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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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Belmont Analysis for June 21st

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Saturday June 21st
Race 1:  #8 Spanish Armada could do no better than 3rd on debut behind a pair of Wesley Ward runners, including the impressive Sunset Glow, who goes next at Royal Ascot; Pletcher much better with maidens on turf in their second start. He will face five first-time starters, so watching the board may help, and another pair from Ward, including the speedy #2 Lamontagne.
Selections:  8-5-6-2
Race 2:  #3 Aesthetique made a nice progression last year at 2, improving her figures with each start, culminating with an impressive 5+ length win over maidens; 3yo debut appeared to be nothing but a prep, as she stayed inside and was allowed to finish on her own power after stumbling at the start.  #1 As Well also rates to improve while making her second start of the year; just needs some pace to set her up.  
Selections:  3-1-9-4
Race 3:  #7 Paddle Board has the top last speed figure in the field by a clear margin, and projects for the right trip up on the pace in a race shape that favors front-runners. #1 Alpaca Fina has run several races in the past that can compete here, and she was badly compromised by the track bias on January 12 (on a dead rail) and March 15 (away from a strong rail); forget about turf try last week.  #5 Money Game had improved her speed figures in every start through the maiden win back in March, which makes it a little disconcerting that she was switched to turf for her first start out of Pletcher's barn.
Selections:  7-1-5-2
Race 4:  #6 Lutheran Miss was against a strong rail in her debut back at Aqueduct, and had no chance with stakes repeater Isabelle after having her turf debut rained off to the main track last month; trainer get perfect 100 rating with turf sprinters.  
#5 Jennys Creek will be competitive here with her best effort, but  that's been the story of her life through 15 career starts.  #7 The Lady's Cruisen debuts for the white-hot Linda Rice and is a half to the four-time turf winner Safari Artie. 
Selections:  6-5-7-9
Race 5:  #8 Jimmy Soul was an unlucky loser of his turf debut after getting the best of a fast duel with a rival who faded to last, only to be run down late by a perfect-trip closer; doesn't figure to get hooked up again, and the trainer is going well at this meet.  
#3 Giant Slayer makes debut for Christophe Clement, who is one of the very few who wins with these horses consistently, and #5 Uptown Joe rates to have developed further from pair of solid 2yo races over this course last October.  
Selections:  8-3-5-1
Race 6: #7 Love to Run is off the layoff, which is a concern, but he was consistently running races that would be very tough on this field last year, and he has enough speed to stay close to the leaders.  Consistent and hard-hitting #4 Frazil may be the one to beat, and he projects to be on the lead early in a race that favors that running style.  #5 St Moose has been going well recently, and he turns back a bit off the claim.  
Selections:  7-4-5-8
Race 7:  #5 Sweet Acclaim is the horse to beat in the $100k Wild Applause stakes for 3yo fillies, as she is well-connected and has run the top TimeformUS Speed Figures in the field, each time for runner-up finishes vs. stakes company.  She was second-best both times, but behind talented runners, and she was game to the finish in each of those starts.  We think she is beatable in this race, and are going to attempt to beat her, but we want to use her in the Pick 4.  #3 Walk Close hasn't been the flashiest of winners in her two career starts to date, but win she has, and, to us, she has displayed some attributes that are much more important than flash:  She has been professional and she has been genuine at crunch time, both indicators of class, as well as ability.  She is 2-for-2 to start her career, and both times she was able to maintain her position going forward while in traffic, and both times she was there for jockey Irad Ortiz when she finally worked her way into the clear.  We want her on top in this race, and will key on her in our Pick 4 play. There are two imports to consider down inside for trainer Rick Mettee, and while either, or both, may turn out to be OK, we could only use them as backups.  #1 My Jolie has been going longer in France this year in group company, and will add blinkers for her stateside debut, while #2 Nisharora hasn't run in over a year and will stretch out beyond six furlongs for the first time, but has attracted a top rider and will be adding lasix.
Selections:  3-5-1-2
Race 8:  Field of 11 claiming fillies and mares set to sprint on turf, a surface over which they have combined to win just 6 races from a collective 79 starts.  To complicate things further, Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap.  
ML favorite #3 Love to Score has kept the best company, has run some of the fastest races, and is dropping in class.  But she also projects to be involved in that fast pace for a trainer who has won with just 2 of his last 45 starters dating back to last month.  We are happy to try to beat her assuming the field stays intact and she does indeed go postward at a relatively short price.  We will try to get through the sequence using #2 Happy Recap (who is by Big Brown, a relatively new sire whose foals are a remarkable 11-for-46 in turf sprints as of this writing), #6 Kilnockagain, who made her turf debut vs. a much better group last time, and ran well without a perfect trip, #7 My Bella Beauty, who was given a break by an excellent trainer after going off form, and class-dropping #11 Lumineuse.  
