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TimeformUS Analysis for May 22-29

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona will be on vacation May 22-29. David's Belmont analysis will return May 30th. 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 21

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday May 21st

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: The two main players here exit the same race on April 13. That day, You Got It (#5), the less fancied half of the Rudy Rodriguez-trained uncoupled entry, was allowed to run off to a comfortable early lead. He was passed by Tom’s Gift in midstretch, but gamely battled back to win. You Got It returned to form after tailing off this winter and a repeat of that performance would make him a contender again. However, this time he must deal with the speed of Whiskey Neat (#6) just to his outside and potentially Boilermaker to his inside. We’re not in love with the idea of taking the favorite, but it’s hard to go against TOM’S GIFT (#7), who should sit a perfect trip just off what could be a contested pace up front. The only other runner we’d throw into the mix is Willie’s Mojo (#3), who is the wild card in this race. He improved when breaking his maiden last time, and now returns in his first start off the claim for Steve Asmussen as a new gelding. 

Selections: 7 – 3 – 5 – 6 

 

Race 2: When handicapping this race, one has to decide what to do with Onus (#2). It’s pretty clear that her best efforts could beat this field, but it’s hard to trust her completely given that she’s only produced those stellar performances at Laurel Park. She was disappointing when shipped to Churchill for the Mrs. Revere and now returns from a lengthy layoff. Shug McGaughey gets a decent enough 76 trainer rating with runners returning from layoffs of this type. We’re not way against her, but we believe some others will offer better value. Suffused (#5) put in a solid effort in her U.S. debut, finishing fifth in the Orchid after making a midstretch bid. This filly kept very solid company over in Europe, finishing behind a couple of Group 1-placed runners last summer. She should be fitter for her second start in this country and could be dangerous if she handles this shorter distance. We’re also interested in the two fillies coming out of that April 20 allowance race at Keeneland. Industrial Policy (#1) ran fairly well that day, but she’s not exactly a winning type and figures to pick up her usual minor award. We’re more intrigued by MOJO RISIN (#4), who did not get an ideal trip last time. Javier Castellano was never able to find any cover for her and she ended up racing three-wide in the clear all the way around the track, which seemed to dull her stretch kick. This filly was well-regarded in France, going off at just 9/2 in the 17-horse Group 1 Prix de Diane last year. If the good Mojo Risin shows up today, we believe she can beat this field.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 2 – 1 

 

Race 3: It’s pretty cool to see a Queen’s Plate winner running in New York, but that doesn’t mean we’re interested in betting Shaman Ghost (#2). He appears to be coming into this race off a strong series of works, but we just have too many questions to back him at a short price. His speed figures are distinctly slower than what some of his more seasoned rivals have been running and the Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors horses on or near the lead, which could really work against this closer. J S Bach will be that pacesetter, but we’re not convinced that he’s good enough to beat a field of this quality. We’ll instead rely on DONTBETWITHBRUNO (#1), who has run three solid races since the claim by Rudy Rodriguez. He may not have cared for the mud two back, but he had previously shown tactical speed, which should serve him well here. We like him to turn the tables on Indycott (#4).  Touchofstarquality (#5) would be very interesting if he had a recent start under his belt, but he seems like the type that usually needs a race off a long layoff.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 5 – 2 

 

Race 4: If ANIMAL APPEAL (#7) repeats the effort she put forth on opening day of this meet, she’s not going to lose this race. It’s that simple. None of the other fillies here seems capable of approaching that 110 speed figure, earned when setting a blazingly fast early pace before hanging on gamely in the late stages. There is other speed in this race (note that the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace), but she’s drawn well outside of them. We’re not trying to beat her, but we will also use long shot First Charmer (#1) in hopes of completing the exacta. Most will perceive this trainer switch to Richard Metivier as a major negative, but the fact remains that she’s run some decent speed figures and appears to be better-suited to sprinting despite having broken her maiden going two turns. Perhaps she can work out a trip from just in behind the speeds. Startwithsilver (#4) seems like the likely second choice, but she wasn’t facing much in her initial turf start and will have to do much better than that to beat this group.

