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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Saturday May 31

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Race 1:  #9 Jeter goes first off the claim for Jacobson, and he's run well with some excuses recently; can get to a race that would be very competitive here.  #1A B Shanny figures tough in this spot with his typical effort, but there are some questions as he drops way down in price after making only one start for these connections (and it was a good one) off the claim.  #10 Dr Disco switches back to dirt after a non-effort on grass, and he's proven handy enough to take up a tracking position from his outside post.  
Selections:  9-1A-10-1
Race 2:  Kingston likely coming down to trips, with any one of six of the eight entered for grass capable of winning.  #8 Notacatbutallama will have to improve to take down his more experienced rivals here, but remains eligible to do so as a new 4yo, so we'll land there for now.  #3 Hear the Footsteps has only won sprinting, but has run his race going longer, is always competitive, and is likely to be a playable price.
Selections:  8-4-3-1-7
Race 3:  #2 Flipcup gets a turn-back after putting in a good run in open company allowance at Churchill off the layoff, and that may really work for her based on her first two career starts, which both resulted in impressive victories; lone prior start vs. NY-breds was a convincing win in the East View.  
#5 Henry's Gal has good early speed and could easily be undefeated heading into this spot for top connections; never been seven furlongs, but got 6.5 in each of last two wins without issue.  #3 Isabelle an interesting wild card after blitzing off-the-turf maidens in the mud with a big figure. 
Selections:  2-5-3-8
Race 4:  #5 Effie Trinket figures tough in this spot after acquitting herself very well in graded stakes company recently; drops down to face fellow NY-breds for the first time since taking pair of stakes here last fall.  #3 Frosty Bay is off the layoff, but eligible to improve after posting solid 3yo form on turf.  #7 Roses for Romney returned from the layoff with a trainer change to Clement, and arguably ran the best race of her career despite getting very headstrong in the early stages.  #2 Mah Jong Maddnes was much improved last year at 4, and picked up where she left off in first start of 2014, mowing down sprinters from off of a fast pace.  
Selections:  5-3-7-2-1
Race 5:  #2 Uncle Sigh has run one fast race after another to start his career, and won't be easy to down at a short price here.  As alternatives, we would look to #6 John's Island, who has put in back-to-back big stretch runs off the trainer change to Jimmy Jerkens, or the undefeated and unclassified #10 Captain Serious.
Selections:  2-6-10-1
Race 6:  #3 Powerful Instinct showed big improvement with the trainer change to Chad Brown at the end of last year, and lands in a spot here that projects to have a solid pace to set up his run.  #6 So Lonesome remains unexposed and reunites with Rosario after failing to impact in pair of graded stakes tries.  #2 Sneaky Kitten often settles for minor awards, but he is consistent and his typical effort is competitive here. 
Selections:  3-6-2-7
Race 7:  #5 La Verdad remains a question mark outside of sprint distances, but she may simply be too good for her competition here after hanging up a big figure when burying Grade 2 foes last month.  #8 Tahoe Tigress has improved greatly since being claimed and, assuming La Verdad makes things difficult on the horses up close, will be running at the end. #3 Miss Da Point has never been better, winning 5 of her last 7, and has tactical speed.  #1 Sunny Desert returned from almost a year on the sidelines to give game chase to La Verdad in the slop; had won 8-of-9 prior to that, including all three starts over this distance.  #4 Macha, a new face shipping in from California and dropping out of a Grade 1, won her dirt debut in February, but figures to offer little value in this spot, which is not as easy as it may seem. 
Selections:  5-8-3-1
Race 8:  #6 Waterway endured a tough trip as part of a contested pace in a race that went to closers in turf debut, and raced on well through the stretch to get a piece.  #12 Soul House earned a solid figure for his lone turf try, and he was also part of a contested pace that day, but he's disappointed at short prices several times already.  #8 Sanctify switches to turf with lasix on for Mott, and he has plenty of pedigree to lean on.
Selections:  6-12-8-7
Race 9:  Strong running of the Commentator figures to be a war from start to finish.  With a fast pace projected, Chad Brown holds a strong hand, and we'll go to the better-priced option of his two in #7 Readtheprospectus.  The layoff is the concern, but he was improving from start to start during long winning streak prior to going to the bench, and was done in by a biased racetrack in his last start.  #10 Pinball may be compromised by the pace, but he is better on dirt and is finally switching back.  #5 Zivo has never been better, and is going to appreciate having some pace to run into.
Selections:  7-10-5-11
Race 10:  #2 Barrier to Entry is going to be a huge price, but she showed a little run in her debut, is bred for this surface switch (a Pedigree Rating of 89 for turf sprints), and may benefit from the addition of blinkers after getting very rank in last two starts.  
#6 Winter Wish was very unlucky in her debut after a tough trip, and did some running in her first start back from a long layoff.  #11 Distorted Beauty flashed some ability in a tough race on debut, and is eligible to come forward quickly. 
Selections:  2-6-11-1

