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TimeformUS Analysis for August 6

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Wednesday, August 6
 
Race 1:  Steeplechase
 
Race 2:  Questions abound with #5 Moonluck, who returns from the layoff with a $20k tag attached.  He flashed plenty of potential through two starts toward the end of 2013, including his last start, when he endured a tough wide trip against the inside-speed bias while chasing the talented Bakken.  If he has anything left, he's a likely winner.  
 
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#7 Yankee Dime has speed on a drop of his own, and his recency could be a big advantage.  
 
Selections:  5-7-8-4
 
 
Race 3:  Group of seven older horses has mostly disappointed lately.  We're going to tepidly take #7 Conspiracy on top as he drops in class off the trainer change to Bruce Brown. He is a prior winner over this track and trip.  #6 Cease has started to show signs of decline lately, and will drop down to the lowest level of his career as he returns on short rest.  We could make some excuses for his recent races if we wanted to (wet tracks, had to steady hard on the backstretch at MTH, in behind horses two back), but he's becoming difficult to defend.  #5 Sacred Ground exits an inexcusable loss last time, but he is off the re-claim by an underrated trainer who has gotten the best out of him in the past.
 
Selections:  7-6-5-2
 
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Race 4:  #7 Jet Alley debuts for Mike Trombetta, who gets a perfect 100 trainer rating with runners debuting in maiden claiming company.  Good enough for us.  #4 Thirtysilverpieces found an awfully tough spot for his debut and was unable to get involved.  Should find this company more to his liking.  #5 King Thief is a half to a pair of multiple winners, and #2 Radamel has speed on both sides of his pedigree and debuts for a trainer who saddled a winner here last week.
 
Selections:  7-4-5-2
 
 
Race 5:  #4 Quay didn't get much pace last time, but still closed gamely to just miss nailing front-running #5 Aquinnah.  We have always thought highly of her, and she should have a better set-up this time, assuming the field stays intact.  
 
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#1 Spun Silky was also badly compromised behind Aquinnah last time, and she has a race to get to that would make her tough.  #11 Subtle was sharp in a pair of victories up here last summer, and was back on the beam at MTH last time when wiring a field under confident handling.  
 
Selections:  4-1-11-5
 
 
Race 6:  #5 Zo Zo endured early trouble in her debut downstate and had no impact late behind #1 Razia Sultana.  Trainer gets perfect 100 rating with second-time starters and is an incredible 7 for his last 9 with 2yos making their second career start at Saratoga. Razia Sultana can also do better with that debut experience behind her, and she was game to get second in that race despite being pinned down on the inside through the stretch.  #9 Always Sarah is one to keep an eye on for later, as her pedigree suggests longer will be better.  She is a half-sister to both Organizer and Dr. V's Magic, both of whom won the Empire Classic over nine furlongs.  
 
Selections:  5-1-6-4
 
 
Race 7:  While recognizing that all of #1 Precarious, #3 Lawn Party and #4 Satisfaction are contenders (they're three of the shorter prices on the ML), we aren't thrilled with any of them, especially if they're among the favorites come post time.  #11 Kitten's Queen had some traffic issues two back behind Keening, who ran very well to be 2nd up here last weekend, before finishing gamely behind the impressive Crown Queen last time.  #7 More Than Less impressed in breaking her maiden first time out despite a less-than-perfect trip, but hasn't found the easiest N1x field today.
 
Selections:  11-1-3-7
 
 
Race 8:  #9 Helm has tried turf only once, and that came sprinting off of a layoff, but he ran well that day, so there are no concerns with the surface.  Comes here directly from impressive demolition of Presque Isle allowance foes and projects for a good trip away from what may turn out to be a contested early pace.  #1 Middleburg was a very unlucky loser two starts back, and was denied by a promising Deep Speed after a perfect trip last time.  Has a good inside post and is the horse to beat.  #5 Battle Force took a spin around the track up here opening weekend in his return from a long layoff.  Has back form that makes him very tough if he's ready to step it up.
 
