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Forbes' Firsters


Forbes’ Firsters is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Forbes’ Firsters will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.


Forbes’ Firsters for Saturday, August 16, 2014

Jon Forbes


Forbes’ Firsters for Saturday, August 16, 2014

Race 4, All 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 2:37 p.m.

CAN’T HAPPEN HERE (dark bay or brown colt, Desert Party—Forbidden Kiss, by Touch Gold) is a half-brother to Indulgence, who placed in seven stakes, including a third in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap sprinting on the dirt. Indulgence won three races in her career, one on an all-weather surface and two on the grass. Forbidden Kiss has produced two winners from four starters, with Forbidden Brew also winning on the grass. Forbidden Kiss’s only win came on the turf, and she’s a half-sister to turfer Diadella, who won the Grade 2 Canadian Handicap. She also is a half-sister to dirt runners El Kingdom, a two-time stakes winner at Calder; and Say a Novena, who won stakes at Parx and Monmouth Park and was second in the Grade 2 Forward Gal and Grade 3 Old Hat.

Owner: Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.


COMPTON COUNTY (bay colt, Harlan’s Holiday—Pay Lady, by Seeking the Gold) is a half-brother to Lighthouse Bay, who won last year’s Grade 1 Prioress. Lighthouse Bay is one of two winners from three starters out of Pay Lady, who was unraced.

Owner: Richlyn Farm Inc.

Trainer: George Weaver

Jockey: Joe Rocco, Jr.


COURTIER (bay colt, Pioneerof the Nile—Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold) is out of the same mare as Emollient, who has won the Grade 1 Ashland and Grade 1 Spinster on a synthetic surface and the Grade 1 American Oaks on the turf. Emollient is by Empire Maker, the sire of Pioneerof the Nile. Soothing Touch herself was winless in six starts.

Owner: Juddmonte Farms

Trainer: William Mott

Jockey: Jose Ortiz


Race 6, All 2-year-olds, 6 ½ furlongs, dirt, 3:43 p.m.

GODIVA LIMOUSINE (bay colt, Bernardini—Stormy Welcome, by Storm Cat) looks to become the first winner out of his dam, who has produced one other starter to date. Stormy Welcome is an unraced daughter of Grade 3 Dogwood winner Welcome Surprise, herself a daughter of two-time Grade 1 winner Weekend Surprise, the dam of Horse of the Year/Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy and Preakness winner Summer Squall.

Owner: Joseph H. Moss

Trainer: Nicholas P. Zito

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Sales history: $410,000 Keeneland September yearling


FAIR ADVANTAGE (bay colt, Bernardini—Miss Kate, by Storm Cat) is out of the same mare as Raconteur, who won the Private Terms at Laurel Park, and Katerbug, winner of the Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park. Miss Kate has produced four winners from six starters. Fair Advantage is by a son of A.P. Indy, the sire of Raconteur and the grandsire of Katerbug, a daughter of Pulpit. Their dam was third in a stakes at the Meadowlands and is out of Grade 1 Monmouth Oaks winner Dream Deal, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 Spinster heroine Clear Mandate and Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Handicap winner Dream Scheme.

Owner: G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.

Trainer: George Arnold II

Jockey: Joe Rocco, Jr.

Sales history: $300,000 Keeneland September yearling


ZENNOR (gray/roan colt, Medaglia d’Oro—Zelanda, by Night Shift) is a half-brother to Time Prisoner, who won the Group 3 Prix de Ris-Orangis in France, and Pearl Chrome, a listed stakes winner in England. Their dam captured a listed stakes in England and is a half-sister to French Group 3 winner Emily Bronte.

Owner: Godolphin Racing

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Jose Ortiz


GORGEOUS BIRD (gray/roan colt, Unbridled’s Song—Elusive Bird, by Elusive Quality) is out of an unraced daughter of Bird Town, who won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Grade 1 Acorn en route to being named Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. Bird Town is a half-sister to Birdstone, who captured the Grade 1 Champagne, Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, and Grade 1 Travers. Elusive Bird has produced one winner, Grade 3 Forward Gal runner-up Pow Pow Pow, from two starters.

Owner: Marylou Whitney Stables

Trainer: Ian Wilkes

Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.


KABANG (chestnut colt, Tapit—Aventina, by Dynaformer) is out of an unplaced half-sister to Grade 3 Razorback Handicap victor Desert Air and listed stakes winner/multiple Grade 3-placed Desert Demon. Aventina has produced two starters, and both have won a single race apiece.

Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Trainer: Thomas Albertrani

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Sales history: $425,000 Keeneland September yearling



To be eligible for Forbes’ Firsters, a first-time starter running in a non-statebred race must meet at least one of the following criteria:

* Is out of a graded-stakes-winning mare

* Is a sibling to a graded-stakes winner

* Is out of a Grade 1-placed mare

* Is a sibling to a Grade 1-placed runner

* Is out of a black-type earning mare who earned at least $300,000

* Is a sibling to a black-type earner who has earned at least $300,000

* Has a second dam who was a Grade 1 winner

* Has a second dam who produced a Grade 1 winner

* Sold for at least $300,000 at auction

Forbes’ Firsters is a collaboration among Jon Forbes and Susie Raisher.


TimeformUS Analysis for August 15

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing on Friday, August 15
Race 1:  #2 Timely Cat was outsprinted in her dirt debut but may appreciate switching to grass, as her unraced dam is a sister to a pair of stakes performers on that surface, and she'll be a price.  #6 Ten Penny Princess was also outrun when finishing ahead of Timely Cat in that July 2 dirt sprint. She took a lot of money that day and was entered back on dirt for Thursday, but wasn't able to draw in to that race.  #5 Bebop Raindrop is the first foal from a dam who is a half-sister to Cloudy's Knight, who was a multiple graded stakes winner on turf.  
Selections:  2-5-4-1
Race 2:  Early Pick 4 kicks off with 2yos.  #2 Tizquick is by the hot stallion Tiz Wonderful, and his dam was a stakes winner, as well.  Trainer John Kimmel has sent out three first-time starters so far at this meet and all ran very well, including Street Blush, who was a winner at 11/1 for this owner, and Bar of Gold, who won the 5th yesterday.  We'll use him along with #4 Upstart, who brought $130k at auction and debuts for one of the best trainers in the game with 2yo first-time starters.  
Selections:  2-4-5-6
Race 3:  #1 Rangey ran too well to lose off the layoff, cutting a fast pace all the way and getting run down late by a perfect-trip winner.  He'll be tough with a similar performance, and Pace Projector indicates he may have an easier time of it early today.  He's a horse we'll be looking to lean on in the early Pick 4 and Pick 5.  
For backups, we'll use #3 Lulu Rocks, who makes his turf debut with some pedigree as a half to Mystic City, a multiple winner on turf, and #4 Special Selection, who wheels back quickly to make his second start off the claim. 
Selections:  1-3-4-5
Race 4:  #2 Taketheodds drops out of a Grade 1 try earlier in the meet to try nine furlongs again, and she may be able to clear to the early lead this time.  She has flashed some ability and still has plenty of upside.  #1 Sheer Drama was a winner over this track and trip last summer, and she will appreciate getting back to the main track after a foray on grass. #5 Penwith didn't class up with graded stakes company in Florida earlier this year, but she can do better with these horses and is eligible to have developed further during her time off.
Selections:  2-1-5-4
Race 5:  #7 Vischer Ferry turns back out of a pair of longer efforts where we thought he ran well while either chasing or cutting fast paces.  Found the right kind of field, assuming he can deploy his speed over this shorter trip.  #8 Latigo Trail has run well in each of his last two starts, as well, only to come up short at the end after opening clear stretch leads. #2 Tapidor gets a trainer change for his 3yo debut after showing some ability last year. May be getting in a prep here for something longer down the road, but he's worth including somewhere in your play.  
Selections:  7-8-2-3
Race 6:  #1A Night Maneuver was rated along a dead rail when outfinished late on July 11, and he faced a tough task chasing speed-ball River Rocks up here last time.  Projects for a better trip this time tracking on the outside in a race that favors runners close to the pace.  
#2 Chilton has won four sprints in a row, including the last three since being claimed by these connections.  Dead-game squeezing through along the rail to outfinish odds-on The Rhythmisright last time.  
Selections:  1A-2-6-4
Race 7:  #10 Vasco Da Gama appeared to be a horse in need of a race while racing greenly and then failing to finish hard in his belated debut at Monmouth.  Figures to have benefited from that experience, and Pletcher does well with these horses after a start.
#8 Decisive Edge has run well in each of his last three starts and is going to be tough with a similar effort in this spot.  #2 De Facto couldn't go with Lunar Rover as that one rolled away to a convincing win in an off-the-turfer here last month, but he is an improving horse who can make good use of his inside post.
Selections:  10-8-2-6
Race 8:  #4 Remember Then is bred for grass, but thus far has been best on other surfaces, though she has kept mostly graded stakes company on turf.  Plenty of pace signed on to this race to set up her run, so we'll give her one more chance.  #7 Stormin Elle deployed a newfound tracking style en route to convincing win back on turf last time, and she can factor here with a similar effort.  #3 Tabreed will also appreciate any pace that develops as she drops out of graded stakes company for the first time since blowout win at Keeneland last October.  
Selections:  4-7-3-6
Race 9:  #1 Saratoga Snacks heads a stellar cast for the $100k John Morrissey, and he makes his first start off the trainer change to Bill Mott.  He's an infrequent racer, but a talented one, and will be tough in here if ready for his best off the layoff, which has been the case in the past.  
Endured a tough trip from the rail in this race last year, but with speed types #2 Brigand, #5 Moonlight Song and #6 Big Business drawn outside, he may do better this year.  Big Business has come back in top form this year, and he will appreciate cutting back in distance for a trainer who has struggled up here.  #8 West Hills Giant is an effective dirt sprinter, and he may get a better set-up today after being forced into a wide run into moderate fractions last time.
Selections:  1-6-8-5
Race 10:  #6 My Four Rewards ran well up here last summer at about this level despite lacking a clean trip, and she had little chance to impact two back on turf when wide in a race that was dominated up front.  #7 Outer Orbit stepped up her game while making a solid pace all the way when switched to turf last time, and she is entered at the right level. #5 Echluath may simply be a better dirt horse, but she began her career on turf with a couple of promising efforts and has never raced this cheaply on this surface.
Selections:  6-7-5-9