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Friday May 30

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Race 1:  #2 Cool Cat Tale is getting what could be a major trainer change for his second start: to Michael Mareina, who has been quiet lately, but has made some noise around here over the past few years, and is still pulling a 91 trainer rating; won't take much improvement against this field.  #4 Safari Samba ran well enough without a perfect trip last time, and is still eligible to improve for Rudy.  Both #6 Island Therapy and #7 Political Farce are contenders exiting a tough race for the level, but they've had enough chances already.
Selections:  2-4-7-6
Race 2:  Significant drop in class here for #9 Daddy Loves Gold, who found a very tough spot off the layoff (99 race rating, as compared to today's 77), and she wound up chasing a hot pace that day (denoted by Pace Figures for the race leader in red).  
As an added advantage, Pace Projector places her in front this time in a race that favors that running style.  #10 Thundering Gale has handled the switch over to grass, posting a win going long, and making solid late runs in each of her two sprint starts; picks up Castellano for this.  Our backup in the Pick 5 will be #7 Radiant Cut, whose best game is sprinting on turf, which she has gotten to do only once since a convincing maiden score in 2012, and that came after almost a year layoff.
Selections:  9-7-10-1
Race 3:  #1 Roman Approval made a promising run for 2nd behind stakes-bound Bay of Plenty in his first start since shipping in to race for trainer Mike Hushion (who gets a perfect 100 rating with horses making their second start out of his barn); was banging heads with fellow import Tonito M. in Puerto Rico before arriving stateside, and that horse finished 2nd in graded stakes competition at Santa Anita earlier in the month.  
#2 Charge Now is well-bred and well-connected, and is expected to be a short price in this spot; we weren't blown away with his maiden win at GP, but recognize his upside.  #6 Long Water finally broke through with a win in start number 7, but it came against a modest field and didn't earn a strong figure.
Selections:  1-2-6-5
Race 4:  #9 Acrostic was eliminated from contention in her debut before putting in a solid effort vs. better here last May; layoff is the obvious concern, but Castellano sees fit to ride. #8 Saratoga Karaoke is running out of chances quickly, if she hasn't used them up already, but she had a tough go of it last time when forced into a long wide run through the turn.  #11 Benny's Bullet ran well in both starts over this track and trip last fall and now drops down after giving way badly in her 3yo debut.  
Selections:  9-8-11-3
Race 5:  #8 Chisholm was last seen chasing next-out Grade 3 winner Dunkin Bend over a speed-favoring track at Saratoga last summer; starts back for Pletcher, who is rated highly off layoffs (95) and with runners dropping from MSW to MCL (100).  
#1 Ruby's Rocketman also drops in class, with more recency than the top one, while switching from turf to dirt for a new barn.  #3 Eight Cents is the fastest horse in the race to this point, but is obviously vulnerable to one of his more lightly raced opponents stepping forward.
Selections:  8-1-3-6
Race 6:  #3 Favor Factor was a promising 3yo turf runner last year, but his lone starts on that surface following a convincing allowance score at Saratoga last July have come in the Grade 3 Saranac and then in a race at Gulfstream against Kaigun and Hey Leroy, a pair of horses who have acquitted themselves very well in graded stakes competition this year; figures tough in this field with one of his good races.  Not much separating the rest, although #1 Wind of Bosphorus projects for a clear early lead in a race that may favor that running style. 
Selections:  3-1-7-2
Race 7:  #4 Run a Dubb Dubb has been holding very good form, including a three-race win streak earlier this year, and she was ahead of a couple of these when clearly second-best behind a sharp wire-to-wire winner last time; Pace Projector indicates that there is enough speed signed on to give her a fair chance.  
#3 Humorus Dilemma has done nothing wrong while using her speed to good effect in a pair of well-spaced starts, and should still have some improvement in her.  #7 Your Time Is Up has been flat in her two most recent starts after putting together three straight wins with competitive figures over the winter; needs to rebound in order to contend here.
Selections:  4-3-1-7
Race 8:  #6 Premium has a very big pedigree and began her career with promise before falling off badly last year; surprised that lasix isn't listed as part of the package, but McLaughlin has a history of success with imports, especially on grass.  #5 Frege is just 1-for-14, but she's run well enough to win a race like this several times, including her last start at Gulfstream, where she got going a little too late and just missed; should have some pace to run at in this spot.  #10 Roses for Romney made a nice return from the layoff with a trainer change to Clement and is a very dangerous horse in this race, as long as she settles early.
Selections:  6-5-10-1
Race 9:  #5 None Like Nolan has finished up well in both dirt sprints to begin his career, and will now make a surface switch that figures to suit him based on his pedigree (his dam was Grade 2 placed and her 4 career wins all came on turf, and she is from the female family of Naissance Royale, a multiple graded stakes winner on turf around here a few years ago).  #1 Social Affair is also very well-bred, and he rates to improve in his 3yo debut after displaying some promise last year.  #10 Kato has run well on the dirt in his last two starts, and he has enough turf in his pedigree to handle the change for an underrated trainer. 
Selections:  5-1-10-4

