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TimeformUS Race Analysis

 

 

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TimeformUS Analysis for June 12

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Sunday June 12

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: The two logical players are Distinctive Lady (#4) and Miss Amalita (#5). Distinctive Lady was off a step slowly last time, and was slow into stride thereafter, dropping well off the pace in the early going. Meanwhile, Miss Amalita raced up close to what was a pretty fast pace (color-coded red) and hung in well until the final furlong, when she was passed by the rallying Distinctive Lady. We feel that Miss Amalita ran the stronger race that day and the Pace Projector is predicting that she will have an advantage over her rivals here. That said, we don’t find either of these runners to be particularly inspiring options from a wagering standpoint, which is why we’ve landed on OMAGODDONNA (#2). This filly has been off for a long time, having not made a start since early in her three-year-old season. However, she actually kept some decent company back then put in a couple of decent sprint efforts when last seen. One would imagine that she’s matured since then and it’s not as if she would have to improve that much on the 88 speed figure she earned when last seen. Carl Domino has won with a few runners coming off similar lengthy layoffs recently, and we think she’s worth a stab.

Selections: 2 – 5 – 4 – 3

 

Race 2: The entry of Sweet Loretta (#1) and Teresa Z (#1A) is listed as the 6/5 favorites on the morning line. Pletcher gets an excellent 100 trainer rating with debuting two-year-old maidens, so these two deserve respect. However, neither one possesses pedigrees that suggest they’re going to win early. That’s especially true in the case of John Velazquez’s mount, Teresa Z, who is out of an A. P. Indy mare that’s a half-sister to Storm Flag Flying. We’ll use them defensively, but we’re more interested in a couple of fillies with experience. Dixie Kicks (#3) set the pace in a pretty loaded maiden race here last month before succumbing to the well-regarded Olive Branch in the stretch. The 91 speed figure that she earned would have made her competitive in the stakes earlier this week, so she must be respected. However, our top selection is the other runner out of that same race, CHINA RIDER (#7). We feel that Joel Rosario gave her the perfect learning experience last time, not rushing her along early, and allowing her to finish up well through the stretch. She galloped out strongly and we believe she will have more to offer this time.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 1/1A – 5

 

Race 3: Money Changer (#1) did not do that much running in his return on turf last time. He is more of a dirt horse, so the surface switch should agree with him, but we still don’t have any concrete evidence that he’s ready to return to his best form from last spring. We feel like he’s going to take money just because of the connections. Evolution (#3) is projected to lead this field early in a situation favoring the frontrunner. He ran well in each of his last two starts, earning speed figures of 100 and 98, the two highest numbers in the field. We don’t fully trust him to win the race, especially stretching out to six and a half furlongs, but he’s a major player nonetheless. Our top pick is the turnback SHADOW RIDER (#5). He’s never sprinted before, but he did run the best race of his life going a one-turn mile over this track. If Brolic and/or The Great Whiteway can apply some pressure to Evolution early, we’re hopeful that the race will fall apart just enough to allow Shadow Rider to run them down. Race ratings indicate he’s coming out of a tougher race at this level and should appreciate the subtle class relief.

Selections: 5 – 3 – 1 - 2

 

Race 4: We have little confidence in the chances of any of the competitors in this fourth race. The horse to beat is probably the morning line favorite Nonna Jo (#1), who may have been hindered by fast paces (color-coded in red) in each of her last two starts. However, we don’t think she’s ever going to get back to her strong debut effort and feel that she’s moving in the wrong direction. Even this further drop in class may not be enough to wake her up. Vision of Mine (#8) owns some of the fastest speed figures in the race. The problem is that they were all earned over a year ago and she hasn’t been seen in over 12 months. Michael Pino gets an 89 trainer rating with all types of layoff runners and she is running in the softest spot of her career, but we still find her difficult to trust. We’ve landed on ICE COUTURE (#7) as our top selection. She was facing tougher company two back and then was not able to make a dent into a slow pace (color-coded in blue) last time. Jimmy Ryerson gets a positive 78 trainer rating with new claims in a small sample and we believe this filly has found herself in the right spot at the right time.

Selections: 7 – 8 – 1 – 9

 

Race 5: Fly Ash (#2) is the horse to beat, but she’s gotten relatively good trips in her last two starts. She may work out another favorable trip today from this inside post position, but we’d rather not settle for the shortest price in such a competitive race. Of the fillies that finished behind runaway winner Broken Border on May 18, we’re most interested in second-time starter Marshmellowmaddnes (#10), who stayed on well through the lane that day and is bred to stretch out in distance. Flying K C (#12) finished ahead of her that day, but we believe she was better suited to that seven furlong distance than today’s route affair. Additionally, she’s hung out in a wide draw. This is a bit of a guess, but we think PRIDE OF SARATOGA (#4) may have much more to offer in her second start. George Weaver has been having a sensational Belmont meet, and he gets an 81 trainer rating with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming races. This filly has worked out in an encouraging fashion since her debut—especially considering the pedestrian fractions she ran in the actual race. She was bad that day, but we’re going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Selections: 4 – 10 – 2 – 12

 

Race 6: Dauphine Russe (#2) put in a fantastic effort to win over this trip when last seen at Belmont Park in the fall of 2015. She’s made stops in Florida and California since then, but now returns to New York for David Jacobson. Her performances have been a little inconsistent as of late, but she seems to still do her best work in turf sprints. She’s earned some of the fastest speed figures and, if she flashes the speed she showed two back, she could control this race on the front end. The Jason Servis-trained pair of Sunrise Kitty (#1) and Simple Love (#9) merit consideration and have both run well over this turf course in the past. We’ll use them in exactas and trifectas, but our top pick is ROYAL TEMPTRESS (#3). Going back to January of 2015, she actually ran very well sprinting on turf at Santa Anita. She seemed to tail off in longer races towards the end of that year, but reappeared in Barclay Tagg’s barn at Gulfstream. There, she was overmatched in all of her starts. Race ratings indicate that she’s taking a needed drop in class and we like the fact that she’s getting another chance to sprint. She’s the wild card in this race, and we think the price could be inviting enough for us to bite.

