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TimeformUS Analysis Thursday July 31

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Thursday July 31st.
 
Race 1:  Steeplechase
 
Race 2:  Pick 5 kicks off here, and #4 None Like Nolan figures to be solidly favored.  He came back to dirt at Monmouth last time and put in a good enough effort to be second best, and the 90 TFUS Speed Figure he earned there is tops in the field.  We aren't wildly against him, but he doesn't have much speed. Could be vulnerable to a horse like #2 Warrior's Hero, who stretches out after getting the best of a pace duel going shorter last time.  Distance is a question for him, but he could wind up in early control here and be dangerous.  We are also interested in #1 Updraft, who raced greenly behind graded-stakes bound The Big Beast in his debut and will now stretch out for his second start. Dam was a Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin excels with second-time starters (100 rating) and with horses going from sprint to route (99).  
 
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Selections:  2-4-1-3
 
 
Race 3:  #2 Henry's Gal cut a quick pace going longer in her turf debut last time, and figures to benefit from this turn-back to 5.5-furlongs.  She's had gate trouble more than once in the past, which she won't be able to afford today, but she's fast and talented, and she handled turf well last time.  
 
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#4 Image of Noon will appreciate any pace that Henry's Gal brings to the table, and she has returned in good form this year.  #8 Hot Squeeze holds an entry into an overnight stakes race here on Wednesday, but would obviously be a big player were she to await this spot.  #7 Neck of the Moon and #9 White Sangria are also contenders in what has come up a solid race.
 
Selections:  2-4-8-7
 
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Race 4:  #6 Big Town is dropping off the claim, which may not be the best sign in the world, but he has been in very good form recently in Kentucky, where he has been facing tougher (race ratings have consistently been higher for those races than the 100 rating for today's race) while putting his fine early speed to good use.  #4 North Ocean seemed to get back to one of his better races last time, and he earned the top last speed figure in the field by a clear margin for that front-running score, but he was able to get away unchallenged in there, and that may not be the case today.  Will be making first start off the claim by Pletcher/Repole here, so wouldn't expect him to be a fair price.  #5 Crushing is making his third start back from a long layoff, and may be the main beneficiary if a contested pace develops.  He's managed to win only at Parx so far, but he's run OK in NY in the past, and faced a runaway winner last time. 
 
Selections:  6-5-4-1
 
 
Race 5:  Wide-open turf sprint for maiden claimers appears to be a good spot for returnee #5 Stay in Front and first-time starter #10 Boca Babe.  Stay in Front ran very well in her only start, which came over this track last summer, and returns for a $40k tag with a trainer change (she raced for the same owners in that debut run).  Of the others, we'll use a little of #3 Golden Maria, as she has been involved in a pair of very fast paces this year and may be dangerous if able to get away a little easier in this spot.  
 
Selections:  5-10-3-6
 
 
Race 6:  Tough way to close out the sequence, with a field full of NY-bred first time starting 2yos awaiting.  #1 Scorecard Harry wins the pedigree contest, as his dam was a Grade 2 winner and has already dropped three stakes winners, including Lovely Lil, who won the Grade 2 Go for Wand and made just shy of $300k.  
 
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#3 Persuasive Devil has valuable experience and showed enough in her debut to be considered.  Pletcher has a firster in #5 Bullheaded Boy, who was just purchased for $115k in June after working a quarter in :21.3.   #7 Saratoga Heater brought $100k after working a furlong in :10.2 and has continued to breeze well up here, and #8 Watergate has been working well for George Weaver.  
 
