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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for August 22

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Saratoga on Friday, August 22

Race 1:  #2 Bernie the Maestro goes well over this track and we'll take him to improve for a trainer who has had a good meet to this point, and who does well with these older sprinters off the claim. #4 Moments Notiz has avoided NY since streaking start once imported by this trainer at Aqueduct, but he's continued to race competitively out of town, and he has a race to get to that makes him tough in here.  #5 Doubledown Again has settled for 2nd or 3rd in each of his seven starts since arriving in NY, and figures to be able to land a piece, at least, in this spot as well.

Selections:  2-4-5-3
Race 2:  #7 Nejma wasn't going to factor vs. an impressive winner here on August 3rd, but she was up against it immediately after missing the break, and she raced greenly down on the rail through the stretch.  Down slightly in class for second start and is eligible for much better.  #8 Know It All Anna acquitted herself well in a tough field on debut, then stumbled at the start vs. MSW company here on opening day.  Class drop will help and she drew well on the outside for first start in blinkers. #2 Zarleeza caught a sloppy track for her debut at Monmouth, and she was outrun in the early stages before passing some horses late.  Pletcher wins with a lot of first-time starters, but he also gets a 100 trainer rating with second-time starters and with the MSW to MCL drop. 
Selections:  7-8-2-3
Race 3:  Well-matched group of sprinters will go six furlongs for $100k in the Tale of the Cat.  #7 Sensational Slam isn't quite up to graded stakes quality, but he's been holding form over a long series of races.  Think he'll appreciate getting away from the Monmouth main track, which was carrying speed on Haskell Day.  He just needs some pace to close into.  #3 Bahamian Squall also fits better in this kind of race, though he was a complete no-show in a weak renewal of the Grade 1 Vanderbilt last time.  Can be given one more chance as he makes his third start off the layoff.  #6 Bern Identity held potential early in his career and impressed in his return from a long layoff in the Monmouth slop.  Faces some solid older sprinters here, but holds much upside and has the tactical speed to pull the right trip.  
Selections:  7-3-6-1
Race 4:  #6 Savvy Star has a big pedigree (100 rating), being a half to Haskell winner Bluegrass Cat from the family of Derby winner Super Saver, and debuts in a likely field considering what we've seen from the experienced runners to this point.  Trainer doesn't crank up his 2yos for early success, but does much better with his older first-time starters.  
#1 Running Wild took a step forward here in her 3yo debut, and figures tough if improving from that run for a trainer who has been on a good run.  #3 Judy Legend can also do better in her second start of the year after finishing behind Running Wild last time.  Earned solid 91 TimeformUS Speed Figure for her debut as a 2yo.
Selections:  6-1-3-4
Race 5:  5th features the return of the talented #4 Cigar Street, who hasn't been seen since completing hat trick on the Grade 3 Skip Away with a 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure back in March of 2013.  He's better than these with one of his good efforts, but it may not be wise to expect that today.  If he's just out there to shake off some rust, #2 Qualify was heading the right way before settling for 3rd in tough allowance here last month.  That was his first attempt at nine furlongs, and he can do better with the experience behind him.  #7 Bad Hombre is pushing his limit going this far, but he tried gamely while contesting the pace ahead of Qualify last time, and also ran very well in the Curlin at this distance up here last summer.  #3 Awesome Vision is consistent and he can take advantage late as he can get this distance without issue, which can't be said so easily for some of the others. 
Selections:  2-4-7-3
Race 6:  #5 Honor the Kitten has run the fastest races in the field, and he took the worst of it last time when rated wide off the pace behind a wire-to-wire winner.  Drops in price off the claim, but is tough in this field with a typical effort.  
