Wednesday, June 18, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Thursday, June 19
Race 1: #3 Special Skills made a promising return from over nine months away, posting new top figure while finishing a game 2nd behind Awakino Cat, who was posting his 14th career win; has always had potential, and any improvement on that effort makes him tough. #1A Lofty Heart has raced himself back into form after enduring an extended layoff, and he was compromised behind the top one last time when lacking room to rally inside. #2 Thomas Hill was a little disappointing as a beaten favorite last time, but one could argue that he was too close to a fast pace in there, and he's consistently competitive in these races.
Race 2: #7 Contender's Queen takes a big drop in class while getting a positive trainer change, and lands in the right kind of field here to turn things around; had no chance against much better horses in last two, and was against the inside bias on March 3rd.
#2 Brandini needs this class drop after disappointing consistently over first six career starts, and she's the horse to beat. #1 Annie Walker has had trouble getting out of the gate to this point, and has also proven to be a handful to ride, so rail draw could really work against her, but she should also benefit from seeing maiden claiming company lining up with her for the first time.
Race 3: Much attention figures to be paid to new face #7 Chocolat City, as the locals have all grown somewhat tiresome to this point, and she projects to be in a favorable situation on a clear early lead in this spot.
#5 Rettalfa has a race in her that would be tough for the top one to deal with, but she's been her own worst enemy breaking slowly from the gate week after week; needs to get out of there cleanly, and then catch some pace. #2 High Inflation is the "other" Gullo horse in the field, and she's run races that make her competitive. Last time was the time for #6 Copper Bluff, as she caught a contested pace on the drop and took full advantage, while being strongly bet.
Race 4: #12 Kiss of Thunder has been very unlucky through four turf starts in 2014, and he ran very well in an extremely tough spot last time; sticking with him here. #5 Zane landed in pair of tough spots to kick off his season at Gulfstream, then put in a strong run through the stretch to roll over a field en route to a big-figure win two starts back; fits very well here. Be interested to see what happens with #3 Magna Breeze, who did all the racing on competitive paces when finishing first in back-to-back turf routes with cheaper at Lone Star Park; involved in another fast pace at Churchill last time, and he may not have wanted 9 furlongs there.
Race 5: #9 Corinthian Summer has been extremely unlucky in each of last two starts, which will not go unnoticed by any trip handicappers out there, and gets a class drop to boot. Barn goes well with horses dropping in claiming tag, and with those running third time off a layoff; final chance for him.
#7 Dividend was also compromised in that May 23rd race behind Corinthian Summer, and he gets a full makeover of lasix and blinkers for trainer sending out live runners here. #1A Azorian was too close to a pace that collapsed in first start off the claim, and has a chance to get clear early this time according to Pace Projector; entrymate Eight Cents has been ok on dirt, has some turf pedigree to work with.
Race 6: #8 Caught by You is eligible to step it up some making second start back from extended layoff, and she has back races that would bury this crew; we're using, as she was relatively close to the pace in a race that went to closers last time, but we can't fully trust her, and will go to #6 Gold Potion on top. Gold Potion gets a turn-back that will help in this spot, and she has enough speed to keep Caught by You in range early; like the rider change for her, as well.
Race 7: #1 Anmaat looked good winning debut over rival who has come back to win twice since, and he was caught up contesting a hot pace in race moved to the main track when last seen; Pace Projector puts him on a clear early lead here.
#12 Permanent Campaign surprised us when posting romping win at a short price in turf debut last month; another one like that makes him tough to beat, but we kind of want to see him do it again. #6 Handsome Dennis had NY debut rained off to dirt, and he ran well there; claimed by Rudy, and he has useful turf form. #8 Madam I'm Adam and #9 Smokey Brown both ran well enough last time while settling for placings without any excuses; either, or both, could factor again.
Race 8: #1 Very Cherry Candy has really taken to dirt since switching over at the start of the year, improving her figures from start to start, which culminated with a new top of 102 for solid win over a good field last time; has ratable speed to get the right trip from her inside draw. #6 Tahoe Tigress is at her best in these one-turn routes, and she's a solid fit in this race in her second start off the layoff; figures to have at least an honest pace to run into, with speedy #5 Our Amazing Rose attempting to stretch out for the first time here. #2 Miss Besilu is dropping out of graded stakes tries, but she's been a big-ticket bust to this point, and it's been disconcerting to see her compete over turf for the most part, considering her pedigree.
Race 9: #2 Petrocelli has run races in the past that would make him tough in this spot; don't know if he'll run one of those as he starts back off the layoff, but he's a price, has a stalking gear to use in race that projects to be run at a fast pace, and we don't trust the favorites in here. #7 Beyond Empire took a nice step forward in second start off the layoff and may have been best despite getting run down by a perfect-trip closer. #4 Noble Cornerstone blew to a clear stretch lead and appeared home free when returned to NY-bred company last time, but was run down late in what was a disappointing loss. #9 Wake Up in Malibu has the upside, but has to stretch out and projects to be part of that fast pace.