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Big Apple Babies


Big Apple Babies is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Big Apple Babies will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.


Big Apple Babies for Thursday, October 16, 2014

Susie Raisher

Big Apple Babies for Thursday, October 16, 2014

Race 4, 2-year-olds, originally carded for 1 1/16 miles, turf, 2:23pm
The race has been moved to the main track.

WORLD APPROVAL (gray/roan gelding, Northern Afleet – Win Approval, by With Approval) is a half-brother to a trio of millionaires, all of whom have had tremendous success on the grass. Revved Up (by Sultry Song) broke his maiden in an off-the-turf sprint at two and earned over $1.5 million, largely going a route of ground on grass, in a career that lasted until his was ten. Miesque’s Approval (Miesque’s Son), displayed similar longevity as a 2-year-old stakes winner who found his greatest success at the age of seven, when a Breeders’ Cup Mile victory helped propel him to an Eclipse Award. The most recent star from the family is Za Approval (Ghostzapper), a multiple graded stakes winner who is hoping this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile can add to his earnings of over $1.1 million. Win Approval herself only won twice, but one of those victories came on a sloppy track in an off-the-turf affair.

Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Trainer: Christophe Clement


OUR LUKESTER (bay colt, Mineshaft – Moyne Abbey, by Charismatic) is the fifth foal from his dam, two of whom have run. Both are winners, led by this year’s G1 twinspires.com Wood Memorial and G2 Jim Dandy winner Wicked Strong. Moyne Abbey is a half-sister to a quartet of stakes horses, led by multiple graded stakes winner Gulch Approval.

Owner: William Lynn
Trainer: Barclay Tagg


* Is out of a graded-stakes-winning mare

* Is a sibling to a graded-stakes winner

* Is out of a Grade 1-placed mare

* Is a sibling to a Grade 1-placed runner

* Is out of a black-type earning mare who earned at least $300,000

* Is a sibling to a black-type earner who has earned at least $300,000

* Has a second dam who was a Grade 1 winner

* Has a second dam who produced a Grade 1 winner

* Sold for at least $300,000 at auction



TimeformUS Analysis for October 16

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at gorgeous Belmont Park on Thursday October 16

>Go to the TimeformUS PPs for these races

Race 1:  #1 Mills has seen his fortunes fall since running in a Grade 1 race at this time last year; brings a 9-race losing streak into this $50k claimer today.  Isn't easy to take at a short price, but this would be a good spot for Rosario to use his speed from the inside.  If he can't even win a race at this level, the best alternatives appear to be #8 Michael With Us, who is on a big class drop of his own but is lacking early speed in a race where that puts him up against it, or #9 Bigger Picture, who impressed with a big stretch run in his turf debut last time and has all of the upside.  
Selections:  9-1-8-5
Race 2:  #9 Heading to Boca never picked up his feet over a sloppy, speed-favoring track in his return from a long layoff here 12 days ago.  Back in short order for a hot trainer, and his two sprints over fast dirt to this point give him a chance in here.  #5 Boss Daddy has raced very greenly in first two starts, but showed some interest in his debut after being shuffled out to last behind a class-dropping winner. Back to the level of the claim for young trainer who is doing excellent work so far.  #7 Qui C'est Moi has run the fastest races and gets some needed class relief off the layoff. 
Selections:  9-5-7-4
Race 3:  #3 Tiz May West drops down with a big TFUS Speed Figure edge on this field, and Pace Projector indicates that she has the best early speed in this matchup.  Main threat to her figures to come from #1 Prove It All Night, who came back to dirt with a drop in class at Saratoga and proved to be a much-the-best winner in frontrunning fashion.  #4 Boca Babe is lightly raced enough to be given a look, and her trainer excels going turf to dirt (98 rating) and with claimers down in class (100 rating).
Selections:  3-1-4-2