Selections:  9-1-5-6
 
 
Race 9:  #1 Tricky Hat handles distance and projects for the right trip from his inside post over a course he has handled in the past.  Needs to bounce back from dismal showing last time, but fits well here if he does.  #8 Winning Cause finished gamely to just miss 3rd while rallying through traffic in the stretch vs. Grade 1 company last time. Distance may be pushing it for him, but this is a much easier spot.  #9 Grand Rapport is back in good form and finished well to close the gap on a front-running winner over this distance last time. 
 
Selections:  1-8-9-10
 
 
Race 10:  #3 Island Therapy took back and finished gamely when switched to turf two starts back, and then was denied his best chance with his rider electing to stay inside for the stretch run up here last time.  #6 Blue Chips Only stretches out while dropping in class, and projects to be in clear control of the early pace.  Trainer excels when adding blinkers for the first time (100 rating).  
 
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#2 Sole Train gets a needed class drop for this, and #9 Copper Core has missed narrowly at this level twice recently, and also adds blinkers for this.
 
Selections:  3-6-2-9
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for August 4

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Saratoga Racing on Monday August 4th
 
Race 1:  #3 Do a Legger has been at his best when aggressively ridden, with all four career wins coming in either pace-setting or pace-pressing fashion.  With Pace Projector favoring runners either on or near the early lead in this race, we think he can be extra tough in this field if using his speed as a weapon.  
 
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#7 Onecats Chance is the ML favorite on the strength of his last two efforts, which are both quite good, but he is without early speed, and Do a Legger's last race is faster.  Rider change is sure to attract some attention, but his previous jockey did nothing wrong, and Onecats Chance appeared to hang badly at the end of his last start after catching a solid pace to close into.  
 
Selections:  3-7-4-6
 
Race 2:  #5 Mineral Water was cut back to a better distance and returned to the proper surface last time, but was unfortunate to wind up chasing a pair of favorites over a track carrying speed.  The 78 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned in his second career start makes him one of the fastest horses in the race, and his form is completely dirtied up by a series of races at the wrong distance or over the wrong surface. #6 Greg's Intuition is a wild card, as he has faced better in NY and is getting a class drop and a change to a barn off to a good start at the meet.  Trio of interesting first-time starters is entered, # 4 Party On, #7 Kindred Irish, and #8 Royalty Reigns, all for trainers who can win first time out.  #3 King Gettigan and #9 Hampden Fiveone are contenders but are running out of chances quickly, if they haven't used them up already.
 
Selections:  5-6-4-7
 
Race 3:  #4 Mental Iceberg made a promising debut toward the end of 2013, closing strongly from off the pace to upset maidens at a big price.  He didn't return to grass until his last two starts, and he got the wrong ride, being wrangled back off of a slow pace, on April 25th and was then no match for the talented Storm last time.  #7 Mark My Way is quite simply the horse to beat for Linda Rice based on his turf form.  #5 Free Mugatu came close but was only second-best to Mark My Way in his lone turf start to date.  
 
Selections:  4-7-5-6
 
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Race 4:  Wide-open maiden race for NY-breds may simply come down to who sees out the 9 furlongs.  We thought that #3 Iced Over made a promising turf debut in Kentucky despite enduring a very tough trip and think he may be the best price of the runners we are interested in.  #4 Dreamboat and #8 Spun Hard also took the worst of it based on their trips in their first starts and are eligible to run much better without trouble.  #5 Blue Shark is the ML favorite, which turned us off, but he's also a major player as he makes his 3yo debut for a tag. 
 
Selections:  3-5-4-8
 
Race 5:  Two back, #7 Frazil contested the pace all the way in a race that fell to closers, and he was completely eliminated from contention by a spill up here opening weekend.
 
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Drops a notch for a trainer who gets a 92 rating with claimers down in class, and Pace Projector favors runners up close in this race.  May have most to fear from new face #4 Back Forty, who is dropping in class for his NY debut.  
 
