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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for June 8

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Belmont Analysis for Sunday, June 8
Race 1:  Open-looking MSW race to start off the card, and we'll try second-time starter #5 Summit Moon, who was out in a wide trip throughout his debut against a much-the-best winner.  #2 The Big Beast was a beaten favorite last time after taking a wide trip of his own, but he has run well in each of his first two starts for a very good trainer, and is a logical contender.  Another second-timer, #3 T Sizzle, made a solid debut out of town and finished gamely.
Selections:  5-2-3-6
Race 2:  Top four finishers for the 6th race here on May 16th are back for more, and are joined by a Linda Rice drop-down in #4 Justoneatheguys, who has speed.  We liked #6 Bargaining Table in that May 16th race and see no reason not to take her right back. #9 Starship Pleasant is a contender, but she exits back-to-back no-excuse losses and we cannot take her on top.
Selections:  6-4-9-8
Race 3:  #6 Indy's Million ran an okay race over this distance vs. a much tougher group; this is a better spot.  #3 Belle de Nuit is a Galileo filly stretching out for her second start after putting in a mild run going shorter at Tampa.  She may improve for the experience, and her more experienced rivals have been far from impressive to this point. #7 Antrim Colleen is first back from the layoff, and she has run the best races of anyone to date, but this is a tough trip right off the bench.
Selections:  6-3-7-4
Race 4:  #5 Starship Captain has been holding solid form, and he ran well last time behind drop-down winner Schoolyard Dreams; plenty of speed-types signed on here to give him his best chance.  
Two of our favorites, #8 Straight Fax and #2 Buckeye Heart, are plenty good enough to win this, and both of them will also benefit from any hitting that goes on up front.
Selections:  5-8-2-4
Race 5:  #7 Citizen Wells returns to dirt for the first time since last February, while also getting a big drop in class;  lone previous start for a tag resulted in a convincing score in one-turn route to break his maiden.  #2 Park City has disappointed twice since dropped in class for Pletcher, but he was wide against a gold rail two back, and was wide again when wired by Beeliner last time.  #5 Mystic Strike has been a bust for Jacobson, but he did have some trouble in 3rd place finish two starts back; back quickly while stretching back out in distance.
Selections:  7-2-5-8
Race 6:  We liked #7 Patent last time, and thought that was a weirdly run race that he didn't have a fair chance in; he ran better than it looks in both Gulfstream starts, and was a very strong winner when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct; gets another chance from us.  #4 Picozza feels like the horse to beat for Pletcher as he drops out of graded stakes company; we're not way against him, but he still has much to prove.  #6 Tourist has made only one career start on turf, but he defeated Picozza fair and square that day; hasn't been seen since that race. Mott rated highly with last-out maiden winners (93).
Selections:  7-4-6-9
Race 7:  Very strong first-level allowance brings together a trio of talented fillies.  #2 West Coast Chick had a world of trouble in her Saratoga debut, then showed up next at Gulfstream to defeat the promising Thirteen Arrows, who won here the other day as though graded stakes are in her future.  #5 Suzy Malibu ships in from California off  a visually impressive debut at Santa Anita, and she had some trouble in there.  #3 Smashing is another one full of potential for Jimmy Jerkens, and would be no surprise.
Selections:  2-5-3-4
Race 8:   We're happy to see #11 Byrama turning back to sprint on turf, which we think is her best game by far.  She ran well in the Beauguay, albeit with a good trip, and we're banking on her improving with the cut-back.  
We liked the race that #4 Vicki's Dancer ran last time when returned to turf, and she is worth including here at a price.  #10 Free as a Bird wasn't so impressive in winning last time as a heavy favorite, but she's a solid turf sprinter and will factor here.  #7 Zia Zia Zia is the speed for Pletcher as she returns to grass; dangerous.
Selections:  11-4-10-7
Race 9:   #8 Mike and Bill took some money for his January debut, and was unlucky to be stuck three-wide throughout on a day when the rail was gold. #2 Curious Cal improved with first lasix in his second start, but ran into an impressive winner. #10 Mighty Zealous is logical turning back out of a sloppy track mile, but has now had three starts and appears vulnerable to his more lightly raced rivals, or to any live first-time starter.