Selections:  7-11-2-6
Race 9:  The Grade 3 Bed O' Roses drew a competitive field of 11 fillies and mares and, lacking a standout favorite in the field, may well be determined by who gets the seven furlongs most effectively (only four of the entrants have posted a prior win over this trip, and one of those, Flattering Bea (#3, 10-1), has done it only at Charles Town, where the seven-furlong races are contested around two-turns) and, more specifically, by the pace of the race.  
Pace Projector indicates that the likeliest runners to be up front early on are #2 Five Star Momma, #4 Ultimate Shopper, and #11 Lion D N A, and indeed, they are all speed-types who do their best running up on the pace, though Lion D N A appears more versatile than the other two and benefits from her outside draw.  She actually exits a stakes win at Pimlico last month in which she was able to sit back in a perfect tracking trip as Flattering Bea got herself involved in a race-long duel.  Still, she'll want to be forwardly placed in here, as will Flattering Bea, who emerges from her two most recent tries sporting a pair of new top speed figures, both earned with a new front-running style.  It's hard to believe that her connections would be looking to revert to her closing ways of the past, considering recent results, so we'll expect her to show speed once again.  #9 Classic Point is another who could add fuel to the early fire, as she has won, or even run reasonably well, only when able to be part of the pace, and she turns back after showing the way early in that strong edition of the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps.  
With that group of horses all, perhaps, looking to be involved early, we think that there is a good chance that a strong pace develops in the Bed O' Roses, and for that reason, we are looking for off-the-pace types in this race.  The first closer to catch the eye is #10 Street Girl, who just finished second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff behind the talented Midnight Lucky.  Street Girl also ran quite well to be a close 4th in the Grade 1 Ballerina last summer, and did so as a 3yo against older fillies & mares.  She doesn't sprint very often, but she has run some of the best races in the field over this distance and is difficult to leave out.  We can't say we love her, especially if she winds up favored, as the ML suggests she might be, but we'll leave her in our mix.
The horse we are most interested in having our money on in this race is #1 Table Three Ten.  Table Three Ten figures to be one of the biggest prices in the field, and, while we can understand why when looking at her running lines, we think she may have more to offer than the bare form indicates.  Clearly, as a 5yo mare with only eight career starts to this point, she has had some problems.  But she began her career as a highly promising prospect, posted back-to-back impressive wins sprinting, and was purchased privately by Team Valor International after her blowout debut win (note that she put up a 104 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that effort, as a 2yo).  Since those two wins, Table Three Ten has sprinted on dirt only three times.  She won in the Parx mud in her return from a long layoff last September, and then ran much better than it may appear when trying to rally over a speed-favoring track down at Gulfstream in the Hollywood Beach Stakes. Take the short comment in the chart for that race, "passed tired ones," with a grain of salt, as she did much more running than that through the stretch, and just missed getting up for 3rd while against the track in there.  In her last start, she tried to come wide after a front-running winner back at Parx and could only be second best.  The rail draw shouldn't be a huge obstacle for her to overcome, as we think she will be letting the speed go in front of her anyway, and if she can catch some pace to run into over a fair track, we think she may be good enough to get a big piece of this race, and to perhaps spring the upset. 
We are also interested in using a little of #7 Calistoga in this race, as she is another who has flashed potential. She has some legitimate excuses for not having accomplished more to this point.  She will need to break through with a top effort in order to contend in here, but she is versatile enough to pull the right trip and is a square number on the morning line, as well.
Selections:  1-7-10-8
Race 10:  Tough race to close out the sequence, as nine evenly matched NY-breds will line up to travel 1 1/16 miles. Our Pace Projector for this race indicates that the running will favor horses on or near the early lead, and that is expected to play to the advantage of #6 Ultimate Empire.  That view of the race makes sense to us, so we will use that horse, despite our not being big fans of his.  The other horses for us are #1 The Brothers Rap, #5 Quiet Power, and #8 Sir Leslie.  We have been doing some chasing of #9 Effinex, so will use him as a backup while recognizing that he may be up against the pace dynamics.
Selections:  1-9-5-8

TimeformUS Analysis for June 20

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Friday, June 20
Race 1:  #2 Successful Runner has kept the best company and run the fastest races on our figures, but he's also had the most chances and is no cinch to handle the nine furlongs of today's race.  #4 Lunar Rover was bumped hard at the start of GP debut, then shipped to Woodbine to try synthetic;  dam was a six-time winner routing on dirt and was Grade 3-placed in the Ladies Handicap over 1 1/4 miles a few years ago.  #1 Bay of Biscay is logical for Pletcher after chasing a strong front-running winner at Monmouth last time, and that horse returned to run second in a Grade 3 stakes last weekend.   #6 Kato switches back to his best surface, and he's shown enough with limited chances to be given a look, though we wouldn't want the ML price on him.