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Thursday May 29

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

Race 1:  No one to trust in opener full of horses who have displayed little talent to this point.  #3 Ballerena Bliss is among the most lightly raced, and since we wouldn't mind being on the early lead in a race like this, we will allow ourselves to be swayed by her having the top early pace rating in the field; she also earned a 77 TimeformUS Speed Figure for her also-ran 3rd in debut, a number that lays over this field.  
Selections:  3-7-1-6
Race 2:  The #1 entry may wind up being tough here as they both drop in class for good trainers, but neither one of them is particularly scary at a short price, so we'll look elsewhere.  #7 Giant Fox drops down for the first time while switching over to grass, and he has the pedigree to assimilate being by Giant's Causeway and out of a dam who has two prior foals to try grass, and they were both winners over it.  This is not a bad spot for a first-time starter to land in, so we could give #4 Nine Forty a look in here for George Weaver, and he's a brother to a pair of grass winners overseas.  #2 In Speight Ofitall is a horse we will include, as he'll be a price and is way better on grass.
Selections:  7-4-2-5
Race 3:  #5 Dawly picked up his game significantly after getting stretched out in distance last winter, stringing together several races that are going to make him tough in here; dead game once again last time while giving futile chase to a very sharp winner.  #1 Mr Palmer is the one to beat as he steps back from stakes company and drops back in distance, but we've been a little disappointed in him overall after being on his bandwagon as a 3yo.  #2 Summer Sunset is plenty fast enough to win this, and Pace Projector indicates that he may get the best trip of the three mentioned here.
Selections:  5-1-2-3
Race 4:  #5 Bajan Summer had a tough task chasing the 1-2 finishers of his debut run all the way through the turn before tiring badly, but he returns on grass with a strong pedigree rating for the switch (89, dam is sister to Val de Bois, a multiple graded stakes winner on grass, who was 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1991), for a trainer sporting a perfect 100 rating first-turf.  
#4 Old Friend also brings a strong pedigree rating into his turf debut (90) and he had some early trouble in his first start, which was contested over a speed-favoring track at Keeneland.  Of the experienced turfers, we prefer #12 Junger, whose lone try over this distance on grass found him chasing a fast pace and then just failing to last.
Selections:  5-4-12-7
Race 5:  #2 Bounty Pink has buried weaker in each of her last two dirt starts, and will get a stiffer test here, but we think she's heading the right way and has found the right spot.  #1 Two Blue Hens is dropping back down, which figures to help, and she has won over this distance on synthetic, but that wasn't one of her faster efforts.  
Selections:  2-1-6-4
Race 6:  #5 Chelsea Road is cut in half for her return to turf, and her lone race for this trainer on this surface was a strong one at Saratoga last year, and he re-claimed her right away for his top owners.  #6 Persnickity doesn't want to go long, so turning back to this distance will help, and her turf-sprint form from last year is very competitive with this bunch. #8 Sunrise Kitty has lost three straight turf sprints as the favorite, but vs. better, and figures to benefit from the class relief she gets here.  
Selections:  5-6-8-4
Race 7:  #6 Don Tito has been in very good form recently, so it may be best to forgive him for his uncompetitive run in the slop last time; he's earned strong TimeformUS Speed Figures for each of his three wins since being claimed by these connections, and he has the tactical speed to get the right trip here.  
#2 Sam Sparkle is an infrequent winner, but he's talented and is dropping out of tougher races.  We'll see what we get from #8 Head Heart Hoof, who hasn't been seen since being claimed by Jacobson over three months ago; he projects as the clear speed in this matchup, and there was a time when he would have used that to great advantage. 
Selections:  6-2-8-5
Race 8:  #5 Nuffsaid Nuffsaid got a well-deserved layoff after ripping off a series of strong efforts off the claim by sharp connections last summer.  If she returns in the form that she was in when she left, she'll be a handful.  #3 Sky Skier and #4 Laguna Girl both hold good form, but they also both have speed and could potentially hurt each other early on.  
Selections:  5-3-4-2
Race 9:  #10 Copper Bluff gets some needed class relief as she makes her second start off the layoff, and she's run well enough several times over to be very tough on this field. #11 Absolute Beauty is taking a significant class drop for Rudy, and is very logical as the ML favorite.  #8 Caught by You is clearly a huge wild card returning from a two-year layoff, but she was running layover numbers prior to hitting the sidelines, and projects for a loose early lead in here, if she can still run.  
Selections:  10-11-8-5

