Print this Page Bookmark and Share




TimeformUS Race Analysis



2015-10-06_11-04-02 new_for_$5.99_ad 2015-10-06_10-56-45



TimeformUS Analysis for October 22

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday October 22nd

Race 1: We don’t see enough good reasons to try to beat morning line favorite CROWN THE KITTEN (#5). He probably should have won at this level last time after getting taken out of position at the start and being forced to make a wide run into contention on the far turn. This time, he should be stalking an honest pace set by stretching-out sprinter Dominic’s Smile, and may just prove to be too good for these. Mexican Groove (#4) was no match for Crown the Kitten in their last meeting despite getting a better trip. His chances are very much dependent on the pace, but he should be in the running to at least grab a piece of the pie. The Catmancan (#2) may get first run on Dominic’s Smile, but his uncharacteristically poor last effort does send up some red flags.

Selections: 5 – 4 – 2 – 6 

Tfusbc2015greenRace 2: When a horse that hasn’t run in over 200 days and recorded a 48 Speed Figure in its only outing is going to be among the favorites, you know you’ve got a fairly inscrutable race on your hands. Of course Tracking Stock (#4) may very well take to turf and win, but how short a price do you want to take on this morning line second choice? We’re most interested in ONE MORE SONG (#1), half of the John Toscano entry. This filly has been off for over a year and now returns sprinting against males. The layoff is difficult to factor in, but we are a fan of the turnback for this filly, who made a premature move in her debut and had been having trouble finishing off her two-turn races. Her pedigree suggests that this distance should be more appropriate. Irish Cat (#5) also merits consideration as he makes his first start against maiden claiming company on turf.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 4 – 7


Race 3: This is the first half of a Linda Rice Dropdown Double. This race essentially revolves around what kind of performance we can expect to get out of Stay Tuned (#2). He has run well enough to trounce this field in most of his starts, but now gets his price tag slashed in half as he goes first time off the claim for Linda Rice, who apparently does not want this horse in her barn any longer. Of course he can win and pay $3, but we are getting bad vibes from this runner and want to go in another direction. We’ll take the improving SPARTAN EMPEROR (#4) to wire the field. The Pace Projector places him well out in front early in a situation favoring the horse on the lead, and his last two speed figures make him very competitive with the others in this race. Deputy Busterstone (#1) also has an upset chance as he makes his third start back since the layoff.

Selections: 4 – 1 – 2 – 5 


Race 4: Once again, we want little to do with Linda Rice’s runner, To Be Determined (#2), who is being given away for $16,000 after having been claimed for two and a half times that amount just two starts ago. The top pick is SONORA (#7), who makes her first start against claiming company. She, too, is hard to trust, but she may be running at the right level after two straight disappointing efforts against New York-breds. It was either she or Tachiello (#5), who has been dropping steadily in class since being claimed three months ago at Belmont, but Tachiello is hard to take after showing no will to win in a soft off-the-turf spot last time.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 2 – 6 


Race 5: DAUPHINE RUSSE (#1) found five and a half furlongs at Saratoga to be just a tad short of her best distance but figures to be tough to beat this time as she gets back to six furlongs at Belmont. Mike Maker does excellent work with his turf runners off the claim, but shows even better numbers second time off the claim (100 Rating). Dauphine Russe was hardly disgraced in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters last time out and appears to be holding her form well. Vicki’s Dancer (#8) is the other runner we want here as she steps back up in class after two tries against New York-breds. She should have won last time, but got squeezed back at the start, was forced to race out of position, and then could not find a clear path in the stretch. She’s previously been competitive at this level.

Selections: 1 – 8 – 3 – 6  


Race 6: Red Guard (#1) showed promise as a two-year-old, but he’s going to go off at a relatively short price on the heels of a 320-day layoff. We believe he’s talented but are inclined to watch one before supporting him as a three-year-old. CONTRADICT (#7) and Uptown Joe (#4) exit the same race as Infinite Wisdom (#5) and Tale of Fancy (#9), who both finished well ahead of them on that occasion. However, despite those results, we believe that Contradict and Uptown Joe were compromised by their wide trips in that race. Time and again we’ve seen horses returning off wide trips on the turf during closing week at Saratoga run much better at this Belmont fall meet. Contradict and Uptown Joe had both run well on turf previously and should offer value in this race.