Selections:  1-3-5-8
 
 
Race 7:  Full gate of hard-hitting older turf horses going 9 furlongs here, and the ML favorite, #3 Grand Rapport, is the horse to beat.  He's one of the coolest horses around, having returned to competitive form after a layoff of over a year, and he ran very well over 1 1/2 miles here less than a week ago.  We'll use him, but we want to play #7 Zane on top. Zane has endured some tough luck in NY recently, with his rider overcommitting to the inside all the way in each of his last two starts.  He gets a rider change today to Joe Rocco, Jr., who was aboard for that convincing win at Gulfstream back in March.  #8 Sayler's Creek is one length away from winning six straight turf routes, but he's been getting one perfect trip after another in those races and was defeated the one time he didn't have all the best of it.  Trainer Chris Englehart saddles a pair of contenders in #4 Majestic Raffy and #5 Madris.  We prefer the former, as he had little chance to impact from off of a walking pace here opening day.
 
Selections:  7-3-4-5
 
 
Race 8:  One-mile turf race goes through Todd Pletcher's #6 Storm, undefeated on grass and out of state-bred conditions.  He has a versatile running style and plenty of upside, and he could have found a much tougher field than this one, all things considered.  #5 Shaun's Blessing could be a big danger to the favorite as he makes just his third lifetime start.  He's raced a bit greenly so far, but has positional speed and may have found the nine furlongs a touch too far last time.  #9 Los Borrachos has transferred well to grass for Bill Mott, and #4 Mister Special made a promising debut in Chicago last summer before going to the sidelines for top connections.  
 
Selections:  5-6-9-4
 
 
Race 9:  $100k Evan Shipman for NY-breds is perhaps set to feature a contested pace between the two favorites, #6 Escapefromreality and #8 Big Business.  
 
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Both enter here off of big performances and are the right two horses, assuming they don't battle each other into defeat.  We prefer Escapefromreality, who was first back from the layoff when engaged in a hard duel last time and did well to get the best of it before getting nailed on the line.  He figures tighter for this one, has shown the ability to rate, if necessary, and owns a win over this track and trip.  Big Business has been holding strong form over a long series of races since getting on dirt, but he has been at his best around one turn downstate and may be severely tested by this trip.  If those two hurt each other early, #7 Awesome Vision seems likeliest to pick up the pieces.
 
Selections:  6-8-7-4
 
 
Race 10:  #3 Bold Challenger hasn't been seen in 180 days, but he is unlikely to find a much better spot than this one to make his return.  He's kept the best company and run the fastest races, and he has the kind of speed that should allow him to avoid being compromised by pace or trip.  Assuming he's not ready, I guess #2 Anmaat could be given another chance, as he received an ill-advised unaggressive ride and then got wired by Cashmere Cat last time.  #11 Grandpa Len comes back to grass after running well in each of his two starts off of a long break.  Think he's better on dirt, but he certainly fits here.
 
Selections:  3-2-11-8 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for July 30

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Wednesday, July 30
 
Race 1:  Steeplechase
 
Race 2:  Maiden claimer for NY-bred fillies over 9 furlongs shapes up to be a battle of attrition, as none of the entrants has ever been this far, and competitive form is hard to come by.  We'll try #4 Confessa on top.  She has never run on dirt, but drops in class for a talented young trainer, and her unraced dam is a half-sister to a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt.  #2 Kelly's Prize also drops, and she flashed some speed when tried on dirt back in May.  She may be the horse to beat for a trainer who gets 100 rating (from a limited sample) with horses making this class drop.
 
Selections:  4-2-5-1
 
 
Race 3:  Just six NY-bred fillies for this sprint, but three of them are multiple stakes winners.  #6 Willet is the horse to beat as she makes her second start back after giving game chase to the speedy (and loose) La Verdad last time.  She's perfectly drawn outside, and while she has come up short more often than not over this track, she has been victimized by tough trips more than once.  #4 Galiana is the main danger, especially if showing up with an effort similar to her last, where she flat overpowered a good horse in Winning Image.  #2 Risky Rachel has a race in her that would be plenty good enough, but we haven't seen one of those from her recently.  
 