Selections: 7 – 1 – 4 – 6 

 

Race 5: If he draws in off the also-eligible list, we would make ANALYZE DATTT (#11) our selection here. He actually hasn’t disgraced himself in either turf start, making a middle move into a quick pace on October 31 last year, and then finishing a decent fourth behind a trio of well-regarded runners at the recently completely Aqueduct meet.  This would be a difficult post position, but we believe he has the ability to overcome it. If he doesn’t play, we’d land on Ezra (#6), who tries turf for the first time. He has a little surface pedigree as a half-brother to one turf winner, and he strikes us as the type of horse that should take to this surface. It’s encouraging that Jose Ortiz takes the mount and he should be placed up close early in a race lacking a clear pace scenario. There Goes Ben (#7) made a strong wide move to threaten for the win two back at the maiden special weight level before ultimately flattening out to be fourth. He’s been pretty inconsistent, but we can’t deny that his best effort would give him a major shot. We’re against morning line favorite Majority, whose turf races are not very good and has now lost twice in a row at very short prices.

Selections: 11 – 6 – 7 – 9 – 1 

 

Race 6: Be a Hero (#1) has to be considered the horse to beat as he makes his first start off the claim for Bruce Levine. We felt that his rider was not aggressive enough in the early stages last time and let the eventual winner sneak away through slow (color-coded in blue) early fractions. This time Jose Ortiz has no choice but to send him from the rail post position. We’ll certainly use him, but our top pick is the runner drawn just to his outside. RICH ‘N’ TUCK (#2) had no business running in a mile and a sixteenth N1X allowance race last time and understandably tired badly in the stretch. We like that he’s turning back to a more appropriate distance. He’s run well in all of his other races since returning from the layoff in December and he has the tactical speed to be placed within striking range early. Bad Hombre (#6) also turns back after losing at this level last time, but he may have been hindered by a speed-favoring wet surface that day. It’s been a long time since he’s found himself in the winner’s circle, but he’s far from impossible. Attractive Ride (#4) would be dangerous if he could regain his early zip, but we wonder if he’s lost a step now at age 10.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 6 – 4

 

Race 7: Thomas Hill (#5) beat two of today’s rivals when he was last seen October 18 of last year. That effort would make him a major player in here, but we wonder if he’ll be ready for his best performance in his first start back from the layoff. Instead, we’re more interested in a couple of runners that finished behind in that very race. Special Selection (#12) has run some of his best races over this Belmont turf course and also has no trouble handling give in the ground, in case the rains come early. The only drawback is that he typically needs some pace to close into and we’re not sure how much of that he’s going to get here. Our top selection is RAPSCALLION (#6), who was forced to race three- to four-wide for most of the way when he finished two lengths behind Thomas Hill in his last turf race. He’s done some of his best work sprinting on this turf course and his tactical speed may give him an edge over the two aforementioned runners. We could also throw in The Imposter (#11) off his strong 2015 form. We realize that he had some excuses in his two losses since then, but we still wish he had shown a bit more fight in defeat.

Selections: 6 – 12 – 11 – 5

 

Race 8: Our top selection is AMETRINE (#8), who makes her three-year-old debut after getting seven months off following a strong debut effort last October. That day she finished second to the highly-regarded Ancient Secret, who returned just last week to register an impressive score against allowance company. We feel that Ametrine ran a much stronger race than today’s rival Tough Temper, who exits that same maiden heat. Whereas Tough Temper was setting the slow pace (color-coded in blue), Ametrine was a little slow into stride and made a four-wide move around the far turn before staying on in the stretch. David Donk gets a strong 92 trainer rating with horses returning from layoffs of this type. We could also use Katie Ice (#1), who took to turf pretty enthusiastically last time, earning a field-best 91 speed figure when finishing second on opening day of this meet. (Note: The chart caller incorrectly places Katie Ice eighth, 7 lengths back at the first call of her last race, though she was actually up close to the pace vying for third at that point.) At a bigger price, we could even use Out of Nowhere (#2), who had to endure a three-wide trip around both turns last time and actually ran a lot better than it appears. We’re not sure if she wants to go this short, but she’s one to consider in your trifectas.

