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Big Apple Babies


Big Apple Babies 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.


Forbes’ Firsters for Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jon Forbes


Forbes’ Firsters for Thursday, July 10, 2014

Race 1, 2-year-old fillies, six furlongs, turf, 1:20 p.m.

ESKENFORMONEY (dark bay or brown filly, Eskendereya—But for Money, by Not For Love) is slated to become the first starter out of her dam, whose sole win came in a maiden special weight on the dirt at Philadelphia Park. But for Money is a half-sister to Somethinaboutbetty, who won restricted stakes on the dirt at Laurel Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, Pimlico, and Timonium and was second in the Grade 3 Lake George on the turf; and Petunia, who captured turf stakes at Colonial Downs and Delaware Park and placed in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs on the grass and Grade 3 Selima on the dirt.

Owner: StarLadies Racing

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Sales history: $225,000 Keeneland September yearling


COOL COMFORT (chestnut filly, Big Brown—Singing Sensation, by Coronado’s Quest) is out of a mare who made three starts, winning one race, a maiden special weight on Polytrack at Woodbine. Singing Sensation, a half-sister to Grade 2 Fantasy winner Ruby’s Reception, has produced two winners from as many starters: Earth Zeus, who has won a pair of dirt races in Japan, and Red October, whose lone victory to date has come in a maiden claimer on the dirt at Laurel.

Owner: Ten Broeck Farm Inc.

Trainer: Wesley Ward

Jockey: Abel Lezcano

Sales history: $60,000 Keeneland September yearling; $115,000 OBS April 2-year-old (one furlong in 10 seconds, video)


ISABELLA SINGS (chestnut filly, Eskendereya—Isobel Baillie, by Lomitas) is a half-sister to Alaura Michele, who has won a pair of turf stakes at Saratoga: the P.G. Johnson as a 2-year-old and the restricted Nani Rose as a 3-year-old. On Tuesday, Alaura Michele was third in the Grade 3 James Penny Memorial Handicap. Including Alaura Michele, two of three starters out of Isobel Baillie have won, both on the grass. Isobel Baillie herself was stakes placed in France.