Selections:  8-2-10-5

TimeformUS Analysis for June 7

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Belmont Analysis for Saturday, June 7 - Belmont Day!

Race 1:  Pace Projector favors runners on or near the early lead in this race, which figures to make #9 Jimmy Connors tough, though we're still concerned about him getting the distance of this race.  We will try to beat him with #3 Spartiatis, who had no business going 1 1/4 miles on turf last time.  We like him better as a dirt sprinter, but he's a price in here, and he'll be up close.  
#8 Wabbajack was on our radar last year, and he will be a new gelding for this race.
Selections:  3-8-2-9
Race 2:  We'll go for a price in this race with #3 Effinex, who looks very good on our data, posting three recent speed figures of 97, 100, 97, which puts him right in line with the favorites in this race. #5 Misconnect has run well in all three starts for Pletcher, and will now stretch out in distance a bit off of back-to-back well spaced wins.  He is more determined than brilliant as a race horse, but there is nothing wrong with that, and we think he is very dangerous in here. The ML favorite is #4 Kid Cruz, a deep-closing colt who tried his luck in the Preakness Stakes last out to no avail.  Pace Projector indicates that there could be a competitive pace in this race, but we don't like to take one-run closers unless they figure to get a prime pace set-up, which is possible here, or if they are simply the best horse in the race, which Kid Cruz is not.  
Selections:   3-7-5-1
Race 3: #2 Ground Transport took the Drosselmeyer field wire to wire after cruising to the early lead, and while he held on by a diminishing margin, we thought he was clearly best in that race, and want him right back in the Brooklyn.  The conventional thinking may be that he led and was almost run down going shorter, so is much more vulnerable as he picks up an extra two furlongs today.  But we think he is in a prime position to control the early running again, and are going right back to him. The horse he staved off in the stretch in the Drosselmeyer, #5 Ever Rider, is back to try him again, and he may be the main danger. Ever Rider sat a perfect tracking trip after conceding the lead to Ground Transport that day, and took his shot all through the stretch, only to be denied late.
Selections:   2-5-4-8
Race 4: #8 Ben's Cat is the horse to beat in the Jaipur, but we aren't really interested in taking a short price on him and will look elsewhere for a wagering opportunity.  #5 Anyriderill Do was initially on our radar as a 2yo back in 2012, when he appeared to get intimidated in traffic during his debut run before kicking in with a big finish despite never getting fully clear.  He made his next start seven months later and ran over maidens in what would be his final turf sprint start for over a year. Then, after a series of turf routes and a layoff, Anyriderill Do, finally back in a turf sprint, got himself over toward the inside off the pace before leveling off with a strong late run through the furlong grounds.  He's a big price in this race. We are happy to take a shot with him.
Selections:   5-6-8-1
Race 5: As strong as this field is, there is a chance that #11 Social Inclusion is simply too good for these horses, as he has earned a TimeformUS Speed Figure for every one of his four career starts to date (110, 115, 118, 113) that is higher than any figure ever run by any of his opponents, save Havana's 112, which he earned in winning last year's Champagne Stakes.  A fast horse, turning back in distance, with standout figures.  What's not to like about Social Inclusion?  We find it impossible to stand very strongly against him, but we do want to make a case for one horse in here against the favorite, and that horse is indeed #3 Havana. He missed a couple of scheduled starts earlier this year, and had a training setback as well, so we aren't that surprised that he was flat in his seasonal debut. In retrospect, it likely wasn't a good sign that he ran that day as part of a coupled entry, as he simply was not sharp at any point in that race.  If he was just getting a run in there to shake off some of the rust after a long and difficult winter, he is eligible to really step up his game on Saturday.
