Thursday, June 19, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Friday, June 20
Race 1: #2 Successful Runner has kept the best company and run the fastest races on our figures, but he's also had the most chances and is no cinch to handle the nine furlongs of today's race. #4 Lunar Rover was bumped hard at the start of GP debut, then shipped to Woodbine to try synthetic; dam was a six-time winner routing on dirt and was Grade 3-placed in the Ladies Handicap over 1 1/4 miles a few years ago. #1 Bay of Biscay is logical for Pletcher after chasing a strong front-running winner at Monmouth last time, and that horse returned to run second in a Grade 3 stakes last weekend. #6 Kato switches back to his best surface, and he's shown enough with limited chances to be given a look, though we wouldn't want the ML price on him.
Race 2: #1 Learn returns for third well-spaced start stateside, while getting the kind of class relief that should benefit him; projects for a nice trip within range of the speed.
#2 Unbridled Logic's late rally fell just short last time; now third back from short rest, and his turf form is solid. #6 Mr. Masterpiece is a price worth including somewhere, as he's been much improved this year, and caught traffic trouble when turned back last time.
Race 3: #2 Chocolate Wildcat impressed when taking the race to an odds-on favorite from trainer Wesley Ward's barn and running away to convincing score on debut. Faces another from that barn here in #3 Bessie's Boy, who dueled three-wide and prevailed over Governmentshutdown, who won his next two starts, including a stakes.
#5 Shrewd Move ran away and hid from three other Prairie Meadows maidens; this figures tougher.
Race 4: #4 Galroyale landed in super-tough dirt sprint first out behind stakes-bound Thirteen Arrows, now switches to grass with pedigree to improve (Pedigree Rating of 85 for turf routes; dam was a multiple stakes winner over turf and made over $300k); picks up Rosario for trainer who drops to win (perfect 100 trainer rating MSW-to-maiden claiming). #6 Quarla showed late interest in both GP turf starts, and she got a confusing ride last time, as she could have had the jump on the last-to-first winner but instead wound up chasing her, and gaining on her, late. #5 Dreaming of Kitten was involved in fast pace that collapsed in lone turf start, then rallied and just missed over synthetic last time; taken by trainer who has had success off the claim (78 rating, as compared to rating of 60 overall). It's been close but no cigar for #10 Treasured on turf to this point; maybe the class relief will do it.
Race 5: #9 Ronnie's Whey has run deceptively well more than once in the past, and he returns here with an interesting trainer change and a big rider change; figures a good enough price to take a chance with. #1 Awesome Lute showed some speed then dropped back quickly after having to steady on the far turn, and was racing on through the stretch first-time out; claimed by Jacobson, and figures to run better for the debut experience anyway. #6 Hidden Warrior was involved in fast pace when last seen over eight months ago; returns on the drop for trainer going well right now (Rice has won with 8 of her last 17 starters here, dating back to Belmont Stakes day).
Race 6: #2 Aunty Pearl was unfazed by most recent race being switched to sloppy main track, and contested the pace all the way before dispatching her rival and going on to a clear-cut win; don't think the going moved her up, as she's run her race on turf before; just think she wants to sprint. #5 Hidden Music starts back for streaking Rice barn, and she earned a competitive figure for her maiden win at the end of last year. There was little separating #6 Radiant Cut, #7 Malibu Queen and #9 Casey Roo when they ran this condition on May 30th, and they all have a chance right back.
Race 7: #2 Jonrah has badly dirtied up form since run of good races last summer, and Pace Projector indicates that he should finally catch some fast fractions to set up his run; faces some tough-looking fellow drop-downs in here, but will be a very square price.
Rock-solid 8yo #11 Monument Hill drops back down to a level where he is competitive, as evidenced by his win two back at Gulfstream, and is very tough on these horses with his best. #1A Treasury Devil has been competing over longer distances, but he's held good form and is dropping out of much tougher spots off the claim.
Race 8: #4 Previous ran very well to post new top figure last time despite making wide run, and she figures to still have much upside after only four lifetime starts. We remain confused by #5 Mei Ling, who can look very good at times (see race two back), and can seem an entirely different horse at others (see last start); still, she is a big player in here with her best race. #7 Dowager projects for clear sailing on the early lead, but we've never felt that she was that good, and the top two should both be able to keep her in range early.
Race 9: #5 Sunbio has disappointed at short prices in the past, but he's better going shorter, so the turn-back works for him here, and we don't want the horses exiting the 4th race on May 29th, a group that includes ML favorite #10 Shinnecock Bay. #6 Boston Strong is a first-time starter with a strong pedigree, being a half to graded stakes winning turfer Infinite Magic. #12 Spa City Treasure got a late start to his career, but he ran ok in Florida and tries NY-bred company for the first time here.