Owner: Siena Farm LLC

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Joel Rosario


TimeformUS Analysis For July 6

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Sunday, July 6

Race 1:  #6 Bobby Jo picked up her game off the claim by these connections last year, and ran competitively with better horses throughout the summer; makes third start back from a nice outside post with a big drop in class after facing nine-time stakes winner Winning Image and the 7-for-11 lifetime Galiana.  #1 Coast of Sangria also drops into a better spot after trying tougher off the re-claim by Mike Miceli last time; convincing win vs. similar two starts back.  #3 Love to Score missed the break and was never involved on turf last time; has competitive dirt form and has been facing better, as well.  
Selections:  6-1-3-5
Race 2:  This race shapes up as a two-horse race between #3 Coriander and #7 Morethanawarning. Morethanawarning has never raced this cheap before, and is plummeting all the way down after four straight no-factor efforts vs. entry level allowance foes, and she will appreciate lining up against these horses.  Coriander endured a tough trip when cut back to a sprint last time, hitting traffic in several different spots, and then getting stuck inside through the stretch; she gets a big rider change for this, to go along with her class drop, but faces a tough rival on the drop down.  #6 Send the Limo exits a low-rated (69 TimeformUS Speed Figure) wire-to-wire win vs. maiden claiming company at Monmouth, and projects to be loose on the lead once again here; turf races in NY were disappointing.
Selections:  7-3-6-2
Race 3:  Not much to say about $125k Lynbrook stakes for 2yo NY-bred fillies, as 4 of the 6 entered are maidens, three of those first-time starters.  Won't be surprising if one of the firsters could do better than the 64 and 69 TimeformUS Speed Figures put up by the recent maiden winners in here, and our guess will go to #6 Wonder Gal, who brought $210k after working 10.1 at OBS March, and whose trainer had a strong year with 2yos in 2013.  
Selections:  6-3-1-2
Race 4:  #3 Perfect Dancing was off slowly and trailed all the way around to the top of the stretch before swinging around very wide and finishing well too late behind The Mooche and others at this level last time.  Can do better assuming a clean break and trip, and will be a price.  
#6 The Mooche is the horse to beat as he makes his second start off the layoff and second at this level; had a clean trip but raced on well when ahead of the top one last time, and was a new gelding for that race.  #1 With Expression is logical, but was a no-excuse 3rd behind a longshot winner last time, and #8 Wake Up and Go and #9 Rontos New York are also competitive but were similarly defeated by a huge longshot on June 4th. 
Selections:  3-6-8-9
Race 5:  #4 Giant Fox didn't handle turf at all last time, but made a promising debut on the main track with a late run and gallop-out before running into stakes-bound Bay of Plenty in his second start; in for a tag for the first time on dirt.  #9 Baskets comes back to dirt with blinkers on and drops down to $20k for Rudy, who sports nothing but solid ratings with any and all of those moves:  Turf-to-dirt 87, Claimers Down in Class 100, Blinkers On 91.  Pace Projector indicates that he can make the lead from his outside post.  #3 Master Yank is down again after bombing at odds-on two months ago; 80 TimeformUS Speed Figure earned for his narrow defeat two back makes him tough, if he can get back to it.
Selections:  4-9-3-6
Race 6:  #3 Cotton Pickin has run very well in each of his two starts since being claimed by this outfit, and has done so without the perfect trips pulled by #5 Edie and #2 Starship Pleasant; isn't far off of those rivals based on those races, but will be a much better price once again.  #6 One Penny Piece could easily have taken four in a row dating back to the end of last year were it not for a narrow defeat for $75k at the end of March; back to a better spot after facing a stakes-caliber field off the claim.  
Selections:  3-6-2-5
Race 7:  Perhaps some warning signs with #2 Love to Run being cut in half for his second start off the layoff, but he is unlikely to find an allowance race that he can be competitive in, and he ran a trio of TimeformUS Speed Figures around this time last year that this field would not be able to match; Kimmel gets a strong 91 trainer rating when dropping claimers (as compared to his overall rating of 67), which suggests that he does it with intent.  
#7 Springcourt has come up short at low odds in each of his last three starts, but was claimed from that last one by a very sharp outfit, and may be able to do better this time, just needs some pace.  #5 Dynamical has consistently run TimeformUS Speed Figures in the low 90s on dirt, which makes him a contender, but nothing more than that, so he is tough to take as the favorite on the ML; perhaps he'll pick up his game a little off the trainer change.  #4 Moe Man goes first off the claim for Rudy (98 rating), who has gotten back to winning some races over the past week.
Selections:  2-7-5-4
Race 8:  #9 Middleburg was most unlucky not to win his last start after dueling down the 8/5 favorite through the middle of the race, only to be nailed late by a perfectly ridden winner; still earned the top speed figure in the race, and deservedly so.  #4 Shining Copper improved off the trainer change to Pletcher despite getting an odd ride being held up off of what was a moderate pace; dangerous if going forward again, which is possible.  Interested to see what we get from #3 Deep Speed, who was very visually impressive in posting 108 speed figure win here last month; worried that none of the five to have returned from that heat have confirmed its strength.  
Selections:  9-4-3-5
Race 9:  #1 Crown Thy Good raced on well despite getting stuck behind a slow pace in his debut, and then was likely best last time when taking a sharp wide run through the turn before getting outfinished by a perfect-trip winner (who returned to win again);  should be set for best in third career start; has a strong pedigree to handle this distance on turf.  
#8 Heyaarat set a strong pace in what was a promising turf debut vs. a couple of these last time, and could be dangerous if allowed to get comfortable up front this time.  #12 Day Six was never a factor in his debut, but deserves at least one more chance, considering the female family he descends from, which contains Grade 1 turf winners Bit of Whimsey, Royal Mountain Inn and Miss Josh.  
Selections:  1-8-12-11



