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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for October 16

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday October 16th

Race 1: ACAPELLA (#7) appears to be the right horse in the opener. While Chad Brown does well his first-time starters (95), he gets a 100 Trainer Rating with his second-time starters. This filly ran well enough behind a pair of next-out winners, including Joseph A. Gimma winner Melodic. Pletcher’s pair of first-time starters both have some class in their pedigrees and must be used. Underneath, we’ll also throw in Queen of Castle (#6), who may run better here if she gets away cleanly this time.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 2 – 6


Race 2: Though the TimeformUS Pace Projector shows morning line favorite Talent N Passion (#5) getting out to the front in a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, we can’t trust her. Not every speed horse is actually capable of rating on the lead, and this mare routinely goes too fast early before falling apart in the late stages of her six-furlong races. Our top pick is CHELSEA ROAD (#7). She’s spent much of her career racing on turf, but her dirt races are some of her best efforts. The layoff and slight drop off the claim are potential concerns, but presented with limited options, we’ll take this mare. Bonita Luna (#3) is also interesting getting back to dirt, since she’s compiled a 5-3-2-0 record on that surface, compared to 0-for-9 on synesthetic tracks. The one concern with her is the distance, which may be short of her best.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 4 – 2 

Race 3: Fine Instincts (#2) is clearly the horse to beat. Typically a frontrunner, she was wisely rated behind a fast pace last time (note pace color-coded in red), and has shown herself to be versatile enough to adapt to almost any pace scenario, which is a feather in her cap. While we are hardly against her, there’s a more lightly raced horse in this race that adds some intrigue. CLASSY TEACHER (#9) has only started on turf once, in a particularly strong Saratoga maiden race last summer. The winner that day was the undefeated superstar Lady Eli, but there was quality throughout the field. Graded stakes-placed Puca and Black-Eyed Susan winner Keen Pauline were among the also-rans. Classy Teacher was caught behind a relatively moderate pace and could not overcome a very wide run around the far turn. She now shows up in the barn of Rudy Rodriguez, and we feel she deserves another chance on turf.

Selections: 9 – 2 – 5 – 8 

Race 4: This is an unusually confusing maiden race with a lot of guesswork to be done. LOST IN D SHUFFLE’S (#5) lone dirt race was an encouraging effort in a fairly strong maiden heat at Santa Anita. Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line exited that race to do some very good things, and Lost in D Shuffle’s effort seemed to suggest that there might be better in his future. Now he finally gets his second chance on dirt while making his second start for Michelle Nevin—and importantly, the first since joining her New York string. Her Trainer Ratings indicate that she generally does well with horses like this. Behind him, we’ll use two of the firsters, Chad Brown’s Crowd Funding (#4) and Carl Domino’s Henrik Rules (#6), who has been working swiftly and attracts Javier Castellano.

Selections: 5 – 4 – 6 – 7 

Race 5: This race came up like the aftermath of a game of musical chairs—or more accurately, musical trainers. Six of the ten runners in this race were claimed out of their last starts and many of the switches are not positive ones. We ended up going for one of the horses not coming off a trainer switch (he was claimed two back) and are taking MORDI’S MIRACLE (#4) on top. David Jacobson is one of the few trainers who routinely wins with horses dropping in class like this. He’s better suited to today’s distance and doesn’t need to improve much, if at all, on his recent races to beat this field. Behind him, Springcourt (#1) figures to be a player once again as he races over his favorite surface and gets Javier Castellano aboard. He was hindered by a slow pace last time (note pace color-coded in blue) and is projected to get a more favorable setup here.

Selections: 4 – 1 – 7 – 8 

Race 6: Daisy Cutter (#6) is the horse to beat. She actually did not run badly last time against a much tougher group of runners after sustaining a wide trip during a period of time when horses were better off riding the rail. That said, this is a large field with more than a few contenders and we wanted to look for some value. Our top pick is LIFE’S A STAGE (#3). This mare has yet to find the winner’s circle in 2015, but she has run better than it appears in her last two starts. Two back, she tried to make a wide run around the turn and into the stretch during that last week at Saratoga, when those moves were just not working. Then last time, she never could find a comfortable position and was forced to go wide and drop back on the turn before rerallying through the stretch. If the pace is honest, Life’s a Stage can make some noise here at a price. Finally, also take note if Chow Fun (#14) draws into the race. She was steadied at a critical point in the stretch last time and has run races that can win this.

