Race 1: #6 Macagone blew a pair of clear leads upstate after cutting fast paces, but he took a field all the way in his last start down here, and he is in position to control things up front once again. Doesn't appear to be in against as tough a crew here as he was facing upstate. #7 Oklahoma Den is an interesting new face to this bunch, and his last three races are the best he has ever run (TFUS Speed Figures of 91-90-92). Not much separating the trio of #3 Iced Over, #8 Slew's Brew and #9 Tiger D, and while we aren't excited about the prospect of betting on any of them, we recognize that all of them can continue to improve.
Race 2: #6 Heading to Boca ran well while putting in a wide run in his debut in November of 2013, and he could only chase a front-running winner when last seen back in January. Makes his first start for dangerous connections (trainer gets a 96 rating first off the claim and a 98 off the layoff), and is a threat if showing improvement as a 3yo. #3 Smoke Police was in too tough last time, and it didn't help that he was bumped and steadied on the backstretch that day. Debut effort was OK, and he figures to appreciate the class relief. #7 Hi Speed Chase has dangerous speed second off the layoff, but may have some company up front in this race.
Race 3: #6 Consumer Credit dropped a tough one when buried in traffic while loaded through the stretch of her well-backed debut. Stretch out in distance shouldn't be an issue. #8 Neilinger was also unable to secure a clear passage first time out at Saratoga, but she raced on to the end in an effort that was much better than it may appear. Forgiving the stakes try in her second start, she has the pedigree to stretch out (87 Breeding Rating for turf routes), and she'll be a price. #3 Miss Always Ready dropped out of contention in her well-bet debut at Saratoga and has gone back to the drawing board for Pletcher. Returns with a series of improved works and may run much better now.
Race 4: #1 Cary Street and #5 Ever Rider hooked up in a stretch duel and finished 1-2 in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup last time, a race that drew a much stronger field than this one. We want Ever Rider out of that race, as he was forced to do all of the work in there after an ill-judged ride, while Cary Street sat in a perfect trip all the way. #4 Desvelo and #6 Village Warrior were 1-2 over 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga last time, and are the logical alternatives to the favorites.
Race 5: #6 Lunar Tales missed the break and then took the worst of it when forced into a long wide run to contention before falling just short as the favorite last time. He's tough in here if running as well right back, and he has won previously going a mile, so the added distance doesn't figure to work against him. #7 Gentrify chased a fast pace and tired in a race that went to closers in lone turf start to date. Switches back with lasix on for the first time, and Pace Projector favors runners on or near the lead. #1 Peb the Champ was much the best when closing into a fast pace in first turf sprint back in June, and he held his own going longer last time. Should appreciate cutting back in distance here.
Race 6: While #6 Condo Commando has been the most impressive 2yo filly in the Frizette field to this point, winning her two races by over 25 lengths combined and hanging up a big 105 TFUS Speed Figure for her Grade 1 win last time out, we are concerned that she improved so much in the slop in that race and wonder if she will continue to carry her speed as the distances stretch out. #7 By the Moon remains unexposed to this point, and she had little chance to catch Condo Commando over that sloppy track last time. She is well-bred for the stretch-out (90 Breeding Rating), and we are going to give her a chance to step forward here at a price.
We will also use #2 Wonder Gal, who was unlucky when stopped in the stretch in the Adirondack last time and may come forward quickly.
Race 7: #9 Iron Power dropped a tough decision last time after clearly running the best race of anyone in that spot. He also ran very well two starts back, when second to the talented Storm. Turn-back to one mile suits him, and he will be tough if running as well in this spot . #4 Los Borrachos has taken to turf well recently, and he was a game second best to an impressive Heart to Heart last time. Pace Projector indicates that he will have plenty of pace to close into in this race. #7 Powerful Instinct is a dangerous closer for a hot trainer, and he has picked up his game noticeably since switching to this barn late last year.
Race 8: Grade 1 Champagne will be the coming out party for one of these 2yos, and we think it may be #6 Daredevil. Highly impressive in sloppy-track score first time out with a 91 TFUS Speed Figure, he has the look of a good one for Pletcher.
#3 I Spent It is the field's lone graded stakes winner, and he acquitted himself well when forced to contest a fast pace in the Grade 1 Hopeful last time. Experience counts, and he's run big speed figures (including a 92 in the Hopeful) against strong competition. #2 Upstart is a talented NY-bred who doesn't need things to go his way in order to perform to his best, an admirable quality in a young horse. He is a big player in here.
Race 9: Stellar edition of the Grade 3 Hill Prince drew a field full of quality 3yo turf horses. All three of #1 Ring Weekend, #5 Tourist and #9 Mr Speaker appear to have what it takes to go on to win some big turf races in this country, and it may simply come down to trips to separate them in this spot. Tourist has the speed, and he will be looking to control this race from the start. He ran big when stretched out to 1 1/4 miles and cutting a fast pace at Arlington last time, and he may have an easier time of it early in here. Mr Speaker tried his luck in the Travers last time, but he's back to his best surface here, has no distance issues, and he gunned down the talented Adelaide in winning the Grade 1 Belmont Derby in July. Ring Weekend has run well in back-to-back starts since switching over to turf, but he will face a tougher test here than he did in the Grade 3 Saranac last time. #6 Sheldon got caught up in traffic at a crucial point when finishing behind Mr Speaker in the Belmont Derby, and he came through with another good effort behind Tourist last time. He's a longshot with a chance; he just needs some pace. The three imports, #2 Sloane Avenue, #3 Blacktype and #8 Cabral, have combined to go 0-for-9 on grass and 6-for-10 on synthetic in Europe. Not sure what that means, but we are interested in using Sloane Avenue, whose lone turf start came over 1 1/4 miles off of a layoff, and he was viewed as an interesting prospect over there.
Race 10: #1 Leroy Jr. put up TFUS Speed Figures of 100 and 101 in his two dirt starts last year, and he is the projected lone speed in this race. Going to be tough in here if running his race. #6 Sun Storm paid a big price when winning his debut last summer over this track, but there wasn't anything fluky about that win, as he kept in range of a pace that collapsed and gamely forced his way through between horses in the stretch. Long layoff is a concern, but he figures to be a price once again. #4 Groupthink continued his disappointing ways upstate, and is impossible to trust at this point. Does have a big effort on a wet track, so we will look him up if the rain comes.
Race 11: Several candidates set to step forward in this race should we be on the grass. #8 Boldlee will attract much attention after his tough-trip loss last time and is a major player in this race. #7 Thrown of My Own raced very greenly in his debut and appeared to be a horse who may appreciate the bigger layout here after failing to run through the turn at Saratoga. #3 Memories of Peter went through the motions after breaking slowly in his debut, but he has a big pedigree and can do better with that experience behind him.