TimeformUS Analysis For July 5

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer


TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Saturday, July 5
The Stars & Stripes Festival
Race 1:  #7 Pedal Princess was well bet in her debut, going 5 furlongs at Atlantic City, and had a game finish from off of a moderate pace; showed enough there for us to take her against this field, and she has a big pedigree to live up to, one that suggests more distance is going to suit her.  #1 Lady Lavery had disappointed at short prices in each of her last two starts, so we don't want her on top at a short price, but this is as good a spot as she could have found for the level.  #4 Guilty Verdict was a no-show as the favorite in her 2yo finale, and switches to turf for Shug off the layoff; she's a question mark on this surface without much pedigree, but could be dangerous if this race is forced to the main track.
Selections:  7-1-4-6
Race 2:  Tough allowance for older sprinters here, appears open to several different horses.  #4 Eastwood is overdue to begin paying dividends for his new connections, and dropping out of the Grade 2 True North figures to benefit him; he has speed but doesn't need the lead, and will get a final chance from us today.  #7 Green Gratto is a dangerous and underrated sprinter who is a standout on our speed figures. His last 5 figures look like this 111, 110, 111, 110, 111.  They are the 5 fastest figures in the race, so it isn't easy to be against him in here, but with other speed for him to contend with in this spot, we'll put him behind Eastwood.
#1A Be Bullish is an admirable old warrior who continues to show up and run competitively at the ripe old age of 9; he's also capable of sitting a trip, and he has faced some tough sprinters at Monmouth recently.  #3 Protocol has been impressive at times, and rates a chance with one of his good efforts, but his trainer has not been sending out live horses so far at this meet.
Selections:  4-7-1A-3
Race 3:  #6 Iron Power is going to need his very best to defeat the likes of #2 Partly Mocha and #9 Isn'tlovejustgrand, but he flashed plenty of ability at times as a 3yo, and trying to get a route of ground, as he did in each of his two turf attempts since breaking his maiden over this distance, is not his game; has the speed to be involved early assuming he breaks the gate, which he's had trouble with in the past.  Isn'tlovejustgrand sat a perfect trip and defeated a salty group of $40k claimers here on Preakness day, and Partly Mocha rallied gamely after an awkward break to fall just shy of catching a front-running winner here last month; they are the two logical horses in here and must be used in any exotics.
Selections:  6-2-9-3
Race 4:  This year's running of the Grade 3 Dwyer drew a short field of six (five betting interests) and will go early on an otherwise very strong Belmont card on Saturday.  The coupled entry of #1 Kid Cruz and #1A Captain Serious has them coming and going here, with Pace Projector placing Captain Serious on a clear early lead while his entrymate settles back in last.  
We think Captain Serious, an undefeated NY-bred sprinter to this point, has ability, and having that early advantage may make him a dangerous player in this race, but he faces some serious obstacles in the form of the class hike and the distance stretch-out.  Kid Cruz, on the other hand, will be relying on his entrymate to keep the early fractions honest, as he does his best running from off the pace (note his powerful 112 Late Pace rating).  A convincing winner of a pair of stakes races in Maryland prior to trying his luck vs. the best of his generation in the Preakness Stakes, Kid Cruz came back to NY for Belmont Stakes Day.  But rather than trying the top 3yos again, he found a cozier spot early on the card and was a much-the-best winner of the Easy Goer Stakes with a new top TimeformUS Speed Figure of 106.  An effort similar to that one makes him the clear horse to beat in the Dwyer, and we are making him our top pick in the race.