Selections:   3-11-6-5
Race 6: Trainer Todd Pletcher holds a strong hand throughout the card on Belmont Stakes day, but he may not be stronger anywhere than he is in the Grade 1 Acorn.  His #8 My Miss Sophia has been highly impressive through her three race series since being stretched out in distance, posting a pair of 110 TimeformUS Speed Figures, which gives her a sizable advantage on her competition in this spot.  #5 Sweet Reason could not have been more impressive than she was in winning her first two career starts, one of which was the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga.  Both of those races were contested over sloppy sealed tracks, which made them a little difficult to evaluate.  When she stepped up to a one-turn mile for her next start, she encountered fast dirt, and also tasted defeat, for the first time, but she had enough trouble in that race, both at the break and after making a run to contention, that we believe her to be able to run her race without being aided by a wet track.  The real key to Sweet Reason seems to be distance.  She is not a horse that can carry her run, so getting a turn-back to a shorter race figures to really suit her.
Selections:   5-8-7-2
Race 7: First, #5 Beholder, who was so dominant in that Breeders' Cup win:  She has been masterfully developed by Richard Mandella, who has managed to turn this fast horse, who was once a fire-breathing handful, into a handy and tractable powerhouse who will rate and then run at her rider's command.  She got a short layoff following her BC win, and appeared to be even more formidable, if that's possible, upon her return in an easy spot. Bottom line, Beholder is not going to be easy to defeat in this race. #6 Princess of Sylmar put together the unlikeliest of three-year-old campaigns after wintering in NY on Aqueduct's inner dirt.  She endured a tough trip in losing to Close Hatches in the Grade 2 Gazelle, but following that run she surprised Beholder and nine other talented fillies to win the Kentucky Oaks at odds of 38/1.  After that, all she did was win the Coaching Club American Oaks (Gr1), the Alabama (Gr1) and the Beldame (Gr1) over older horses, including reigning champion Royal Delta.  The Beldame was supposed to be her season finale, but she was re-routed to the Breeders' Cup at the last minute, and things did not work out there.  She has also made her 4yo debut already, and it was an impressive one, running away from a promising rival in Wedding Toast, who was a Grade 3 winner last year.
Selections:   5-6-1
Race 8: The Just A Game is first up in this all Grade 1 Pick 4, which features 44 betting interests and interesting horses galore. We're going to make #6 Stephanie's Kitten our focus in this leg.  We'll admit to being less than thrilled that she races so infrequently, but so far she has shown up for the big ones more often than not, and she simply didn't have a fair chance when unable to get clear from her inside trip in the Jenny Wiley, which was her first start of the year. #9 Discreet Marq is dead game and a couple of photos away from showing up here looking for three straight Grade 1 wins.  We will use her as a backup, but would rather try to get #5 Coffee Clique into our play, as she has flashed talent, and remains relatively unexposed after only two starts as a 4yo.  
Selections:  6-5-9-4
Race 9:  Met Mile projects to be a war from start to finish.  #1 Palace Malice may be the best horse in the country right now, but he drew poorly for this.  Will he knock us out of the Pick 4?  No.  But we are going to be trying to beat him.  #9 Normandy Invasion has the talent but is always over-bet.  Thing is, he can really run and is better as a one-turn horse, which makes him a big player in this race. Meanwhile, there is another runner in here whom we are going to focus on, and that is #13 Shakin It Up.  Yes, Shakin It Up took advantage of a clean run into a pace meltdown when taking the Grade 1 Malibu as a 3yo, and yes, he got a perfect trip when he buried the field in his big-figure Strub win, but he has also run very well in each of his two races since then--despite difficult trips.  
We will have all of the #1, #9 and #13 as main Pick 4 uses, but want to include some pricier options as well: #2 Vyjack, #10 Clearly Now, and #12 Romansh make the ticket, as well.  
Selections:  13-9-1-2
Race 10:  The Manhattan brings together an interesting group, as usual. #6 Seek Again figures to attract much attention in this spot.  That was a strong effort after a layoff, and his win over this trip in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby was equally impressive.  We don't necessarily believe that he deserves strong favoritism in this spot, but the ML price seems right, and we cannot get around him being a major player in this race.  The top 3 from the Man o' War are here, and that is a race we admit to having struggled with. #8 Real Solution was compromised by the flow, and still managed to make a strong run to contention before being turned away.  We want to make Seek Again and Real Solution our keys to this race, and will make #4 Grandeur, who will be first-time lasix today, our other horse.  
