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TimeformUS Analysis for October 31

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

 
TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday October 31st
 

bcready

 

Race 1: Our top pick is LUCKYBUCK SYNDROME (#8), who ran like a horse who needed his first start. After breaking alertly, he just appeared to have no idea what he was doing, racing greenly and getting shuffled out of the race down the backstretch and into the far turn. When Luis Saez swung him out into the clear heading into the stretch, he actually leveled off and finished up with some interest. That was a day that you wanted to have speed and stay towards the rail early on in the day, so he may have been compromised by his trip. This son of Lookin At Lucky figures to improve with the stretch-out in distance. Linda Rice does excellent work with her second-time starters, and R F Burton (#1) ran a bit better than it appears in his debut after chasing wide on the turn. Silent Glory (#2) is a full-brother to Naughty New Yorker, but may need this one.

Selections: 8 – 1 – 2 – 6 

Race 2: OUR CARAVAN (#6) did not handle 12 furlongs two back in the Greenwood Cup, but each of his other three races this year were excellent. His speed figures of 117, 112, and 116 point him out as the horse to beat. Last time, he might have won had he not hopped at the start, putting him behind the eight ball in a race dominated on the front end. Freestyler (#7) is an honest gelding who always seems to run his race. Just Call Kenny (#4) appears to be rounding back into form and actually ran quite well last time, but has not won since January 2014.

Selections: 6 – 7 – 4 – 5 

Race 3: There is a ton of speed in this race and the Pace Projector, unsurprisingly, is calling for a fast pace. Closers Wind Warning (#7) and Tino (#4) are the most logical contenders based on prior turf form, but we see an interesting first-time turfer that’s worth a look. KANGAROO STYLE (#5) is by turf sire Silent Name out of a mare by Freud, so he figures to take to this surface. His lone race on a synthetic track, against open maidens, was an even effort, suggesting that he has more to offer than what he showed in his New York dirt starts. Michelle Nevin can win off layoffs, and we think  he’s worth throwing into the mix at a big price.

Selections: 5 – 7 – 4 – 8

Race 4: There is a shocking dearth of early speed in here, especially for a graded sprint stakes. For that reason, we cannot resist taking a shot with GREEN GRATTO (#4). This horse is very dangerous when left alone up front, which was the scenario that nearly led to a shocking result in this spring’s Grade 1 Carter Handicap. As one would expect, the TimeformUS Pace Projector shows him on a clear lead in a situation favoring the frontrunner. We like El Kabeir  (#5) turning back in distance, but he’ll need to be ready for his best effort off the layoff and does not figure to offer value, especially at his morning line price.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 2 – 6 

Race 5: Summer Reading (#6) and Deltalina (#7) put in even efforts in their respective debuts and should be able to build off those efforts. We’re not against them, but want to take a small shot with GOLD TINKER (#4), who is a half-sister to the brilliantly fast turf sprinter Thieves Guild. Alan Goldberg doesn’t have great overall debut numbers, but he’s a bit better with his turf horses. Crazy About Jazz (#9) is a half-brother to winning turf sprinter Super Colossal and is worth throwing into the mix as well.

Selections: 4 – 6 – 7 – 9 

Race 6: Bajan Summer (#3), Regal Minister (#7), Triple Play (#9), and Ground Control (#10) all take significant drops in class. Of those, we prefer Bajan Summer, who doesn’t need the lead and has run dirt races that make him competitive with a field of this quality. However, our top pick at a price is MR. AMOS (#6), who gets some logical class relief as well as a rider upgrade to Dylan Davis. Last time, he acted up at the gate and then had to endure a wide run around the far turn. We admit that we’ve had somewhat of a fondness for this horse, but we do believe he’s landed in the right spot here.

Selections: 6 – 3 – 9 – 7 

Race 7: We don’t see a compelling reason to oppose heavy favorite ELMUTAHID (#7), who takes a fairly logical drop in class after failing to break through the N1X allowance level. The lack of speed in this race should also work to his advantage. The Pace Projector is predicting a pace scenario favoring horses on or near the lead, and Elmutahid, as the only runner in this race with a running style of at least “Tracker,” figures to be right up on the pace, if not setting it. Chunnel (#8) ran fairly well after getting shuffled back midway through his last race, but seems more likely to complete the exacta or trifecta. 