The toughest call in the Dwyer figures to be what to do with #4 Tiz Dark. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he's a well-bred Tiznow colt from the family of the super-talented Cross Traffic, and he steps right up here off of a blowout maiden win over this track and trip earlier in the meet.  He is clearly a colt of some ability, and taking into account the amount of upside he still has, we find it hard to dismiss his chances vs. this field, even though he rates to have to improve greatly off of that MSW victory, earned over a blank field, to win this.  He's the 6/5 ML favorite, and while we can't get behind him at that price, he is difficult to leave completely out of the mix.  
#3 Ulanbator, like Kid Cruz, enters here off of a new top figure performance, his coming when second-best in the Grade 3 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs.  Also like Kid Cruz, he is a late-runner who will be looking for an honest pace to run into.  He's far from impossible, and we like that his trainer has been very live from limited starters at this meet, but of the two closers in the race, we much prefer Kid Cruz.  
#5 Gaining Ground appears overmatched from a variety of angles, and #2 Spot, while the lone graded stakes winner in the field, appears to be better as a sprinter and has been no factor in any of his three starts since upsetting heavily favored No Nay Never at Gulfstream back in March (albeit in some much tougher spots).  
Selections:  1-4-3-1A
Race 5:  Wide-open turf sprint for NY-bred maidens figures to go through the two favorites, #10 Dowse's Beach and #11 A Marked Man.  Either could win, but they're hard to get excited about, especially Dowse's Beach, who has blown a couple of good trips already going longer, and these horses turning back to sprint on turf tend to disappoint.  We're against him ,and only slightly more in favor of A Marked Man, another who has had perfect trips in both of his turf starts and come away empty so far.  #9 Blue Chips Only will try again after having his scheduled turf debut rained off earlier in the meet; dam's 3 career wins all come over turf, and she made almost $130k on this surface.  #8 Latigo Trail can also be given one more on turf, as he was caught up in a fast duel last time and only succumbed to the closing winner right at the end.  
Selections:  9-8-11-12
Race 6:  The Belmont Sprint Championship figures to go through #2 Central Banker and, to a lesser extent, #3 Clearly Now.  If you haven't had enough of Clearly Now yet, then we suppose you should give him yet another chance, although considering the price he figures to be, you're not getting back much of whatever money you've lost on him so far.  He's a talent, to be sure, but he's just his own worst enemy on the track, breaking slowly every week, and then finding still more trouble during the running.  Central Banker is the logical horse in here, and, in our opinion, should be a clear-cut favorite over the troubled Clearly Now.  The others all have a race in them that could get them close, and if the favorites show up with something less than their best, this could turn out to be a very interesting race.  #8 Big Screen could have rated higher for us, were he not cross-entered to run at Monmouth on Saturday.  If he runs here we will use him, as we think his best game is showing speed on the dirt, and this is a race that is very much open to aggressive tactics from someone. 
Selections:  2-3-8-9
Race 7:  We have an in-depth analysis of the Grade 1 Belmont Derby posted to our Stakes Preview page, but we really like #4 Adelaide in this race.  He has run very well in all four of his career starts to this point, and will have no issue with the distance of this race.  We like a shipper on top, but our other uses in the race are all Americans.  #9 Mr Speaker was highly disappointing in the local prep for this last time, but he was so promising leading into that one that we have to forgive and forget and give him one more chance.  #6 Dance With Fate is talented and figures to be price, and #3 Bobby's Kitten may be the most talented horse in the race, although whether he can carry his immense talent 1 1/4 miles is a very big question.  
Selections:  4-9-6-3