Selections:  4-1-6-2
Race 2:  #1 Learn returns for third well-spaced start stateside, while getting the kind of class relief that should benefit him; projects for a nice trip within range of the speed.  
#2 Unbridled Logic's late rally fell just short last time; now third back from short rest, and his turf form is solid.  #6 Mr. Masterpiece is a price worth including somewhere, as he's been much improved this year, and caught traffic trouble when turned back last time.
Selections:  1-2-6-7
Race 3:  #2 Chocolate Wildcat impressed when taking the race to an odds-on favorite from trainer Wesley Ward's barn and running away to convincing score on debut.  Faces another from that barn here in #3 Bessie's Boy, who dueled three-wide and prevailed over Governmentshutdown, who won his next two starts, including a stakes.  
#5 Shrewd Move ran away and hid from three other Prairie Meadows maidens; this figures tougher.
Selections:  2-3-5
Race 4:  #4 Galroyale landed in super-tough dirt sprint first out behind stakes-bound Thirteen Arrows, now switches to grass with pedigree to improve (Pedigree Rating of 85 for turf routes; dam was a multiple stakes winner over turf and made over $300k); picks up Rosario for trainer who drops to win (perfect 100 trainer rating MSW-to-maiden claiming).  #6 Quarla showed late interest in both GP turf starts, and she got a confusing ride last time, as she could have had the jump on the last-to-first winner but instead wound up chasing her, and gaining on her, late.  #5 Dreaming of Kitten was involved in fast pace that collapsed in lone turf start, then rallied and just missed over synthetic last time; taken by trainer who has had success off the claim (78 rating, as compared to rating of 60 overall).  It's been close but no cigar for #10 Treasured on turf to this point; maybe the class relief will do it.  
Selections:  4-6-5-10
Race 5:  #9 Ronnie's Whey has run deceptively well more than once in the past, and he returns here with an interesting trainer change and a big rider change; figures a good enough price to take a chance with.  #1 Awesome Lute showed some speed then dropped back quickly after having to steady on the far turn, and was racing on through the stretch first-time out; claimed by Jacobson, and figures to run better for the debut experience anyway.  #6 Hidden Warrior was involved in fast pace when last seen over eight months ago; returns on the drop for trainer going well right now (Rice has won with 8 of her last 17 starters here, dating back to Belmont Stakes day).   
Selections:  9-1-6-10
Race 6:  #2 Aunty Pearl was unfazed by most recent race being switched to sloppy main track, and contested the pace all the way before dispatching her rival and going on to a clear-cut win; don't think the going moved her up, as she's run her race on turf before; just think she wants to sprint.  #5 Hidden Music starts back for streaking Rice barn, and she earned a competitive figure for her maiden win at the end of last year.  There was little separating #6 Radiant Cut, #7 Malibu Queen and #9 Casey Roo when they ran this condition on May 30th, and they all have a chance right back.  
Selections:  2-5-6-9
Race 7: #2 Jonrah has badly dirtied up form since run of good races last summer, and Pace Projector indicates that he should finally catch some fast fractions to set up his run; faces some tough-looking fellow drop-downs in here, but will be a very square price.  
Rock-solid 8yo #11 Monument Hill drops back down to a level where he is competitive, as evidenced by his win two back at Gulfstream, and is very tough on these horses with his best.  #1A Treasury Devil has been competing over longer distances, but he's held good form and is dropping out of much tougher spots off the claim.  
Selections:  2-11-1A-8
Race 8:  #4 Previous ran very well to post new top figure last time despite making wide run, and she figures to still have much upside after only four lifetime starts.  We remain confused by #5 Mei Ling, who can look very good at times (see race two back), and can seem an entirely different horse at others (see last start); still, she is a big player in here with her best race.  #7 Dowager projects for clear sailing on the early lead, but we've never felt that she was that good, and the top two should both be able to keep her in range early.  
Selections:  4-5-7-6
Race 9:  #5 Sunbio has disappointed at short prices in the past, but he's better going shorter, so the turn-back works for him here, and we don't want the horses exiting the 4th race on May 29th, a group that includes ML favorite #10 Shinnecock Bay.  #6 Boston Strong is a first-time starter with a strong pedigree, being a half to graded stakes winning turfer Infinite Magic.  #12 Spa City Treasure got a late start to his career, but he ran ok in Florida and tries NY-bred company for the first time here. 

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.  
#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.  
#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.  
#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