Selections: 7 – 8 – 4 – 1/1A

Race 8: Despite coming into this race as a maiden, Llanita (#6) is the horse to beat, having been rerouted to this spot once she was excluded from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She’s one of the main players today, but she figures to take money once again off her even Miss Grillo effort, and it’s not as if this field came up all that soft. Our top pick is BELVOIR BAY (#10), who ships in from Great Britain and makes her first start for trainer Bill Mott. She has come along nicely through her first five starts, topped by a good fourth place finish in Group 3 company behind Hawksmoor, who returned to finish third behind Minding—the top filly in Europe— in the Group 1 Fillies Mile. Wedding Dress (#11) scored a more commanding victory than the final margin would suggest last time after she got to wandering late in the stretch. She still has some upside.

Selections: 10 – 6 – 11 – 12 

Race 9: We’ve been waiting for SNAKE OIL CHARLIE (#5) to run back after his unlucky trip last time.  Snake Oil Charlie’s form is still somewhat buried out of that effort, and he figures to go off at double-digit odds once again. We wish this race were being run over a mile, or even seven furlongs, but nevertheless cannot pass up an opportunity on this horse. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, so he figures to have dynamics in his favor, which has not been the case in his last few starts. If he gets the right ride and trip, he’s good enough to win.

Selections: 5 – 1 – 6 – 12 

Race 10: Horses like The Undersheriff and Extinct Charm are most logical based off their last efforts behind impressive winner Storm Prophet. However, both got good trips in that race, and we feel there are more interesting, lightly raced horses at bigger prices this time. Our top pick is BEN’S MIRACLE (#1), who was checked at the start and slow into stride in his debut. The pace really slowed down midway through the race (note six-furlong split color-coded in blue) and Ben’s Miracle did well to pass the field late through a swift final quarter-mile. We’re also interested in Summer Candy (#4), who was somewhat sluggish in his debut, but got rolling late and galloped out well. He’s a half-brother to a slew of accomplished New York-bred turf runners. Mr. Logistics (#6) lost all chance at the start last time when he walked out of the gate. He briefly moved up to catch the field before being eased late. He’s interesting at a huge price, as is first-time starter Sweetbitterjustice (#8), who has a ton of turf pedigree on the bottom side of his pedigree.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 6 – 8 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for October 30

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday October 30th
 

Race 1: QUEEN OF THE SPA (#9) ran very well two back—at the Spa—setting a fast pace (note pace color-coded in red) before holding on to be second. Last time she may not have appreciated the sloppy track. More Than Rainbows (#8) improved in her first start on dirt, but last time was the time to have her at 15/1. Fiery Cat (#10) seemingly drops in class for David Jacobson, but our speed figures indicate she’ll have to improve on her recent form to beat this field.

Selections: 9 – 8 – 10 – 2 

Race 2: In a very confusing race, we’ll take SAINT FINIAN (#11) at a bit of a price. Dynamics didn’t suit him in his last two races, but he put in an effort three back that would make him formidable in this spot. The feeling is that he may get a little lost in the wagering. Neoclassic (#3) and Sinatra (#6) have both run competitive races at this level recently and can certainly win, but they are hard to get too excited about.

Selections: 11 – 3 – 6 – 1/1A

bcready

Race 3: CONGENIAL (#1) races first off the claim for David Jacobson, a 95-rated move for him, as he drops in class and turns back in distance. As long as he merely holds his form, he’s likely to prove too tough for this field to handle. Sol the Freud (#5) appears to be the controlling speed and the Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring the frontrunner, but the sudden drop in class is of slight concern.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 2 – 3 

Race 4: MAKE A DECISION (#1) appears to have regained his best form, and the reclaim by Linda Rice has to be viewed as a positive sign. Macagone ensures a fair pace in almost any race that he participates in, so Make a Decision should have every chance to come with his late run. This N1X allowance did not attract a particularly strong field, and the preliminary Race Rating suggests this is actually a slight drop in class for Make a Decision. Rock Eagle (#5) encountered traffic issues two back and ran well last time despite being buried down inside through the stretch. He appears to be moving in the right direction. Security Risk (#8) hasn’t gotten a fair shot since breaking his maiden, but it remains to be seen how good he actually is.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 8 – 3 

Race 5: TWO TAPS (#7) was supposed to win last time at 4/5 odds, but could not overcome an extremely slow pace. We still believe that she’s best over a route of ground and don’t think we’ve yet seen the best of this filly. While we’re reluctant to take another short price on her, we cannot endorse any of the alternatives. Piccolo Flats (#3) is mildly interesting as she gets to go a one-turn mile over a dry track, but she’s been plagued by inconsistency over the past year.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 2 – 1 

Race 6: The Pace Projector is calling for a fast pace set by speed types Glowing Ember, Summer Breezing, and Latigo Trail. Since a contested pace appears to be inevitable, we’ll take a shot with closer LORD OF LOVE (#4). Others have run faster on occasion, but he consistently throws down speed figures around 100, and that may be good enough to get the job done here if given the right setup. He’s been hindered by slow paces (color-coded in blue) in two of his last three starts. Summer Breezing (#8) is too fast to take a strong stand against, and Draft Day (#5) still has some upside after just two starts but may be overbet.