Selections: 3 – 6 – 14 – 10 

Race 7: Uncle Sigh (#6) is impossible to trust after prompting many Pick-6 players to tear up their tickets when tanking as the odds-on favorite last time. Realistically, there are only two alternatives to Uncle Sigh from which to choose. Colorado Grandslam (#1) finished ahead of Uncle Sigh last time and figures to play out as the lone speed here with the Pace Projector showing him well out in front early. While it’s hard to knock a horse like him that always shows up, we’re going with BELLAMY WAY (#5) as our top selection. Bellamy Way is coming off a good effort in a competitive edition of the Albany and a repeat of that effort will probably be good enough to get the job done here.

Selections: 5 – 1 – 6 – 3 

Race 8: The one we want most in here is the improving BISHOP’S POND (#2). This filly has continued to take a step forward in each start since coming to New York in the spring (showing ascending TimeformUS Speed Figures: 102, 103, 110, 114). She was tried against graded stakes company last time in the Boiling Springs and actually ran better than it appears, since the chart comment fails to note some traffic trouble that she encountered in upper stretch. Having previously won at a mile and a quarter, Bishop’s Pond should not have any issues with the distance today. Pine Needles (#7), who finished just in front of Bishop’s Pond last time, is not without a chance after having run well in two starts since getting away from Lady Eli. We prefer this pair of runners to the four year-olds in the race.

Selections: 2 – 7 – 4 – 1 

Race 9: Of those that have run, OSCAR NOMINATED (#7) is far and away the horse to beat. He’s run well in two starts against maiden claiming company and Bill Mott does very well with dropdowns like this (97 Trainer Rating moving to maiden claiming company). Chad Brown’s Cyber Security (#6) must be left in the mix, though it seems odd that he’s running a $185,000 yearling purchase for a tag first time out. We also will throw in George Weaver’s pair of firsters, Arch Contender (#3) and Salute to Bob (#11), since both have solid turf pedigree.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 11 – 6


TimeformUS Analysis for October 15

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday October 15th

Race 1: Spearhead (#2) is 8/5 on the morning line, and at first glance that seems about right. He makes his first start for a tag, turns back to a sprint, and goes out for one of the best trainers on the grounds. However, we see some reasons to be skeptical. It’s atypical of this barn to consistently ship a runner out of town to race, and while many may perceive this move to claiming company as a class drop, our Race Ratings suggest that if anything, it’s a lateral move. We don’t need this horse at a short price. The top pick is HILLBILLY STYLE (#4), who has had excuses lately. He ran well despite facing much tougher company on August 2, was hindered by a slow pace two back (note pace figures color-coded in blue), and then did not get an ideal trip last time, when he was racing in traffic and never got totally clear in the stretch. Captain Moss (#1) also rates a chance as he comes off a good effort on September 26, when he was stalking out wide on a day when speed and the rail appeared to yield an advantage early on the card (note Race Rating box shaded red).

Selections: 4 – 1 – 2 – 6 

Race 2: Comet Sixty Two (#1) exits a good effort at this level at Saratoga when she was the only horse making a late run into a race that otherwise held together up front. However, with Chad Brown in her corner, she’s going to get bet, and how short of a price do you want to take on a runner that is 1-for-16 with 7 second-place finishes? Our top pick is ESTHER THE QUEEN (#2). We believe that this filly is better suited to sprints and that her lackluster two-turn races at Saratoga were primarily a result of her not really wanting to go that far. There’s nothing wrong with her seven-furlong race at Belmont on May 30—an effort that would give her a shot here. Esther the Queen may get ignored in the wagering since she’s coming out of New York-bred races, but our Race Ratings suggest that this isn’t the giant class leap that one might think.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 3 – 4 

Race 3: The two morning line favorites, Readtheprospectus (#1A) and Integrity (#4), are not the easiest horses to trust. David Jacobson does well with his claims, but he cannot be expected to improve a horse claimed from Chad Brown’s barn. A repeat of Readtheprospectus’s first start for the new barn would certainly give him a chance but shouldn’t scare off any of the others. Integrity (#4) has gone in the wrong direction since his spectacular effort splitting Effinex and Coach Inge on March 27. In fairness, he never was given a chance after stumbling at the start last time, but his poor current form is still cause for concern. Our top pick is FINDING CANDY (#3). This horse is as consistent as they come and is probably best at distances between seven furlongs and a flat mile. His first race for Abigail Adsit may look a little disappointing, but that was a tougher field than this one, and he had to endure a mildly uncomfortable trip, getting rushed up inside early before being shuffled back on the turn.