Selections:  7-4-5-6
 
Race 6:  #6 Old Harbor has improved rapidly since being switched to turf, and she convincingly defeated several of these downstate after a perfect trip.  Has to stretch out a bit farther and travel around two turns, but she is the horse to beat.  #3 Funky Munky Fever finished strongly from far back to be a no-threat 2nd to Old Harbor on June 22nd, and she was badly compromised by a slow pace last time.  Possesses a potent late kick, and Pace Projector indicates that she will have a fast pace to close into this time.  Her stablemate #5 Lady Kreesa has flashed ability while racing greenly through her first three career starts, so she may benefit from today's addition of blinkers. 
 
Selections:  3-6-5-9
 
 
Race 7:  #9 Thundering Gale has run well in all three turf sprints to date while coming up short each time.  Expecting her to find a little more for her new connections.  #7 Scribbling Sarah was put away off the claim by Linda Rice at the end of last year and returns sprinting on the grass, where she is at her best.  She endured tough trips three and four starts back after breaking her maiden here last summer. #1 Rumble Doll will make only her second start on turf today, and will do so for a tag and over a sprint distance, both of which figure to help.  Not surprised she's getting another chance on grass considering her pedigree.
 
Selections:  9-7-1-3
 
Race 8:  #5 Double the Energy wired several of these under similar conditions back in June, and is perhaps in position to do so again, but with #9 Lady Luciano entered this time (and assuming she in fact runs), the pace scenario could well be different this time. Should that be the case, we like the chances of #2 Unbelievable Dream to get revenge, as she was badly hampered when blocked in the stretch last time, and fell just short.  
 
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#8 Frosty Bay has competitive turf form to get to, and has been wired in each of her two starts this year.  #1 Dreaming of Cara is just 1-for-19 on grass, and she always seems to find trouble in her races, but she also always makes our tickets, and is usually a square price.
 
Selections:  2-8-1-5
 
Race 9:  #4 Cast a Doubt has run better than it may appear since arriving in NY, and should be tough with this class drop.  Think he'll appreciate getting back to fast dirt, and he has the speed to get in the game early, which Pace Projector indicates would be to his advantage.  #11 Sense of Peace can also take advantage of that race shape.  He has his issues, but is a quality speed racing at the right level.  #3 Lucci the Lion is competitive at this level, but his new trainer does much better after getting to work with his new acquisitions for a while (only a 69 trainer rating first off the claim, as opposed to an overall rating of 89).  
 
Selections: 4-11-3-7
 
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TimeformUS Analysis Sunday Aug 3

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Saratoga Racing on Sunday Aug 3

Race 1:  2yos kick off the Pick 5, and are led by the Pletcher pair of #3 Kinsley and #5 Feathered, both of whom brought $300k at auction.  Feathered was recently purchased, at OBS March, after blitzing a furlong in 10 seconds flat.  Since Todd tends to send them out ready, we'll expect them both to perform, but will give preference to Feathered.  #1 Harbouring is a half-sister to the fast stakes-winning sprinter Star Harbour, who has won 8 times in his career while earning over $400k.  Her trainer is among the best in the game, but he tends not to have them cranked up right away.
 
Selections:  5-3-7-1
 
Race 2:  #4 Summer Breezing has never been this short, but he is fast and has been at his best sprinting for Christophe Clement.  We think this shorter trip may really suit his speedy style, and he is racing at the right level.  
 
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#3 Escapist didn't have his best chance here last week when unable to get forward position, ultimately having to steady hard on the backstretch.  Has dangerous speed and is eligible to bounce back.  #7 Partly Mocha is a rock-solid turf sprinter at anywhere from 5.5 to 7 furlongs and is a major threat to the top two, especially if they hook up early.
 
Selections:  4-3-7-2
 
Race 3:  Short field of six older maidens entered here, including another Pletcher duo.  Since Todd isn't nearly as potent with his older first-time starters at Saratoga as he is with his 2yos (he's 0 for his last 16 with older runners), we'll go to the logical horse to beat in #4 Flat Jack.  Flat Jack earned a solid 97 TimeformUS Speed Figure for his game runner-up effort last out, and he is going to be very tough to beat if able to come right back with a similar effort.
 
