Wednesday, May 07, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
: Both #1 Magsamelia
and #6 Will Do
are logical horses in this race, and so it is no surprise to see them favored on the ML. Magsamelia drops down for the first time and will be looking to get back to something more like her debut effort, where she got an easy trip, kicked out to a clear stretch lead, and was run down late. Will Do, meanwhile, could be viewed as a horse who hasn't had a fair chance yet. She caught sloppy tracks, and was back off of moderate paces, in each of her first two starts, and then was run off her feet by a blowout drop-down winner over a speed-favoring track last time.
We'll see if one of them can break through here, but we are going to take a small shot against them with first-time starter #7 Quality Legend. By Elusive Quality and out of a multiple stakes-winning dam, Quality Legend scores a strong 93 pedigree rating, and her trainer's rating with maiden claimers on today's circuit (96, as compared to his 74 overall rating) sticks out.
Race 2: #5 Partly Mocha owns the best turf sprint form in the field, and is handy enough to pull any kind of trip in a race, depending upon the pace scenario. The question for him will be, can he run his best race off the layoff? It took him a couple of starts last year to hit his best stride off the bench, and his trainer does not have a strong rating with horse starting back off a break (65 vs. an overall rating of 74). If he needs one, #4 Bluegrass Springs, off of a layoff of his own, could be the right one here. Bluegrass Springs won both of his turf starts over this trip last year, and he was up against it when last seen, rating back off of a moderate pace while facing a strong field for the level. There appears to be plenty of pace signed in here, assuming the field stays intact, and that would benefit Bluegrass Springs most, as he sports the fields top Late Pace Rating (92) by a wide margin.
Pace Projector for this race favors horses on or near the early lead, and of the three horses expected to be part of the pace, we prefer #7 Bio Pro. Bio Pro has been holding graded-stakes quality form in Southern California since last summer, and he will get the right turn-back in distance here while making his first start since being purchased privately and being turned over to Bill Mott.
The other West Coast invader, #1 Slim Shadey, would be dangerous if re-finding his best form, but he's been at his best over longer distances since arriving stateside way back in early 2012 (all four U.S. wins are at 1 1/4 miles).
Race 4: #1 Moon Back More has earned a couple of recent layover figures, and has been installed as a short-priced ML favorite in this low-level claimer for older horses. With alternatives difficult to come by, we will just point out that Pace Projector for this race favors horses racing up close and indicates that #9 Privatize could be loose on the lead here. Whether that's enough of an advantage for Privatize, who is 1-for-14 lifetime and has managed to disappoint in a likely spot more than once, remains to be seen, but we will use him in the Pick 5, just in case.
Race 5: This appears to be the right spot for #5 Joking to get back into the winner's circle, after running well in each of his last three starts while coming up short. He is consistently running the fastest races of this group recently, and will just have to keep himself in range early, as this race does not figure to feature a big pace. Pace Projector favors the early leaders, and indicates that #4 Make a Fortune will make the front in here, in his first start off the Jacobson claim. We have seen these horses be plenty dangerous in the past, so, if nothing else, it may pay to keep an eye on the board before finalizing your wagers.
Race 6: #11 Annie Walker has proven a handful through three turf starts so far, breaking slowly and fighting her rider each time, while costing herself a fair chance. Wonder if they'll just turn her loose early in here as she cuts back to a sprint. #5 Saucon Valley is a first-time starter by City Zip and debuts with Lasix for Chad Brown, and it would be no surprise if she came out running. #3 Laurenmychanelgirl doesn't have a ton of turf in her pedigree, but is a second-time starter for Linda Rice (92 rating), and she was outrun early over a speed-favoring track in her debut.
Race 7: This is a very good allowance race, one that has a chance to produce a stakes runner or two down the line. #7 Fingers Crossed didn't do well in Florida over the winter, but she ran a pair of strong races here last October, including a 100 TimeformUS speed figure effort to break her maiden. She will have Lasix for the second time here, projects for a nice tracking trip in this race, and will be a price, so we are happy to give her a chance in this solid-looking allowance field.
We're starting to get a little tired of #1A Tokyo Time, who clearly has ability and has been very unlucky on more than one occasion, but has also disappointed without apparent excuse in the past and did not run well when last seen at Gulfstream back in January. She's a must-use for us in the late Pick 4, however. #6 Wholelottashakin isn't exactly a winning type, with just three career victories from 20 starts, but she is very consistent, and handy enough to get any kind of trip. Chad Brown will send out the uncoupled pair of #4 Balashkova, a first-time import from France with a 1-for-7 career mark, and #9 Fizzy Pink, who looked good breaking her maiden in her first stateside start at Aqueduct.
Race 8: Field of only 5 set to contest this one-turn mile, but any one of them could win it without surprising. While Pace Projector favors the early leaders, and places #1 Piquant alone on the pace, we will attempt to defy that scenario by taking the very sharp #4 Start Jumping on top. This is a tact we would be unlikely to take were Start Jumping a short price in this race, but seeing that he is the fourth choice on the ML, and considering the form this horse has been in recently, makes us more willing to take a chance. #5 Irsaal is the ML favorite, and it is worth pointing, given the forecast for the area this week, that he likes a wet track, but he got a perfect trip in that win last out, and every horse in this field has run a faster race than he has so far proven capable of.
Race 9: #9 Bella Kateri figures to be a solid favorite here off her Keeneland debut run, where she rallied gamely through the stretch to just miss 2nd (albeit with a perfect trip). We get her appeal, but want to try #8 Honeychild in this spot, as she returns from a layoff to make her 3yo debut. Honeychild made a nice turf debut at Saratoga, finishing a game second-best after a tough trip, and then disappointed a bit in her next two starts. She returns here with a trainer change to George Weaver, who gets a perfect 100 Trainer Rating with horses making their first start out of his barn. #11 Lutheran Miss also deserves a look as she switches to turf for start number two after chasing a wire-to-wire winner over a speed-favoring track in her debut.