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Monday May 26

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer


Race 1:  #5 Broadway Music Gal drops in class for Chris Englehart while switching from turf to dirt (95 trainer rating), and projects for a comfortable trip tracking the pace from the outside.  
Game win two starts back in the slop with #2 Physical Delivery left behind her, and that horse came back to post a convincing win of her own off a drop in class.
Selections:  5-2-4-3
Race 2:  Pletcher will start 3-of-the-6 in here, including ML favorite and horse to beat #3 Our Amazing Rose, who made a promising return from a long layoff in March, and then failed to establish a comfortable position in the Grade 3 Eight Belles before tiring.  #4 Size defeated a modest field of allowance horses last time, and will find this group tougher, but she has done nothing wrong while displaying admirable gameness in each of her first two starts.
Selections:  3-4-6-1
Race 3:  #5 Insighting has picked up his game since being claimed by Rudy Rodriguez, and figures tough in this race if bringing any one of his three dirt efforts for this barn;  switches from turf to dirt while dropping down, and Rudy gets a perfect 100 trainer rating with claimers down 50% or more in price.  #6 From the Point is still lightly raced, and stepped it up last time, which was his first start on a fast track since being gelded.  #2 Harrythenavigator has some back races that get him close to the favorite, and he is also down in claiming price here. 
Selections:  5-6-2-7
Race 4:  Only 5 for the Pennine Ridge, but they're 5 good ones, including #4 Mr Speaker, who was last seen taking apart the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland with a new top figure.  He also holds strong turf form, and projects for a good trip either on or near the lead in this compact field.
#2 Gala Award defeated Mr Speaker in the Palm Beach stakes before failing to get involved in the Grade 1 Blue Grass.  He also owns a versatile running style, and has much upside.  #3 Can'thelpbelieving may be compromised by the dynamics of this race, but he has talent and can go with these horses in a truly run race.
Selections:  4-2-3-1
Race 5:  Not much turf form to go on in this restricted claimer, with 6 of the 10 having no turf experience at all.  We liked #10 Pirate's Pleasure last time, and he emerged from his 5th place finish with an excuse, as he was in much early traffic and appeared to clip heels on the backstretch; switches to Rosario for this.  #4 You You is an unknown on grass, but he was an impressive winner in second start back from a long layoff, and his trainer has been making all the right moves lately.  #7 Donttellyourmother has the best speed in this matchup, and he drops in class with enough turf influence in his pedigree.
Selections:  10-4-1-7
Race 6:  #5 Stalagmite figures tough as he switches back to dirt while dropping down in class for the first time.  He ran well in a tough spot in his first start back from the layoff, and he was a new gelding that day.  #4 Spango is the horse to beat after getting run over by a much-the-best winner last time, but he won't get many more chances.
Selections:  5-4-9-1
Race 7:  #1 Ballerina Belle has run well every time she has been to the track, and she closed well into a fast pace when facing a very strong field first off the layoff.
