Friday, June 13, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Analysis for Saturday June 14th at Belmont
Race 1: ML favorite #2 Brother Ralphie is a tough call. On the one hand, he is lightly raced and facing a nondescript group, and he earned one of the better recent speed figures in the field for his debut win. On the other hand, he was with a gold rail all the way in that win, drops way down in class without being given much of a chance by his new connections, and has to stretch out in distance. We have too many questions to take him as the favorite, and will instead go to #5 Sunnyinseabrook on top, as he is dropped back into a realistic spot for the first time since demolishing a weak field of maiden claimers last November.
Race 2: #1 Lofty Heart has raced himself into shape after an extended layoff, posting back-to-back convincing wins at Gulfstream and Keeneland, and then failing to find room in the stretch in strong allowance field last time.
#9 Animal Style is the horse to beat despite being held off at this level last time; handles give in the ground, should that be the case on Saturday. #7 Golden Itiz has ability and ran a big race in first start for Jacobson back in April; handles all surfaces, but has never sprinted on grass.
Race 2: 1-9-7-5
Race 3: #6 Love the Breeding ships in for a dangerous trainer after winning three of four right off the claim, and she figures to handle the distance of this race better than her main rival, #4 Rosie My Way. The latter just won a race around two turns at Monmouth, but she's better as a sprinter. #3 Go Olivia Go was unlucky when caught in stretch traffic on turf last time, and should be competitive in here.
Race 4: #2 Liatris was impressive running over favored rival in the stretch despite obvious greenness; may have a tougher time of it chasing #3 Lindy, who sped away from several next-out winners at Presque Isle, but we were impressed enough with her debut to take Liatris here. We suppose that the Pletcher firster #6 Fashion Alert could be one of his good ones as she debuts in stakes company, but each of the top 2 have already run well enough to make this a tough spot.
Race 5: #9 Birchwood Road is competitive with his best race here, and we like him to improve second off the layoff after taking a wide run at the lead through the turn last time. #7 Elroi is improved as a 4yo, and failed to work out the cleanest of runs in either start since strong maiden win off the layoff; feels like the horse to beat. #4 Toy Cannon was blocked in the stretch in first start off the layoff, but also had a pace to close into, and he has come up just short one time too many.
Race 6: We liked what we saw from #1 Infinite Magic as a 3yo, and are interested to see how he returns from the layoff; drew well on the inside for this distance on the inner. #2 General Logan also impressed in spots last season, and also has a layoff to deal with, and these two face some solid older rivals. Of those, we prefer #3 Swift Warrior, who had little chance the way the Fort Marcy was run, and handles this trip.
Race 7: #2 Bake Shop takes a big drop in class, but so do a few others in here, and he projects to be hooked up on a fast pace, so we'll look elsewhere.
#6 Tug of War may not be able to run competitively anymore, but he's been in very tough since his last win back in December 2012, including that last one, which was a super-tough open $25k claimer; one final chance. #7 Pretension has also been facing much tougher, and switches from turf to dirt for this.
Race 8: #4 My Jopia has done little wrong on turf, holding her own vs. solid open company rivals, and winning 2-of-3 with NY-breds; has a start under her belt this year for trainer off to good start here. #8 One Time Only may be the horse to beat as she ships in to face NY-breds for the first time, but these horses are often badly overbet, and there are some good horses in here. #2 Atlantic's Smile is off the layoff, and may not want to tussle with One Time Only early, but she can run and sprinting is her game.
Race 9: Wide-open turf sprint is open to several different horses, and may just come down to trips. We are big fans of #4 Barrel of Love, who held his form in Tampa over the winter and is capable of competing with these despite his lack of similar credentials; taking him at what should be a square price. #2B Strong Impact remains in form as an 8yo, handles this trip, and is dead game; think he's the horse to beat in here. #9 West Hills Giant is another price to consider, as he has plenty of room to improve, but he had better if he's going to compete with horses like these.
Race 10: #11 Alabaster City made a promising run despite having debut rained off turf; a similar run on turf, which he is bred for, makes him tough. #1 Blue Chips Only was well-backed in Saratoga debut, now returns on grass, a surface over which his dam was a three-time winner. #8 Spa City Treasure is a 5yo maiden with only two starts, but he's run okay, and this will be his first start with NY-breds.