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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for June 29

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Sunday, June 29

Race 1:  #2 Al's Gal finished a good second after a spot of trouble behind a repeat winner at Gulfstream, then came up here and finished gamely to close down a clear leader off the layoff; drops into the right spot after trying her luck going longer vs. better horses last time.  #4 Medaglia d'Argento caught a fast pace and took advantage to break her maiden on the class drop two back, then was surprisingly sent out to cut a legitimate pace last time, showing some versatility that will serve her well.  #3 Gondole makes 3yo debut off the layoff for a trainer who knows how to have them ready and is the most eligible in the field to improve.  
Selections:  2-4-3-6
Race 2:  Think Rudy may have made a nice claim (note his 98 trainer rating first off the claim) taking #6 Deadicated Deal for $25k last month, as that horse had been running well in the face of some tough scenarios since the start of the year; he was a no-show as the favorite behind a wire-to-wire winner last time, so that's a concern, but we'll expect the barn change to wake him up.  #2 Brendan G posted a long-overdue first when dropped in for $25k last time; has speed and the rail, so we'll see if he can shake free and go back to back.  #5 Ice Wagon turns back after posting new top speed figure when finishing well behind a big drop-down winner last time, and #7 Alysaro gets a drop back down in class after a solid try contesting the pace vs. tougher.  
Selections:  6-2-7-5
Race 3:  Short field but tough race with some new faces and some questionable locals.  We'll side with #5 Jonata again, as she drew well on the outside and has run the best recent figures; perfect-trip win last time.  #3 Nuffsaid Nuffsaid has held form over a long series of races, but has appeared to show some signs of wear and tear in last couple of starts; she's second back from a brief freshening for the sharpest of connections, so maybe we'll get one of her good ones, which would make her tough.  #1 Elena Strikes just isn't that good, but it's Pletcher and she's dropping out of a stakes try.
Selections:  5-3-1-2
Race 4:  #9 Spark to Ignite raced greenly throughout and spent much of the race in traffic after being pulled over behind horses early on in the running; Lasix on for second start, and he may have more ability than he got to show in his debut.  #5 Gran the Man appeared to be cranked up first time out but could only be second best to an experienced winner; tough if able to reproduce that effort second time.  #3 Tax Alex made a strong wide run from off the pace and then refused to change leads for the second consecutive race and gave way at the end when stepped up out of maiden claiming company last time; tough to take on top off his last two.  #2 Ten Large is a half to Make the Moment, a solid dirt sprinter who has put over $200k in the bank on this circuit to this point, and #6 Cuantos has a strong female family behind her, for either surface, as she starts out.  
Selections:  9-5-3-2
Race 5:  #10 First Whippoorwill has kept better company than this throughout her career, and ran a big race here off the layoff last year despite being unable to sustain her run after a four-wide trip; has to do it off the layoff again.  #4 Bargaining Table comes back to the level of her last win after trying some tougher competition last time, and has a recency edge on the new faces in the group.  #1 Poor Etiquette makes first start for Rick Violette and brings solid turf form up from Florida.  
Selections:  10-4-1-2
Race 6:  #2 Sacred Ground takes big drop in class in second start off the claim, and trainer Gary Gullo gets a strong 98 rating when dropping claimers down; will have to keep himself in range, as Pace Projector indicates that the flow will favor runners up close.  
Pace Projector for Race 6 shows expected running positions after 1/2 mile, and suggests a scenario favoring early speed. Click here to buy TimeformUS PPs and get Pace Projector
for every race.
We'll see if #6 Seeker can take advantage of the pace scenario for the second consecutive time on dirt, as he parlayed an unchallenged lead into a wire-to-wire score two starts back.  Like the top one, #4 No Brakes holds competitive form but has little early speed and may be compromised by the way the race is run early. 
Selections:  2-6-4-5
Race 7:  #1 Hear the Footsteps cuts back after trying the top NY-bred turf horses in training in the Kingston, and we have always preferred him going shorter as opposed to longer; owns some of the best speed figures in the field, and can do better than his third-place finish behind #9 Spring to the Sky last month, which was his first off the layoff.  
Spring to the Sky has a tendency to come up just short but is always around and he drops back down out of a tougher spot.  #5 The Brothers War is a use for us, as we think he reverts to closing tactics today, and this is a better distance for him.  #4 Marriedtothemusic is an unknown on turf, but he's fast and may be able to outrun the other speeds early in here (see Pace Projector).  #3 Morpheus had no chance to live up to expectations, being a half to the great Frankel, but he's been particularly disappointing since arriving stateside, and the presence of Marriedtothemusic doesn't help his chances.
Selections:  1-5-4-9
Race 8:  Excellent field assembled for the Grade 3 Victory Ride, with plenty of front-end speed.  #5 West Coast Chick didn't break that sharply, but was gunned to the lead to defeat a strong allowance field last time; has a good post and she's a talent that should not be overlooked.  We think #2 Miss Behaviour has a tough post, but may be among the best 3yo filly sprinters in the country, and she could easily be an undefeated dirt sprinter right now, if not for a terribly misjudged ride in the Sharp Cat stakes over this track and trip last year; looked good taking solid Miss Preakness field all the way with new top figure last month.  #4 Street Story has rallied from off the pace to win a pair of dirt sprints this year, and that style may play well in this field.  
Selections:  5-2-4-3
Race 9:  #2 Nanoon has plenty of turf pedigree as a half to the talented Front (5 wins and over $245k earned on turf, so far), and she found herself way too close to a solid pace in her debut; figures tighter for this, adds lasix, and will be a price.  
#9 Lil' Zilla drops down for her 3yo debut, and she showed enough in a pair of starts last year to consider in here.  #7 Transplendid also takes a class drop as she returns from a layoff, and she has competitive races to get to, though she disappointed more than once last year. 
Selections:  2-9-7-10