Race 4:  #1 Red Guard was outrun and last all the way to the top of the stretch before coming with a solid late run in promising debut.  Adds lasix for second start.  #6 Andalusite and #7 Grey Wizard both ran well when finishing noses apart behind frontrunning winner Dubai Sky here on September 30th.  #11 St. Louie drifted in badly at the break of his debut before racing on well while in and among horses all the way.  Eligible to improve rapidly.  #12 Tale of Fancy switches immediately to turf with a big pedigree (100 Breeding Rating for turf routes) after getting in a prep on the main track.  Will also add lasix for the first time. 
Selections:  1-11-7-6
Race 5:  #7 Glenbrook put in a run after a green beginning in her debut, and then had little chance when giving chase to a drop-down, odds-on winner in her second start.  Adds lasix for the first time today, and won't have to build much upon 65 TFUS Speed Figure earned last time to contend here.  #4 Marriedtomichael drops down for the first time and switches from turf to dirt for third start off the layoff.  Raced three-wide against a gold rail last time on dirt.  #6 Flapper Girl has had little to offer so far in pair of well-backed races on both surfaces.  Lone dirt start came vs. much better. 
Selections:  7-4-6-5 

BC270x200Race 6:  #8 Shatak earned a slight new top TFUS Speed Figure of 93 in first start back from a long layoff last time, and did so despite being strongly rated in behind the 1-2 finishers for a long way.  Has nice versatility and can be tough in here if stepping forward slightly second time back.  #1 Cashmere Cat took advantage of Shatak's conceding the lead on August 23rd, and he has since come back to be defeated as the favorite going a bit longer.  This may be a better distance for him, and he has speed at his disposal.  #5 Knockher Off clipped heels and stumbled badly at the start in his return from a long layoff.  Has run well in all three turf sprints to date, though he did have soft trips in each of his wins.  

Race 7:  #8 Royal Currier is tough to play against as he drops way down in class and projects to be on a clear early lead.  Best race, or anything approaching that, makes him too much for these horses.  #7 Back Forty has been compromised by moderate paces in last two, but prior to that he had races that make him a factor in this field, and he figures to be an overlaid price off the claim.  Neither #2 Doc Almon or #6 Regulus could factor vs. better last time, but they figure tougher in this spot, and they both have the positional speed to get the right trip. 
Selections:  8-7-2-6
Race 8:  #10 Bella Kateri is the one to beat off convincing win over this track and trip here last month with an 88 TFUS Speed Figure.  Still owns the upside as the most lightly raced horse in the field.  #7 Nonnie Connie returns quickly after chasing a fast pace here 7 days ago.  Something similar to the effort two back would make her a contender here.  #3 Official also wheels back quickly after a game finish behind a clear winner over shorter trip last week.  Has run well in all three turf starts, but may need some pace to develop.  
Selections:  10-7-3-11
Race 9:  #2 R Y Squadron debuts for a hot trainer, one who has won with 7 of the last 19 2yos he's debuted on grass.  Pulls strong 95 Breeding Rating for turf sprints.  #4 Dream On debuted in a loaded race on the main track, and will switch to turf for second start.  Half-sister One Time Only has scored all three career wins over grass while posting top TFUS Speed Figure of 97.  #1A Forma's Joy closed ground into a fast pace in turf debut before trying stakes company on the main track last time.  Figures to appreciate getting back on grass, and she has an experience edge on most of these.
Selections:  2-4-1A-7



TimeformUS Analysis for October 13

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at gorgeous Belmont Park on Monday October 13