Selections:  6-4-2-3
 
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Race 4:  #3 Rock Me Mama drops in class while also getting a turn-back in distance here. Both figure to help, and the fact that her last two races have earned her TimeformUS Speed Figures that are faster than anything her competitors have ever run doesn't hurt. Pace Projector indicates that the race shape will favor runners on or near the early lead and places Rock Me Mama right up with the pace.  
 
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#4 Da Wildcat Girl parlayed a perfect trip into a game score vs. restricted claimers downstate, and then finished gamely again at Delaware last time.  Pace scenario doesn't figure to flatter her closing style.  #2 Chase My Tail has run well in all three dirt starts since being switched to this barn, but faces tougher here in the form of the top two.  #5 Dash to the Flash has dangerous speed as she cuts back in distance off the claim, and she has won each of her last three starts over fast dirt.  
 
Selections:  3-4-2-5
 
 
Race 5:  Full field of 2yo NY-bred maiden fillies sprints 5 furlongs on the dirt. It may pay to check the scratches, as #9 Zo Zo was bet hard and then was caught up in some traffic before giving way in the stretch of her debut.  She returns with blinkers-on for a trainer who has been deadly with second-time-starting maidens at Saratoga in the past. Should she not get in, the other entrant with experience, #3 Yourcreditisgood, may be tough. She was caught up in a wide trip chasing a front-running winner in her debut.  Of the firsters, #1 Myfourchix is by precocious sire Henny Hughes, and her trainer, Rick Schosberg, was once an ace with first-time starters.  #4 Perfect Freud is out of the mare Platinum Perfect, who won 7 of 10 career starts over fast dirt and made over $220k in her career.
 
Selections:  9-3-1-4
 
 
Race 6:  Interesting $25k claimer for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs.  #3 My Tee Time shows up from Suffolk Downs with a pair of fast races in tow off the claim.  If she runs one of those races in this spot, she will find herself in the winner's circle again. Assuming she is unable to put up a performance like that at Saratoga, #8 Kelwynne has faced better out of town in the form of 14-time winner Conga Bella and the speedy Here's Zealicious (see Race 3).  #1 Mama Zee has some fast races of her own, and she is dropping out of a stakes try at Monmouth.  #5 My Donna Jean has picked up her game since being claimed by Eddie Barker and can turn things around if My Tee Time and Mama Zee go after each other early. She was compromised by racing behind a moderate pace three back, and had little chance behind a blowout winner last time.  
 
Selections:  8-3-1-5
 
 
Race 7:  #4 Ear D' Rhythm found a couple of tough spots upon her return from an extended layoff. But she was rallying through the stretch last time before being wiped out by a spill, and she found the right kind of field here on the drop.  The trip didn't work out for #8 Wine Burglar last time. She took an inside tracking trip as the longshot winner was allowed to rate on an easy lead, and she was ultimately trapped behind horses through the stretch with nowhere to run.  She fits very well here. #7 Sundae School looks like the third horse to use.
 
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Selections:  4-8-7-6
 
 
Race 8:  #11 Love You Loads made a promising debut at Gulfstream back at the beginning of the year, and appeared to break through when burying a pair of next-out winners last out.  
 
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#3 Momentary Magic has been all potential to this point and won't get many more chances to deliver, but she lost all chance at the start when returned from the layoff and then endured a tough four-wide trip chasing a wire-to-wire winner last time.  #6 La Madrina is the ML favorite, but we'll try to beat her as she has been with the flow in both starts so far, closing into a fast duel first time out and keeping close to a walking pace last time.  
 
Selections:  11-3-6-4
 
 
Race 9:  Coronation Cup three-year-old fillies sprinting on turf may have a different look come post time, as several of these hold entries to other races, and four in the main body have never raced on grass and may be looking for this race to come off.  As of this writing, a fast pace is projected, which figures to help out top pick #7 Stars Above Me. She will be first-time Lasix for her stateside debut, and she earned positive marks from Timeform overseas, their analysts expecting her to appreciate shorter trips and quicker paces.  
 