Selections:  4-2-3-6

 

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Race 4:  Engaging rivalry between #6 Lubash and #7 Kharafa may continue in this stakes-quality allowance for NY-breds.  Kharafa also holds an entry into the Lure stakes on Saturday, so we may not see him in this spot, but he is perhaps the horse to beat if he decides to await this spot.  Either way, Lubash will be difficult to down after extricating himself from some stretch traffic last time and then rolling over the likes of #2 Notacatbutallama and #10 Barrel of Love.
 
Selections:  7-6-10-2
 
Race 5:  Not going to be easy to take a stand against #3 South Sound, who holds all of the fast races for a sharp trainer and appears to be a likely single for many in this Pick 5.
 
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For a backup, #7 Little Gidding is lightly raced and dropping in class, and she has won her only start vs. claiming company to date.  #5 Mononoke has speed, and has run a couple of recent figures that put her within hailing distance of South Sound, but if she's a main contender, that just makes the favorite's position that much stronger. 
 
Selections:  3-7-5-3
 
Race 6:  Wide-open $50k claimer on the grass is expected to feature a fast pace, and there is no shortage of interesting closers to choose from.  #7 Redact was unable to threaten front-running Golden Rifle when making his stateside debut off the layoff, but raced on gamely in a performance that he can certainly build upon here.  He also has the advantage of being a new face to this crew.  We're interested (as usual) in #6 Unbridled Logic, as he has been badly compromised by slow paces recently, and never more so than last time, when winner Glowing Ember walked on an uncontested lead.  #5 Dream Man will also benefit from contested fractions, and he's getting the biggest class drop of all in this field.   
 
Selections:  7-6-5-2
 
Race 7:  Bill Mott tends not to have his babies cranked up first time out, but they're generally better second time, and #1 Militsa flashed speed in a strong field in her debut.  #3 No Shanks debuts for a very sharp trainer, and she is a half to 9-time winner Shankopotomus, who was a winner here earlier in the meet.  #4 Ex Wives is a half to the fast Deadly Dealer, who earned over $300k on the track and was best sprinting on dirt.  #6 Condo Commando is from a dam who was a multiple Grade 2 winner on the track and whose first three foals are all winners.  
 
Selections:  1-3-4-6
 
Race 8:  #3 Where's Danny has been in career-best form since coming back to grass back in April, and he ran a deceptively good race while trying to come wide into a slow pace in a super-tough $50k claimer here opening weekend.  
 
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#8 Cheyenne Nation is the horse to beat as he drops in class, but he's vulnerable based upon his 2014 form to this point.  #10 Cage Fighter is the ML favorite on the class drop for connections that look to win races up here, and he was compromised when trying to close into a slow pace last time.
 
Selections:  3-8-10-1
 
Race 9:  Wide-open running of the Waya offers an opportunity to price hunt.  With that in mind, #6 Levanto was a two-time winner over 1 1/2 miles in Ireland, and rated as a promising horse by Timeform over there despite bombing on more than one occasion.  Went to the lead and stopped in her stateside debut, but the margin is somewhat deceiving with her rider wrapping up approaching the stretch, and it's noteworthy that she has managed to rebound from poor efforts in the past.  #7 Fitful Skies and #8 Inimitable Romanee are the horses to beat, as they are most accomplished to this point and have no distance concerns.  #13 Cat's Claw must draw in, but she has relished distance and is highly progressive.
 
Selections:  6-7-8-13
 
Race 10:  No one to trust in maiden claiming finale, so we will look to a new face in #8 Town Leader.  Clement excels with runners debuting in turf routes (100 rating), and based on the form showing from her competition, she needn't be that much to contend.  #5 Rachel's Temper returns for her 3yo debut with a needed class drop.  She did her best in some tougher spots last year, but simply wasn't good enough, and this class drop should suit her.  #7 Costenia drops for Pletcher, and she has some speed, but there is no shortage of that in this field.  #2 Shaikha enters off of the best last race, but is piling up the chances.  
 