Selections: 7 – 4 – 1 – 3


Race 7: This is the kind of race where you ultimately find yourself asking, “Whom do I dislike the least?” Perhaps that horse is BLUE SHARK (#8), who, at 1-for-20 lifetime, has certainly had his chances, but may have found the right spot as he drops in for his lowest claiming tag on the turf. If you draw a line through his last two dirt races, his prior turf efforts make him competitive against these. Irish Jade (#10) and Charity Reins (#12) appear to be the other two runners worth using. They may both be a little better going shorter, but figure to appreciate this drop out of New York-bred allowance company.

Selections: 8 – 10 – 12 – 5 


Race 8: HOPE CROSS (#4) comes off a tough trip at Saratoga when she was wide every step of the way and was one of the few horses still running on from the back of the pack at the finish. She was also compromised by a slow pace that day (note pace figures and fractions color-coded in blue) and may have run better than it appears. We’ve never been huge fans of this horse, but it’s undeniable that she has stepped up her game recently. The 114 TimeformUS Speed Figure she earned for that effort is the best last-out turf figure in the field. Furthermore, the Pace Projector is predicting that she’ll be placed close to a pace favoring horses on or near the lead. My Sweet Girl (#3) found the competition and distance to be too much for her last time, and this spot may be more to her liking. These are the two runners we want to focus on.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 9 – 10 


Race 9: Unfortunately, a few of the horses we’re interested in have been relegated to the also-eligible list and would need scratches to draw into the body of the race. Our top pick is MADAME MAYBRY (#15), who was much the best in her debut after blowing the start and rushing up to make a premature move into a fast pace (note pace figures and fractions color-coded in red). She actually hung in very gamely to just miss breaking her maiden. She now gets blinkers and Lasix for her second start. We expect to see her go to the front and not look back. However, if she does not draw into the race, our top pick becomes ALL DAY LAWN (#12), who encountered trouble both on the backstretch and entering the lane in her lone dirt start. Now she drops in for $40,000 and appears to fit well in this spot.

Selections: 15 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 7





TimeformUS Analysis for October 21

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Wednesday October 21st

Race 1: The horse that we’re most interested in is LIBERTY FIRST (#1), who drops slightly in class off the claim. He ran decently in his first start in New York this past July, but was subsequently entered on turf, which is not his preferred surface. Last time, when getting back to dirt, he got involved chasing a hot pace and faded. He was claimed out of that race by Tom Morley, which we view as a positive switch, and should be able to assume a tracking position. Call Me Stoney (#3) faced much tougher competition in his first start against winners last time, but was racing over a speed-favoring track (note Race Rating box shaded red) and still faded badly late. The other two players would appear to be Royal Burgh (#4) and April Color (#6), but we can’t trust either one after both were given away for just $16,000 by Todd Pletcher.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 4 – 6


Race 2: High Ridge Road (#5) is likely to go favored off a respectable fourth place debut finish at Keeneland, where she survived a quick pace to hang on for fourth. It’s difficult to assess the quality of that race in retrospect, as the runner-up has yet to run back, and disqualified third place finisher Paid Up Subscriber got an awful ride that day. While the Chad Brown runner merits respect, we want to take Ralph Nicks’s first-time starter, STYLISH QUALITY (#6), on top. This filly has seemingly been doing some very encouraging work in the mornings and Ralph Nicks gets an outstanding 100 Trainer Rating with 3yo+ first-time starters. Stylish Quality, by Quality Road, is out of a full-sister to Grade 1 winner Mr. Sidney.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 3 – 2 


Race 3: While the Pace Projector isn’t predicting a fast pace, there is a lot of speed signed on here, which makes us wary of horses like Gentrify and Storm Pursuit, and even pace- pressing Bass River Road (#4). That unease is compounded by the fact that all have been vet scratches since their last starts. Frazil (#2) is the logical place to go. This drop makes perfect sense considering that he won at this level twice at the Belmont spring/summer meet and was hardly disgraced when bumped up in class for his last two. However, our top pick is DISTORTED DREAM (#3), who has run plenty of recent speed figures that make him competitive with these and should benefit most from a contested pace up front. It’s also worth noting that he may have been compromised by a speed-favoring track last time (Race Rating box colored red).

Selections: 3 – 2 – 4 – 6 


Race 4: WEATHER GIRL (#6) ran well enough against maiden special company, and, while she lost as the favorite in her first start at this level, she finished behind a pair of runners that returned to win their next starts. She has just run better than the other fillies entered in this race and we can’t pick against her. Hope’s Roar (#9) was briefly stymied in traffic in the stretch last time and appeared to appreciate the turnback to seven furlongs. She’s worth using underneath.