Selections:  7-5-1-4
 
 
Race 10:  #11 Candir gets positive rider and trainer changes for the switch to turf, and he is expected to step forward on this surface as his half-brother, Al Khali, is a multiple graded stakes winner on grass with over $1 million in the bank. Firster #2 All the Way is a half-brother to a three-time winner on grass, and his dam is a sister to Academy Award, Good Mood and Statuette, all graded stakes winners on grass.  #5 Same As is the first foal from Lucky Copy, who was a stakes winner on grass while racing for this trainer a few years ago. 
 
Selections: 11-2-5-4
 
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TimeformUS Analysis Monday July 28

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis For Monday July 28

Race 1:  We'll see what happens with the grass races Monday, as we're off the turf Sunday and there is a sketchy forecast for the immediate future.  With that in mind, we will cover a couple of bases at the same time in the opener by going to #2 Point Hope, who ran well enough going a longer route on turf last time while contesting a pace that
came apart late. He has plenty of dirt in his pedigree.  #7 Are We Not Men has run well in all three turf starts, and done so despite a couple of very tough trips.  He starts for a dangerous trainer and will appreciate the slight class drop.
 
Selections:  2-7-5-4
 
Race 2:  First-time starters scheduled to sprint 5.5 furlongs on grass. As a starting point,
#3 Coastal Zip is a City Zip and a half-brother to three turf winners.  #4 Banana Thief is bred long but debuts short with a fast recent gate work showing.  #7 Amazing Anne has several winning siblings and is from a female family full of versatile runners, so surface may not be much of an issue for him.  If we're off the grass, MTO #10 Good Luck Gus made a promising debut and would be very hard to beat.
 
Selections:  10-3-4-7
 
Race 3:  Seems like a good spot for #5 Southern Blessing to get back on track, assuming he catches fast dirt, which would be the first time he's had that footing while sprinting vs. non-graded stakes company since his winning debut.  #6 Indian Nobility should also benefit from the class relief, and he ran a couple of competitive figures last summer before coming up here and finding some tougher spots.  #2 Mr. O'Leary ran a trio of TFUS Speed Figures earlier in the year that make him something of a layover in here, and Pace Projector indicates that he'll be at an early advantage in this race, but he's a very short price on the ML, and just isn't that good.
 
Selections:  5-6-2-1
 
Race 4:   #1 Bold Runner gets a major upgrade in rider, which is unlikely to go unnoticed in here, but he was burned off by very fast paces in each of his turf starts downstate and may be quite a bit better than he looks.  #11 Delta Warrior caught traffic at a crucial point when closing into a fast pace last time out, and continued on with a good finish to get second once finally clear.  Can be given another chance. #10 Secret Ops has excuses for both of his dirt races (something to keep in mind should we be off the turf), and he had runoff speed in his turf debut before trouble at the start last time. 
 
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Race 5:  #5 Citizen Wells has scratched a couple times downstate recently, and now shows up for a $20k tag, which isn't necessarily the greatest sign in the world for him. He likes the distance and likes this track. His trainer is a going concern at Saratoga, but we will tread lightly.  For the purposes of this Pick 3 sequence, we will also cover #1 Village Warrior and #2 Best Play, as they figure to have no issues with the trip.
 
Selections:  5-1-3-4

 

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Race 6:  #3 Forest Boy figures dangerous as the fastest horse on our speed figures (he's earned TFUS Speed Figures of 98 and 100 sprinting in California), and the combination of class drop/trainer change won't hurt.  #5 Pulpit's Legacy is a bit of a wildcard as he returns from a long layoff after losing all chance at the start of loaded debut race here last summer.  #2 Pecorino figures over-bet as the Pletcher class dropper in the field, but he hasn't proven to be that good after catching a couple of tough fields here as a 2yo.
 