Selections:  6-8-4-1
Race 11:  No better way to cap this great sequence of races than with a Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes. Obviously #2 California Chrome is the horse to beat here.  He will not be an easy foe to vanquish, as he has that handy speed to pull his own trip, which he combines with a sharp burst of speed, which has proven devastating to his opponents through the first two legs of this series.  
However, we have decided that there are two-and-a-half horses in this Belmont Stakes who have the best chance to stop him in his tracks. The first of those is #9 Wicked Strong, who owns a TimeformUS Speed Figure equal to the 116 that California Chrome earned in his Preakness victory.  Wicked Strong earned that 116 back in early April, when kicking in strongly through the stretch to close down the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He then endured plenty of trouble during his 4th-place Derby finish.  He has displayed a strong finishing kick in his races, and starts for a trainer who has been sending out nothing but live runners since returning his string from Florida.  
We also believe that #11 Tonalist is a threat here. He is perhaps just a bit too far behind at this point, but there is no denying that he has the requisite ability. #1 Medal Count has improved from start-to-start throughout his career, and also had traffic trouble in Kentucky. We'll get him on a few tickets.
Selections:  9-11-2-1
Race 12:  #7 Ghurair is going to run better in this race than he did in the Fort Marcy off of the long layoff and is very much the horse to beat.  We're not against him, but do wonder how far he really wants to go, and want to give #2 Artic North a chance to rebound.  He shipped to NY at the end of last year and ran a lot better than it looks vs. graded stakes company, after getting a less-than-ideal trip.
Selections:  2-7-1-12
Race 13:  We are huge fans of #5 In Trouble and think he will take a ton of beating here as he turns back out of graded stakes company.  If #2 Eastwood opts for this spot rather than Friday's True North, we think he could prove a serious foe. #12 Quick Money has been in strong form, will appreciate any pace that develops, and was just claimed by a going concern.  
Selections:  2-5-12-8



TimeformUS Analysis for June 6

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Belmont Analysis for Friday, June 6
Race 1:  Seven 2yos set to sprint five furlongs on grass, and the only one with experience is #3 Sunset Glow.  She is one of two fillies entered, and she ran well, on synth, in her debut despite hesitating at the start and settling for 2nd best to her stablemate.  She has a Pedigree Rating of 84 for turf sprints.  
#4 Crown the Kitten is another of the army of Kitten's Joy's offspring on the track, and they can seemingly all run. #2 Spanish Armada debuts for Pletcher, whose numbers with firsters sprinting on the turf are less than inspiring.
Selections:  3-4-2-5
Race 2:  #6 Tempered Threat has done little wrong to this point, and it felt as if he was a little unlucky last time considering that he was allowed to drop so far back after failing to break sharply.  He'll have to deal with #4 Ten Items Or Less again, and likely earlier this time, but we think Tempered Threat is in position to get the better of the matchup this time. 
Selections:  6-4-7-8
Race 3:  Whichever half of the Midwest Thoroughbreds entry starts here will be a factor, as #1 Whatabouthonor will be getting class relief, and #1A Brendan G, who will be first off the claim, has run some of the faster races on our figures and will be getting a major rider change.  Either way, we like #3 In the Dark in this spot as he switches back from turf to drop down to the lowest level of his career on dirt, and he has not had very many fair chances to this point.
Selections:  3-1-1A-5
Race 4:  #1 Queen Nine has never performed well over a wet track, so her last race was likely over even before she stumbled at the start.  She's run some very good races, and has also endured some tough trips, while mostly facing tougher than this; drops down with the best speed in this matchup, and may prove tough to catch.  
#9 Quiet Sunshine has (surprisingly) taken three in a row for Jacobson and is the main threat in current form.  