Selections: 8 – 1 – 2 – 6 

Race 9: The Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, but there does appear to be an ample amount of speed in this race. Its All Relevant, Easy Comparison, and especially Reverend Green all prefer to be placed on or near the lead in the early going. This could potentially complicate matters for our top selection, WAYMOND BOYD (#3), who woke up last time when Jose Ortiz gave him a more aggressive ride. The 116 speed figure for that effort is by far the highest number in the field, and if he repeats that performance he probably will not lose. That said, he's been somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde sort in the past, so we'll be crossing our fingers that the tuned-in version of Waymond Boyd shows up this afternoon. Juan and Bina (#1) kept decent company down in Florida while earning progressively faster speed figures. He's not much of a winning type, but he's an excellent candidate to round out exactas and trifectas. Point Hope (#5) is ambitiously stepped up off the claim by Rudy Rodriguez, which seems like a sign of confidence. However, it is somewhat disconcerting that it's taken him so long to get back to the races and that he's been a vet scratch twice since that last race. Mister Monolo (#4) was no match for Waymond Boyd last time, but he did sustain a four-wide trip and may be able to do better here at a square price.

Selections: 3 – 1 – 5 – 4 

 

Race 10: Whether or not this race stays on the turf, Lightstream (#3) has to be considered the horse to beat. That said, it is somewhat curious that her connections have pointed to this grass race rather than take a shot in a spot like the Grade 1 Acorn. She actually does have more than enough turf pedigree, so the surface switch isn't supposed to pose a major problem. Nevertheless, there's always risk involved when dealing with horses trying something for the first time, and the price does not make her particularly enticing. We want to take a shot against her with SAHARAN (#2). This filly's connections tried to get her on turf last time, but the race was rained off and she romped in the slop. She is supposed to take to grass, being a half-sister to turf stakes winner My Conquestadory. She earned a competitive 104 speed figure last time and should sit a great trip stalking a contested pace. We believe she would offer value at or around her morning line price of 10/1. We could also throw in Wonderment (#1), who also has plenty of turf pedigree as she tries this surface for the first time, and the reliable Brinkley (#4), who probably does need to improve slightly.

Selections: 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 

 

Race 11: There's really not much to say about this one. PAULASSILVERLINING (#1) absolutely towers over this field and is deserving of her 1/5 favoritism on the morning line. If she holds her form, she's not supposed to lose this race. We'll try to get long shot Stormy Sky (#3) to complete the exacta. She's in relatively good form right now and can pick up pieces late.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 2 – 5 

 

Race 12: The conclusion of this late Pick-4 could get very chalky. If the same TIZ A CHANCE (#10) that we saw on the track last year shows up off the layoff, he's probably not going to lose. We realize that he's not much of a winning type, having picked up minor checks in most of his races thus far, but there just are not any appealing alternatives to this heavy favorite. The logical horse to use underneath is Disco Bill (#4), but we would also want to throw in New York's Zip (#3), who drops into maiden claiming company for the first time, and Summer by the Lake (#7), who has some turf in his pedgiree and could wake up with this surface switch.

Selections: 10 – 7 – 3 – 4

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 20

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday May 20th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: Queens Tiara (#2) is likely to go off as the heavy favorite as she drops in class for a top trainer/rider combination. While she is the horse to beat, she has not exactly run her best races going a route of ground, so we’re not sure that this stretch-out in distance really helps her. We prefer RAGAZZA PIU’ BELLA (#5), who has run reasonably well going a mile in the past while facing tougher competition. It’s about time that Bruce Brown gets back to the winner’s circle and he should have a good shot to do it with this filly in her first start off the claim. Even long shot Sweetneida (#1) is not totally impossible as she drops in class, though she may prefer sprint distances.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 1 – 3 

 

Race 2: Naughty Grace (#6) is coming off three straight runner-up finishes at this level while earning some of the fastest speed figures in the field. Those efforts clearly make her the horse to beat, but she's not the easiest horse to bet at a short price, given the number of chances she's had to break through. We'll use her, but we prefer SECRET EDEN (#8), who drops out of maiden special weight company. She didn't take to turf last time, but prior to that she had run a speed figure that would make her competitive here, despite getting outrun by a group of runners that was far superior to the field she faces today.