Selections: 6 – 9 – 3 – 5 


Race 5: In this race you have to choose between the runners that have been knocking heads at this level and those dropping in class off subpar performances against tougher. We clearly prefer the latter group. Our top pick is LADY LUCIANO (#4), who may be in better form than her recent performances suggest. She sustained poor trips in both turf starts since the layoff, and last time got roped into chasing a run-off frontrunner through unreasonable early fractions. She should be on or near the lead in a more sensible tempo this time. (The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead.) Just Got Out (#5) and Majestic Marquet (#6) also drop into this spot for a couple of sharp trainers off poor performances out of town and are certainly in the mix.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 6 – 3 


Race 6: BLUEGRASS RYE (#2) drops into maiden claiming company for the first time after a series of respectable performances on turf against tougher maiden special weight fields. Depending on the tactics On Tenterhooks employs, he should find himself on or tracking the lead through moderate fractions. Thamaan (#6) showed some ability in his debut at Saratoga. Despite riding the rail, which was the place to be on closing week at the Spa, he was in tight for much of the stretch drive and may have been reluctant to accelerate late. This drop in for a tag does seem awfully hasty considering his original purchase price, but he still has to be considered a top contender. 

Selections: 2 – 6 – 5 – 8 


Race 7: Sister Sophia (#2) is likely to go favored once again, but taking deep closers at short prices is often needlessly risky. While we’re not necessarily against her, our top pick is HARLAN’S HONOR (#4), who should go off at a slightly more palatable price. She ran well chasing a loose-on-the-lead Hot Squeeze through slow fractions at Saratoga last time (note pace figures color-coded in blue) and could find herself setting the pace today as she stretches out to seven furlongs. All of her turf sprints have been good efforts and, in our opinion, she’s the most likely winner. Maura’s Pass (#1) is a horse that might be worth throwing into exactas and trifectas. She has improved for Jason Servis and ran better than it appears last time after getting rank early in the race and chasing wide around the far turn.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 1 – 7 


Race 8: Cuantos (#2) will garner support on the strength of his summer 2014 campaign. However, that campaign ended just one day shy of a year ago, when he disappointed as the favorite in the slop. Even if he were ready to match his best effort from last season off the layoff, we’re not sure that he’d prove good enough to beat BOND VIGILANTE (#4) here. Our Race Ratings indicate that this horse has met tougher fields in each of his last two starts. Despite facing better, he’s coming off the two highest TimeformUS Speed Figures (103, 105) that any of these runners has registered in recent starts. Bruce Levine gets a solid 84 rating first time off the claim and the Pace Projector is forecasting a favorable setup on the front end. If Bond Vigilante merely holds his form for the new connections, he may prove too tough to catch. Drama King (#7) has run races that would make him a threat, but he’s somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde character, so you never can be quite sure of what kind of performance you’re going to get. Last time was the time to have Rectify (#5), when he upset a vulnerable Uncle Sigh, but with so many fuzzy propositions in this race, he must be left in the mix.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 7 – 2


Race 9: This is not a race in which to get too creative. SAUVIGNON (#11) and Fredaq (#3) drop out of maiden special weight company and just appear to be better than their competition. We’ll take likely favorite Sauvignon on top since she actually ran very well chasing a fast pace at Saratoga last time and appears to be the more talented of the two. Queen of the Cup (#1) is a mildly interesting trifecta player after having been claimed out of tougher spots at Gulfstream this past winter by shrewd owners.

Selections: 11 – 3 – 1 – 8



TimeformUS Analysis for October 18

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Sunday October 18th

Race 1: Plundering (#4) has been the most consistent runner in this race and is a must-use in any reasonable Pick-5 wager, but he’s not the easiest horse to rely on after three straight second place finishes. We prefer TOUCH OF PARADISE (#11), who had to deal with traffic in upper stretch two races back and ran just as well as, if not better than, Plundering last time when making a wide late run into a moderate pace. The Pace Projector is calling for a fast pace this time, which may be all the help that Touch of Paradise needs in order to find the winner’s circle.