Selections: 4 – 8 – 5 – 2 

Race 7: Of the recent maiden winners, Strike Midnight (#6) appears to be the horse to beat. He had some trouble in his debut, which was just too short for him, but was much more professional last time, drawing off to a convincing win despite drifting out late. He appears to be ready for a step up in class. However, we’re also interested in a few horses dropping out of stakes—and none more so than long shot PAGAN (#2). Pagan ran a fairly odd race in the Pilgrim. After stalking the pace while tucked into a cozy position in behind the speeds down the backstretch, he basically took himself out of the race around the far turn. However, what’s most odd is that jockey Junior Alvarado apparently made no attempt to prevent it from happening. He really never asked Pagan for run as he dropped back, and he entered the stretch in last place. Yet rather than continuing to fade, he actually accelerated, and was forced to alter course while running by horses—including today’s rival Eidmilaad—while under practically no urging from his rider. We get the feeling that he did not put forth a true effort that day, yet he only lost the race by a few lengths. This runner may have more ability than it appears and he’s going to be a huge price.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 8 – 5 

Race 8: DELIGHTFUL JOY (#3) possesses the tactical speed to be placed up close to likely pacesetter Holiday’s Jewel. The Pace Project is predicting a situation favoring horses near the front, so early position becomes very important. Delightful Joy improved over the summer and appears to be headed in the right direction for trainer Chad Brown. We also want to use fellow three-year-old Pangburn (#8), who exits a tough assignment in the Cotillion, where she earned a 110 speed figure, which puts her solidly in the mix here. We suppose America (#9) is the horse to beat, but we don’t completely trust this plodder in a paceless situation.

Selections: 3 – 8 – 9 – 5 

Race 9: SILVER VIXEN (#5) has raced over turf only once, but that effort produced an 81 speed figure, the highest turf number anyone in this race has recorded. She since has proven that she handles a route of ground on dirt, so the stretch-out on turf is not much of a concern. Out of Nowhere (#6) ran better than it appears when setting a fast pace last time and may be better off trying rating tactics this time. These are the two we’ll focus on in a puzzling finale.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 11 – 9

 

 
 

TimeformUS Analysis for October 29

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday October 29th
 

Race 1: QUEEN CAROLINE (#4) was bet down to 3/1 odds in her debut, the second choice behind Tap To It. She was off very slowly, rushed up into contention down the backstretch, but then tired badly late. Given the way she stopped so abruptly, we wonder if she might have bled in that race, especially since Michael Matz adds Lasix for her second start. We’re going to guess that the money she took in her debut was meaningful. She should show more speed with a clean break this time.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 2 – 6 

Race 2: Assuming this race is taken off the turf and contested over the main track, BLOOPER (#10) becomes the horse to beat. Tizallheart (#13) and Sequiota (#12),  who would have been two of the top choices on turf, have displayed decent enough dirt form to have a shot.

Selections: 10 – 13 – 12 – 2 

bcready

Race 3: TOWN TART (#6) is the horse to beat off her most recent dirt effort against a loaded maiden special weight field at Keeneland. Unless one of the firsters shows speed, she looks like a threat to wire the field on this logical drop in class. Kentucky Road (#2) may not have been facing much in her debut, but she ran well enough after getting shuffled back midway through the race.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 5 – 3

Race 4: Assuming this race is taken off the turf and contested over the main track, EH CUMPARI (#10) would be an intriguing contender if left in the race. His debut over a good track was a fine effort, and he was against a strong track bias in his only other dirt start in the Remsen. If he takes to a sloppy main track, he could post the mild upset. Celebrated Talent (#11) has relished wet tracks in the past and is a threat to wire the field if he’s ready off the layoff.

Selections: 10 – 11 – 1A – 3 

Race 5: SMILING JOHN (#1) has run two very good races since being transferred to trainer Bill Mott. He survived a fast pace to break his maiden and then chased wide last time on a day when the rail was the place to be early in the card. Third place finisher Captain Moss, as well as today’s rivals Bird Prince and Here Comes Tommy, returned out of that race to improve their speed figures in their next start. The mile is a question, but Smiling John’s dam was remarkably versatile, equally effective both sprinting and routing. Union River (#2) has improved recently for Tony Dutrow and will be a late threat if any pace develops.

