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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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TimeformUS Analysis for July 26

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Saturday, July 26
 
Race 1:  #5 Rapid Repair hasn't run on turf in five months, when she was unable to get forward position and wound up stuck behind a moderate pace.  She has improved her form on the main track since returning from a short layoff, and her new-found speed on that surface could serve her well here after scratching from a much tougher spot on Friday's card to await this.  #6 Engaginglee has blown a trio of very good trips on turf already, all of them at short prices; tries again.  #8 Smart Ashley has a similar profile to Engaginglee, as she has settled for minor awards so far while taking some play.  
 
Selections:  5-6-1-8
 
 
Race 2:  #2 Blue Pigeon may be the horse to beat in this entry-level allowance for NY-breds, as he hinted at potential last year at two for Christophe Clement.  A much-the-best winner over this track in his debut, he went straight into stakes company from there.
 
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#3 Macagone is an interesting alternative to the likely favorite, as he has excuses for his first three starts, and took no prisoners in a convincing maiden score last time.  #1 Sanctify began his career in good form on the dirt, but his pedigree suggests turf may be better for him, and he ran well over a shorter distance on this surface downstate.  #7 Hidden Vow has the fastest races to get to, and if he runs the same race today that he ran two back, he's a likely winner, but he's just 1-for-22 lifetime and was a total no-show last time.  
 
Selections:  3-2-1-7
 
 
Race 3:  Loaded baby race will be an interesting race to keep tabs on for future reference, no matter who wins.  For the purposes of making picks, we'll put #8 Aldrin, a $1 million 3/4 brother to Tapit, on top.  #9 Competitive Edge has been mentioned as a runner for Pletcher, but he needs to draw in off the AE list.  Both #3 Today's Agenda (a $180k Monba?) and #5 Captain Moss (by Quality Road and out of a strong female family) have things to recommend them as well.  
 
Selections:  8-9-5-3
 
 
Race 4:  This is not the kind of race you want to be taking a short price in, as these horses have already blown too many chances.  #1 Vecino is a logical kind of horse, and he didn't run badly at Pimlico two starts back, but we can't love him from a wagering perspective at projected low odds.  If we were to take a shot at a price, it would be with #2 Sir Maurice, who is best as a turf sprinter and ran the best last race of any of these.  
 
Selections:  2-1-4-6
 
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Race 5:  #2 Rocket Time is very lightly raced and has to stretch out a bit here, but he has flashed real potential and is an interesting horse in a race where the others have already been exposed for the most part.  He raced very greenly in his debut after breaking slowly, and was within a length of #3 C J's Awesome at the finish despite trying to get in all the way through the stretch.  He looked a little better last time when taking it to maidens in a powerful front-running performance, but was still a little immature in the stretch.  #1 Rankhasprivileges has kept good company and has the two fastest recent races, which makes him the horse to beat.  #4 Golden Soul hasn't gone forward since parlaying a perfect inside run (and a monumental pace meltdown) into a runner-up finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and will likely be an underlay with all of those Grade 1 running lines still appearing in his pps.
 
Selections:  2-1-5-4
 
 
Race 6:  Tough turf marathon for $35k claimers.  We are going to try #4 Knights Nation here on the class drop, as things just didn't go well for him once he didn't get his customary spot up on or near the lead last time.  He has already won over this distance on dirt, and he may also have been best in his lone try over this trip on grass.  #1 Capitan Futuro will need to be fit to go this far directly off of a long layoff, but he's proven to be a true stayer since arriving stateside, and he's faced much better competition than this.  
 
Selections:  4-1-2-5
 
 
Race 7:  Entry-level allowance for older sprinters has no shortage of speed signed on, which we hope plays to the advantage of #5 Rich 'n' Tuck.  He got untracked too late last time, when closing strongly with too far to come in the stretch, but he has been a dead-game closer in his three dirt sprints on this circuit, and he may get the right set-up today.  #10 Fabulous Kid is a dangerous horse getting back to what may be his best game today after trying routes and turf lately.  Sprint debut was fast, and he drew well on the outside.  
 