TimeformUS Analysis for June 28

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Saturday, June 28

Race 1:  #5 Round made a promising debut last September when racing wide against a track that was carrying inside speed all day, staying on gamely to the end; returns with lasix on.  
#2 Flat Jack turns back with blinkers on for second start off of a short break, and he ran TimeformUS Speed Figures in his last three sprint races that are competitive here.  #6 Pecorino is logical for Pletcher, but he exits a no-excuse loss at a short price out of town and may be over-bet again.
Selections:  5-2-6-3
Race 2:  #9 Tordita didn't take to grass last time, and is now cut in half, class-wise, by a trainer whose rating in this category suggests that he drops to win (91 rating with claimers down in class, as opposed to his overall rating of 66);  something similar to either of her two main track sprint efforts to date is going to make her tough in here.
#5 Home to Carrowkeel is a first-time starter for a dangerous trainer, and she is a half-sister to both Please Impress (a 14-time winner who put over $250k in the bank) and Kilnockagain (a winner of four of her eight dirt sprints and a debut winner, as well).  #3 Naughty Matilda switches back to dirt while dropping down in class, and she has the kind of early speed that could make her dangerous in the right field.  #6 Untiltherewasyou offered nothing in her debut over grass but is a half-sister to several solid dirt performers.  
Selections:  9-5-3-6
Race 3:  #1 Chelsea Road and #6 Persnickity exit a strangely run race, where a longshot went to the lead on a seemingly too-fast pace, and yet managed to take the field all the way, with the closers unable to pose any threat in the stretch.  We liked them both in that race, and are having a tough time taking the race at face value, so we will give them another chance here.  #4 Harbingerofthings makes her third start off the layoff, and she was in way over her head on synthetic last time; has sprinted effectively on turf in the past.  
Selections:  1-6-4-2
Race 4:  The Mother Goose is #2 Untapable's race to lose, as she finds none of the other top 3yo fillies lining up to challenge her, and it may not have mattered even if she did.  Her three races so far this year put her at a different level than these, and if she shows up with something approaching her best, she is unlikely to lose.  #5 Aqua Regia is as honest as a horse can be, and she has consistently run TimeformUS Speed Figures that are second-best in the field.  #1 House Rules developed rapidly at Gulfstream over the winter while grabbing a couple of graded-stakes placings; didn't fire big in the Acorn, but is still eligible to improve.  #3 Princess Violet is a talented NY-bred sprinter who has found a tough spot in which to step up and stretch out, and #6 Stopchargingmaria, the only other stakes winner in the field outside of the favorite, is not fully committed to running here, but will be a clear-cut second choice if she does.
Selections:  2-5-1-3
Race 5:  #1 Acrostic didn't kick in with a big run while making her first start back from a long layoff, but she raced on steadily in what could be viewed as a good place to start; ran quite well in her lone NY start last year; projects to be in a good trip up with the pace from her inside post, and Castellano sticks.  #5 Winner's Legacy may be the horse to beat as she makes her second start of the year and drops down for Weaver (gets a strong 98 rating with horses going from MSW to maiden claiming), but her form has dropped off precipitously, and she wasn't ever that good to begin with.  #8 Shaikha has settled for minor awards so far at around this level, and she emerged from her last race, which was her first for this barn, with no excuse after a good trip.  
Selections:  1-5-8-7
Race 6:  Not much in the way of pace signed on for this 9-furlong turf event, so we'll see if anyone can take advantage of that.  The likeliest candidate for that figures to be #1 Lady's Lunar Luck, who took the best of the draw, but there are some progressive-looking fillies in this spot.  #7 Fashion Fund earned solid marks as a 2yo overseas, and she has run quite well both outs over here, carrying ground all the way while breaking her maiden at Keeneland, and then racing wide again when finishing close-up to next-out winners Walk Close (now 3-for-3 after winning a stakes race here last weekend) and Hillhouse High.  
#11 Abbey Street didn't draw well on the outside and doesn't have much speed, but she improved with the trainer change two starts back, and then wound up completely blocked with nowhere to run last time.  Not sure what happened with #5 Lawn Party in the Wonder Again stakes, but she ran very well one start prior to that despite a tough wide trip from a far outside post.