Selections: 1 – 2 – 4 – 5 

Race 6: Our top pick is PORTFOLIO MANAGER (#5), who was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 1 Champagne last time, but nevertheless ran very well in defeat. We slightly prefer him over Matt King Coal (#2), who actually ran faster in his narrow defeat over a sloppy track, but that came against a much weaker field than what Portfolio Manager was facing. Winning Road (#6) chased a very fast pace set by the promising Pirellone in his debut and has a right to step forward. Finally, Tale of Mist (#1) goes out for Barclay Tagg, who has unveiled a slew of live two-year-olds so far this season. He’s a half-brother to wet-track-loving Tonalist.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 6 – 1 

Race 7: With heavy overnight rain in the forecast, we’re assuming all races will be off the turf. On dirt, we prefer LIFE IN SHAMBLES (#6), who drops in for a tag for the first time after a string of disappointing allowance tries. However, his last race, and only start at six furlongs, might not have been as bad as it appears, since he was up against a slow pace (color-coded in blue). In Trouble (#9) has obviously run plenty of dirt races that would beat this field, but after so many layoffs and now this drop in class, he is not the easiest horse to trust. If the track is still sloppy by post time, mud-loving Saratoga Heater (#4) might be worth a look.

Selections: 6 – 4 – 9 – 5 

Race 8: HOT CITY GIRL (#1) appears to be too quick for her competition. Her last two TimeformUS Speed Figures of 110 and 111 tower over anything her competitors have done recently. She also appears to hold a significant pace advantage in here. The Pace Projector places her on the lead in a situation favoring horses up front. Katie’s Garden (#3) did put up similar figures last fall, but her first start back off the long layoff does not exactly inspire confidence. Bureau de Change (#2), who turns back in distance, and the mudlark Sun and Moon (#5) should round out trifecta positions.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 2 – 5 

Race 9: FORTUNATE SKY (#11) sustained a light bump at the start last time, but was just sluggish thereafter as Eric Cancel allowed him to drop far off the pace. He made a good late run through the lane, but had been left with too much to do. This time, there appears to be enough speed signed on to ensure an honest pace. He’s the horse to beat. A Marked Man (#1) has run well enough on dirt, but he’s had chances in plenty of easy spots and has failed to get it done as of yet.

Selections: 11 – 1 – 7 – 3

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for October 28

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Wednesday October 28th
 

Race 1: Morning line choice Quibbler (#2) is making her dirt debut while dropping to her lowest ever claiming tag off a two-and-a-half-month layoff. She’s not the kind of favorite we want to rely on. The top pick is SHE’S GIFTED (#5), who is anything but. Yet with limited options from which to choose, we’ll try to get her to wire the field. She is coming out of three straight races that featured fast paces (note all the red fractions and pace figures) and is predicted to be on a clear lead here. Mohawk Lily (#10) has run well enough on dirt and would appreciate some moisture in the track. Long shot Phocea (#3) may get overlooked in the wagering, but ran well enough last time to perhaps contend for a piece of the purse here.

Selections: 5 – 10 – 3 – 1

bcready

Race 2: There is a serious lack of pace in this race. It’s saying something that the horse projected to be on the lead, Devious Maddy, has not been within three lengths of the front at any point in her last three starts. Of the contenders, we believe that Corner Three (#1) may benefit most from a slow pace, since she’s been showing more initiative in recent races and her rider Javier Castellano usually takes advantage of these situations. However, we cannot resist making COURAGEISAMAJORITY (#2) the top pick. She won a live race at Saratoga three back before stepping up into a roughly run open-company allowance race. That was a tougher field than she meets today and she was hardly disgraced in finishing a troubled fifth. If John Velazquez can keep her relatively close early, her class may carry her to victory. 

Selections: 2 – 1 – 5 – 4 

Race 3: This is a very confusing race, with inexperienced horses coming from a multitude of directions. Our top pick is LITTLEBITADOMINIC (#1), who drops out of an even effort when breaking slowly against maiden special weight company. Linda Rice, a 55-rated debut trainer, gets a Trainer Rating of 99 with second-time starters, so this one figures to improve with that experience under his belt. We’ll also use Clear Surprise (#3), who does not have much turf pedigree and may be better suited to a dirt sprint against slightly softer competition. Text Me (#5) is a half-brother to debut winner Clockwork and goes out for solid first-out trainer George Weaver.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 5 – 7 

