Thursday, May 29, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: #2 Cool Cat Tale is getting what could be a major trainer change for his second start: to Michael Mareina, who has been quiet lately, but has made some noise around here over the past few years, and is still pulling a 91 trainer rating; won't take much improvement against this field. #4 Safari Samba ran well enough without a perfect trip last time, and is still eligible to improve for Rudy. Both #6 Island Therapy and #7 Political Farce are contenders exiting a tough race for the level, but they've had enough chances already.
Race 2: Significant drop in class here for #9 Daddy Loves Gold, who found a very tough spot off the layoff (99 race rating, as compared to today's 77), and she wound up chasing a hot pace that day (denoted by Pace Figures for the race leader in red).
As an added advantage, Pace Projector places her in front this time in a race that favors that running style. #10 Thundering Gale has handled the switch over to grass, posting a win going long, and making solid late runs in each of her two sprint starts; picks up Castellano for this. Our backup in the Pick 5 will be #7 Radiant Cut, whose best game is sprinting on turf, which she has gotten to do only once since a convincing maiden score in 2012, and that came after almost a year layoff.
Race 3: #1 Roman Approval made a promising run for 2nd behind stakes-bound Bay of Plenty in his first start since shipping in to race for trainer Mike Hushion (who gets a perfect 100 rating with horses making their second start out of his barn); was banging heads with fellow import Tonito M. in Puerto Rico before arriving stateside, and that horse finished 2nd in graded stakes competition at Santa Anita earlier in the month.
#2 Charge Now is well-bred and well-connected, and is expected to be a short price in this spot; we weren't blown away with his maiden win at GP, but recognize his upside. #6 Long Water finally broke through with a win in start number 7, but it came against a modest field and didn't earn a strong figure.
Race 4: #9 Acrostic was eliminated from contention in her debut before putting in a solid effort vs. better here last May; layoff is the obvious concern, but Castellano sees fit to ride. #8 Saratoga Karaoke is running out of chances quickly, if she hasn't used them up already, but she had a tough go of it last time when forced into a long wide run through the turn. #11 Benny's Bullet ran well in both starts over this track and trip last fall and now drops down after giving way badly in her 3yo debut.
Race 5: #8 Chisholm was last seen chasing next-out Grade 3 winner Dunkin Bend over a speed-favoring track at Saratoga last summer; starts back for Pletcher, who is rated highly off layoffs (95) and with runners dropping from MSW to MCL (100).
#1 Ruby's Rocketman also drops in class, with more recency than the top one, while switching from turf to dirt for a new barn. #3 Eight Cents is the fastest horse in the race to this point, but is obviously vulnerable to one of his more lightly raced opponents stepping forward.
Race 6: #3 Favor Factor was a promising 3yo turf runner last year, but his lone starts on that surface following a convincing allowance score at Saratoga last July have come in the Grade 3 Saranac and then in a race at Gulfstream against Kaigun and Hey Leroy, a pair of horses who have acquitted themselves very well in graded stakes competition this year; figures tough in this field with one of his good races. Not much separating the rest, although #1 Wind of Bosphorus projects for a clear early lead in a race that may favor that running style.
Race 7: #4 Run a Dubb Dubb has been holding very good form, including a three-race win streak earlier this year, and she was ahead of a couple of these when clearly second-best behind a sharp wire-to-wire winner last time; Pace Projector indicates that there is enough speed signed on to give her a fair chance.
#3 Humorus Dilemma has done nothing wrong while using her speed to good effect in a pair of well-spaced starts, and should still have some improvement in her. #7 Your Time Is Up has been flat in her two most recent starts after putting together three straight wins with competitive figures over the winter; needs to rebound in order to contend here.
Race 8: #6 Premium has a very big pedigree and began her career with promise before falling off badly last year; surprised that lasix isn't listed as part of the package, but McLaughlin has a history of success with imports, especially on grass. #5 Frege is just 1-for-14, but she's run well enough to win a race like this several times, including her last start at Gulfstream, where she got going a little too late and just missed; should have some pace to run at in this spot. #10 Roses for Romney made a nice return from the layoff with a trainer change to Clement and is a very dangerous horse in this race, as long as she settles early.
Race 9: #5 None Like Nolan has finished up well in both dirt sprints to begin his career, and will now make a surface switch that figures to suit him based on his pedigree (his dam was Grade 2 placed and her 4 career wins all came on turf, and she is from the female family of Naissance Royale, a multiple graded stakes winner on turf around here a few years ago). #1 Social Affair is also very well-bred, and he rates to improve in his 3yo debut after displaying some promise last year. #10 Kato has run well on the dirt in his last two starts, and he has enough turf in his pedigree to handle the change for an underrated trainer.