Selections: 3 – 4 – 1A – 2 

Race 4: Anna Creek (#6) is going to take a lot of play after having run well first out for a trainer that excels with his two-year-olds on grass. However, after watching that race, we prefer the filly that finished just one and a half lengths behind her. Whereas Anna Creek was wide but out in the clear most of the way, INSTA ERMA (#9) was down inside encountering some traffic issues, causing her rider to have to tap on the brakes a few times. We feel that the race was a good learning experience, and Bill Mott’s numbers with runners like this suggest that she may do much better this time. Mott gets a Trainer Rating of 84 with second-time starters (compared to just 47 with first-timers), an 89 with horses getting Lasix for the first time, and a 97 with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company.

Selections: 9 – 6 – 3 – 2 

Race 5: It’s hard to be confident in the chances of any of these runners, but we’ll take LIEUTENANT DALE (#11) on top as he gets significant class relief exiting an unusually tough $50,000 maiden claimer. At a slightly larger price, Summer Dancer (#8) is mildly interesting. He was wide on both turns last time at Saratoga, but had previously run well enough on dirt at this level, albeit against a very weak field.

Selections: 11 – 8 – 7 – 2

Race 6: Hyper (#2) is the horse to beat as he drops out of a steady diet of graded stakes races. However, he’s getting up there in age at eight years old and appears to be tailing off. He’s lost three consecutive races as the favorite, and his once reliable stretch kick has been less potent since returning from an 18-month layoff. While there are a few runners stepping up in class that are somewhat intriguing, we’re going in a different direction and are giving the globetrotting UMGIYO (#5) one more chance in this country. After putting together some excellent performances at Meydan, he was tried in the Turf Classic on Derby Day just 5 weeks after Dubai World Cup night. He got too rank and ran off to the lead with Florent Geroux, which is not his preferred running style. Now he’s in the barn of Christophe Clement and returns just 26 days after a poor performance at this level.  Since he’s sure to be a bigger price this time, we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Clement wastes no time getting him back to the races, and if he can recapture anything close to the form he displayed earlier this year, he’ll be tough to beat. It’s admittedly a bit of a guess, but we just could not build a solid enough case for anyone else.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 1 – 3 

Race 7: If Comes the Dream (#9) runs back to either of his in-the-money finishes from this summer at Belmont, he’s not going to lose this race. However, it seems wise to be careful with this horse. The drop into a $35,000 conditioned claiming race in his first start for a tag seems awfully hasty, especially considering that he would have fit well in today’s 6th race just a few months ago. He should definitely be on your tickets, but we can’t rely on him at a very short price. Instead, the top pick is NOT GOLIATH (#10), who has just failed to make an impact against some tougher fields in turf races at Monmouth and Parx and now takes a significant, but not illogical, drop into claiming company. Jason Servis plays the claiming game better than almost anyone and in this case there is no layoff to be concerned about.

Selections: 10 – 9 – 1 – 4 

Race 8: NIGHT OFFICER (#6) hinted that he might have recaptured his best form back in July after running well in a couple of tough optional claiming races at Belmont and Saratoga. He subsequently confirmed that notion by making top turf sprinters Ben’s Cat and Spring to the Sky work hard for close half-length decisions over him in two minor stakes at Laurel. Now he returns to New York and faces what is arguably the softest field he’s met since his first start off the layoff back in June. A repeat of either of his last two efforts (TimeformUS Speed Figures of 114 and 112) would seemingly be too much for this field to handle.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 9 – 10 

Race 9: Updraft’s (#3) turf race two back on December 13 would make him the horse to beat, but can he really be expected to reproduce that effort dropping in for a tag after so much time has passed? Use him in the Pick-4, but don’t take too short of a price on him in intrarace wagers. Seeking Daily (#5) moves into the capable hands of Jason Servis and gets a noteworthy rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz, Jr., but he, too, hasn’t been seen in a while and might need the best race of his career to win this. Since the favorites appear to be vulnerable, we’re going to take a shot with a price horse. PROMISE AND HOPE (#11) does not look too appealing at first glance. However, we believe his last couple of turf starts are not as bad as they seem. Most notably, on August 10 he made a wide middle move down the backstretch, which ultimately caused the race to come apart in the late stages. Those kinds of trips never work out, but he still ran well enough in spite of those tactics to suggest that he stacks up well against much of this field in terms of raw ability. If he can work out the right trip today, he could sneak into the trifecta—or perhaps better—at a huge price.