Selections: 11 – 4 – 7 – 9 



Race 2: CONQUEST SUPERSTEP (#1) ran very well in both of her starts at Saratoga, especially last time when she nearly survived a fast pace (color-coded in red) to just miss in the Fleet Indian Stakes. A repeat of the 105 TimeformUS Speed Figure she earned for that effort would make her awfully tough to beat. Her main rival appears to be Touching My Toes (#7), who makes her first start for Michelle Nevin while stretching back out to her best distance. The Pace Projector is forecasting a scenario in which these two runners hold the upper hand from a pace standpoint.

Selections: 1 – 7 – 2 – 3 


Race 3: CHELIOS (#4) invades from out of town for trainer Tom Proctor and has just been facing tougher horses than the ones he meets today. (The Race Rating of his last turf race compared to the preliminary number for this suggests that he’s stepping down in class.) He showed last time that he handles turf, and he’s run well at seven furlongs on the dirt, so the distance is not a concern. The Imposter (#5) was very disappointing at Saratoga last time, but that may have been partly due to a wide trip on a turf course that was favoring the inside paths. His prior effort would give him a big chance as he moves from one shrewd trainer to another.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 3 – 6 


Race 4: Pretty N Cool (#5) ships east for trainer Bob Baffert after having been dueled into defeat by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies favorite Songbird in the Del Mar Debutante. Based on our speed figures, Pretty N Cool is unequivocally the fastest horse in this race. If she brings her southern California form to New York, the others are going to have to produce their best efforts yet to beat her. Constellation (#3) led the Grade 1 Spinaway field to midstretch before succumbing to the late charges of Rachel’s Valentina and Tap to It. The pace was fast (note the half-mile color-coded in red), but she had been sitting a good trip just off the speedy Tonasah and, much like Pretty N Cool, showed that she may not want to run much farther than six furlongs. While the Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, it’s clear that at least four of the six fillies in this race do their best running when on or near the lead. We believe that the horse to focus on in your wagering is LIBRETA (#6). She showed in her debut that she can be an effective closer, and, now breaking from the outside slot in a small field, Luis Saez should have plenty of options with this tractable filly. If they are indeed going fast up front, he can ease her back off the pace and come with a late run through the stretch.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 3 – 2 


Race 5:  Life Imitates Art (#1) can win this race, but he’s likely to get overbet, just as he was last time. Our top pick is BARAHONA (#9), who showed a lot of promise in his debut. He took some money in that race and actually ran significantly better than it might appear. After breaking about a length slowly, he advanced steadily down the backstretch to reach a contending position by the turn. They had slowed the pace down up front (note fractions and pace figures colored blue), but Barahona still kept running on strongly despite the fact that the leaders were sprinting through the stretch. All three of his siblings won routing on the turf, so he figures to improve with more distance. Ballagh Rocks (#8) is also worth mentioning. He was extremely green in his debut, but did show hints of ability. He may need more time but is worth keeping an eye on down the line.

Selections: 9 – 1 – 8 – 3


Race 6: GREAT ATTACK (#3) actually ran a surprisingly strong race first off the claim for Neal Terraciano over a distance that he’s had trouble handling in the past. If he can reproduce that kind of effort switching back to his preferred surface—turf—he’s the horse to beat, and the low-profile connections will just drive up the price. His main rival appears to be Escapist (#4), who has run well enough in two starts for Bruce Brown. The Pace Projector is predicting a scenario favoring runners on or near the lead, and these two figure to show the most early speed. 

Selections: 3 – 4 – 6 – 11


Race 7: Seven furlongs can be a challenging distance for horses making their debuts, so we prefer to gravitate towards runners with experience in these situations. Our top selection is WICKED ONE (#4), whose debut was an even effort that trainer Mark Casse should be able to build upon. As we’ve mentioned before, Casse is very good with his second-time starters (98 Trainer Rating, compared to a 60 with his firsters). Estelle (#1) ran fairly well behind eventual Grade 1 Frizette winner Nickname last time and is expected to improve with more ground. Chad Brown’s Lewis Bay (#9) must be considered, and we also think long shot Ruby Dusk (#10) is worth throwing into the mix at a big price. She worked well at the two year-old sales, was involved in a fast pace last time, and may be better suited to dirt.

Selections: 4 – 1 – 9 – 10   


Race 8: Layoffs are a common theme throughout this race, though none of these has been off for as long as TAMMY THE TORPEDO (#1), who makes her first start since last year’s Breeders’ Cup. Chad Brown is excellent with layoff runners such as this (100 Trainer Rating), as he is in most other categories. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, which would suit Tammy the Torpedo. We’ll also use Morning Star (#8), who put in a top effort last time, but has had trouble finding the winner’s circle after leading in midstretch in three of her last four starts. An outsider that interests us at a bit of a price is Union Et Force (#10). She was commanding in her Italian debut (the winning margin was actually far greater than the official one and a quarter lengths) and is bred to be a good one.

