply for the muddy, sealed track she competed over, and that was a race in which the heavy favorite, Brilliant Jewel, was a no-show.  #7 Rapid Repair is a short price on the ML, and her last race was an improvement, but we'd like to see it again, as she was run down by a longshot winner that day without any apparent excuse. 
 
Selections:  1A-2-7-4
 
 
Race 6:  #6 Hillhouse High was the bigger price of a pair saddled by Chad Brown on May 18, but ran the better race by far that day after being forced into an early move after the lead; she has disappointed before, but that was a strong effort within the context of the race last time, and a similar effort will make her tough.  #4 Inspired by Grace faces a tough stretch-out in distance from 5-to-7 furlongs, but she was impressive rolling over maidens last time despite taking a shuffle on the turn.  #7 Knacque posted an easy maiden win over just three others in an off-the-turf event last time, but has turf form that makes her competitive here, and #2 Charm City Girl did a lot of racing with pressure from several challengers to break her maiden in her turf debut last month; her unraced dam is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning turfer Tout Charmant, so it's no surprise that she improved with the switch.
 
Selections:  6-4-7-2
 
 
Race 7:  #2 Mister Popsicle had little chance in a stakes race last time, and got a bad ride being wrangled back off of a walking pace in turf debut at Aqueduct; in position to take advantage of a similar scenario this time, according to Pace Projector.  
 
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#8 Asset Inflation was a clear-cut winner of turf debut last summer at Saratoga, but hasn't been seen since, and returns for a tag with all of his conditions left; trainer aces with runners returning from layoffs.  #3 Archer Hill is capable, but has proven difficult to handle on the track; drops in for the price in third start back this year. 
 
Selections:  2-8-3-6
 
 
Race 8:  Not sure what happened with #7 Papy last time, as he didn't fire as the strong favorite, but he has already run a strong race over this longer trip, and that is no small thing.  Difficult to land anywhere else with confidence.  #3 Special Agent has a big pedigree for dirt, but disappointed there and needed every inch of a perfect trip provided by Castellano to win his turf debut last time.  #4 Upper East Side could be a dangerous player with his speed, but faces a tough hike up in distance. 
 
Selections:  7-4-8-12
 
 
Race 9:  Finale projects to be run at a fast pace, and that plays best for #10 You You, who switches back to dirt at a likely level; posted much-the-best win from off the pace when last on the main track here.   #2 Three for Me was part of a contested pace in a race that fell to closers last week, but he's run well from off the pace before, and he hasn't had many fair chances since debut win.  #3 Donttellyourmother drops down while switching from turf to dirt, and has earned some of the best figures in the field, but he's a speed horse and faces a tough scenario here.  
 
Selections:  10-2-3-8
 
 
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Analysis for Sunday at Belmont

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

 
TimeformUS Sunday June 15th Analysis
 
Race 1:  #2 Bella Castani is a handful to ride, but has some ability; perhaps cutting back to this shorter distance will allow her to settle better.  #3 Quay is second back from a short rest and has done little wrong to this point.  #9 Good So Far is third off the layoff for Clement, and has turf-sprint form from France that makes her competitive.
Selections:  2-3-9-8
 
Race 2:  #2 Bambisfrostyracer dropped down for last start and was shuffled out to last through the turn, losing his best chance; this is an easier spot.  
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#4 Pepi's Find improved with the switch to dirt last time, and will be competitive in this spot with a similar effort.  #1 No Nukes has had too many chances, but he was shut off while trying to challenge the leaders two back, and was stuck chasing lone speed Scare City last time. 
Selections:  2-4-1-8
 
Race 3:  #2 Cherubim and #3 River Rocks are talented new faces to NY, each with efforts out of town that will make him tough in this spot.  Cherubim has the edge on early pace ratings, which may put him on a clear early lead, but River Rocks starts for a trainer sporting a near perfect rating with horses running out of his barn for the first time (99, with limited sample size). 
Selections: 2-3-1A-4
 
Race 4:  #9 Saucon Valley survived after speeding clear early in off-the-turf debut, and is entered back on the surface she figures more comfortable with; trainer wins frequently with last-out maiden winners.  #2 Image of Noon closed hard and came up just short off the layoff; moves inside, needs a little pace.  #4 Fantastic Eyes is off the layoff and perhaps a little cheap, but she's a solid turf sprinter and will be running at the end.
Selections:  9-2-4-1A
 
Race 5:  Good spot for #1 Arc Above, who handles distance and is racing at the proper level for streaking trainer.  #4 Manchurian High enters here off a solid win out of town, and he's run well over this trip in the past.  #5 Syros arrives for dangerous ship-in trainer and figures to have plenty of bottom coming off the jumps; picks up Lezcano.
Selections:  1-4-5-3
 
Race 6:  #7 Matching Skies doesn't care for a wet track, so we'll forgive her two most recent efforts; perfectly drawn outside in race that has plenty of speed signed on.  #1 Your Move sped away on a too-fast pace and wilted late in the slop last time; may prove tougher to catch over fast track.  New face #3 Justalittleloopy is dropping off the layoff after compiling solid record in California; unknown on dirt, though we worry more about the surface switch the other way. 
Selections: 7-1-3-5
 
Race 7:  #7 Vicki's Dancer finished very well to be second to stakes repeater Free as a Bird last time; scratched from tougher spot last week to await this.  
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#10 Double the Energy is a dangerous speed in a race lacking much of same, and #2 Unbelievable Dream is back in with fellow NY-breds for the first time since impressive debut win as a 2yo.
Selections:  7-10-2-4
 
Race 8:  #2 Antonia Autumn was beginning to deliver on her ample potential in Florida over the winter before a setback forced her to miss some time; tough spot for her return, but she fits with these on her best.  #6 Gathering endured tough trip two back at Keeneland and then ran into stakes-bound Filimbi here last time; has looked very good at times.  #1 Caroline Thomas has acquitted herself well in graded stakes company over the past several starts; doesn't get as much class relief as she might have expected entering this spot. 
Selections:  2-6-1-4
 
Race 9:  #3 Miz Lee has come up short in first three starts, but has run well in all three and figures tough with typical effort.  #1 Forensic didn't handle mud that well last time, but she has also run well on grass without winning, and is all upside.  #5 Coronette ran well in Saratoga debut in race that featured a walking pace, and is eligible to be much improved with natural development.
Selections:  3-1-5-11
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