Selections:  1-9-4-5
Race 5:  #1 Lady Kreesa is a half to Grade 3 turfer King Kreesa, who has made over $650k on grass, and she figures to have benefited greatly from her debut, where she raced greenly in spots before closing late ground & galloping out well ahead of the field.  #2 Tenacious Indeed found a tough spot for her debut sprinting on dirt, and figures to improve on turf, as her dam was a four-time winner on grass while earning over $150k.  #7 Celtic Sunrise is a firster for Clement, who wins with plenty of these, though he is just 1 for his last 11 with first-time starters in turf routes at Belmont.
Selections:  1-2-7-4
Race 6:  #1A Saythreehailmary's is also entered into a race on Wednesday's card, so we'll see what happens, but she's impressed in both career starts so far, and we like her in whichever race she shows up in.  #2 Pearls for Girls caught a tough rival in her return from a long layoff, and then picked things up significantly with lasix on last time.  #1 Let Me Be Nuts is the entry mate of Saythreehailmary's, and is also cross-entered Wednesday, so one of them will likely run here, and they both have a shot.  
Selections:  1A-2-1-7
Race 7:  #12 Wine Burglar is back down in class for this with a trainer change to Bruce Brown, and she faced what has turned out to be a strong field of $40k maiden claimers down in Florida in February.  
#11 Untiltherewasyou starts for a trainer who has a strong record with first-time starters on grass and is a half to a stakes winner on turf.  #2 The Right Bird drops down while switching over to grass; half to three-time turf winner Karlovy Vary may appreciate the change.  #4 Quarla drops down while away from Gulfstream for the first time, and she's been running late in each of her first two starts.
Selections:  12-11-4-2
Race 8:  Wide-open turf sprint open to several different horses, so, as always, let price be your guide.  We didn't care for the trip or ride that #7 Bluegrass Springs got last time, and are willing to give him another chance here; won both six-furlong starts over Belmont turf last year.  #11 Partly Mocha is a rock-solid turf sprinter with an adaptable running style, though he needed a few starts last year to hit top gear.  #10 Escapist may turn out to be the best of these after his promising, and fast, debut, which came over three months ago. #3 Profluent is interesting switching to grass with pedigree after showing ability on dirt, but this is not an easy spot.
Selections:  7-10-11-3
Race 9: The True North projects to be run at a hectic early clip, with plenty of speed signed on.  
We think #8 Bakken has the potential to turn out to be a major player in some bigger races going forward, but he'll need to be ready to track down a break-neck pace right off the bench.  He starts for a top layoff trainer, and his effort in a fast-paced Malibu, which came in just his third career start, cannot be overstated.  Our other horse is the rejuvenated #6 Salutos Amigos, who has benefited from the trainer change earlier this year, and has a newfound rating ability that will serve him well here.  #3 Dads Caps is the lone Grade 1 winner in the field, and is talented, but he got away soft on the lead in that Carter, and is unlikely to get that lucky again.
Selections:  8-6-1-7
Race 10:  Traditional handicapping methods unlikely to bear out in interesting running of the Belmont Gold Cup, as it will likely all come down to who can best get the 2-mile distance.   We have been big fans of #8 Draw Two, and were hugely impressed with his most recent win over 1 1/2 miles, so will land there for now, though he does seem to be a horse who gets bet, and we wouldn't want a short price (on him or anybody else).  If he takes too much money here, we could try Graham Motion's other horse, #9 Eagle Poise, who seems to prefer synthetic to turf but is something of a distance specialist, which mitigates the surface preference somewhat.  #10 Comes the Dream figures to be a price, and has been at his best over longer routes; good effort despite being gunned down through fast final fraction here last month.  #12 Mambo Man just saw out 1 7/8 miles, and has really picked up his game since stretched out; might be an interesting price here shipping in form Turf Paradise.
