Tuesday, July 08, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Thursday, July 10
Race 1: Can only guess at the opener, which goes for 2yos sprinting on turf, only one of whom has prior experience. Both Todd Pletcher and Wesley Ward saddle a pair in here, and while they're both aces with babies, neither does especially well with their 2yos debuting in turf sprints. For some info on the new faces: #2 Eskenformoney is the first foal from a dam who is a half to multiple turf stakes winner Petunia and to Somethinaboutbetty, whose five career wins all came on dirt, but who was multiple stakes-placed on grass. #7 Isabella Sings is a half to Alaura Michele, a multiple stakes winner over turf, with earning of over $205k. #3 Cool Comfort and #6 Nicky's Brown Miss are both by Big Brown, who has won at an impressive 23% clip with turf sprinters to this point in his stud career.
Race 2: #4 Grand Strand goes for a trainer whose horses have been running well all meet long and who gets a strong 98 rating with runners going MSW to MCL (from a limited sample); last two TimeformUS Speed Figures are faster than anything any of his opponents has ever run. #3 Better Man also drops in class for the first time, and his trainer is showing a series of strong ratings with older maiden claimers across several categories. #7 Alexndeed dropped down last time over a sloppy track and came up short despite sitting a perfect trip behind a three-way pace duel; figures fit, and he drew well on the outside.
Race 3: Weak $12.5k claimer for some well-known names who appear to be on the downside at this point. #1A Sun Bear was claimed out of a tough trip chance at this level two starts back by Jacobson, and he didn't have his best chance last week when sprinting over a muddy track while up in class; projects for comfortable trip tracking up close in a race that favors runners on or near the lead, and Jacobson gets a perfect 100 rating with claimers dropping in class by 50% or more. Entrymate #1 Romancing the Gold has been badly off form, but he's also down a notch after getting caught up contesting a fast pace that collapsed last time. #3 Hoppy Do was also close to that pace on June 29th, and he has been in the best recent form of these, overall.
Race 4: #8 Enchanted Dreams endured a very tough trip at this level last time, almost certainly losing a spot or two, and easily could have been second in there; she's been close before while failing to come through, which is a concern, but we'll give her one more after that last one.
#9 Academy Performance has faced light-years better than this on turf this year and is a clear horse to beat in this spot. #3 Good Catholic Girl drops down with lasix on after having her debut rained off to dirt, and #2 Crashing Conclave is another dropping to the lowest level of her career; lone start for a tag as a 2yo was her best effort by far.
Race 5: Solid allowance for fillies and mares, but it clearly goes through #7 Smashing, who not only has put up three straight strong speed figures to begin her career, but projects to be on a clear early lead in this spot; broke through gate prior to short-priced defeat last time.
Main danger figures to be #1 Regent's House, who impressed in winning debut with a solid figure and was compromised when stumbling badly at the start last time.
Race 6: #4 Solly's Mischief takes a big drop in class while also getting turned back to a better distance, and figures to have plenty of pace to come after because of the pair of speeds lining up on the outside. #8 Oldwick is one of those speeds, but he got the best of the draw on the far outside; hasn't won a race since his debut over a year ago, and he's been dropping precipitously recently. #1 Chief Scout hasn't found his form in his first two starts for these connections but is capable of pulling the right kind of trip in here and has races that would make him competitive.
Race 7: Tough to go against ML favorite #8 Wally Did It, who has run the fastest races and who came up just short vs. a strong crew at this level as a new gelding last time. #6 Brendan G has developed a habit of blowing clear leads on the main track; projects to be the clear speed once again as he switches to grass off the claim. #3 Flowing Mane has failed to get back to form in a pair of starts off the layoff, but he was running turf races last year that would make him very competitive in here, and he'll be a very interesting price.
Race 8: #5 Scarly Charly drops out of the Grade 1 Met Mile, a spot that was always going to be too tough for him directly off of his maiden win; owns TimeformUS Speed Figures of 100+ for all 5 career dirt starts, which is rarefied air in this context. Stablemate #4 Roman Approval made a promising U.S. debut, running late behind the impressive Bay of Plenty; not the greatest sign in the world that he hasn't been seen since that May 7th effort. #3 Bernardo started to turn things around with that 100 speed figure maiden win in his 10th career start, and he's held his solid form since then; found a pair of tough spots since easily outfinishing #1 Sinistra back on April 24.
Race 9: Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of tough fillies entered here in #5 Granny Mc's Kitten, a stakes-winning 2yo who is making her 3rd start as a 3yo here, and #3 Pink Poppy, not as accomplished as her stablemate but impressive in her own right when running over maidens here opening weekend. #9 Valseuse is a serious rival for those two after launching a wide run from last behind a pair of next-out winners and finishing gamely last time.