#1 Tiu ran very well three times on turf up here last summer, and returns to that surface for the first time since for top connections after finally getting overdue win on dirt last time.  #11 Giant Jo had to be used to get position from an outside post when dropped in for the price in his 3yo debut, and he was impressive in kicking away from that field in the stretch.  Took the worst of the draw once again. 
Selections:  5-1-11-6
Race 7:  #3 Paulassilverlining debuted over a muddy track earlier in the meet and found herself in a pace duel with a Tony Dutrow-trained second-time starter before tiring in the stretch.  Faces some very well-bred and well-connected firsters here, but can be tough on them if showing similar speed in this spot.  #1 Gap Year is out of Grade 1 Ballerina winner Dubai Escapade and debuts with some strong works in tow.  #2 Path has also been working well, and she has a versatile pedigree, being by Tapit and out of a dam who was a Grade 1 winner on synthetic, a stakes winner on turf, and Grade 1- placed on dirt.  #9 Souper Social is the first foal from a dam who is a full sister to Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose winner Secret Status. 
Selections:  3-1-2-9
Race 8:  #6 Crushing couldn't impact the speedy Stormin Monarcho most recently, but he impressively overpowered a field first time back from the layoff, and he doesn't figure to struggle with the distance for a trainer who is heating up right now.  #1 Smooth Bert hasn't come back to form so far this year, but he's been in a couple of tough spots and he has the speed to pull the right kind of trip here as he makes his third start back off the layoff.  #9 Away Game already owns a pair of wins over this distance, including an upset win here last month after a perfect trip.
Selections:  6-1-9-5
Race 9:  Very interesting edition of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign is on tap. It feels as if legitimate cases can be made for many of the horses.  #6 Close Hatches is the horse to beat in current form, and she has a running style that allows her to avoid being compromised by race dynamics.  Her rival #7 Princess of Sylmar is in something of a make-or-break spot here after disappointing as a heavy favorite last time.  Not sure that adding blinkers is a good sign for her, as Pletcher pulls that move with limited success overall and almost no success in races like this (1 for last 15 in graded stakes).  Both #1 Antipathy and #5 Belle Gallantey finished close up to the two favorites (surprisingly) in the Ogden Phipps, and they have both since returned to prove that that result was no fluke.  We could take either one to post an upset but will go with Antipathy, who got in a win over this track and trip earlier in the meet and appears to be a filly on the improve.
Selections:  1-6-7-5
Race 10:  #8 Beamer didn't take to jumping, but he put in a run through some traffic when returned to the flat after a layoff and is a threat with the right trip in this field.  #4 Film Shot has come up short more than once in races that he appeared to have at his mercy, but he's also faced better horses right along and figures to benefit from the class relief.  Still not sure what #3 Best Play's best game is, but he's a good fit at this level on grass and has run races that make him competitive.  Figures to get overlooked in the wagering off the claim.  #6 Media Kid is logical getting back to grass after contesting an off-the-turf affair last time.  Has the kind of tactical speed that can get him any trip in a race. 
Selections:  8-4-6-3
Race 11:  #3 Aripeka got a good trip and just missed after engaging in a stretch duel with Arch Avenger last time.  Finished ahead of, and ran better than, several of these that day, and is tough to down if coming back with a similar performance.  #1 Smokey Brown never kicked in with a run when behind Aripeka last time, but he is capable of producing a better finish, and he will add Lasix for the first time today.  #8 Pecorino is interesting switching to grass first off the claim by Linda Rice.  He is out of a dam whose three career wins all came on turf, and Rice also took the aforementioned Arch Avenger, who had turf pedigree but had never run on it, from Todd Pletcher and switched him to grass with immediate success.  
Selections:  3-1-8-5