Selections:  7-11-5-1
Race 7: We like #6 Pinball better as a dirt horse, and were surprised to see him lacking speed when switched back from turf last time; adds blinkers and lands in a spot where Pace Projector places him in a favorable trip on the pace and in the clear.  We'll give him a chance to bounce back at a price, and will also use #4 Big Business, who lost a heartbreaker to the streaking Zivo when well ahead of Pinball last time, as he also has speed to use to his advantage.  #7 Irsaal is the ML favorite, and has ability, but we fear he may be better on a wet track, and both #1 Capo Bastone and #2 Sailmate, while capable, need pace to be at their best, and may not get enough of it.
Selections:  6-4-7-2
Race 8:  #6 Green Mask received what was perhaps an overconfident ride when making his turf debut last time, but he was very impressive to win nonetheless, while posting a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure; projects to be in a good spot early behind a stretch-out sprinter, #9 Glacken Too, who is trying turf for the first time.  #7 Cabo Cat fired another good one, sweeping around horses while four-wide through the turn and then battling gamely to the finish, but settled for second-best yet again behind the top one last time; may appreciate the presence of Glacken Too more than anyone else in the field.  #4 So Lonesome was impressive upon his return to NY last month, laying down a fast pace and continuing on gamely to prove much best that day; was a stakes winner last year from off the pace.
Selections:  6-7-4-8
Race 9:  The Grade 2 New York features an enticing match-up between two runners who figure to be major players in the top races for longer-distance turf females throughout the year: #1 Tannery and #2 Riposte.  Tannery managed to win only two of her first ten starts after arriving here from her native Ireland back in 2012. But she ran much better than the bare results would indicate.  One of those losses came in this race last year, when she was unable to work out a clear run after saving ground all the way.  She acquitted herself quite well vs. males in both the Sword Dancer and the Red Smith, and she became a Grade 1 winner when taking a strong edition of the E. P. Taylor last fall.  Her first start back as a 5yo resulted in a workmanlike victory at Monmouth over a distance shorter than her best. She figures to benefit greatly from having that run and from this stretch-out in distance.  
Her main rival is Riposte, a Juddmonte Farms import who exits a clear-cut victory in last month's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.  Riposte, like Tannery, had trouble finding the winner's circle after arriving stateside, but she emerged from each of her defeats with viable excuses (caught behind exceedingly slow paces in Florida, she then endured a brutal wide trip at Keeneland) and finally broke through once given more ground with which to work.  While she likely benefited from getting stretched back out in distance last time (she was a Group 2 winner over 1 1/2 miles in England), she also was given a heads-up ride by Joel Rosario, who went straight to the lead and controlled the race from start to finish.  
There is truly little to separate these two talented runners. Their top TimeformUS Speed Figures fall closely in line, and, since they figure to be similar prices come post time, there is no real advantage to be found from a straight-up wagering perspective.  
The runner with the best chance to upset those two figures to be #3 Inimitable Romanee, who, after burning much money at the start of her career,  has turned things around with added distance, posting a trio of upsets in graded-stakes company from her last four starts.  She is facing much tougher competition today in the form of Tannery and Riposte, but she has the ability to pull any kind of trip in a race. She should not be completely dismissed. 
Selections:  1-2-3-6
Race 10:  Pace Projector indicates that this race will be run at a fast pace, which is perfect for #10 Majestic Raffy, who was sent into a premature wide run from off of a slow pace last time, only to get run down late by a perfect-trip winner; claimed by a going concern out of that strong effort, and gets a big rider change.  #12 Storm has won both of his turf starts by getting up either on or near the early lead and then finishing best of all through the stretch; won't be taking this field wire to wire from post 12, but he's talented and should have no problem making a run from somewhere off the pace, assuming he can get into position from his tough post.  #2 I Got Id wired a field with an easy lead last time, but he has run well from off the pace before, has upside, and drew a perfect post for this distance on the inner.
Selections:  10-12-2-4