Race 4: This boils down to a two-horse affair between a couple of runners who showed a great deal of promise in their respective debuts. Luminary Flight (#1) put in the more eye-catching run. After getting away from the gate very awkwardly, costing himself a few lengths, he closed determinedly to just miss getting up to win. This horse obviously possesses a ton of natural ability. However, if he breaks slowly from the rail once again in a 12-horse field, he will have his work cut out for him. That’s why we’re giving the slight nod to SEYMOURDINI (#4). Considering that Linda Rice rarely has her first-time starters cranked up to win right off the bat (see the ratings listed above), this colt was very professional in his debut. King Kranz, whom he defeated, returned to validate the strength of that maiden heat with a strong second-place finish in the Futurity (G2) in his next start. A repeat of that effort will be tough for any of these to top.

Selections: 4 – 1 – 5 – 9 

Race 5: This race is projected to feature a fast pace, so we’re giving a look to a few closers that might go off at decent prices. The logical horse to beat is Forty Nine Watts (#11), who ran well in his second start for owner/trainer David Cannizzo. However, we’re making our top pick a horse that finished behind him last time. RAP D’ORO (#1) did not end up getting the fast pace that he required on a day when speed may have held a slight advantage on the main track (note Race Rating box shaded pink). However, he did run well enough to suggest that his prior two poor efforts were not true indicators of his current form. He may get a little lost in the wagering, yet we feel that he’s one of the more reliable options in a race where those are hard to come by. Chiseled (#6) is another that we want to use at a big price. This late runner is finally dropping to a realistic level after being entered in a series of overly ambitious spots by his low-profile connections.

Selections: 1 – 6 – 11 – 5 

Race 6: Chiltern Street (#7) is a deserving favorite. After getting into trouble at multiple points in his debut, he stretched out to a mile at Kentucky Downs just 12 days later. While he got tired late, his jockey did sort of give up on him in the final sixteenth of a mile, perhaps exaggerating the margin of defeat. We will definitely use him to kick off the late Pick-4, but our top pick is TAKE COVER (#10). We feel that this horse has steadily improved with each turf start, which may not be readily apparent from a quick glance at his past performances. He’s not really suited to a two-turn mile, but still ran well despite a wide trip behind a slow pace two back. Then last time he may have run the best race of all after going very wide on the turn on a day when the rail was the place to be on Saratoga’s turf courses.

Selections: 10 – 7 – 9 – 4 

Race 7: Morning line favorite Baublette (#10) ran well in her visually impressive maiden win, but she benefited from sitting right up on a slow pace against a relatively weak field. She’s a contender, but may be an underlay this time. The alternative that we’re most interested in is SISTER MARGARET (#4). She may have disliked rallying through a tight hole along the rail two back, and her last start was actually a decent effort in a tough New York-bred stakes race. The Race Rating of that race (112) compared to the preliminary rating for today’s field suggests that this is a substantial drop in class. The rain in the forecast certainly would help her cause since she’s run two of her best races over wet tracks. Behind her, we’ll also use Mayla (#3), who just seems to always show up with an honest effort and can adapt her style to a variety of pace scenarios.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 10 – 7 

Race 8: The Pace Projector is predicting a slow early tempo set by Anchor Down. That advantage, coupled with his superior recent speed figures, suggests that he’s the horse to beat, but he has disappointed at short prices a few too many times for our liking. Perhaps today is the day to have him, but we prefer a couple of others. Vyjack (#6) is dangerous getting back on dirt. A flat mile has always been his best distance and he was still running competitive races on this surface this past spring. Vyjack does have some tactical speed, but the horse that is projected to be Anchor Down’s closest pursuer is STORMIN MONARCHO (#8), and he’s the one we want to bet. After a productive 2014 campaign, Stormin Monarcho started to tail off earlier this spring. David Jacobson gave him some time off, and he returned in a tough optional claimer sprinting at Saratoga. Jacobson has terrible numbers with horses coming off long layoffs and Stormin Monarcho lost all chance when he stumbled at the start. Rather than dropping this horse in class as he so often does off poor efforts or layoffs, Jacobson runs him back in another ambitious spot, this time at the right distance. This horse looks a little sneaky and he should be a healthy price.

Selections: 8 – 6 – 3 – 4 

Race 9: Favored Arabian Queen (#5) owns the best overall form, but a projected slow pace will not work in her favor. Our top pick is MAJESTIC BLOOM (#1), who drops in for a tag for the first time and may wire the field as she gets blinkers and breaks from the rail. Petticoat Day (#7) would benefit from a more aggressive ride after being unwisely rated last time.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 7 – 10