Selections: 1 – 8 – 10 – 12 


Race 9: If GRAND BILI (#2) shows up with his typical performance, he is not supposed to lose this race. His recent Speed Figures just make him too fast for these and the Pace Projector shows him out in front in a pace situation favoring horses on or near the lead. Nubin Ridge (#1) showed improvement last time and may just be a horse that’s rounding into form for trainer Chris Englehart. Second City (#3) has overperformed in recent starts and was effective turning back two races ago. Joking (#5) probably won’t get the pace setup he needs, but is worth using underneath.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 3 – 5   


Race 10: We don’t have any major knocks against War Order (#10), who is the horse to beat off his two tries at Saratoga, but we think there are some more interesting alternatives at bigger prices. Giant Run (#4) ran very well last time setting a solid pace on a day when the main track was slightly favoring closers (note the Race Rating box shaded light blue). By Giant’s Causeway out of a dam that was a stakes winner on turf, this horse figures to handle grass and will be tough to beat if he takes a step forward on the surface switch. However, our top pick is VULCAN’S FORGE (#6), a horse that may have run a lot better than it appears first time out. He was very green through the early portion of that race, but really got rolling through a fast final quarter mile. Past the wire, he readily galloped out ahead of the winner. If Vulcan’s Forge can build on that effort in his second start, he’s a major player here.

Selections: 6 – 4 – 9 – 10



Comments (0)


TimeformUS Analysis for October 17

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday October 17th

Race 1: This is one of the more perplexing races on this card. You could build a solid case for six of the seven runners, excluding only the long shot Nicholson. The morning line favorite is Resourceful (#5), who exits a gritty maiden score at Parx last time out. The Pace Projector puts him out in front with a clear lead early, a potential advantage in a race where many of these share the same stalking running style. We’re taking a small shot against him with HOARDER (#7), who turns back in distance after a decent try at this level going a mile. A few horses have already run back out of there to improve their speed figures and Hoarder did well to hang on for fifth in a race that was dominated by deep closers. Brian Lynch does well (95 Trainer Rating) turning horses back in distance.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 2 – 1 


Race 2: We’re not trying to beat PRICEDTOPERFECTION (#6), who ran very well in her debut. Tin Type Gal confirmed the quality of that maiden race by returning to win the Miss Grillo in her next start and Chad Brown does well with second-time starters (100 Trainer Rating). Chad Brown’s other runner in here also merits some consideration. She hails from a solid family of turf runners and showed a good turn of foot working 10 3/5 seconds at the two-year-old sale. Girls Secret (#12) ran well first out on turf, but must overcome the tricky outside post position going a mile and a sixteenth on the inner course.

Selections: 6 – 10 – 12 - 8


Race 3: It’s possible that Ready Dancer (#4) just hated a wet track, as his hasty retreat just four furlongs into the Champagne would seem to suggest. He also may not want to go a mile at this point in his career, or be up to facing Grade 1-caliber horses at any distance. The lone stakes winner in the field is Full Salute (#6).  This Eddie Plesa-trained son of Speightstown has yet to run a bad race or finish out of the exacta in five starts. However, we're going in a different direction. Despite failing to win in two starts, the maiden KING KRANZ (#1) has served notice that he may possess a great deal of ability. King Kranz’s overall Speed Figure of 100 for his last race makes him very competitive against the two aforementioned contenders. Furthermore, the 103 Race Rating given to that race easily bests the preliminary rating of 96 assigned to the field he’s set to line up against here. The likelihood of King Kranz taking yet another step forward as he continues to figure out the game makes him our top pick.

Selections: 1 – 6 – 4 – 2 


Race 4: Plainview (#11) is the horse to beat as he comes off a win at this distance. He was allowed to set a slow pace that day (color-coded in blue), and the Pace Projector places him up close to a pace favoring horses on or near the lead once again. Sandy’z Slew (#10) has been in good form this year, but he’s had trouble putting wins together and seven furlongs may be just outside of his optimal distance. TWO NOTCH ROAD (#9) is an interesting alternative at a bit of a price. He sustained a somewhat wide trip when shipped to Saratoga this summer and before that was wide every step of the way in the Elkwood at Monmouth. His last win was visually impressive despite not beating much. He makes his first start ever at seven furlongs on turf and, based on his effectiveness going both shorter and longer, this may prove to be a perfect distance for him.

