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