Selections:  8-5-2-7

 

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TimeformUS Analysis for August 2

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Saturday, August 2
 
Race 1:  One final try for #11 Ziggy the Great, who was an impressive (and heavily bet) debut winner over this course and distance last summer.  Rallied gamely through the stretch vs. a tougher overall field when cut back last time.  
 
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#8 Leroy Jr. returns to turf off the layoff. He blew away a field of maidens when last seen sprinting on dirt.  Last turf race was OK going long, and he may simply be a better sprinter.  #2 Hooked Forever was outfinished by #1 Soul House after they contested the pace together on June 22nd, but he is a better horse making one run and will be a much better price today. 
 
Selections:  11-8-2-1
 
 
Race 2:  #8 Alexis Inspires caught a muddy track and completely blew the break in her Churchill debut.  Thought she did well to finish where she did. She is eligible to deliver a much better performance second-time out.  
 
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#3 Skidmore also broke slowly in her debut, then had little chance to impact front-running Resistivity over a Gulfstream main track that tends to carry speed.  Like Alexis Inspires, she is eligible to be much improved with that experience as she returns from a layoff.  #2 Snowbell made a promising debut here last summer, but hasn't been able to build upon that effort and remains a maiden over a full year later.  Didn't run poorly in her second start, which came off of a layoff, and she may appreciate getting back over this track.  #6 Brilliant Jewel and #7 Ridingwiththedevil are the two fastest horses to this point, but they've both disappointed at short prices more than once and are vulnerable to their progressive rivals.  
 
Selections:  8-2-3-6
 
 
Race 3:  #3 Face the Music is by a strong turf influence in Stormy Atlantic, and his dam is a half-sister to champion turfer Point of Entry. Shug not known for first-out success, but he's starting to get there with six debut winners over the past 12 months and three already this year. #5 Cordero is the horse to beat.  He debuted in a super-tough spot vs. stakes company in Europe over seven furlongs and earned progressive marks after being bothered in the late stages.  
 
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#10 Firespike was on his way to an easy debut victory at Ellis Park when he appeared to attempt to jump the rail in midstretch.  Switches from a 7-lb. bug to NY's leading rider.  #4 Strong Coffee is a half to a pair of stakes winners over grass and debuts for a trainer adept at getting runners to win off of workouts.  
 
Selections:  3-5-10-4
 
 
Race 4:  #9 Flashy Gal appeared full of potential as a 2yo in NY for Chad Brown, but never really got going as a 3yo after being transferred to this barn.  Seems back on track after pair of improved starts this year, including a convincing win last time, and while Pace Projector indicates that the runners closer to the pace may hold the advantage, we'll hope that she can use her potent late kick (she has the top late pace rating in the field) to overcome any disadvantage.  #3 Strike Charmer is still lightly raced and improving from start to start.  She was way up against it while trying to close into a slow pace up here last year, and she appeared to take a step forward in her 2014 debut.  #10 Tokyo Time hasn't quite panned out for top connections, but she has run well in her last two starts since returned to NY and fits very well in here.  #2 Lady of Gold has a great inside post and competitive form, and may be a good price to include, assuming the trainer change doesn't attract too much attention. 
 
Selections:  9-3-10-2
 
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Race 5:  As usual, dirt sprint for 2yos, with several first-time starters, figures to go through trainer Todd Pletcher.  He has two entered, including ML favorite #1 Royal Son.  Winstar homebred is from the family of 2yo champion Countess Diana, and he's a half to Awesome Mama, who was a debut winner a couple of years ago.  We're interested in one of his experienced rivals, #6 Pride of Stride, who gets first-time Lasix after dropping back and then rallying late in his Delaware debut.  #7 Waging War brought big money as a yearling and debuts for a trainer who can win with first-time starters, but he has more of a turf pedigree.  #4 Burndines debuts for a red-hot trainer and has attracted Javier Castellano despite Pletcher having two in here.  
 