Selections: 9 – 11 – 10 – 6 


Race 5: PLAYWRIGHT (#1) ran well first time out in what has proven to be a strong maiden race. Bill Mott’s runners typically improve with experience, as is evidenced by his Trainer Rating of 84 with second-time starters, nearly double his rating with debut runners. Blugrascat’s Smile (#6) also has a right to improve as he gets a makeover for his second start, adding Lasix and blinkers, after an even effort here earlier in the meet. The other horse that we find interesting is Charming Indy (#8). He has been working well for his debut for trainer Dominick Schettino, who gets an 86 Trainer Rating with two-year-old first time starters.

Selections: 1 – 8 – 6 – 4 


Race 6: TATTENHAM (#2) was a rare claim by trainer Bill Mott last time, coincidentally out of the same race in which recent acquisition Mills was claimed away from him. Tattenham actually began his career with Mott before ending up with a few different trainers in the interim as he dropped into the claiming ranks. Tattenham possesses the tactical speed to not be quite as compromised by a likely slow pace as others. Mills (#4) now lands in the barn of Gary Gullo. He made a good late run into a moderate pace in his last start and may be rounding back into decent form. Bigger Picture (#1) is the one other main player, but he tends to get very headstrong in his races, so a slow pace (in which he may end up on or near the lead) may not suit him.

Selections: 2 – 4 – 1 – 5 


Race 7: Jax Heritage (#1) is probably the horse to beat after finishing in the money in three of four starts at this level, and figures to work out another good trip from his inside position. Ode to the Hunt (#8) may appreciate getting back to a mile, but he has been fairly dull in his two starts at three. Instead, we’re going out on a limb here with SNAKE OIL CHARLIE (#5), 30-1 on the morning line. He may have run better than Ode to the Hunt two back when making a four-wide run to just miss third going a distance that’s likely too far for him. Then last time he didn’t run quite as badly as it might seem when caught wide behind a slow pace (note fractions color-coded in blue) while facing a better field. This race is projected to feature a fast pace, which should suit this tractable long shot. 

Selections: 5 – 1 – 8 – 12 


Race 8: This six-furlong dash is projected to feature a fast pace set by Royal Asset (#12). While he’s stepping up into a tougher spot out of New York-bred races, he is a pretty gutsy colt who has survived scorching paces before. That said, we still want to gravitate towards closers. The top pick is S’MAVERLOUS (#9). Generally we try to avoid claiming types in these N1X allowance races, but this horse has been so sharp recently and was claimed by Mike Maker, who confidently steps him up into a protected spot. Longfor the City (#11) is the obvious other late runner and must be included. Fortuitous Path (#5), who can come from off the pace and may have been undone by a very wide trip last time, is mildly interesting at a price.

Selections: 9 – 11 – 5 – 12 


Race 9: The fact that so many of the top contenders have drawn outside post positions going a mile and sixteenth on the inner turf course (which starts on a turn) is definitely a concern. However, we still think the horse to beat is Lady Lara (#13). Her efforts in the Just a Game and Noble Damsel would make her awfully tough to beat here. However, those races came at a mile and she must negotiate an extra half-turn today. The regally-bred Faufiler (#12), by Galileo out of champion miler Six Perfections, enters this race showing solid Group 3 form in France. She’s faced some high quality runners and now gets Lasix for her U.S. debut. Our top pick is COFFEE CLIQUE (#10). Perhaps it appears that she’s lost a step this year, but she enters this race off two efforts that are slightly better than they appear. She was three-wide all the way around the course two back in the Ballston Spa and last time was briefly in traffic at the top of the stretch, allowing others to get the jump on her. If Luis Saez can get her out of the gate and over towards the inside from post ten, she may be able to post the mild upset.

Selections: 10 – 12 – 13 – 6 


Race 10: Chad Brown does exceptional work with his first time starting two year-olds. WAR OF IDEAS (#11) sold for a hefty sum as a yearling and has apparently been working strong for his debut. Of those that have run, Light the Night (#2) may pose the biggest threat after encouraging runs going shorter in his first couple of starts. Beaukati (#7) is a long shot that might be worth throwing into the trifecta. He exits a very strong maiden race on dirt and has a bit of turf in his pedigree.

Selections: 11 – 2 – 7 – 3