Selections: 11 – 5 – 3 – 10 




TimeformUS Analysis for October 12

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Monday October 12th

Race 1: Watch the Tie (#5) has probably found a field that he can beat today, but how short of a price do you really need to take on a horse that hasn’t exactly shown a desire to win races? There appears to be a lack of true speed types in this race, which is why we’re picking HUNTER CAT (#4). This horse has a sneaky look to him. The trip he got in his debut was nothing short of comical, his rider seemingly managing to find trouble in each successive furlong. Then last time he showed speed in a race that collapsed. Now he tries dirt, which he’s bred to handle, but more importantly he gets a significant rider upgrade to Manny Franco. We’ve seen James Ryerson put horses like this over at huge prices in the past, so don’t be surprised if this one takes them a long way up front.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 1 – 6 


Race 2: You have to love horses like ATTRACTIVE RIDE (#7). After making just a few starts as a two-year-old, he has contested an average of 11 races per season over seven years, winning 23 times. The Jacobson dropdowns are the main threats, but Attractive Ride’s grit and determination may be too much for either of them to overcome. 

Selections: 7 – 1/1A – 5 – 6 


Race 3: Thirst for Glory (#5) is the horse to beat as he drops in class while making his first start in 212 days. His Gulfstream efforts would make him formidable but Kimmel does not do well with layoff types like this. We’d be careful here. Instead, we’ll take a shot with BAPU (#10), who moves into the barn of James Lawrence. This horse ran reasonably well last time, but may have found two turns at Saratoga too far for him. His Breeding Rating of 77 for turf sprints, as opposed to just 59 for turf routes, suggests that this distance may be more to his liking.

Selections: 10 – 1 – 5 – 8 


Race 4: The list of horses that we don’t trust in this race is quite extensive. We’re getting bad vibes from both Jacobson dropdowns, and most of the more familiar alternatives are not exactly thrilling. We want new faces, so our top pick is APPROXIMATOR (#3). It’s fair to be skeptical of his out-of-town form, but he actually faced decent fields in his last two starts and put in perhaps the best effort of his career last time when setting a fast pace in a race that fell apart late. This horse runs his best races on the front end, so if Joel Rosario is aggressive, he could prove hard to catch. We’re also interested in Mr. Amos (#7) at a big price. He, too, comes out of some tough races and was hampered by a poor start in his prior dirt effort.

Selections: 3 – 7 – 2 – 4  


Race 5: Horses like Somerset Sandy (#2), Lady Lucky (#6), and Ally’s Envy (#8) are all logical. Though we don’t have major knocks against them, we wanted to highlight another runner that might fall through the cracks and go off at a big price. SWAYED (#5) was entered for the turf first time out in a race that was rained off. She ran evenly, but Jose Lezcano never asked her for a serious run. She is a full-sister to turf-sprint winner Pink Freud Live, so they were probably giving her that initial race as a prep before getting more serious as she moves to the right surface today.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 2 – 8 


Race 6: To Be Determined (#4) has not raced on turf in over a year. Her turf-sprint win at Saratoga last summer was pretty good, but she did have everything her own way up front that day. She is supposed to be the clear speed, but her rider is not typically that aggressive out of the gate.  She deserves to be favored, but we want to take a small shot against her with BARRIER TO ENTRY (#1). Obviously, you’d wish her connections would name a different rider, but if she’s aggressively ridden from the gate she may be able to outrun To Be Determined and take these all the way up front. Her races at this distance earlier this spring (TimeformUS Speed Figures of 104 and 97) would beat this field and she’s had impossible trips in her last two starts.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 2 – 7 


Race 7: Our top pick is LOON RIVER (#5). She found a mile and an eighth to be too far last time and seems best suited to races at a mile or less. The trainer switch to Tom Morley has to be viewed as a positive, and if she gets any pace to run at, she should prove tough to hold off late. Behind her, we’re interested in a pair of long shots. Majestic Bloom (#12) never had a fair chance in either turf sprint at Saratoga, getting eliminated at the start two back and racing wide on the worst part of the course last time. Rockin Alli (#10) has steadily improved over the course of the summer and may appreciate this turnback in distance. 

