Friday, September 19, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Analysis for the Racing at Belmont on Saturday September 20th
Race 1: #2 Tiz May West set a fast pace in the slop when dropped in class for the first time at Saratoga and couldn't hold off Morning Star, who returned to win on turf. May have simply found the right spot as the inside speed in a race projected to favor runners on or near the early lead.
#1 Wraith will be trying to close from off the pace, which may work against her, but she has appreciated the recent turn-back in distance and is competitive with her best race. #4 Clean Eleven looked good winning first out, and then ran into an impressive winner when moved up in class for her second start. Been gone a long time, but has a trainer who knows how to get one ready off of workouts.
Race 2: Tough 2nd race without a trustworthy runner. We'll tentatively put #7 Silver Morgan on top. He enters uncharted territory stretching out for the first time, but new trainer gets a strong 97 rating first off the claim, and he should be the speed in here. #5 Piscesbymoonlight has been in dismal form recently, but he will be tough with one of his good ones, and he figures to be a price. #1 Succesful Brothers exits a frontrunning win at Saratoga, and he seemed to pick up his game a bit in blinkers, but he steps up in class off the claim.
Race 3: #5 William'sluckygray has been caught up in fast paces going longer in her last two starts and was unable to hold on through the stretch. Drops down in class and the turn-back figures to suit her. #4 Stage Name also drops in class and turns back a bit in distance for this. Not sure what her best surface/distance is, but her turf form is OK, and she faced a streaking rival in Devilish Love last time. #8 Dattts Da Boss will generally bring a competitive effort, but she's failed to deliver into good set-ups recently. #3 A P Johnson is the ML favorite and is tempting as a lightly raced runner dropping in class, but her form to this point is nothing to get excited about at a short price.
Race 4: Solid matchup among #3 Big Business, #6 Saratoga Snacks and their younger rival, #4 Escapefromreality, over a flat mile, which may be the best distance for all of them. Pace Projector indicates that Escapefromreality may get tangled up on a fast pace with #5 Baime, and that should play to the advantage of Big Business and Saratoga Snacks. We'll give slight preference to the former, who has been holding strong form over a long series of races and loves the elongated one-turn races on this track. Saratoga Snacks is dangerous as he makes his second start back from the layoff and second start off the trainer change to Bill Mott (98 rating with these horses).
Race 5: #7 Empty Headed is a new face dropping in class, and his most recent race (102 TimeformUS Speed Figure) makes him very tough in here. Enough speed signed on here to help his late run.
#5 Cheyenne Nation carried all the ground and finished gamely to close down $40k claimers at Saratoga. Has the back races and is supposed to be tough at this level. #3 Abilio drops down to lowest level yet for second start off the claim and gets a positive rider change to a more aggressive Jose Lezcano.
Race 6: #9 Marie Antoinette made a promising debut here last year, and was last seen trying a four-wide run from off the pace in a race that held together up front. Deserves another chance, and the trainer change isn't viewed as a negative. #4 Love and Marriage appeared to be a horse in need of a race at Saratoga when getting outrun early and then coming with a good finish at the end. Going to be very difficult to beat if coming forward from that. #1 Lady Lavery was dueled into defeat by the promising Hope Cross two back, and she got the wrong ride when taken back in a paceless race last time.
Race 7: #2 Hardly was off to a promising start to her career before failing to fire in a Grade 3 back in March and heading to the sidelines. Put in long mid-move in Saratoga return before falling out to last in a race she appeared to have needed, and she can be tough in here at a price if ready to build upon the solid TFUS Speed Figures earned prior to the break. #5 Sky Painter was also a promising 2yo for top connections, and she put up a slight new TFUS Speed Figure top of 92 for her first start back from the layoff behind Invading Humor, who was winning her third straight and has since come back to win again. #6 Seda Francesa is lightly raced and fits well here based on her three starts to date, and #4 Cash For Ever is a new face to consider after getting loose on the lead and wiring a field in France with relative ease in her debut.
Race 8: Six entered for the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, a race that centers around #1 Artemis Agrotera, who could hardly have been more impressive than she was in her dominating Grade 1 Ballerina win at Saratoga with a 113 TFUS Speed Figure. If she is going to run a race like that again, or something close to it, then she is a likely winner of this race. She did get a great ride and perfect trip in that race, however, and she has drawn the rail again, this time in a race that is packed with speed. #5 Willet couldn't get near Artemis Agrotera last time, but she's the closer in a race full of speed types, and her very best effort gives her a real chance. For a price to include, #4 Classic Point has run races in the past that can compete, and she has excuses for each of her last two starts. Official trainer change to Jimmy Jerkens from his father worked to positive effect with another runner from this owner, House Rules, who buried a field at Saratoga and is headed to the Grade 1 Cotillion on Saturday.
Race 9: There is a lot of guessing to be done in the third leg, which contains several interesting first-time starters. #3 Street Jersey has a perfect 100 Breeding Rating, being a half to Grade 1 winner Jersey Town from the multiple Grade 1 winning dam Jersey Girl.
#1 Signature Look is a half to a multiple Grade 2 turf winner, but his second dam is Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer. #4 Private Show is bred for speed on both sides of his pedigree (93 Breeding Rating for dirt sprints), and he posted a fast work on August 25th, which is uncharacteristic of this trainer. #5 Skill Not Luck brought $320k after working 10.2 in April and goes for dangerous connections. #2 Frosted has valuable experience, and he was held up behind horses for a long way in his debut, which was marred by a spill in the stretch that led to an inflated margin of victory for the winner.
Race 10: #6 Dubai Sky made a promising debut when racing on gamely late after finding early trouble. He can come forward quickly for a trainer who doesn't crank them up for first-out success. #9 Andalusite rallied gamely through traffic in his debut, falling just short, and his trainer does well with second-time starters (78 rating, as compared to 57 overall rating). #7 Escondido raced very greenly in his sprint debut for Pletcher and was given some time to regroup. #5 Fire Away did no running in his debut on dirt, but this half-brother to Grade 1 turf winner Mr Speaker is eligible to be a different horse with the surface switch. #1 Grey Wizard debuts for Chad Brown, who can't miss with his firsters on turf lately, and #4 Sanad debuts for Christophe Clement, who gets a 98 rating with first-time starters in turf routes.