>Go to the TimeformUS PPs for these races

Race 1:  #2 Moonlight Fantasy is the horse to beat, and she may well win, but the reality is that she came away from her last race second best without excuse after making a clear lead, and she finished just 3/4 of a length in front of #3 All Luv Me, who was the longest shot on the board in that spot.  We can try to beat her with two horses.  #1 Super City is an unknown on dirt, but she ran very well when flashing big speed in her debut, and she got the wrong ride when taken back under a hard hold last time.  #4 Stonely Heart is a full sister to the Grade 3 sprinter Hot Stones.  There is a troubling gap in her recorded works between August 16th and September 19th, but she is eligible to be a runner.
Selections:  1-4-2-3
Race 2:  #7 Western Tryst is at his best sprinting on the grass, so this turn-back in distance figures to work well for him, and the class drop won't hurt either (last 4 starts on turf all had Race Ratings higher than today's 91).  Closing sprinter should have some pace to run into.  #9 Joe Can Gallop is the horse to beat as he takes a big class drop of his own.  Earned back-to-back 100 TFUS Speed Figures two and three starts back, and he is unlikely to lose if hanging up a number like that in this spot.  Been wanting to see what #2 Pecorino could do on turf (his dam posted all three career wins on grass, and she is a sister to Big Booster, a Grade 2 winner who made over $820k on turf), and he wheels back quickly to try it, but this is an above-average race for the level.
Selections:  7-9-2-5
Race 3:  Pace Projector for this race favors runners on or near the lead, and it indicates that #4 Shaunna Alexandra has the speed to take advantage of that scenario.  She drops in class for this, and she earned back-to-back TFUS Speed Figures of 92 for her efforts in April and May.  No one else in the field has broken 90.  #3 Star Magnolia returned from a layoff with a convincing victory over a weak field.  Earned a new speed figure top for that effort, and is eligible to still be improving.  #2 Appearance ran some good races after arriving in NY last winter, and she was in way too tough last time vs. open claiming company.
Selections:  4-3-2-1


Race 4:  #2 Macagone blew a couple of clear stretch leads upstate, but he was cutting out fast paces in those starts, and he may really appreciate getting back to Belmont.  #10 Blue Pigeon is tough to take on top after giving away perfect-trip chances in his last two starts.  Now defeated at 5/2 or less in 5 straight starts.  #5 Slew's Brew has quietly overachieved on turf, and he closed gamely up the rail to post maiden win last time.  Will be hoping some pace develops in this race to give him his best chance.
Selections:  2-10-5-7
Race 5:  #7 She's Marvy's lone start on dirt came in her debut, where she ran into an impressive winner in Hard to Stay Notgo (90 TFUS Speed Figure).  Switched to turf for her next two starts, but Breeding Ratings suggest this is a better surface for her (85 for dirt, 66 for turf).  #9 Giant Hearted Lee had plenty of trouble when a no-factor 5th in debut behind a much-the-best winner and can be given another chance.  Castellano sticks with her.  #3 Saluda has dangerous speed on the drop.  Couldn't hold on after dueling the pace at Finger Lakes last time in a race that was won by a last-to-first closer.
Selections:  7-9-3-5
Race 6:  #2 Sweetsoutherndame's lone turf start came vs. much better horses, and she is taking a huge class drop in this spot.  Fact that she is multiple stakes placed on synthetic provides hope that she can run her race on grass, and if she can, she is going to be hard on these horses.  #4 Too Good to B True has also faced some tougher company than this, and she is the kind of new face you want in a field like this.  #6 Dramatize has a race in her that would make her very tough in this spot; she just hasn't been able to run it in NY to this point.  Tries again.  #9 Jennys Creek finally broke through with a win at Saratoga, and she is dropping down to the right level now.
Selections:  2-4-6-9
Race 7:  $100k Punkin Pie Stakes features several with a top race good enough to win.  Question is:  Who will run up to her best today?  We have the fewest questions about #2 Katie's Garden and will take her.  Third off the layoff after pairing up TFUS Speed Figure tops of 101, she may still have forward to go.  #3 Classic Point has better efforts in her than she has shown recently.  Drop in class figures to help, but her trainer has struggled mightily at this meet after burning up Saratoga.  #4 Wildcat Lily just missed in pair of Grade 1 races as a 3yo but has yet to replicate that form this year.  Makes second start back from a long layoff, and second start since the change to a hot trainer.  #8 Voodoo Tales has appeared a different horse in her last two starts for Nick Esler, earning TFUS Speed Figures of 104 and 96 while laying the boots to allowance horses.  Hard to take it as a good sign that she hasn't run in the last 95 days following those impressive efforts. 
Selections:  2-3-4-8
Race 8:  #1 Claiming Victory has picked up her game since being pointed to turf sprints, and she exits an easy score over a next-out winner at Monmouth last time.  #12 Dauphine Russe hasn't been out in 186 days and has never raced as short as 6 furlongs.  She did win over 6.5 when last seen, but she got a perfect trip into a fast pace that was falling apart that day.  #9 Indian Splendor may have to deal with the speedy #3 Laguna Girl early, but she may simply be faster than that rival, and if she is, she will be tough to run down.
Selections:  1-9-12-6
Race 9:  Interesting running of the $200k Pebbles, with a big field and a few imports to consider.  Invaluable insights from our Timeform analysts in London on those imports, as they had viewed  #4 Lady Lara as the type with plenty of scope for improvement from 2-to-3, and they have been proven right.  She will make her first start for Bill Mott today after posting long overdue win last time.  The opposite was felt regarding #9 Sandiva, who was described as a filly on the small side who may not be the type to continue improving.  She hasn't so far, and did not produce a big run in her stateside debut in Grade 2 company.  She will, however, switch to Pletcher and add lasix for this.  #11 Indian Rainbow has held solid group form this year, and she earned a 115 Timeform Speed Figure for her runner-up finish in France last time.  #8 Kenzadargent has impressively won both starts for Chad Brown since arriving stateside.  Will step up today, but she was also stakes quality in France prior to shipping over.  #3 Secret Someone has impressed in all three starts since being switched to turf, and she closed strongly once clear in the stretch to win first time back from a layoff last time. 
Selections:  4-11-8-3
Race 10:  #6 Lutheran Miss had no excuses in pair of perfect-trip losses since being switched to turf, but she likely just faced a better horse last time, and she has certainly found the right field here today.  #10 Miss Motivation hasn't run up to her prior form since arriving in NY with a trainer change, but she has races that make her competitive in a field like this one.  #12 Tenacious Indeed is another who has provided little to get excited about, but she may have found the kind of field she can be competitive with.
Selections:  6-10-12-7



