Saturday, October 11, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.