Wednesday, July 02, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for racing on Thursday, July 3
Race 1: On paper, there is plenty of potential for a strongly contested pace among any or all of the following: #1A Sweet Sway, #3 Here's Zealicious, and #6 Pearls for Girls. We'll see if Sweet Sway indeed wheels back just six days after being claimed, and whether she is as sharp early as she was last time. If she's not, or if her connections elect not to run, that may leave Here's Zealicious in the driver's seat. Assuming the field stays intact, we'll give #2 Your Time Is Up a chance to land the right trip, which may be enough to help her get back to the solid form she was in earlier this year; last was a step in the right direction after dueling three-wide, a trip she has almost zero chance of pulling in this spot. #5 Spinit to Winit is also hoping for that contested pace scenario as she turns back in distance.
Race 2: #5 Navy Blue is by new sire Midshipman, who was a multiple Grade 1 winning two-year-old a few years ago, and is a half to the stakes-winning NY-bred sprinter Saltamontes, a winner of 5 races and over $200k in her career (Navy Blue's pedigree rating is a strong 97 for dirt sprints); trainer can pop with a first-time starter.
#4 Unauthorized figures ready for dangerous first-out connections of Klaravich/Violette, who have teamed up to win with many a 2yo first-time starter over the years. #3 Just Economics has valuable experience, and his debut at Delaware was not bad after getting outrun early and forced to race wide throughout.
Race 3: Some very good NY-bred mares entered for the $100k Dancin Renee, but it's difficult to work up much enthusiasm for standing against heavy ML favorite #1 La Verdad. La Verdad was all heart to prevail going longer than she prefers last time, but gets the right turn-back here, is the fastest horse, and projects to be on a clear early lead. We're happy to see #3 Willet back for a 6yo campaign, and will look forward to her landing in a race with a more favorable scenario going forward, perhaps at Saratoga.
Race 4: More two-year-olds on tap here, and #2 Presto Magic has the experience edge on this group; figures to improve off that run, as she raced greenly in there while on the chase, but stayed gamely to the finish, and trainer Kelly Breen pulls a very strong 93 rating with second-time starters.
#3 Cavorting is the most interesting newcomer, being out of Promenade Girl, who was a Grade 2 winner and was multiple Grade 1-placed in her career and earned over $678k, though she was at her best over a route of ground.
Race 5: #10 Secret Ops switched to grass last time and wound up running off on a too-fast pace before tiring through the stretch; has to get an additional furlong today, but gets a positive rider change, and may settle more effectively with blinkers removed. #9 Pilatus may be the horse to beat, but he holds no edge on speed figures, and couldn't take advantage of a perfect trip into a fast pace last time. #2 Mischieviously may do better as he drops down for the first time, and he didn't get the best ride in the world in a race for amateur jockeys at Pimlico in his turf debut.
Race 6: We'll see what ultimately happens with #6 Tiznowforamerica, but we think he has more ability than is displayed on the bare form, and this appears to be a spot where he can begin to finally put everything together. Tiznowforamerica has plenty of early speed, and Pace Projector for this race indicates that this may be the first race that he can control up front since last September, when he took a field of maidens wire to wire at Saratoga.
We also think that getting that race in off the layoff may have benefited him, as that was a race that not only contained another speed for him to deal with, but had the talented Rock Fall (who appears to be on his way into stakes company) sitting a perfect tracking trip before blowing by when ready in the stretch. This field may not be quite as tough, or at least there is no rival at the level of Rock Fall to deal with, and we think Tiznowforamerica may be set to rebound.
Race 7: Only seven for this turf sprint, and there is not much separating the three favorites, who are drawn in the three inside posts. #1 Pep the Champ took advantage of a perfect pace set-up to break his maiden on the drop last time; #2 Distorted Dream, a disappointment on dirt earlier in his career, has improved since switched to grass and finished gamely after a wire-to-wire winner at Monmouth last time; and #3 Official made an OK turf debut going longer last month. We have nothing to latch onto with those three as far as separating them goes but think #7 Lane Allen could be an interesting alternative. Lane Allen's only turf start came in that same fast-paced race that produced Peb the Champ's maiden win, but Lane Allen didn't have near the perfect trip that that one had, and can be given another chance.
Race 8: Tough calls on the two ML favorites, as #6 Ah Gaga is making her first start since mid-January, and #4 Discreet Force exits a dismal effort in her first start of the year and immediately drops in class. The alternatives really aren't there, so we are going to rely on at least one of them to show up with a representative effort. We could back-up with #2 Chocolat City, although she was pretty disappointing in her NY debut last month, and the top 2 are better than anything she faced in that spot.
Race 9: 5 of the 8 for this turf route exit the 6th race on June 1st, and while #2 Strike Accord came away with the best placing that day, others had more-difficult trips, and, while we like her and have tried her often in the past, she just isn't the kind of horse that we are ever interested in taking at any short price. This appears to be a situation where #4 Irish Sweepstakes can control the action up front, as Pace Projector places her in clear control early on, and she ran well enough in her turf debut for us to give her one more chance. #6 Caribean Beat and #8 Alternative Meds were unable to impact that June 1st race from off the pace, but they were off of layoffs and had trouble exiting the chute that day; both are eligible to do much better.
Race 10: #12 Illapa may be up against it from post 12 off the layoff, but we liked what we saw from her as a 2yo, and she figures to be too interesting a price to ignore. #4 Skipping has dangerous speed, and figures to improve in her turf debut, being a half to Meribel, who won 6 times on grass in her career while making over $520k. #11 Miadora is the "other"Clement, and she may also appreciate this surface switch as her dam is a sister to turf stakes winners Followmyfootsteps and Corporate Jungle.