Selections:  3-5-2-6
 
Race 7:  #7 Father Johns Pride kicked on gamely in a good field when sprinting on the turf for the first time last month; will be tough with a similar effort in here.  #12 Casa Creek was rated into submission behind a front-running winner on turf last time, and that came on the heels of a much-the-best win after dueling on synthetic.  Has other speed to deal with, but he's drawn outside.  If we're off the turf, #5 Spartiatis is at his best playing that game, which he has only gotten to do once.
 
Selections:  7-12-6-1
 
Race 8:  Plenty of speed signed on to this strong edition of the Grade 2 Honorable Miss, including the horse to beat, #1 La Verdad.  She's very quick early and has posted a couple of 120+ TFUS Speed Figures recently, which make her the clear horse to beat. She also figures to be under pressure from speedy rivals like #3 R Free Roll and, perhaps, #4 Red Velvet.  #7 My Wandy's Girl defeated La Verdad on the square in the Barbara Fritchie over 7 furlongs back in February, and she took a tough beat after doing all of the heavy lifting in the Grade 2 Ruffian last time.  Six furlongs could make the difference, but she will be tough to hold off.  #2 Speedinthruthecity is 5-for-7 as a dirt
sprinter in her career, and also figures to benefit if a contested pace develops.
 
Selections:  7-2-1-5
 
Race 9:  #9 Romancing the Gold was embroiled in a fast pace duel when defeated by the closing #6 Mr. Espresso and #8 Bedouin Now in his first start off the Jacobson claim, and he got back to a good race last time.  Won over this distance here last summer, and that came over a wet track.  #3 Zoebear and #5 Rap d'Oro seem the most dangerous rivals, but distance is more of a concern for them.
 
Selections:  9-5-3-8

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TimeformUS Analysis For July 27

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Sunday, July 27

 
Race 1:  2yos will go long on turf in the first leg of the Pick 5. There are several interesting pedigrees in this well-connected group.  #1 Sunday Sonnet has valuable experience earned during a solid try in a strong dirt sprint. And she has pedigree to go with it. She's a half to Pianist, a multiple graded stakes winner on grass who earned almost $500k in her career.  #3 Miss Always Ready is a full sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner More Than Real, who was also trained by Todd Pletcher.  #6 Bebop Raindrop (out of a sister to Grade 1-winning turfer Cloudy's Knight) and #7 Skinner Box (dam is a half-sister to a Breeders' Cup Turf winner) are NY-breds debuting in open company. 
 
Selections:  1-6-3-7
 
 
Race 2:  #5 Hit Squad endured back-to-back tough trips out of town before coming to NY to post a much-the-best win over a weak field at the end of May.  Faced a much tougher crew last time (race rating of 95, vs. today's 84) but fits better here.  
 
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#6 Flamingo Lane has gone back to back since switching over to grass recently; continues her climb.  #8 Edie has also won two in a row, with the benefit of perfect trips. She defeated a few of these on the square last time.
 
Selections:  5-6-8-1
 
 
Race 3:  More 2yos lining up here, several of them first-time starters.  #5 High Dollar Woman has valuable experience after running in a strongly rated race downstate. (Winner Angele Renee, a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, earned a 93 TFUS Speed Figure.)  Her trainer excels with second-time starters (99 trainer rating).  Pletcher has entered a pair, and they would be difficult to leave out of any multi-race play, as he tends to send them out ready.  #2 Skipalute also has a race under her belt, and her trainer is another who gets them to come forward off of a race (100 rating with second-time starters).  #3 Paulassilverlining is a half to Grade 1 sprinter Dads Caps, and her trainer has already sent out a winning 2yo first-time starter at the meet.
 
Selections:  5-2-4-3
 
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Race 4:  #4 De Facto is a lightly raced colt who has been improving from start to start for his Hall of Fame trainer.  Went long on dirt last time and could be only second-best to an odds-on favorite, but won't need to go forward much further to be a big player in this field, and he holds a strong pedigree rating for this distance on turf.  #3 Decisive Edge and #5 Social Affair are the two logical horses in this field, and they have run well enough without winning to this point and don't figure to struggle with the distance.  
 
