Wednesday, June 11, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Analysis For Belmont's Thursday June 12th Racing
Race 1: #5 South Sound figures to go heavily favored in the opener, as her speed figures on dirt in California give her a decided edge on her competition; makes first start for the sharp Jason Servis, who gets strong ratings off the claim (100) and switching from turf to dirt (99), and Pace Projector puts her in favorable position on the early lead.
#1 Lady Luciano drops with a positive trainer change to Rudy Rodriguez, and #7 Da Wildcat Girl ran well off the layoff vs. better horses last time, but the favorite is tough to stand strongly against.
Race 2: Have to give #5 Zafiro Azul one more chance on grass, as she finished with interest after getting outrun in her debut last year, and then was caught up in a lot of traffic when returned to turf last time; seems a good spot if she just needs a clean trip. #2 Aviendra is first back from the layoff and is in for a tag for the first time on grass after facing much tougher than this last year; new trainer enlists Rosario. #6 Kevin's Steel isn't impossible at a price after contesting the pace in a race that went to closers last time; drops and projects to have an easier time of it early in here. #7 Nanoon starts for a trainer who doesn't have a history with first-time starters, but she has some pedigree as a half to Front, who has won five times on grass and banked over $245k on that surface, so far.
#4 Sidearm is a closer with the top late pace rating in the field by a clear margin; he has had some trouble finding the winner's circle since his debut last summer, and Pace Projector indicates that he may be up against it once again, but we figure that there is a good enough chance that #1 Shot to Win shows speed from the rail, and he has enough of it to keep ML favorite #6 Station Chief occupied up there. If they get hooked up early, it figures to help Sidearm most, and he ran well last week when chasing odds-on Baffert ship-in Doctor Dempsey.
Race 4: #4 Wing Foot endured a disastrous trip in Keeneland debut in April and never had a chance to run. Well-connected colt has a big pedigree, being a brother to three stakes winners in Great Britain, including Group 1 winner Lucarno, who banked over $1 million. There was little separating #3 Hines, #6 Sheldon and #10 Boss Man at the finish when they ran this race over good turf here last month, and they all figure to be contenders once again.
Race 5: One final chance for #2 Loomin' Lori Lou, who gave futile chase to the talented Isabelle when going down to defeat for the fourth straight time at odds of 5/2 or less; drops down for the first time, and, in her defense, she has faced some fast NY-bred fillies to this point. #6 Sheethots also drops down, and she'll go turf-to-dirt, as well; finished just a head behind the top one when they met back in March. #5 Kicken Livi gave way badly in her Saratoga debut after taking some money and returns for the first time since then with some class relief; trainer off to good start here.
Race 6: One-mile distance may be the equalizer, as both #6 Apex and #7 Real Estate Rich come here in strong form but are questionable on the stretch-out to this distance. We'll use them, but will take returnee #5 Sinorice on top, as he will have no issue with the trip, and his best race will make him extremely tough.
Win or lose, we have zero interest in betting any money on either of the two ML favorites, #7 Easy Living or #2 The Lady Says Yes, in this spot, which opens things up a bit. #8 G Note has run very well in pair of recent turf starts despite failing to get the best of it trip-wise either time; could argue that she would have beaten a stronger field than this one last time but for being forced to move too early to contest the pace.
#3 Chrysolite got a favorable pace setup and took advantage when overpowering maidens last time, but she has some ability and is on the way up. #6 Milkyyourway has also run well in her two most recent starts and deserves consideration, though she took advantage of a softened-up G Note when second-best last time.
Race 8: Not easy to separate the contenders in this solid feature, but #2 Bemata got the turn-back that he needed last time (he is now 5-for-9 sprinting on dirt in his career, and 0-for-10 doing anything else), and had an easy time closing that field down once clear of traffic in the stretch; taking him right back. #3 Ithastobegeorge is also at his best sprinting, so the turn-back here works, and his two most recent sprint efforts were both good ones. Tough call on #1A Johannesburg Smile, who just hasn't been sharp since claimed for $100k out of his last win, which came over a year and a half ago, but he was up against it last time vs. a good field in a race that featured an uncompetitive pace; being coupled with #1 Start Jumping won't help his price, and we'd want a good one in order to give him a second look.
Race 9: #3 Four Directions is an unknown on grass, but he's quite a bit better than he looks on dirt after catching a couple of tough trips recently and will likely be enough of a price to be hard to resist; obviously like him more if we're off the grass. #6 Dowse's Beach is very much the horse to beat, making 3yo debut after acquitting himself well as a juvenile; should be favored in this spot. #1A Shimba is a firster from Clement, who has been remarkable with runners debuting in turf routes recently, though he's been human at Belmont, where he is 1 for his last 11. #7 Vischer Ferry landed in some tough spots facing open company at Gulfstream, and switches to turf with some pedigree for the switch.