TimeformUS Analysis for August 21

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing on Thursday, August 21
Race 1:  Steeplechase
Race 2:  #5 Gem City Gal picked up her game right away when switched back to dirt in December, posting the easiest of wins with a new top TimeformUS Speed Figure, and she has followed that race up with a trio of solid performances vs. better.  Should be in a good position up close on the outside in a race that our Pace Projector indicates will favor runners either on or near the early lead.  #2 Tiz May West began her career with promise, but things haven't worked out for her, and she drops in for the price for her third start back from the layoff.  Caught a tough field up here earlier in the meet.  #6 Ocean Boulevard needs some pace to attack, which she may not get, but she's also dropping way down in class and is eligible for better as she starts back as a 3yo.
Selections:  5-2-6-3
Race 3:  #3 Blue Shark got legged up with a turf try off the layoff, and will now switch back to the main track for his second start as a 3yo.  Lone dirt try came vs. much tougher, and he has the speed to avoid being compromised.  #7 Vagarious lost all chance with a bad stumble at the start last time.  Has faced tougher than this on dirt in the past.  #1 Bryce Bryce Baby stretches out with dangerous speed but will be tested by this nine-furlong distance.  Both #2 Jacob's Here and #6 Fictionalcharacter exit a try over this track and trip vs. $40k maiden claimers, and neither could take advantage of good trips in that spot. Jacob's Here did have to come wider that day, and he gets a rider change to Javier Castellano.
Selections:  3-7-1-2
Race 4:  #1 Lonely Teardrops impressed in running away to convincing win two starts back, and she fought gamely when challenged by, among others, #5 Wine Burglar after making the lead last time.  Improving 3yo filly has the speed to pull the right trip from her inside post.  Wine Burglar wheels back quickly off the claim by Rudy Rodriguez after disappointing here last week.  Something more like her effort two back makes her tough. #6 Funky Munky Fever has a potent late kick and may simply be better than these horses, but she needs pace to close into.  
#4 Under Scrutiny parlayed a perfect trip and ride into an upset score over this course earlier in the meet.  Needs to pick it up a bit, but she is not out of this. 
Selections:  1-6-5-4
Race 5:  #2 Sashay just missed in blanket finish up here first time out after having to steady a bit on the far turn.  Clement tends to send them over ready to go first time, so we may not see much improvement today.  #8 Overspending was whispered to be a good thing for Pletcher in debut and she had speed but was run down late in disappointing performance.  Switching to turf right away may not be the best sign in the world for her.  #5 Well Composed debuts for Chad Brown, who has won with four of his last 11 2yos debuting in turf sprints at Saratoga and just missed getting a 5th with #12 Partisan Politics on July 21st. #4 Greywalls gets a solid 88 pedigree rating for turf sprints, and #3 Zeezee Zoomzoom switches to turf for her second start after getting outrun in the mud. She is out of a dam who was a multiple stakes winner on grass.
Selections:  3-5-2-4
Race 6:  #2 Risky Rachel contested the pace ahead of a talented rival in Willet last time and was no match when that one came for her in the stretch.  Figures to be the main speed this time, and with that rival not going here, she may prove tough to run down.  
Main threat to her will be #3 Sunny Desert, a win-machine who will be making her second start of the year after chasing the speedy La Verdad over a sloppy track back in March.  #4 Vicki's Dancer has been going well on grass recently and now switches back to dirt, a surface she handles equally well.  Ran well each of last two times she switched from turf to dirt but was unlucky to run into the undefeated Cluster of Stars both times. 
Selections:  2-3-4-6
Race 7:  #7 Guilty Verdict stretches out for third start of the year and figures to appreciate getting more ground to work with considering her pedigree (88 rating for dirt routes, dam was a multiple Grade 1 winner going long on dirt).  #1 Dragonberry is the horse to beat as she makes her third career start for Pletcher.  Already has had a go over this track and trip, but she came away second best that day without excuse.  #6 Illapa has disappointed on turf after getting off to a promising start.  Switch to dirt may work, as dam was a multiple graded stakes winner on the main track with earnings of over $860k.
Selections:  7-1-6-2
Race 8:  #3 Holiday Drama has won both turf starts vs. claiming company since being taken by these connections earlier in the year.  Drops back down for this and has the tactical speed to pull a ground-saving trip up close to the pace.  #7 First Whippoorwill takes a drop in class for second start back from the layoff after racing on gamely to be second best for $40k at Belmont.  Figures tough in this spot for trainer pulling perfect 100 ratings with runners making their second start back from a layoff and with claimers down in class.  #5 Bargaining Table went back-to-back when switched to turf at Belmont in the spring and drops back in class after finishing behind First Whippoorwill last time.  #9 Dance With Gio is competitive in here with one of her better efforts.
Selections:  7-3-5-9
Race 9:  With Pace Projector indicating that a fast pace is on tap for this turf sprint, we'll look for the closers to take advantage.  #5 Image of Noon will appreciate a set up, and she has come back an improved horse as a 4yo while focusing on shorter sprints. #2 My Jopia also figures to benefit from a more honest pace after getting wired by her stablemate who was loose on the lead at Belmont last time.  #3 Desert Bliss is a deep closer who needs pace to deliver her best and figures to get enough of it here.  #1 Neck of the Moon is second off the layoff for a hot trainer and eligible for better, but she was very disappointing last time and has already burned her share of cash through six lifetime starts. 
Selections:  2-5-3-1
Race 10:  #8 Beauty Surprise stumbled at the start, then was bumped and carried out wide into the first turn when finishing behind #6 Winner's Legacy last time.  Has more speed than that when away cleanly, and can use it to positive effect in this field.  
#9 Late Night Artist also exits that race from July 23rd, and she had to be used to get early position from her outside post before tiring late.  Took the worst of the draw once again.  #1 Quarla would be wheeling back quickly if she goes here, but figures to benefit from the drop back down to $40k.  Ran well without the cleanest of trips when falling just short at this level back in early June.  
Selections:  8-9-1-6