Selections:  4-5-3-1
 
 
Race 5:  #5 First Whippoorwill drops again after finishing gamely to be second-best when first off the layoff last time, and figures to be the one to beat.  
 
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#4 Swakopmund is also dropping, and is a very dangerous horse for First Whippoorwill to have to run against in this spot.  She has run well on turf vs. much better horses throughout her career and will be a better price in this spot.  #1 Lady Candidate is back to grass off the claim, but she's been at her best on synthetic to this point, and she did not run well when last seen while dropping in for $20k.
 
Selections:  5-4-1-8
 
 
Race 6:  This race goes directly through #5 Dyker Beach, who has run the fastest races, and earned a TFUS Speed Figure for his last that stands out in this field.  On the other hand, he is a horse who has lacked the killer instinct at crunch time and is a difficult horse to support at any short price.  As an alternative, we'll take #6 Charitable to post a mild upset.  Charitable was dropping in class last time in a race that was scheduled for turf before being moved to the main track.  He was very surprisingly bet down to a short price in there, and then went out and made the $5.10 payout look like a gift as he rolled through the stretch to win by over seven lengths.  
 
Selections:  6-5-1-8
 
 
Race 7:  No one to trust in this $25k claimer restricted to non-winners of two races lifetime.  The12 entered for turf have combined to make 103 starts over this surface while posting only 9 wins total.  #1 My Four Rewards makes her third start off the layoff, and exits a race last time that was won in wire-to-wire fashion.  Ran well in a much tougher claimer here last summer, which is good enough for us.  We liked the turf debut of #4 Outer Orbit last time, as she made a legitimate pace all the way and stayed gamely to the end.  Pace Projector indicates that this pace scenario may be tough for her if trying similar tactics.  
 
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We have tried both #6 Dramatize and #9 Eurokay by Me in the past, and have not been rewarded.  Still, they are supposed to be competitive in here.  #7 Sultry Warrior and #11 Tacones are the class-droppers to consider very seriously in a field like this.
 
Selections:  1-7-6-9
 
 
Race 8:  #1 Night Maneuver has some fast back races to get to and has proven recently that he can still race competitively at a high level.  Think he may have been hindered by rating inside last time on a day when being on the rail may not have been ideal.  #2 River Rocks posted a new top TFUS Speed Figure when forced to chase a fast pace in his NY debut.  #8 Eastwood is the horse to beat from a good draw for Pletcher, but he's been a bust since being purchased for a big ticket upon winning his first two career starts.  He exits a fast race, but he had absolutely no excuse in there.
 
Selections:  1-8-2-4
 
 
Race 9:  #2 Flashy American goes well over this track and trip, and she ran very well to be second-best in this race last year despite getting no pace to run into.  May have been unlucky two back when stuck wide throughout as the winner rode the rail to victory.  #5 Stanwyck goes for a suddenly hot barn, and she has been facing the best company overall recently.  She loomed boldly at the top of the stretch of the Grade 1 Apple Blossom before flattening out behind a pair of multiple Grade 1 winners.  #3 Antipathy earned a big 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure for her excellent third place finish in a very tough edition of the Ogden Phipps on Belmont Stakes day.  She's unlikely to lose if running as well again, but we'll make her do it as she picks up more ground and a second turn here.
 
Selections:  2-5-3-4
 
 
Race 10:  #9 Chrysolite went evenly while down inside all the way in a race dominated by outside closers last time, and she came with a big run to close down maidens two starts back.  Still think she has upside in a field lacking many horses that can boast the same.  #3 Thatza Wrap is clearly a better horse on turf, and is another who can capitalize on her upside in this spot.  She was conservatively ridden in her last start and wound up getting shuffled back out of position at a crucial point.
 
Selections:  9-3-4-10
 
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