Selections: 8 – 6 – 5 – 4 

 

Race 3: Drop Shot (#7) is the only horse in this race to have run effectively over turf, which automatically makes him pretty formidable. That said, he still must prove that he can stretch out to this one-mile distance after finishing strongly going six furlongs last time. He handled this distance on dirt, so it shouldn't pose a problem, but we still don't want to take too short of a price on him. Our top pick is first-time turfer NOBLE AND TRUE (#6). Todd Pletcher has exceptional numbers switching horses from dirt to turf in maiden races, and this son of Giant's Causeway is certainly bred to handle the switch, as a half-brother to two turf winners. We could also use both Chad Brown firsters, Tricked Up (#4) and Dhukhr (#5), but would advise watching the tote board to see if either one is live.

Selections: 6 – 7 – 4 – 5 

 

Race 4: The David Jacobson-trained entry of HUSBAND'S FOLLY (#1) and LITTLE JERRY (#1A) figure to be awfully tough to beat in this spot. Little Jerry, the speedier half of the entry, is predicted to be racing on a clear lead in the early going. The Pace Projector is forecasting a fast pace, but we still have to take this gelding seriously given his set of superior turf speed figures. He has encountered wet dirt surfaces in both of his starts on the East Coast, and should do much better with the switch back to his preferred surface here. Husband's Folly's closing style should complement Little Jerry's speed. While he's been running for slightly cheaper claiming tags out West, he's been facing fields of good quality. As far as the others are concerned, we could also use Midnight Notes (#3), who ran well in a driving rainstorm at Gulfstream last time. He's a little inconsistent, but his last race gives him a shot here. The other Steve Klesaris-trained entry also merits consideration, but their morning line odds of 2/1 seem a little low.

Selections: 1/1A – 3 – 2/2B – 7 

 

Race 5: The two horses that have been running the best races on turf are Junger (#6) and Street Fightin Man (#11), who is stuck on the also-eligible list. They're certainly players in this race, but both have layoffs to contend with and are not wholly reliable at short prices. We will instead take a shot with RISKY SOUR (#2), who gets back to Belmont, where he has run some of his more encouraging races. More importantly, he gets a rider switch to Manny Franco, easily the best jockey to have sat on his back in the past year or so. His return to turf at Aqueduct last time was okay and he may appreciate turning back to seven furlongs here.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 11 – 8 – 1

 

Race 6: We're not trying to beat LUTHERAN MISS (#5), who has simply faced better fields than the one she meets today--that is, right up until she trounced a group of similar quality at Penn National last time. She possesses the speed to be placed up close to the pace early, but she's versatile enough to rate behind what is predicted to be a fast pace. Stone Supplier (#8) ran one of the fastest speed figures in the field two back, but that effort is sandwiched in between two non-efforts against tougher New York-bred allowance company. She's handled this distance in the past and has to be left in the mix. If the pace really comes apart late, look for Just Catty (#6) to work her way into the trifecta at a price.

Selections: 5 – 8 – 6 – 2 

 

Race 7: MAGSAMELIA (#5) was no match for a salty field of N1X allowance foes last time, but she should appreciate this drop into a much easier spot today. While she figures to face some token early pressure from More Than Rainbows, there really isn't much early speed in this race. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead and we believe she can take this field wire to wire. Saratoga Karaoke (#2) has run some races that would make her competitive in this spot, but she may need a race as she makes her seasonal debut. Chow Fun (#4) and Desert Bliss (#7) have both been successful sprinting in the past and appear to be the main dangers, as long as some pace materializes.