Selections: 5 – 12 – 10 – 7 


Race 8: We’re not trying to beat heavy favorite CARRUMBA (#2), who looks destined for graded stakes after a facile win in the mud when stepped up against winners last time. Behind her, we'll use a couple of runners out of the same race: Tahoe Tigress (#7), who loves this track and distance, and Guayana (#1), who made one of the first moves into a race that ultimately fell apart.

Selections: 2 – 7 – 1 – 6 


Race 9: Chad Brown holds a strong hand in this renewal of the Pebbles. Of his trio of runners, the one that we prefer is Partisan Politics (#2).  She comes off a couple of wide trips at Saratoga and should appreciate the return to a one-turn mile at Belmont. Light in Paris (#3) is the wild card as she makes her U.S. debut. Though she hasn’t been tried against the elite runners in her division at three, she was competitive against some pretty good fillies as a juvenile. However, we want to go in a slightly different direction and are making LADY ZUZU (#8) our top pick. This filly has been involved in some fast paces (note fractions and pace figures color-coded in red) and consequently has run better than it might appear on a few occasions. Making her first start for Bill Mott last time, she showed a new dimension, rating behind horses before unleashing a run once clear in the stretch. Bill Mott’s new acquisitions often run better in their second starts for the barn, as is evidenced by his 97 Trainer Rating in that category. The Pace Projector shows her leading this field in a fast pace, but we feel it’s more likely that they employ the same tactics as last time and take her off the pace. The flat mile seems perfect for Lady Zuzu, and if she improves on that last effort, she can be a major factor at a price.

Selections: 8 – 2 – 3 – 1 


Race 10: Mind Magic (#5) and Talladega (#7) are certainly capable of winning this race, but both got favorable setups last time, making late runs into a pace that collapsed. Instead, we prefer a couple of horses exiting different races at Saratoga. Longisland Express (#6) showed improvement when stretched back out to a route last time, chasing a fast pace before continuing on gamely through the stretch. However, the one we’re most interested in is PRIEST N THE RABBI (#2), who was done in by unlucky outside draws and subsequent wide trips in both of his starts at Saratoga and now draws a much more favorable inside post position today. He was also pretty green in both of those starts and should be able to assert his superiority over this field once he’s figured it all out.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 7 – 5

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TimeformUS Analysis for October 11

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Sunday October 11th
Race 1: POWER CRAZED (#6) exits a race against far better competition than what he meets here, and may have been hindered by a track that was kind to speed types (note Race Rating box color-coded in red). Any of his recent dirt races would stack up very well against this field. Inca Saint (#3) and Successful Brothers (#5) often run well but rarely find the winner’s circle, so we’ll use them underneath.

Selections: 6 – 3 – 5 – 1/1A 

Race 2: Only one of these eight runners already has a start under his belt, and that’s Big Gillette (#3). His debut was fine, but we believe that there may be some well-intentioned first-time starters in this race. Todd Pletcher and Kiaran McLaughlin are always dangerous in these situations and their respective charges must be respected. However, our top pick is Monmouth Park invader SEA WIZARD (#5). John Mazza is not known as a prolific debut conditioner, so it’s curious that he has picked such an ambitious spot for this horse’s debut. They paid $190,000 for this son of Uncle Mo on the heels of a dazzling 9 4/5 workout at the OBS Sales in March, so chances are he’s pretty fast.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 2 – 3 

Race 3: Kacy Lauren (#6) is the horse to beat as she sidesteps her New York-bred allowance conditions by contesting this open claiming race. Chad Brown knows she's probably not the best New York-bred allowance horse in his barn, so this move is logical. She must be used, but the price figures to be short. We're going to try to beat her with ARCTIC OCEAN (#1), who gets back on turf after running in races that were rained off in three of her last four starts. Looking back at her two-year-old grass races, her TimeformUS Speed Figures compare very favorably to everyone else in this race, Kacy Lauren included. It's not as if she's been disgraced on dirt recently, so it's likely that she's still capable of running back to those better efforts on her preferred surface.