Race 8:  After being turned back to nine furlongs for the past four runnings, this year's edition of the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap will again be contested at the distance of 1 1/4 miles.  The added distance scared no one away, as 11 older horses are set to go in this historic race, and a better betting race may not be easy to find. Despite the longer distance, this race figures to have at least an honest pace, and Pace Projector indicates that a group of horses may find themselves racing clear of the pack in the early stages.  
That may set things up best of all for our top pick in the race, and since we're still talking about a handicap race here, let's begin with #5 Last Gunfighter, who is the high weight in the field.  
Last Gunfighter is not a household name, but he is a winner of 9 of his 16 career races and over $1.1 million for trainer Chad Brown.  There is nothing at all flashy about this 5yo son of First Samurai. All he does is show up and run.  He has posted TimeformUS Speed Figures between 109 and 118 for each and every start dating back to January of last year, and since that January race, he has taken his game to Pimlico, Belmont (he was a game 2nd in this race last year behind Flat Out), Monmouth, Santa Anita, Hawthorne, and Penn National.  He may not be the most talented horse in the handicap division.  Heck, he may not even be the most talented horse in this year's Suburban field.  But he handles any surface, is unfazed by pace scenarios fast or slow, is a dead-game fighter at crunch time, and stays all day.  We love this horse, and we know that he will once again be laying it all on the line Saturday.  
The ML favorite for the race is #6 Romansh, who won the most recent running of Aqueduct's Excelsior with a 117 TimeformUS Speed Figure before finishing a game 3rd behind Palace Malice in the Met Mile.  Romansh has shown flashes of real ability in the past.  Flashes that make you think this Godolphin color-bearer could well take down a very big prize at some point this year.  The problem with him is that he has also been very unreliable, and so taking a short price on him is always a tricky proposition.  Further complicating things for Romansh is that expected pace we were considering earlier.  There is no shortage of speed signed on to the Suburban, and with #8 Stormin Monarcho,  #9 Vyjack,  and #11 Moreno lining up outside of him, Romansh, a horse who likes to take up a tracking spot on the outside of horses, may not be able to land the most comfortable trip in this race.  We think he may have the best race to get to, and can't leave him completely out of our play, but we're trying to beat Romansh on Saturday. 
Our other main use, to go with Last Gunfighter, is #1 Micromanage.  Micromanage ran very well when unable to hold off a grinding #4 Norumbega over 1 1/2 miles last time, but he ran the better race of the two and figures to benefit more than that rival from this turn-back in distance.  
#11 Moreno is a talent who was entered into the wrong kind of race last time and fits better in this field, but he didn't draw well, and there may be too much other speed lined up here for him to pull the right trip.  We like him and will find a way to include him should he be sent off at overlaid odds, but we wonder if he's landed in the wrong spot again.
Selections:  5-6-1-11
Race 9:  We also have a more in-depth look at the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks posted to the Stakes Preview page, and this is a race that deserves a longer look, as it appears open to several different horses.  #7 Xcellence is a deserving ML favorite and horse to beat, as she has kept the best company and run the fastest races.  We aren't wildly against her, but we have a feeling that she has overachieved to this point, and there are plenty of other ways to go.  We like #1 Goldy Espony, another French import who has group credentials and will have no problem with the distance.  We can be against dual Grade 1 winner #2 Room Service, especially if she is sent off at her ML odds, and would rather use horses like #5 Flying Jib, #6 Rosalind, and #10 Recepta
Selections:  1-10-5-7
Race 10:  This race goes through #6 Point Roll, who has been highly impressive on turf to this point and buried a field of maidens when last on turf here in May; forget the dirt race last time.  Main danger is #12 Hidden Vow, who is just 1-for-21 lifetime, but ran a big one in a tough spot when last seen.  If one of those two doesn't win, we will lose.
Selections:  6-12-8-10