#6 Love Train is making her first start off a trainer change to Clement (98 rating) after seeing her dirt form fall off last year, but she began with promise and she may appreciate switching to grass as her half-sister Starfish Bay was a multiple stakes winning turf sprinter who put over $240k in the bank.
Selections:  1-6-7-3
Race 8:  Monday's feature at Belmont is the Grade 3 Poker, scheduled for one mile on the widener turf course, and it is expected to feature a fast pace.  #5 Za Approval is the 6/5 favorite on the ML and the horse to beat.  Considering that he is already a multiple graded-stakes winner (his opponents here have but a single graded stakes victory among them), and that he came within a length of Wise Dan in a fast-paced running of last years' Breeders' Cup Mile, it is not hard to see why he is favored, and why he is the horse to beat.
He makes his third start off the layoff here, and while he hasn't been that impressive in either of his first two starts this year, he did have a bit of a trip behind Wise Dan at Keeneland last time, and may be sitting on a top effort.  We view him as a must-use in the late multi-race exotics, but feel that Monday may be the day to try an up-and-coming runner who is making his graded-stakes debut in the Poker.  That horse is #2 Peace and Justice.  Anyone who watched Peace and Justice bury maidens first-time out with big speed, or saw him blitz back-to-back allowance fields earlier this year in California, knows that he has a lot of ability.  On the other hand, anyone who saw him run off and bolt in both his second and third lifetime starts, or has noticed his refusal to change leads in the stretch of his races, also knows that he is still a work in progress.  
Pace Projector indicates that there is a fast pace on tap for this Poker, but there is always going to be a fast pace when Peace and Justice is in the field--because he is really fast.  
We think that he is going to like the big layout of this widener course, and that he is going to be very hard on the other speed-types in this field.  He will then have to hold off the expected late charge of Za Approval in the stretch, but we think he has the right amount of ability to play at this level, and Monday may be the time to be on him, before he is fully exposed.
Selections:  2-5-1A-4
Race 9:  Solid turf maiden appears open to several different horses.  We liked the debut effort put in by #4 Hope Cross and thought that she could have gotten it done there with a better ride, as she was forced to rally through traffic all through the stretch run before just falling short.  #8 Wonder Upon a Star has a big pedigree and a race under her belt, and may prove to be very dangerous in this spot.  We also like what we've seen from #1 Mobilize on turf to this point and think she is a strong contender.
Selections:  4-8-1-2-5
Race 10:  We'll see how the finale shakes out after scratches, but this is a wide-open race on paper.  We do like the past turf form of #6 Western Tryst, especially sprinting, and he has been in decent form on the main track for Rudy.  Only one half of the Contessa entry can go, and if it's #1A Glowing Ember we could use him, as he has speed and some turf pedigree (86 rating for turf sprints, dam is a half to Straight Story, a graded stakes winner on grass who made over $700k in his career).  
#3 Special Selection has run well enough to compete here, and he is always a price.
Selections:  6-3-1A-11