Forbes’ Firsters for Friday, June 27, 2014

Susie Raisher

Forbes’ Firsters for Friday, June 27, 2014

Race 3, 2-year-old fillies, five furlongs, 4:02 p.m.

SUNDAY SONNET (dark bay/brown filly, Any Given Saturday—Red Piano, by Red Ransom) is a half-sister to Pianist, a multiple graded stakes winner.  Pianist’s success has come on turf, with victories including the Grade 3 Gallorette and the Grade 3 Athenia.

Owner: George and Lori Hall

Trainer: Kelly J. Breen

Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz

Sales history: $115,000 Keeneland September yearling


HIGH DOLLAR WOMAN (chestnut filly, Super Saver—Melissa Jo, by Fusaichi Pegasus) is the second foal from her multiple graded stakes placed dam. The first, Joedini, was a stakes-placed winner at two. High Dollar Woman worked a quarter mile in 21.00 at OBS.

Owner: Alex Lieblong, JoAnn Lieblong

Trainer: Anthony W. Dutrow

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Sales history: $675,000 OBC March Select two-year-old in training


ANGELA RENEE (bay filly, Bernardini – Pilfer, by Deputy Minister) is a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve. To Honor and Serve was a multiple graded stakes winner as a two-year-old who would go on to victories in the Cigar Mile Handicap and Woodward Stakes. Pilfer, a stakes winner, is also the dam of graded stakes placed Elnaawi.