TimeformUS Analysis for August 20

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Race Analysis for Wednesday August 20th at Saratoga

Race 2:  #2 Ridingwiththedevil figures tough to beat at a short price as she takes the MSW-to-Maiden Claiming class drop for the first time, and Pace Projector places her on the early lead in here.  Most likely upsetter may be #6 Status, who debuted in a loaded field on grass at the end of last year and makes 3yo debut sprinting on dirt.  Her dam was a Grade 1 winner on grass, but she was also Grade 1-placed on dirt, so she is eligible to handle the switch.
Selections:  2-6-8-1
Race 3:  #2 Hear the Footsteps may be at his best over shorter distances, but he has managed to run well routing on turf several times and has faced tougher than this right along.  Has the speed to land a good trip either on or near the early lead from his inside post, and may simply be the best horse.  #6 Sanctify has the upside, and he impressed with quick acceleration in the stretch when stretched out on grass last time, though he did get a perfect trip in there.  #1 Captain Gaughen disappointed last time, but that was the second start in a row where he was stuck trying to rally on the inside through the stretch, and he didn't appear comfortable either time.  He's better than that and can factor if able to produce his run out in the clear.  
Selections:  2-6-1-5
Race 4:  Tough maiden claimer for 2yos, with three firsters squaring off with a trio of experienced runners.  We generally prefer the ones who have a race under their belt, and Pletcher drops two out of MSW competition.  #3 Jimbaran Bay debuted at Monmouth and raced greenly after being outrun in the early going, and he was trying to lug in all through the stretch.  Still thought he showed enough to project improvement.  His stablemate, #2 Mariano Intheninth, faced a tougher crew, and he also lacked early speed while going postward as the less-fancied of two Pletcher runners in the field at 20/1 (his favored stablemate finished 2nd in there).  #5 Dangerous Cowboy tried hard every step when chasing an experienced drop-down winner here earlier in the meet, and he is eligible for better.  #6 Richie's Rich debuts for Nick Esler, who has won with 4 of 9 first-time starters since striking out on his own last year.
Selections:  3-2-6-5