Selections:  5-10-1-3
 
 
Race 8:  Late Pick 4 with a $300k guarantee kicks off here with the Grade 2 Amsterdam. #4 Coup de Grace is the horse to beat after running down a pair of speedy rivals in Delaware prep for new trainer.  He had less-than-perfect trips in each of his two NY graded stakes tries and still managed to win one of those, but doesn't have much margin for error. We think that #8 Captain Serious poses a real threat to him ,however, and will take him on top at what should be a better price.  He has put his handy speed to work through three sprint starts to this point, traveling well from off of a fast pace in his debut, then stalking a more moderate pace in start number two, before taking control up front in the Mike Lee and pouring it on late in a convincing win.  105 speed figure for his excellent runner-up performance going longer last time is better than anything Coup de Grace has earned so far.  
 
Selections:  8-4-6-3
 
 
Race 9:  Both #1 Run to Mama and #2 Palace Dreams are returning from layoffs here, but they both flashed real ability last year at three, and are going to be big factors in here if ready to go right off the bench.  Palace Dreams has more speed, and Pace Projector places her on the early lead, but Run to Mama will likely be a much better price.  
 
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#5 Distorted Beauty may be the most talented of this bunch.  She's lightly raced and will stretch out for the first time today in a tough spot, but it will be no surprise if she is this good.  
 
Selections:  1-2-5-6
 
 
Race 10: The strength of this Jim Dandy field is drawn to the outside, with Belmont winner #4 Tonalist, the improving #5 Kid Cruz, and #7 Wicked Strong the major players. Tonalist has long felt like the up-and-comer in this division, and he scored back-to-back impressive victories once back to the races following a setback earlier in the year, including that Belmont Stakes upset when losing a lot of ground.  Wicked Strong was unlucky in the Derby, and he figures to appreciate this shorter distance after racing on gamely late over the 1 1/2 miles last time.  Kid Cruz isn't fully committed to running as of this writing, and faces a stern test should they elect to run him.  
 
Selections:  4-7-5-6
 
 
Race 11:  #11 Tapitation got the wrong ride in his turf debut back in May, and actually did quite well to finish second that day.  He deserves another chance on this surface, though post 11 is no bargain.  #6 Elroi has come back in improved form this year and will appreciate the cut-back from a longer route.  #9 Birchwood Road will be looking for firm ground for the first time since convincing maiden score at the end of last year, and he gets an interesting trainer change for this. 
 
Selections:  11-6-9-2
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for July 25

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Friday, July 25

 
Race 1:  Difficult to find anything clever to say about the opener. The favorite, #7 Silver Union, takes the required drop while adding Lasix. The second choice, #5 Vision of Mine, takes an even bigger drop after running into a pair of repeat winners to begin her career.  Nothing so compelling about the others, unless you're interested in first-time starter #3 Lovely Elle, whose dam was a debut winner in NY for Pletcher several years ago and went on to win seven more races in her career.  
 
Selections:  7-5-2-3
 
 
Race 2:  #5 Shaunna Alexandra has earned a pair of 90+ TimeformUS Speed Figures for her last two races, which is rarified air in this field of $20k claimers.  Pace Projector indicates that she will be forwardly placed in a race that favors front-runners, and we expect her to be tough in this field.  
 
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#2 My Place is the horse to beat as she is dropped out of allowance company for Mott, which is something he does well from a limited sample (99 Trainer Rating).  #8 Valerie Victoria comes up a little light on our speed figures, but she's making just her second start off the layoff, and she raced on gamely to be second-best last time after chasing the pace throughout.
 
Selections:  5-2-8-9
 
 
Race 3:  Well-matched field of older turf horses set to go 1 1/2 miles here, with the distance likely to be the equalizer. Favored entry of #1 Artic North and #1A Clearbrook have stayed the longer trips most effectively, which is a strong point in their favor.  #4 Saffron Hall has competitive form up to 9 furlongs on turf, but he won over longer on dirt, and this barn is due to break out at some point.  #7 Rapscallion has never really delivered on his early promise, but he did run very well in a strong field over 1 1/4 miles two starts back. 
 
Selections:  4-7-1/1A-6
 
 
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Race 4:  This is a good NY-bred sprint that brings together several horses showing improved recent form and is open to just about any one of the seven entered.  We are most interested in #5 Leilani's Ticket. He is one of the biggest prices on the board, and he has really improved his form since being claimed by these connections here last summer.  He has run very well twice while sprinting on dirt this year, posting a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure for his late-running second over the inner dirt on March 8th, and coming right back with a 94 despite trouble at the break next time out.  His recent turf form is fine, but he's better on dirt and will be running late.  #6 Horatio has turned his life around since turned over to Jimmy Toner, and his last race was his best yet.  #7 Dan's Gold is another who is listed at a big price on the ML, and he has dangerous speed to use from his outside post.  #1 The Big Deluxe also has speed and may be forced to use it from the rail as he steps up off the claim. 
 