Forbes’ Firsters for Thursday, August 14

Susie Raisher

Forbes’ Firsters for Thursday, August 14

Race 6, All 2-year-olds, five furlongs, dirt, 3:10 p.m.

MALIBUWARRIOR (chestnut colt, Malibu Moon—Alpha Kitten, by Tale of the Cat) is the first foal from his dam, a graded stakes winner who earned  more than $225,000. Alpha Kitten was a Del Mar debut winner at 2 who went on to take Santa Anita’s G2 Santa Ynez in January of her 3-year-old season. She placed in two additional graded stakes races, all on all-weather tracks. Second dam Alpha Mama is a full-sister to Marylebone, winner of the G1 Matron at Belmont as a 2-year-old. Malibu Warrior was the fourth highest price offspring of Malibu Moon to sell as a yearling at auction in 2013.

Owner: Alto Racing, LLC

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Sales history: $500,000 Keeneland September yearling


BINGLEY (bay colt, Medaglia d’Oro—Funny Feeling, by Distorted Humor) is the first foal from his dam. Funny Feeling broke her maiden upon her debut in the fall of her 2-year-old season at Churchill Downs. She would go on to become a stakes winner and twice stakes placed sprinting on the dirt. Funny Feeling is a daughter of Hookedonthefeelin, a Grade 1 winner. Other offspring of Hookedonthefeelin include Grade 1 winners Pussycat Doll and Jimmy Creed, the latter of which is a full-brother to Funny Feeling. All three achieved their success at sprint distances on the dirt. Bingley was among the top 10 auction yearlings for his sire.

Owner: Darley Stable

Trainer: Thomas Albertrani

Jockey: Christopher DeCarlo

Sales history: $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling



To be eligible for Forbes’ Firsters, a first-time starter running in a non-statebred race must meet at least one of the following criteria:

? Is out of a graded-stakes-winning mare

? Is a sibling to a graded-stakes winner

? Is out of a Grade 1-placed mare

? Is a sibling to a Grade 1-placed runner

? Is out of a black-type earning mare who earned at least $300,000

? Is a sibling to a black-type earner who has earned at least $300,000

? Has a second dam who was a Grade 1 winner

? Has a second dam who produced a Grade 1 winner

? Sold for at least $300,000 at auction

Forbes’ Firsters is a collaboration among Jon Forbes, Susie Raisher, and Lily Pierce