Selections: 5 – 7 – 4 – 2 

 

Race 8: The discussion has to start with the two horses exiting the same allowance race run at Aqueduct last fall. That day, SPIN CYCLE (#7) set the pace before getting overtaken by the well-regarded Whatawonderfulworld in the stretch. We feel that he ran the slightly better race than Summer Candy (#3), who basically plodded along at the back of the pack, cut the corner coming to the top of the stretch, and didn't offer up much of a late kick. A few dirt experiments this past winter didn't work out, but Spin Cycle gets back to his preferred surface here and should sit a good trip either on the lead or sitting just off the stretch-out sprinter Uncle Youdge. The only other horse we want to consider is E J's Legacy (#5), who gets back on turf for the first time since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct last fall. Linda Rice gets mediocre numbers (61 trainer rating) with horses switching from dirt to turf, but this colt does have a right to do better now as a three-year-old.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 3 – 1 

 

Race 9: Perhaps she's a little too obvious for our tastes, but we couldn't find enough reasons to pick against PUSSY WILLOW (#7), who earned one of the fastest speed figures in this field when stretched out last time. Her tactical speed should serve her well in a race where the closers aren't exactly reliable. Perhaps the biggest threat to this likely favorite would be Three Eighty Eight (#11), if she can draw in off the also-eligible list. This Carol Fisher trainee actually ran fairly well in her debut last time despite racing greenly for much of the stretch drive. However, even if she does get in, she's forced to break from a disadvantageous post position. Fly Ash (#1) didn't have much of an excuse to lose to Pussy Willow last time, but she drew well down towards the inside and has a chance to get into the mix once again. If there’s one more horse that we might throw in, it’s the first-time starter, Sonic Surprise (#6), whose dam was a solid turf horse. Don’t let her beat you at a huge price, because there really isn’t much quality to this field.

Selections: 7 – 11 – 1 – 6 – 4

 

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 19

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday May 19th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

 


Race 1: We’re not trying to beat FUHRLONG (#4) in the opener. In a race where the other legitimate contenders are all first-time starters, Fuhrlong already has two runner-up finishes to his credit, including one over Belmont’s main track, in which he finished behind the highly-regarded Tale of Two. Phil Schoenthal gets a 100 trainer rating with horses running back on 8-14 days’ rest and this half-brother to Miss Behavior has every right to take another step forward. We’re not quite sure what to do with Mark Casse’s Honor River (#3), who has strong turf pedigree on his dam’s side, or Star Empire (#5), who is by an Australian turf sire but goes out for excellent debut trainer Wesley Ward. The two firsters that intrigue us most are actually the two halves of the Michael Mareina entry, Read My Lips (#1), a half-brother to $650,000 earner Cyber Secret, and Terminal Speed (#1A), whose dam won multiple sprint stakes and earned over $300,000.

Selections: 4 – 1/1A – 5 – 3  

 

Race 2: Readthebyline (#3) was made the favorite on the morning line, but we don’t fully trust this horse. He appeared to be tailing off over the winter, and, while he seemingly took a step in the right direction last time, the muddy track on that April 7 card was strongly favoring speed horses, which makes his performance look better than it was. Of the potential speeds, we’re actually more afraid of Wildniteattheopera (#5), who outran his odds last time after a poor start, and Hunt’s Road (#2), who has been in great form and runs first off the claim by Rudy Rodriguez. We’ll use both of those, but our top pick is ONECATS CHANCE (#6). His last race was disappointing, but he was facing a much tougher field while coming off a two-month layoff. Chris Englehart gets a 79 trainer rating with horses making their first starts for his barn after a trainer switch, but a 100 rating when those horses run back for the second time. Onecats Chance had previously run speed figures that make him very competitive here.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 2 – 3 

 

Race 3: We can’t find anyone to beat the heavy favorite, PROSPECTUS (#5), who has never run a bad race, having finished second to the well-regarded runners Zulu and Sharp Azteca in two of his last three starts. However, he’s had trouble breaking through at the N1X allowance level, so this drop in class seems pretty logical. We’re somewhat skeptical of The Great Whiteway (#3) off the claim, so we’ll instead try to get the honest Guyana Cat (#2) to come running late to complete the exacta.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 3 – 4 

 

Race 4: We want to focus on the runners dropping out of maiden special weight races. Our top selection is END PLAY (#11), who was facing significantly tougher fields in his first two starts before running a solid second in his only try against maiden claiming company two back. The turnback in distance does not figure to pose a problem as he’s reunited with Luis Saez. He has to beat Chad Brown’s Tracking Stock (#3), who returns from a layoff in this spot. He couldn’t quite handle the stretch-out to two turns last time but had previously run well sprinting at this level. Liam’s Prince  (#2) has had more chances than the others, but he’s put in a series of consistently solid efforts against maiden special weight company.