Selections:  6-1-4-7
 
 
Race 6:  #7 Pretty Syrie flashed potential while sprinting on synthetic and dirt, but is well-bred to handle the switch to grass, and her trainer gets a 99 rating with horses making their first start on turf.  #8 Pink Poppy impressed when charging down maidens through the stretch of her second career start, and then failed to fire after getting rank in the early stages last time.  Should be able to settle this time with a fast pace projected, and can be given a chance to rebound.  #2 Granny Mc's Kitten broke her maiden vs. stakes company up here as a 2yo; makes third start of the year for top connections, and this will be her first attempt at this allowance condition on grass.  
 
Selections:  7-8-2-9
 
 
Race 7:  De La Rose stakes features the return of a pair of graded stakes winners for trainer Chad Brown in #7 Pianist and #8 Dayatthespa.  Of those two, we prefer Dayatthespa, but they'll both have to be ready to go right away if #9 Filimbi continues her ascent for Bill Mott.
 
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She has recency on her two main rivals, and was highly impressive in her confident score over allowance foes when last seen.
 
Selections:  9-8-7-5
 
 
Race 8:  Guaranteed Late Pick 4 kicks off with the Grade 1 Vanderbilt for older sprinters. Both #1 Palace and #8 Bakken arrive here via the True North, which was contested the day before the Belmont Stakes downstate.  Palace prevailed that day with the benefit of a perfect trip tracking a pace duel in which Bakken was involved.  
 
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With plenty of speed signed on here, we could see a replay of that race, though we are expecting Bakken, who was making his first start of the year in the True North, to be a tougher customer this time.  #5 Happy My Way is a razor sharp speed stepping up to face his toughest test to date, and he could have a difficult time early with speed to his outside in the form of Bakken and to his inside in the form of #2 Falling Sky.  
 
Selections:  1-8-5-7
 
 
Race 9:  
 
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Excellent running of the Grade 1 Test figures to be a war from start to finish.  We believe #7 Sweet Reason to be the best horse in the race to this point, and perhaps the top 3yo filly overall at distances under a mile, but she was able to work out a perfect trip from off the pace to win the Grade 1 Acorn last time, and may need a similar clean run to prevail today.  #4 Thank You Marylou turns back to a better distance after trying to stretch out recently, and she had impressed over sprint distances earlier in her career.  #5 Southern Honey has been improving rapidly for Rusty Arnold, winning three in a row while earning competitive TimeformUS Speed Figures along the way. #8 Little Alexis is stepping way up in class off of a pair of convincing wins in Florida.  This is likely to be too tough for her, but she impressed in burying the talented My Miss Sophia in her debut.  #12 Miss Behaviour is a very dangerous horse drawn out in the clear, but she may be pushing her limits over this distance.
 
Selections:  7-4-5-12
 
 
Race 10:  Grade 1 Whitney Handicap with a new $1.5 million purse goes straight through #5 Palace Malice. He is the clear leader of this handicap division right now and appears to be going from strength to strength since returning as a 4yo.
 
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#1 Will Take Charge hasn't been able to hold his terrific form from the second half of 2013 and early 2014 but has a race in him that would make Palace Malice sweat.  He was up against the dynamics of the Foster last time, but will have to rebound all the way in order to take down this prize.  #3 Moreno matched up well with both Palace Malice and Will Take Charge as a 3yo, and he may be set to break through after his game runner-up performance going longer last time.
 
Selections:  3-5-1-7
 
 
Race 11:  Our Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap for the Lure Stakes, and that may allow #4 Big Blue Kitten to pick up right where he left off after his terrific 2013 season.  Will be tough with something approaching his best, but he may be prepping for some longer graded stakes assignments later in the season.  #8 Villandry never really got going as a 4yo, but he's been in improved form this year, and he was up against it when trying to close down a loose-on-the-lead Silver Max last time.  #12 Kharafa took the worst of the draw, but he has been going well over a long series of races and can be tough if able to work out a trip.  #2 Swift Warrior is also a big danger from his perfect inside post, and he will be hoping to catch firm ground for the first time this year.
 
Selections:  2-4-8-12
 
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