Selections: 1 – 6 – 5 – 2 

Race 4: The stretch-out in distance is a concern, but the pickings are pretty slim in this group of $16,000 conditioned claimers, so we'll take SOURCESANDMETHODS (#4) off the claim by Brad Cox, who gets an overall Trainer Rating of 98 as well as a 96 first time off the claim. Underneath, Humbolt Street (#2) may be worth throwing in at a price. He returns as a first-time gelding and could contend here if he can get back to his better races at this distance from last spring.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 6 – 3 

Race 5: Comandante (#4) has to be considered the most likely winner as he drops steeply in class second off the claim for Danny Gargan. However, he's hard to completely trust, which is why we've gone in a different direction. NATIVE HERO (#7) clearly isn't as fast as Comandante, but his efforts two and three back are very competitive with just about everyone else in this race. He's also dropping out of deeper New York-bred allowance fields (the Race Ratings of his last four races are higher than the preliminary rating for this race). We like the turnback in distance and think he's interesting at a price.

Selections: 7 – 4 – 1/1A - 8

Race 6: The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace here, which is why we're most interested in horses who should be coming from farther back in the pack. Runners like Compliance Officer (#5) and Sinatra (#8), who are proven at this level, are certainly logical, but we feel there are a couple of more interesting horses at better prices. Our top selection is dropdown PASS THE DICE (#12). This horse has spent the majority of his career racing on dirt, but his turf races are actually pretty decent. Yes, his current form appears to have tailed off, but he had some major excuses in his last start at Monmouth. Not only was he facing a tougher group, but he went very wide around both turns and tried to make a far turn move into the fastest part of the race. Just outside of him, Utopian (#13) is another horse at a price that would benefit from a hot pace if he's able to draw in off the also-eligible list. 

Selections: 12 – 13 – 5 – 8 

Race 7: If Captain Tim (#9) repeats his last effort, he is going to be very tough to beat. However, there are some new faces in here that merit consideration. Street Jersey (#1) is interesting as he stretches out in distance for the first time. He hinted at possessing quality at age two, finishing third in a couple of strong maiden races, and he may play out as the controlling speed here (Pace Projector shows him in front). However, the one we’re most interested in is second-time starter BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON (#8). This Leo O’Brien trainee didn’t take any money in his debut, going off at 78/1, but actually put in a strong late run in a race that did not set up well for deep closers. He is projected to show more speed on the stretchout while getting Lasix for the first time. Any improvement on that debut puts him in the mix and the price should be generous once again.

Selections: 8 – 9 – 1 – 2 

Race 8: Christophe Clement gets excellent Trainer Ratings in almost every category that applies to ROMEO LIMA (#8), who makes his stateside debut here. It seems that he was somewhat of a disappointment in France, but he nevertheless ran well, especially on turf as a 2-year-old. We will not try to beat him. The pace needs to be discussed since it is predicted to favor horses on or near the lead. That’s one reason why we made long shot The Catmancan (#1) our second choice. He is projected to be up close early and Jose Lezcano should be looking to send him from the rail.

Selections: 8 – 1 – 2 – 9 

Race 9: Once again, the Pace Projector is forecasting that race dynamics will have an impact on the outcome. This time, a fast pace would appear to be on tap, which is one reason why we arrived at our selection of THIS HARD LAND (#5). This seven-year-old is a hard-trier that seemingly always goes off at double-digit odds; an easy horse to root for. It’s nice to see him claimed back by his longtime owners and get reunited with regular rider Angel Arroyo. He showed that he still had it in him last May, running one of his best races to beat an in-form Sea Raven. His one race since then may turn some away, but he was up against a slow pace (color-coded in blue) on a track that was favoring speed (note Racing Rating box colored red). If some pace develops, look for him to be charging hard down the center of the track late.

Selections: 5 – 7 – 2 – 1/1A

Race 10: Stormin Stephen (#3) is the horse to beat, but he’s had his chances and has failed to get it done, so it’s fair to start questioning his will to win races. Instead, we’ll go for the horse that finished just behind him last time, WHATAWONDERFLWORLD (#11). Mark Casse does exceptional work with his second-time starters. We give him a 100 Trainer Rating with those types as opposed to a mediocre 60 rating with debut runners. We’ll also throw in Slapstick (#8), whose debut was fine and who should improve for trainer Tom Morley, as well as first-time starter Big Dance (#10), who gets plenty of turf pedigree from his dam.

Selections: 11 – 8 – 3 – 10