Selections: 11 – 3 – 2 – 5 

 

Race 5: While the Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, there are plenty of speedy runners in this race, including Moneybrook (#2), Outzap (#5), and Don’t Blame Her (#9), who all prefer to be on or near the lead in the early stages. Outzap is probably the horse to beat as he ships up from Florida and switches to the Bruce Levine barn. However, she wasn’t beating the strongest field last time and has little room for error at a short price. Given the uncertainty surrounding many of these pace players, we’re going to take a shot with a bigger price. THE NAME’S PADDY (#1) has been facing slightly tougher open claiming and allowance fields in all of her recent dirt races. Her speed figures aren’t quite there, but she is getting a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz and her closing running style may fit the dynamics of this race if the pace heats up.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 2 – 8 

Race 6: Despite the fact that the Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, there are a number of speed horses in this race. Love That Jazz (#1), Bluegrass Prevails (#4), and In Condition (#6) all prefer to be leading in the early going. In Condition appears to be up against it as he moves up in class, but the other two are very much threats to wire the field. Given this scenario, we believe that GANADOR (#3) may work out the perfect trip from just off the pace. While he has already had a few chances at this level, he's been running competitive speed figures and should appreciate the slight turnback to six furlongs.

Selections: 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 

 

Race 7: We'll try to get through this leg of the late Pick-4 by primarily focusing on three runners. Slew's Brew (#2) ran surprisingly well off the layoff last time, taking the lead in midstretch before just getting run down late by the heavy favorite, Money Multiplier. That runner came back to finish an excellent second in the Grade 1 Man O' War this weekend, bolstering the quality of that allowance race. Uncle Sigh (#10) figures to attract plenty of support, having made a successful turf debut last time after going two- to three-wide most of the way while just losing out to a horse that worked out an absolutely perfect trip. Our top selection is BULLHEADED BOY (#12), who has simply been facing tougher company in each start since his most recent win last fall. It's fair to question his current form, but we think this drop in class will agree with him and he's run some of his best races over this Belmont turf course in the past.

Selections: 12 – 10 – 2 – 9 

 

Race 8: If Vicki's Dancer (#7) returns to the form she displayed two back when winning a race at this level, she'll be tough to beat. However, she's a little difficult to assess after tailing off for her previous connections and failing to show up in a tougher spot on turf last time. Roman Ceres (#5) is the most promising runner in this race, having done nothing wrong in her two career starts. She needs to run a little faster, but we think this filly could have a future in New York-bred stakes company if she continues progressing. That said, she feels like an underlay in this spot. We'll instead try LAKESIDE SUNSET (#2) off the layoff. She routinely ran well in similar spots last year and may appreciate the opportunity to finally get back on a fast dirt track. She should be placed fairly close to a pace that is predicted to favor horses racing on or near the lead.

Selections: 2 – 7 – 5 – 3 

 

Race 9: Dreamaker (#2) was installed as the morning line favorite, but Mark Casse has relatively poor numbers (59 trainer rating) with horses switching from synthetic to turf. He is predicted to be the controlling speed, but we prefer a couple of others. Just the Zip (#5) ran well against some salty maiden special weight fields on this circuit last year. His one Tampa turf effort was slightly disappointing, but this drop in class should agree with him. The same goes for our top pick, COMPLETELY BONKERS (#7), who has more of a sprinter's profile. Linda Rice gets a 93 trainer rating with horses running back in 8-14 days and a 90 trainer rating with runners making their second starts back from a layoff.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 2 – 9