TimeformUS Analysis for October 12

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for the racing at gorgeous Belmont Park on Sunday October 12th

>Go to the TimeformUS PPs for these races

Race 1:  #8 Grand Rapport has been holding solid form on turf all year, and he has valuable experience over these longer route distances.  Goes off the claim this time, but old pro seems the type who will run for anyone.  #7 Zane is a question mark taking on the extra distance here, but he's been trip-compromised on turf recently, including in pair of starts when finishing behind Grand Rapport.  Can try him on top if he's the right price.  
Selections:  7-8-5-2
Race 2:  #6 Coviello has tried turf to no avail recently, but he comes back to the main track with a class drop into the right kind of field, and he did not run poorly on dirt to begin his career.  #3 Inca Saint was claimed back by Chad Brown at the first opportunity, but he drops right back down after failing to impact a front-running winner last time.  Better fit here, but a dicey proposition at a short price.  #7 Identity Crisis ran well enough to beat a field like this one two back, but was eased off at the top of the stretch last time as if something was amiss, and he returns for half the price.  Your call.  #5 Distant Thoughts has the best last race, but he took advantage of a perfect pace set-up that day while settling for second best.
Selections:  6-3-7-5
Race 3:  #9 Amazing Littlelady made a solid pace going longer last time (note that the official listed times are much slower than the Trakus times) and was all done at the top of the stretch, with her rider allowing her to fall back out of contention.  Think she will appreciate the turn-back in distance for this, and she may be the main speed.  #5 Keri Belle is a must-use here switching to turf for the first time.  Her dam went 8-for-12 on grass in her career (6 of her 8 wins came sprinting on the grass), won multiple graded stakes down the hill at Santa Anita, and earned over $330k.  We will happily stand against the runners exiting the 4th race from September 24th with the #5 and the #9.
Selections:  5-9-3-8