Race 5:  #8 Conzig finally broke through with her first career win early this year, and has since faced better on a muddy sealed track, and then tried turf to no avail.  This is a better spot, and Pace Projector places her in a perfect outside stalking trip in a race that favors runners up close to the pace.  
#7 Charming Eyes drops back down in class in first start for new high-percentage trainer. Second best to a 3/5 favorite in lone start at around this level since breaking maiden.  #2 Gingee is tough to take on top at 1-for-25 lifetime, but she gets a class drop back to an appropriate level along with a turn-back in distance, and she is competitive with her best effort.
Selections:  8-7-2-3
Race 6:  #7 Roman Approval is the horse to beat as he drops in class for his third start since arriving in NY.  He has faced better without coming close so far and was disappointing last time when failing to make a run after sitting a good trip.  For alternatives, we would go to #2 Signature Seven or #3 Bigger Picture.  Signature Seven won three straight dirt races earlier this year before catching off tracks at Churchill Downs vs. better horses.  Connections have been ice-cold up here.  Bigger Picture is lightly raced with upside.  Hasn't been seen since February, when second best to a front-running, odds-on favorite. 
Selections:  2-7-3-4
Race 7:  #6 Hardly went to the sidelines after getting stuck three-wide chasing the pace in Grade 3 company back in early March.  Found a tough spot off the layoff, but she's shown real potential.  #5 Almurra was a debut winner sprinting up here last summer.  Has the pedigree to stretch out, and will run better this time with Lasix on after missing the break off the layoff.  #4 Fade to Black stepped up with the surface switch last time and was unlucky not to win after stretch trouble.  Big factor right back, but won't be getting a big price this time.  #8 Kenzadargent is a wildcard coming from France with a trainer change to Chad Brown and Lasix on.  Has held her own in group company over there, but has settled for second-best in seven of 12 lifetime starts.  
Selections:  6-5-4-8
Race 8:  #7 Sheriff Taylor was off slowly and outrun early in sloppy track debut, but he put in a run to catch up to the field before flattening out late.  Has the pedigree to handle the switch to grass, and he'll likely be a price in this loaded field.  
#2 Banana Thief also ran well in his main track debut.  Settled for second best at the end to a heavily favored Main Track Only entrant, and he's also bred for grass.  #10 Saratoga Dreamer makes his debit for Christophe Clement, who is among the very best in the game at preparing first-time starters for turf races, whether long or short.  #1 One Eyed Ray is a half to a turf winner in France, and his dam was a Grade 3 winner on grass a few years ago.  #3 Gear Jammer attracts Castellano and is another well-bred for turf, as his dam was a three-time winner on this surface and is a half-sister to the dam of Notacatbutallama, an earner of over $500k on turf.  
Selections:  7-10-2-3
Race 9:  #2 Heart to Heart impressed in turf debut at Keeneland earlier this year, and ran well in most recent start when back on grass, despite failing to see out the 9 furlongs through that long Woodbine stretch.  #6 Storming Inti is the horse to beat for a trainer who is heating up, and he had little chance up here opening day vs. the speed of the talented Tourist.  #5 Craftsman was an easy winner in first start off the trainer change last time. Group 3 winner in Ireland as a 2yo still holds some upside.  Interested to see what we get from #7 Pure Sensation as he tries to stretch it out for the first time.  Has big speed, and impressed in turf debut last time, but this distance may be pushing it beyond his limit.  
Selections:  2-6-5-1
Race 10:  Finale centers around #1 Battle Hardened, who was eased in his most recent start when claimed for $40k and returns 55 days later for $16k. He's obviously tough to trust, but better than these if he can still run.  If he can't, #7 Le Deluge ran well when hung up in a wide trip chasing a front-running winner here earlier in the meet, and figures competitive if running as well right back.  We'd take him at the expense of recent course and distance winner #6 Chairman Now, or the three exiting the last race on July 28th, which was contested over a sloppy track and went to longshot #9 Bedouin Now
Selections:  1-7-3-6