TimeformUS Analysis for August 14

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing on Thursday August 14th

Race 1:  Steeplechase
Race 2:  #3 Vale Ridge is a bit of a guess, but she lands in a field where the three favorites have combined for 10 second-place finishes in 16 career starts.  Drops in class with a trainer change to Robert Reid, who gets strong trainer ratings across several categories, including with horses making their first start out of his barn (91).  She has never run on dirt but is a half to the once-promising dirt horse Force de La Nature (won her first start on dirt, and then was Grade 3-placed at Saratoga in her second start), and her sire was undefeated on dirt in his brief career.  #4 Sun and Moon is the horse to beat as she returns from a short layoff with a slight drop in class.  Has settled for second in four of six career starts, but has faced better than these.  #1A Sky Crew has speed from a good post and makes her second start back as a 3yo after earning speed figures of 93 and 91 in her last two starts as a juvenile.  Trainer does well with turf-to-dirt moves from a limited sample.  
Selections:  3-4-1A-2
Race 3:  #7 High Heel Kitten earned the top last-out TimeformUS Speed Figure in the field for her maiden win over 1 1/4 miles last time, and that 94 gives her the top two turf figures in the field overall.  Found a nice spot here to go back-to-back for a trainer who can keep them going in the right direction.  
#1 Sabbatical has room to step forward, and perhaps she will as she switches back to turf for the first time since last summer.  Maiden win over synthetic was convincing, if not very fast.  #2 Glorious Chant, #3 Princess Mara, #4 Silky and #5 Neat Package were all undressed by the promising Crown Queen last time and will clearly need to do better in order to contend. 
Selections:  7-1-3-5
Race 4:  #5 Easy Living is two for two on dirt and she picked up her game when wiring a field at Belmont last month with a new top TimeformUS Speed Figure of 91.  
Has to see out an extra furlong at Saratoga, which is no small thing, but she has upside and may be able to grab early control.  #3 Tahoe Tigress may be better suited to the one-turn routes run downstate, as she has a strong turn of foot, which she has used to devastating effect since being claimed for $35k last year.  Ran well enough in this race last year to try again, and this barn is going well right now.  #4 Royal Suspicion is competitive with her best effort, and she was best at Monmouth last time after keeping close to a solid pace that collapsed at the end, but she often settles for minor awards.  
Selections:  5-3-4-1



Race 5:  #3 The Lewis Dinner and #10 Saluda are experienced runners who have both run well enough to ensure that the first-time starters in this field will have to possess some talent in order to win right off the break, but there are some interesting horses making their debuts in here.  #6 Go Babe brought $115k at OBS March after working 10.1, and she has put in some sharp breezes leading up to this for a trainer who can win with first-time starters.  #8 Lady Daphne also arrives with a solid work tab in tow, and she is out of a stakes-winning dam who is a half-sister to the fast multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter Too Much Bling.  #9 Bar of Gold is another working well for a solid outfit and is eligible to be a runner. 
Selections:  6-8-3-9
Race 6:  Todd Pletcher typically dominates the 2yo maiden races around here, though he has won with just 3 of his 17 first-time starters so far this meet.  He has a pair in here, and we prefer #4 Blofeld, who is well-bred and worked an impressive 10 flat in March prior to being sold for $225k.  #7 Bingley is the first foal from a stakes-winning dam who is herself a sister to Grade 1 winners Jimmy Creed and Pussycat Doll.  #3 El Kabeir brought $250k as a yearling and starts for owners who typically have their first-time starters ready to go. He has been training well for his debut.  
Selections:  4-3-7-1
Race 7:  #6 Wine Burglar dropped a tough one after holding the lead all the way down to the wire last time out.
She was closed down by a class-dropper who is better than what she'll face today.  #4 Al's Gal was defeated without excuse as the favorite when last seen, but she's first off the claim and is a logical horse in this race.  #5 Eurokay by Me is impossible to take on top at 1-for-42 and counting, but she was wired after stumbling at the start and winding up last early in her most recent turf start, and she received an unaggressive ride while on a clear lead on May 25th, which may have cost her her best chance.
Selections:  6-4-5-7
Race 8:  #6 Photon has gone back-to-back since cutting back to sprint off of a short break, and he's beaten a couple of today's rivals on the square to post those wins.  #1 Sense of Peace was closed down by Photon after building an apparently insurmountable lead last time.  He has speed and an inside post and is going to be tough once again if bringing his best effort off the claim.  #2 Take Down Two has fallen just short of both Photon and #7 Storm Pursuit recently, but he's proven himself to still be capable as a 9yo, and he is first off the claim for dangerous connections. 
Selections:  6-1-2-7
Race 9:  #7 Run to Mama really improved with racing as a 3yo, and was arguably best in all three turf starts toward the end of the year after getting blocked in traffic and clear too late on October 26th.  Scratched at the gate from her expected return on July 26th, she deserves another chance here.  #5 Distorted Beauty is the horse to beat after stretching out effectively in that July 26th race, which was won in wire-to-wire fashion by Palace Dreams.  #8 One Time Only stretches back out after settling for second best over 6 furlongs at Belmont.  Has speed in a race lacking much of same, and can get the right trip either on or just off the early lead.  
Selections:  7-5-8-1
Race 10:  #1 Tarpy's Goal has won three of his four starts around one turn on dirt this year, and he has enough speed to avoid being compromised from his inside post in a race that Pace Projector indicates will favor runners on or near the lead.  #8 The Big Deluxe has also benefited from concentrating on shorter dirt races recently, and he is the speed from his outside post.  #5 Joking was given a little break after just being outfinished by #2 Real Estate Rich when last seen in April.  Fits well in this field with his best race. 
Selections:  1-8-5-7