Selections:  8-9-10-12-2

TimeformUS Analysis for Thursday June 5

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Belmont Analysis for Thursday, June 5

Race 1:  #7 Lemon and Honey has run TimeformUS Speed Figures in each of her three dirt races that are going to make her tough to beat in this field, and we find it encouraging that she has shown much more speed on this surface than she has on either turf or synthetic.  #2 Please No Emails gets a positive rider and trainer change for this, and is a logical alternative.

Selections:  7-2-3-4
Race 2:  Four of the ten in the main body are dropping down for the first time on grass here, and we'll take #5 Samuels Blond Lady on top, as she may be the best price of that group; faced a couple of tough fields here last May, and has had a prep run off the layoff.  #3 Bi Light of Day is logical and needs the class relief that she'll see here.  #6 Nanoon makes her debut for a trainer without much history with first-time starters, but she's a half to the talented turf runner Front (5 wins on grass with over $245k in earnings, so far).  #9 Rockaway switches to turf for her second start after getting tired sprinting on dirt, and there is some turf pedigree there.
Selections:  5-3-6-9
Race 3:  Field of seven with plenty of speed on paper, and nary a confirmed closer in sight.  We'll take #6 Dan's Gold, who is the only one stepping up in class, but he's run races plenty fast enough to win, and he has proven capable of tracking a pace in the past.  #2 B Shanny exits the best last race, which was his first off the claim for these connections, but that race was almost three months ago, and he was entered for $20k last weekend before being scratched.
Selections:  6-2-1-3
Race 4:  #4 Cajun Wedding is down a notch after giving 1/5 favorite Mare and Cher all she could handle here last month; looks like a good spot.  With a fast pace projected for this race, we'll also use the closer with the top late pace rating in the field, and that is #6 Gallant Lady; she's a little slow, but may be able to overcome that with the right set-up.  #3 Benny's Bullet is back to dirt for the first time since her debut as a 2yo, and is dropped to the lowest level of her career, but she's a speed and may be compromised by the dynamics.
Selections:  4-6-8-3
Race 5:  Big class drop for #8 Lady Candidate, whose only starts on dirt since her maiden win have come vs. graded stakes-caliber runners Summer Applause and Don't Tell Sophia, but she has been away for almost a year, and Asmussen doesn't do his best work off of layoffs (71 layoff rating, vs. 93 overall rating).  
We'll instead try #7 Saichi Sweepin, who has the speed off the claim and picks up Castellano, who knows how to use it.  #4 Bird House is also getting some class relief, which figures to help her cause.
Selections:  7-4-8-3
Race 6:  #7 Fidelius switches to turf for a trainer sporting a strong rating with second-time starters, and he has the pedigree to appreciate the change (dam is full sister to Shopping for Love, who won 4 turf races and was Grade 3-placed multiple times, while earning over $430k on that surface).  #1 Dowse's Beach makes 3yo debut for Clement and he ran well enough in some good races last year, but #6 Shimba is a dangerous firster for that trainer, whose work with first-time starters on turf over the past year or so has been nothing short of remarkable.  
Selections:  7-6-1-11
Race 7:  #1 Doctor Dempsey ships in to face fellow NY-breds for the first time after posting a fast debut win in Southern California for Baffert, and we have no interest in trying to beat him.  #5 One More Chief will run better making second start back from the layoff after contesting a hot pace last month, but this is a tough spot.
Selections:  1-5-4-3
Race 8:  #3 Equilateral made a highly promising debut for a trainer who doesn't win with very many first-time starters, and has found the right kind of field in which to take the next step; distance is supposed to be no issue.  #4 Aqua Regia is holding good form and has tactical speed, so she's our other horse, but we're scared of #5 Sabbatical, who improved on Keeneland's synthetic surface, but will also be first-time lasix on dirt here.
Selections:  3-4-5-2
Race 9:  #5 Kevin's Steel was part of a hot pace that collapsed vs. MSW company last time, so deserves another chance as she continues to race her way back from a long layoff, and her speed may play better in this field.  
#10 Funky Munky Fever also drops out of that race on May 16th, and she was caught in stretch traffic while trying to rally and never did get clear.  
Selections:  5-10-6-4