Owner: Siena Farm LLC

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: John R. Velazquez


TimeformUS Analysis for June 27

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Friday, June 27

Race 1:  Four of #2 Heir to Dare's last five races have resulted in TimeformUS Speed Figures that are faster than any race any of her rivals has run since #4 Happy Recap's win over a speed-favoring track back on March 15th.  It is disconcerting to see that she has settled for second-best in 8 of her 18 career starts, but she is down to the lowest level of her career here and is the fastest horse.  #1A Blue Ballerina has speed and a good outside post, and she was in the best form of her career before getting outrun by a fast pace in the mud two back, and then getting out on the turn after making the lead last time.  #3 E Z Passer ran down Heir to Dare in the mud on May 22 after that one was softened up in a pace battle; hoping for a similar scenario here, and another wet track wouldn't hurt her chances.
Selections:  2-3-1-5
Race 2:  #5 Chase My Tail was stuck four-wide on a day when the rail was gold on his return to NY on March 15th, and made amends right away when dueling Bridget Moloney into defeat in her next start; Rudy makes the turf-to-dirt move work, though he is on a bad run right now, winning with just one of his last 37 starters at Belmont.  #4 Jen's Miracle is in good form, but she has little early speed, and there isn't much pace for her to attack in this race.  #7 Cajun Wedding is back quickly for the fourth straight time after blowing a perfect-trip chance when outfinished by the now 2-for-50 Blue Sixty Four last week. 
Selections:  5-4-7-3
Race 3:  Several interesting newcomers on display here, including #4 High Dollar Woman, who just brought $675k after working two furlongs in :21 flat at OBS March.  #8 Angela Renee debuts for Pletcher and is a full-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve.  #2 Sunday Sonnet is cross-entered into a race at her home base, so we may not see her here, but she's one to watch out for, as well, especially on grass down the line, as her half-sister Pianist is a multiple graded-stakes winner over that surface. 
Selections: 4-8-2-6
Race 4:  #2 Dixie Gem and #5 Chasing Paradise exit the same race, finishing behind the promising Lady Kreesa, and while the latter ran the better race that day, Dixie Gem raced wide and was getting in all through the stretch; we're hoping she can improve a bit from that experience, and she'll be a much better price once again.
#7 Keen Katana improved her form when switched to turf last time, though she worked a very good trip in that race and didn't have a strong finish; stretches out a bit here, and will have to run a bit better. 
Selections:  2-5-7-1
Race 5:  #1 Sweet Sway drops off the layoff while getting a trainer change to the hot Michelle Nevin, who gets strong rating off the layoff (94) and off the trainer change (97); has back races that make her better than these, and there is not much speed signed on here.  #6 Bird House takes a big class drop for this and is the horse to beat, though she lacks early speed and Pace Projector indicates that that could be an issue for her in this race.  #4 Bridget Moloney is back down to the right level for this, and she gets a major rider change to Castellano, who knows how to use whatever speed his mounts possess; got the wrong ride when taken back to last and then finishing gamely from behind #5 Typhoon Teri on May 14.
Selections:  1-6-4-3
Race 6:  #2 Charlie's Picnic and #4 Bright Face are the two ML favorites in this MSW for turf sprinters, and we're having a tough time finding reasonable alternatives.  Charlie's Picnic was unlucky more than once on dirt last summer, and his turf debut in the fall of last year was a solid effort.  He didn't reproduce that run down in Florida, but he's been given a break, and we think the key to him may be distance more than surface.  This will be his first start sprinting on turf, and we're hoping it suits him.  Bright Face ran well after going early to contest the pace, just failing to hold off favored Main Man Mike when last seen in Florida.  
Selections:  2-4-1-12
Race 7:  #4 Captain Toews returned from the layoff to take a step forward last month, and did so despite making a four-wide move into a moderate pace.  He was against speed-favoring tracks in both starts after making an impressive run through the stretch to break his maiden first-time out, and we think he is set for his best effort yet.  
#1 Brass Pear cuts back after proving no match for heavily favored drop-down Ghost Hunter over a mile last time; Pace Projector puts him clear on the early lead once again. #2 Sidearm has run well enough to merit consideration, though he didn't run any better than #7 Horatio as they both chased odds-on Baffert ship-in Doctor Dempsey last time.
Selections:  4-7-2-1
Race 8:  #9 J to the Croft has had a difficult time getting the right trip since being switched over to grass, which is surprising considering how much natural speed he has.  Pace Projector indicates that this race will favor the runners on or near the early lead, and we feel J to the Croft has enough speed to take advantage of a race shape like that one. We expect him to show more speed than the Pace Projector expects.
#3 Watery Moon buried a weak-looking field on synthetic in his debut, and he found trouble early and late when an unlucky loser at Delaware last time. 
Selections:  9-3-1-2
Race 9:  #8 Born in Brooklyn was rated wide behind a moderate pace in his turf debut, and then got bounced around in traffic in the stretch when dropped in class last time; his trainer is quietly having a very strong meet here and scored another win on Wednesday. #9 East Bay Lodge exits the same race as the top one, and also had some traffic trouble in the stretch.  The others are exiting either the 9th race from June 1st or the 2nd race from June 4th; the pace held together in the former, while the latter appeared to be a stronger race overall, with an impressive winner.  
Selections:  8-3-5-7-9