Selections:  5-6-7-1
 
 
Race 5:  #9 Animal Style is the horse to beat here as he drops down in class after putting in a strong run to fall just short vs. much better last time. Pace Projector indicates that he'll have a fast pace to set him up.  Appears these connections, who have gotten off to a slow start here for the second year in a row, are starting to look for wins.  Interested to see what we get from #6 Road Agent, who switches to a turf sprint off the claim. He has the pedigree to handle it and may appreciate a change after tailing off on the dirt recently.  
 
Selections:  9-6-2-10
 
 
Race 6:  Solid entry of #1 Guilt Trip and #1A Code West entered here, but only one will go, with Leparoux named on both.  Whichever one goes figures to be the horse to beat in here. But we're going to play multi-race wagers mostly through #3 Qualify, who is on the upswing for Graham Motion after winning all three starts so far this year.  May need to step forward one more time here, but he's been impressive during the current streak. We're skeptical of his more accomplished, and so far faster, rivals.  
 
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Selections:  3-1/1A-6-2
 
 
Race 7:  Wide-open turf maiden race.  #3 Hope Cross makes her third career start for Chad Brown, and she could easily have won either of her first two with any luck at all.  She had trouble at the break of her debut, and wound up getting bumped late while rallying through traffic to just miss.  She was then heavily backed for her second start at Belmont, only to find herself hooked into a fast duel and getting run down by a perfect-trip closer.  #2 Shift Colors came with a big run on the outside when second best in her turf debut in Kentucky and is eligible for better.  #5 Rapid Repair made a promising debut on grass before switching to the main track for Mott, but she is also entered into an easier spot on turf on Saturday.  
 
Selections:  3-2-5-9
 
 
Race 8:  #4 Noble Doss has returned running since being switched to dirt off the layoff. He won easily over a one-turn mile vs. weaker, and then rushed up to contest the pace after missing the break last time, staying gamely to the end. 9yo #2 Writingonthewall is back to dirt for sharp connections after getting a short break.  He's been in good form and likes to win.  #9 Bug Juice easily handled Noble Doss at the end last time, but he got a perfect trip that day and may be better over a wet track.  #10 Regulus has the top last-out speed figure in the field, but he was facing just three others in that off-the-turf event, and he got loose on the lead.
 
Selections:  4-2-9-7
 
 
Race 9:  $100k Curlin stakes for 3yos may have a different look come post time, as ML favorite #1 Commanding Curve and third choice #6 Cousin Stephen are both cross-entered into Saturday's Jim Dandy.  Either way, we'll take our chances with #3 Protonico, who impressed in contesting the pace all the way to a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his first start for Pletcher.  Pedigree suggests taking on more distance should be no issue.  This trip may be pushing the limits of how far #10 Life in Shambles wants to go, but he has speed and was a very good 3rd last time after being forced to gun to the lead on a solid pace from his inside post.   
 
Selections:  3-1-10-2
 
 
Race 10:  #3 Illapa made a positive impression on turf last year as a 2yo, and she got in what appeared to be a useful prep going shorter off the layoff downstate.  We liked what we saw from #5 Jolene in her turf debut last time, as she was forced to try her rally up the inside and just missed getting 2nd from #4 Knotty Pine, who was controlling the pace that day. Well-bred #9 Fresh Feline could be dangerous in here after racing very greenly in her debut, but we have been leery of runners from this barn in NY all spring and summer, and want to see some life out of their runners before getting on board.  
 
Selections:  3-5-9-1A 
 
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for July 24

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Thursday, July 24
 
Race 1:  Steeplechase.
 
Race 2:  Of the three experienced 2yos entered to go here, #6 Louisiana Brown interests us the most. He brought a game challenge to troubled Sanford runner-up Mr. Z in his debut before falling just short.  Both #3 Battle Red and #2 Revolver are eligible to step forward a bit with a race under their belts, but we were less impressed with their debut efforts.  Always have to take Pletcher firsters seriously. Therefore, #4 Bully Proof will be part of our play.  
 
