Friday, May 16, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: Tough to have a strong opinion in the opener, with well-connected drop-downs switching surfaces and likely to take some money, and a Pletcher Gulfstream invader who hasn't looked that good. We'll try #2 Neilos, who made his 3yo debut on turf and now switches back to the main track (trainer gets 100 rating turf-to-dirt). His juvenile dirt form was okay.
Trainer ratings box for the trainer of our selection in Race 1.Click here to learn more about TimeformUS Trainer Ratings.
Race 2: #4 Don't Blame Her debuted in a tough spot vs. subsequent Grade 1 winner Artemis Agrotera at Saratoga, and paid the price for trying to race that rival early. Won't judge her off of that distant finish, and will give her a chance to make a fresh start. #2 Pearls for Girls has run well in both starts vs. fellow NY-breds, and is the horse to beat with lasix on for the first time.
Race 3: May not be easy to down #2 Misconnect as he returns from a long absence for Pletcher. He was a determined winner when last seen almost 8 months ago, but where has he been since that race? We have been waiting for #4 Louisiana Flyboy to turn back in distance, which happens here, and his trainer couldn't be going any better through the first three weeks of this meet. We will also use a little #1 Classic Salsa, who had a monster trip here opening day.
Race 4: Will keep an eye on the board as it pertains to the first-time starters, but we are giving #3 All My Memories one final chance here. He was against the track in each of his last two starts (wide off a gold rail two back, down along a dead rail last time), and he did not get great trips in his two 7-furlong efforts prior to that.
#1 Grand Strand earned a big figure last time with the benefit of a perfect trip chasing a fast rival. Both the Pletcher and Kimmel firsters in here are bred for grass, but #2 Stockholder is from a strong Phipps female family and was working well in California before arriving here.
Race 5: #1 Cabo Cat has some ability. He just needs a little pace to develop in front of him to have his best chance, and with #5 Chart Topper and #2 Green Mask showing speed, and #3 Otoy possibly doing the same, he just may get it.
Race 6: Will be interesting to see how this race breaks in the early stages, as Pace Projector favors runners on/near the lead, and indicates that #1 Smashing will get there ahead of #5 Ultimate Shopper.
Pace Projector, shown above for Race 6, is available for every race.
They are both very fast, and have the potential to hurt each other early in this race, especially as Smashing tries to get 7 furlongs for the first time. We believe that a duel may develop at some point, and that makes #7 Miss Melinda a threat to come running at a square price.
Race 7: Maiden claimer on grass feels like a good place to look for a price, as the experienced turf horses don't have much to offer. #5 Hard Fast Cash is interesting on the drop after running in a pair of fast-paced dirt sprints, and he spent considerable time on dead rails both times. He has enough turf pedigree, by Hard Spun and out of a Storm Cat mare, as does #8 Secret Ops, who is a half to a turf winner, and who was also on that dead rail February 21st while making a fast pace. We will also include #3 In Speight Ofitall, who has the three fastest turf efforts in the field and has never raced this cheaply on this surface, though his trainer makes infrequent visits to the winner's circle (2 wins from last 174 starters).
Race 8: #2 Wild Finish endured a very difficult trip when last seen on Wood Memorial day, losing early position while in tight before rallying gamely in the stretch, only to get in tight and have to steady again. He was wide against a gold rail two starts back, which was his first start off of a long layoff, and he earned a strong speed figure for that win last February (97), one that would make him very hard to beat in this race.
While we were impressed visually with #1 John's Island's win last time, he did get a soft trip on a moderate pace, and is likely to face a different scenario here.
Race 9: #1 Amber Coast seems back in form for Rudy Rodriguez after cutting back-to-back quick paces on the main track, and taking a field all the way last time in the mud. He's won over turf before, and looms the controlling speed in this race. #4 Majestic Raffy clearly has the best races to get to in this field, as he tries to finally get a turf race to go for him in 2014. Needs some pace to set up his late run, so will be hoping someone goes with Amber Coast early.
Race 10: See no reason to go in against heavy favorite #4 Kauai Katie in this spot, as she ran quite well in a tough pace situation off the long layoff in the Distaff Handicap, and has the back-class to simply be too much for her rivals today.
#2 Merry Meadow has improved and will be our other horse.
Race 11: Discussion clearly begins with #6 Animal Style, dropping out of the Grade 3 Shakertown for connections who drop to win. We'll concede that he should be tough in here, but doubt he will warrant being a very short price against some rock-solid veteran turf sprinters. #1 Ziptronic has been away since making a fast pace and stopping last October, but he is fast when right, and won off a similar layoff here last year. #4 Isn'tlovejustgrand is getting back to his best game here for the first time since closing down fellow NY-breds with a strong kick, and will be running at the end.
Race 12: #2 Starship Captain has been in good form for a couple of different trainers recently, and but for a couple of tough trips 2 and 4 starts back, would look much better on paper for this race. 7 furlongs is a bit of a question mark, but Pace Projector has him sitting a nice stalking trip in behind the leaders.
Pace Projector for Race 12 shows our selection in good stalking position.
Maybe it was the mud, but #5 Schoolyard Dreams appeared to come back to earth last time after posting a couple of impressive wins off the claim. Drops back down as the horse to beat. #8 Straight Fax is one of our favorites, is better than he looks on paper, and one of these days is going to pop at a big price.