TimeformUS Analysis For July 4

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Friday, July 4

Race 1:  Well-matched field going 1 1/4 miles to start things, with each entrant showing a spotlight figure between 85 and 88 except for #7 Call Her Sunny, who is making only her second career start.  
#3 Queen's Parade finished a game second to repeat winner Cat's Claw while outfinishing a couple of these earlier in the meet; owns field's top late pace rating, which could be all the difference.  #1 High Heel Kitten was narrowly outfinished by Queen's Parade in that May 16th race, but had to give away some early position to get to a ground-saving position from the outside that day, and moves to a much cozier post for this. Call Her Sunny didn't really do much running in her debut, but she can be given another chance, as her pedigree suggests she has license to be OK, and the others fail to inspire.  #6 Antrim Colleen is a contender, and she bested a few of these when outdueled through the stretch here last month, but we prefer the runners from the May 16th race.
Selections:  3-1-7-6
Race 2:  #1A Star Grazing makes her 3yo debut after flashing some promise despite finishing 2013 still a maiden; was way against an inside, speed-favoring track on showcase day when last seen.  Her entrymate, #1 Girlaboutown, will hurt the price, but she's an A. P. Indy out of a multiple Grade 2-winning dam, and her trainer can win with a first-time starter.  #3 Kleptocrat debuted for a tag but ran into odds-on drop-down Loomin' Lori Lou (who wired the field) and put in a strong finish, suggesting that she may be able to handle the climb into MSW company.  #4 Quit Smokin wound up in a fast duel in her return from a long layoff and paid the price, but will likely be fitter for this one. 
Selections:  1A-3-1-4
Race 3:  We'll see which half of the Jacobson entry goes, as that may be the key to the race.  Either way, we'll take our chances with #2 Hackleton, who goes first off the claim for Rudy (98 trainer rating, and a winner here right off the take on Sunday) and who projects to be the speed from the rail.  Tough call if the 9yo warrior #1 Immortal Eyes is the one Jacobson decides to send, as he has back races that would bury this field, yet was a complete no-show at Delaware off the private purchase/trainer change, and is immediately offered for $40k.  #5 Request a Puck ran down #4 Doubledown Again in a weak-looking off-the-turfer last month, and #6 Bobby V. ran three good ones at AQU in March, but we don't trust him to hold that form for his new barn, and he was throttled here off the short break. 
Selections:   2-1-4-5
Race 4:  #3 Red Vine is a question mark going this 1 1/4-mile distance, but he's shown up every time so far, and he ran a big race last time after making a premature run to the lead. The once-promising #7 Mills is beginning to run out of chances, but we'll let him have one more, as he was kept unnecessarily wide throughout the running when stretched to this distance last time; new rider has been conscious of saving ground on turf at this meet.  #6 Royal Blessing posted a solid win over 1 3/8 miles at the end of last year, albeit with a perfect trip, and managed to win first time back from a much longer layoff than this last year.  #5 Legendary finished a good 2nd to Draw Two going longer at Keeneland, and was game to land a share of the top prize over this trip here earlier in the meet.  
Selections:  3-7-6-5
Race 5:  Good spot for the promising #6 Distorted Beauty to step up vs. other winners, as she has impressed in both career starts, and figures to have some pace to close into once again, which makes her standout late pace rating of 81 a potent number.  
#2 White Crane may get caught up in the pace from her inside post, but she's tracked effectively before and can be very dangerous here if able to pull the right trip.  #3 Fantastic Eyes may require a drop in order to show her best, but she's run some big ones sprinting on the grass and will appreciate seeing some pace develop.  
Selections:  6-2-3-8
Race 6:  Pace Projector for this race favors the runners on or near the lead, and indicates that #3 Ghareeb should be able to get control from his inside post.  Understandable why Shadwell/Kiaran McLaughlin would be happy to make this headstrong and difficult to handle gelding someone else's problem going forward, but he has some ability when his mind is on running, which it isn't all of the time.  
#4 Engine picked up long overdue maiden win at Parx last time and is immediately entered for the price by a very sharp trainer, whose horses tend to get good and stay good; think he's a better sprinter than router, so this 7.5-furlong distance may work OK for him.  #5 Cosmic Coincidence comes up a little slow on our figures, but has the speed to be a forward factor, and the others are difficult to endorse.  
Selections:  3-4-5-2
Race 7:  #2 Bio Pro disappointed in his NY debut off the private purchase, but he was back on the beam when powering clear of a short field over yielding ground last time; we'll take him over #4 Za Approval, whom we recognize as the horse to beat once again while not being big fans of his, and he was disappointing last time.  #1 Plainview is a dangerous speed on the inside, especially if the courses stay as firm as they have been over the past week or so, so we won't overlook him.  #6 Kharafa is a talented and consistent NY-bred who exits a strong win with a perfect trip in the Kingston; capable, but this is tougher.  
Selections:  2-4-1-6
Race 8:  #6 Apex gets the proper turn-back after a dead-game try going longer last time, and he was better than it looks in winning two back after getting up close to a fast pace early; Pace Projector places him up close early in a race that favors the front runners.  #5 Noble Doss also turns back after parlaying a perfect trip into a much-the-best score off the layoff last month; this is tougher, but it's not easy to trust some of the others.  #1A Reserved Quality caught a fast pace to close into at Monmouth last time but came up short at the end, which is something of the story of his life since being claimed by these connections (1 win, by a nose, and 5 in-the-money finishes from 7 starts);  doesn't figure to have that kind of pace today.  
Selections:  6-5-1A-7
Race 9:  #1 Baffle Me rated in the Intercontinental and paid the price for the tactical error as she wound up getting bounced around in traffic through the stretch while still finishing gamely, and she's something of a standout on our speed figures with her best effort.  #6 Waterway Run drops out of graded stakes company into a spot where she is supposed to be tough; held off #7 Orion Moon last time, and while that one had brief trouble in the stretch, she was clear with time and only second best.  
Selections:  1-6-7-8
Race 10:  #1 Assured Victory sprinted effectively on grass in a pair of tries last summer vs. better horses, and earned a 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure for one of those efforts, a number that would make him very tough in here should he be able to run something like it today; will be a price.  
#6 Decisive Move faced much tougher at Fair Grounds when last seen, but this is the right kind of spot for him, and he is the horse to beat.  #8 River Boss has never sprinted on turf, which is a strong negative, but came through with a good effort when left in off-the-turf event over this trip last time, despite not being able to work out the best trip in the world. 
Selections:  1-6-8-2