Selections:  6-4-3-2
 
 
Race 3:  #2 Miss Electronica is lightly raced, and thus less exposed than her rather modest competition in this $40k maiden claimer. That may be reason enough to take her in here. But she also faced a much tougher group for this level in her debut. The race had a race rating of 79 (vs. today's 66) and she ran into MSW dropper Loomin' Lori Lou in that spot.  
 
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#5 Keep Right has some angles in play, as she drops in for a tag for the first time while also turning back and switching from turf to dirt.  We would also take a long look at firster #8 Built in a Day in a field like this, as she is well-connected. Her trainer doesn't excel first-time out but did saddle Andromeda's Risk to a 41/1 upset in a maiden claiming debut earlier this year.
 
Selections:  2-5-8-9
 
 
Race 4:  #6 Misszippityslewda took a bad stumble at the start, then rallied gamely through some traffic late to be along for second behind a heavily favored front-running winner last time. Then she galloped out strongly after the wire. She deserves another chance.  #1A Ultimate Shopper has dangerous speed, and also has a pair of wins over this seven-furlong distance, which is as many wins as the rest of the field combined. We've always felt that #3 Lady Gracenote was better over sprint distances, so getting back to seven furlongs is a good thing for her. She has hit the board in each of her last six starts sprinting, while posting a pair of wins in those races. 
 
Selections:  6-1A-3-5
 
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Race 5: With plenty of speed signed on, this turf sprint for maiden fillies figures to feature a contested pace . We're interested in giving #10 Julie's Jewelry a chance in here off the trainer change to Clement. She was well-backed for her debut and figures to handle grass, being a half-sister to Saucey Evening, a stakes winner over turf in her career.  
 
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Our other horse will be #3 Miss Lech, who returns for Chad Brown to make what is essentially her 3yo debut. This trip may come up a little short for her. But she was a very good 2nd over seven furlongs on grass last September, and she should have some pace to close into here. 
 
Selections:  10-3-2-5
 
 
Race 6:  #4 Haldane has some hang in her, and it's not exactly encouraging that she has failed to be competitive at Finger Lakes recently, but she is entered at the right level today and figures to have some pace to run at.  #8 Saichi Sweepin has maintained consistent form despite winning just one of her seven starts since arriving on this circuit last September, and she has the best speed from a nice outside post.  Both #1 Bridget Moloney and #2 Bird House have become pace dependent, but we thought the former ran the better race of the two when behind front-running winner Sweet Sway at this level on June 27th. 
 
Selections:  4-8-1-2
 
 
Race 7:  #8 Powerful Instinct showed big improvement once switched to this barn at the end of last year, and wasn't seen to best effect when trying to close from behind a powerful front-running winner off the layoff as a new gelding.  Eligible to go forward in his second start of the year, and Pace Projector suggests he'll have the right set-up for his closing style.  #5 Captain Gaughen's gradual improvement last year as a 3yo is somewhat hidden by a pair of races against the flow last October at Belmont (up dueling a fast pace on the 3rd, and then caught behind a joke of a slow pace on the 19th).  Can do better here in his third start back, and he'll be a price. 
 
Selections:  5-8-11-3
 
 
Race 8:  #2 Pura Vida Zen improved to a new career top speed figure second off the claim and is now shipped straight to Saratoga by a trainer who scores a strong 96 rating with last-out winners.  Not much separating #3 Wild Kay, #6 Wholelotaroyalty and #7 Heir to Dare on recent figures, and they all have speed. 
 
Selections:  2-3-7-6
 
 
Race 9:  $100k Quick Call a real puzzle, with plenty of speed signed on (see Pace Projector) and only a single prior grass winner among the seven entered.  
 
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That turf winner is #3 Escapist, who has impressed in beginning his career two-for-two, but has done so in front-running fashion, and that style may not play in this spot.  The expected pace scenario may make #2 Harpoon the one to beat, as he is one who will be running late for Pletcher, but we think #6 Glacken Too is going to benefit from the turn-back out of a fast-paced route and will take him to post a mild upset. 
 
Selections:  6-2-4-5
 
 
Race 10:  Have no good ideas in wide-open finale that is expected to feature a fast pace. At least #10 Little T. Louie showed some life in his turf debut last time, and he isn't expected to be looking for the early lead.  #8 All Over Me has the best credentials to this point and drops back down as the horse to beat.  #4 Bapu, who is first-time Lasix for second lifetime start, and firster #11 Chasin Chama have landed in the right kind of field, assuming they have any ability. 
 
Selections:  10-8-11-4 
 
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