Race 4:  Good spot for #5 Stand Proud to ship in and take a shot.  He's been 1st or 2nd in 8 of his 12 starts this year, for several different trainers, and he has a handy running style.  #1 Most Happy Fella gutted out a victory in a strongly run race last time, and figures tough with a similar effort, but #7 I Want You to Know may have run the better race that day after moving up early to duel for the lead before tiring in the stretch.  
Selections:  5-7-1-9
Race 5:  #3 Fictionalcharacter doesn't have much speed at his disposal, but he has run better than it may appear, and he was never clear to run until it was too late last time after an overly conservative ride.  #9 Sole Train drops back down after failing to reach contention vs. better last time.  Ran well enough in lone start at this level to contend here.  #5 Lotza Heat ran well enough with a good trip last time and is logical in this spot.  #8 Doc Daneka took a wide run after a good trip in his debut, and is eligible to run a little better this time.
Selections:  3-9-5-8
Race 6:  Much depends on which half of the Jacobson entry of #1 Royal Currier  and #1A N. F.'s Destiny elects to run here, as they both have speed. With the same rider listed, only one will start.  Royal Currier is the better of the two, and he is the horse to beat while taking a big class drop if he's the one who goes.  #10 Attractive Ride impressed in back-to-back wins off a short break over the summer, and he wound up in a pace duel when defeated at a short price last time.  Has a nice outside post for this, and he goes off the claim for a trainer who has been getting the best out of older sprinters like this all year.  #8 Italian Rules is first off the claim after winning two of his last three, and he projects to be in the right kind of trip in behind the speed.
Selections:  1-10-8-9
Race 7:  Seen quite enough of the likes of #4 Gratitude, #7 Ballerina Belle, and #10 Orient Harbor this summer, any one of whom can easily win this race.  We will instead look to some new faces, focusing on #1 Hope Cross.  She suffered three straight narrow defeats to begin her career, but it could easily be argued that she was best in all three of those races, and she impressed when closing down a perfect-trip Colorful last time.  Goes for a hot barn, and this 7-furlong distance figures to be right up her alley.  #12 Marbre Rose is a dangerous import who has earned a pair of 100 Timeform Ratings in France this year.  She is already Group 3-placed and has been keeping stakes company exclusively since breaking her maiden in an allowance race.  #5 Almurra has a pedigree that is slanted more toward routes than sprints, but her best race to date came sprinting in her debut, and she got in a nice tightener when showing speed going longer last time.  
Selections: 1-12-5-3
Race 8:  This race features the return of the talented 3yo #6 Constitution.  Sidelined since winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby back in March, he will start back against no more than five others after all of Praetereo, Don Dulce and Dawly ran here on Saturday.  Still faces some seasoned older rivals, but his task has gotten much easier.  #3 Easter Gift would figure to be the main danger to Constitution, but only if he can somehow find his good form from last year.  #2 Bad Hombre will appreciate getting back over his favorite track and getting back to a more manageable distance, after going longer in his two starts upstate and then trying turf back down here.
Selections:  6-2-3-1A
Race 9:  Excellent edition of the Grade 3 Athenia drew a big field and has attracted enough speed to ensure a fairly run race.  #12 Annecdote has drawn the far outside post, which is no small thing over this distance on the inner turf, but if she runs as well here as she did in her stateside debut, it may not matter. She earned a 108 TFUS Speed Figure for that impressive score, and she never appeared to have to get down to business that day.  Her trainer saddles two others in the race as well, and they both have a chance.  #9 Maximova is up in class, but she has plenty of ability and settled more comfortably in solid win last time after getting very rank in her prior two starts.  #11 Cushion was impressive in her first start over here back in June before finding 1 1/2 miles too far last time.  #10 Baffle Me is going to need all of the breaks to come out on top, but she has run much better than it may appear recently and is fast enough on her best day to factor in here with the right trip.  #1 Overheard runs every time, and she got the best of the draw--down inside with Castellano. 
Selections:  12-9-10-1
Race 10:  #3 Graceful Gal gave game chase to a frontrunning winner last time in a race that was slow early and fast late.  Has run well in both starts to date, and is the horse to beat.  #11 Dreaming as Always was a bit headstrong early in her debut behind Graceful Gal.  Can do better with that experience behind her, though her trainer tends to have them ready to go first time out.  #2 Northern Analyst is a half to Spritely Mambo, who won her debut at one mile on turf for this trainer here last October.  #7 Swear By It may need one for a trainer who doesn't have a history of success with firsters, but she gets a solid 87 Breeding Rating for turf routes, being a daughter of Jesse's Justice, a stakes winner on grass here a few years ago.  
Selections:  3-11-2-4