TimeformUS Analysis for August 18

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Monday's Races at Saratoga

Race 2:  #5 One More Chief is down in class for the first time on dirt after showing his speed and tiring on the grass. Has been facing solid NY-breds on dirt since returning from the layoff, and is supposed to be tough in here with his good race. #6 Invocation hasn't panned out since being claimed up here last year and now drops in for $16k while cutting back in distance.  The blinkers go back on and he should have pace in front of him.  #3 Cosmic Coincidence is another claim that hasn't worked out, and he has been quickly given up on by his new connections.  Wheels back quickly after catching off tracks in each of his last two starts.  
Selections:  5-6-3-7
Race 3:  #2 Louisiana Brown and #6 Battle Red dueled each other into defeat on dirt last month, and they may hurt each other's chances as they both switch to turf here.  Louisiana Brown is by Big Brown, who has gotten off to a good start as a sire of turf sprinters. Gets Lasix for the first time.  Battle Red is by Kitten's Joy, so perhaps he'll find more on this surface after weakening late in both main track starts.  #3 Cyclogenisis has turf pedigree, and he debuts for George Weaver, who saddled a 2yo debut winner in a turf sprint up here last summer and had one just miss earlier in the meet at a big price.  #9 Zandar is a full brother to three turf winners for an up-and-coming trainer, and #7 Boss Magician is by turf influence Street Boss, and his trainer is always dangerous despite getting off to a slow start up here.  
Selections:  3-7-2-6
Race 4:  #7 Very Cherry Candy is something of a layover in this spot based on her recent races, but there are questions surrounding her as she drops sharply off of an alarmingly flat race back in June.  Barn has been running cold, but she is supposed to be a handful in this race.  If she isn't her usual self, #2 Rosie My Way came through with a solid effort while stuck on a four-wide chase last time, and #1 Bobby Jo appeared to get back to a good race last time off the claim, but did so with the benefit of a perfect trip.

Selections:  7-2-1-3 




Race 5:  #12 Ostentatious Me will have to work something out from post 12, but this is far from a scary field, and he is eligible to improve as he gets to turf for the first time as a 3yo.  Raced greenly and wide in only turf start as a 2yo.  
#9 Boss Man finally gets a class drop, which he probably needs.  He's run well enough to beat a field like this one more than once already.  #4 Are We Not Men will also appreciate the drop in class.  Ran well in his debut way back in March, but he's a bit of a plodder and will need some pace to develop. 
Selections:  12-9-4-7
Race 6:  #3 Corporate Culture had no chance when rated back to last and then stumbling on the backstretch behind a walking pace.  Came wide and finished gamely but was too far up against it.  May be better going a bit shorter and around one turn, but she's won going longer in the past.  #6 Three Hearts was also rated off a slow pace last time.  Can improve as she makes her second start as a 4yo.  #10 Premium pulled a big upset with benefit of a perfect trip first time out over here, and she finished gamely in a good field last time to just miss 3rd.  
Selections:  3-6-10-4
Race 7:  Plenty of speed signed on here in the form of #1 Frame and # 6 D J Manlove, which could set things up for a closer.  We respect the chances of #3 Brendan G, who gets a major rider upgrade while going turf-to-dirt for Gary Gullo (93 Trainer Rating with that move), but will try for a better price with #4 Captain Toews.  He ran well as a 2yo and has improved this year despite not winning, and his last is a throwout over an off track he didn't seen to care for.
Selections:  4-3-7-6
Race 8:  #9 Pyrite Mountain has been best on turf despite 0-for-4 record on this surface, and he came gamely last time to just miss in first start off the trainer change.  Has to stretch out but ran well vs. good horses over 1 1/2 miles as a 3yo.
#10 Side Road must be ready to go long off the long layoff, but he has the best form overall, and distance is no concern when he is right.  #1 Red Vine has dropped back-to-back heartbreakers, but he's had good trips both times and has now settled for second-best in five of his 10 career starts.
Selections:  9-10-1-3
Race 9:  Always tough to take short-priced favorites off of inexplicably poor performances, but #5 Natalie Victoria had run nothing but fast races for Michelle Nevin prior to the Molly Pitcher, and she is in position to control the running in here.  #2 Zucchini Flower may be pushed by the 9-furlong distance of this race, but she's best on dirt and has enough speed to keep Natalie Victoria in range early.  #6 Ambusher has improved for Ian Wilkes and drops to a better spot after trying graded stakes foes recently.
Selections:  2-5-6-1
Race 10:  #2 Callans Candy could only chase a fast pace in sprint debut before going greenly and tiring in the stretch. Stretches out for second start while adding Lasix with a drop in class.  
#6 Loves Last Chance is logical dropping in class with competitive form, and #9 Tree Fire is an interesting price to include after getting caught behind a joke of a pace before finishing well in his turf debut.

Selections:  2-6-9-5