Selections: 3 – 2 – 1 – 9

 

Race 7: Bluegrass Prevails (#7) is going to be a strong favorite once again in this race, and his recent performances back up this support. He’s recorded three straight triple-digit speed figures and is coming off a very game, albeit losing, performance against the talented Love That Jazz. However, he does not face an easy take today, since he’s likely going to have to deal with the speed of Frosti Agosti to his inside in the early stages. Six and a half furlongs may also be a bit of a stretch for him. At what should be a better price, we prefer PIERCE’S PRIZE (#3). This four-year-old has been in some of the best form of his career since returning to action this spring. He set an extremely fast pace two back and then was game to finish just ahead of eventual Mike Lee runner-up Mind Your Biscuits last time. He should sit a good stalking trip just in behind the speeds. At a huge price, we could also throw in Sharpie’s Dream (#5). He lost all chance when he was off slowly at the start last time, but we also wonder if he may have bled that day, since his connections apply Lasix for the first time here. He ran well when breaking his maiden two back and could be an overlay.

Selections: 3 – 7 – 5 – 2 

 

Race 8: It will be interesting to see how these riders sort themselves out in the early going, since there is a serious dearth of early speed in this race. Manitoulin (#3) is projected to be the early leader, but he seems to be most comfortable being ridden as a closer. The horse to beat is Sport (#1), who was the wise guy pick last time off an eventful trip in his debut at Gulfstream. While he couldn’t get the job done as the favorite, Sport actually ran quite well, making a middle move down the backstretch and going wide around the far turn before flattening out in deep stretch. This half-brother to Isabella Sings is no cinch to stretch out to a mile and three-eighths, but the talent is there. A couple of runners making their second career starts interest us. Love and Care (#7) made a quick rush into contention at the half-mile pole in his debut, and proceeded to chase four-wide around the far turn before tiring in the stretch. This horse is bred to get better as the distances increase and Bill Mott gets a 76 trainer rating with second-time starters. Our top pick is SADLER’S JOY (#9), who was completely up against it from a pace perspective in his debut, where he rated well off a slow pace (color-coded in blue). Despite giving the others a head start, he actually finished up strongly through the stretch and galloped out like a freight train. He gets a positive rider switch to Jose Lezcano and is bred to run all day. He could get a little lost in the wagering in a very confusing race.

Selections: 9 – 1 – 7 – 3 

 

Race 9: They’re going to have to catch Apologynotaccepted (#5), who was dazzling in her debut at Gulfstream, earning a field-best speed figure of 115. However, she was somewhat dull in her second start at Keeneland when losing at 1/2 odds against an ordinary field. You would imagine a mare that began her career at age five might have some issues and she’s no guarantee to handle this stretch-out to a mile despite the fact that she is projected to have a pace advantage. We prefer others. Going for Broke (#1) makes plenty of sense. She earned a competitive 104 speed figure when breaking her maiden in the slop last time. A couple of runners that finished behind her did come back to disappoint in subsequent starts, but this filly still has some upside. Our top selection is STELLA ROSE (#2). We realize that she did not run fast enough in her debut to make her a factor here, but we expect to see improvement today. Christophe Clement gets a 100 trainer rating with horses adding Lasix for the first time and a 95 trainer rating with runners that broke their maidens in their last starts. This filly hails from a strong female family that produced top runners like Citronnade, Whiskey Wisdom, and Poetically.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 5 – 6 

 

Race 10: The finale feels like a two-horse, even though we don’t completely trust either one. Sauvignon (#2) is a deserving favorite, since she’s simply run faster than her competition on turf, and has done so against maiden special weight company. However, she was disappointing as the 4/5 favorite in her 2015 finale and now she’s coming off a lengthy layoff. She’s hard to trust at a short price. We prefer SARATOGA GAL (#7), who has faced only maiden special weight company in her turf races, but seems capable of handling sprint distances. We can excuse her three-year-old debut, in which she didn’t handle a sloppy track. We could also throw in long shot Super City (#4) underneath. She’s not really a winning type, but she’s had some trips in her turf races.

 

Selections: 7 – 2 – 4 – 3 

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 11

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday June 11th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1 Selections: 3 – 2 – 4 – 5 

David Aragona's in-depth Analysis and betting strategies for race 1, the Easy Goer Stakes, and all Belmont Stakes Day stakes races are available as part of the TimeformUS Belmont Stakes Day Package. Get it now:

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Race 2: He’s not going to offer any significant value in the win pool, but we cannot get past the morning line favorite CONNECT (#6) here. While we’re usually hesitant to take short-priced horses that require improvement to win, we’re fairly confident that we’ve yet to see the best of this Chad Brown trainee. This horse was well-backed in his debut last year against a very strong group of maidens at Aqueduct. He actually ran much better than it would appear that day after sustaining a wide trip. He finally returned to the races last month and showed no signs of rust, easily taking over around the far turn before drawing off to a facile four-length victory. This son of Curlin has plenty of stamina influences in his pedigree and should only improve as the distances increase. We’re less enthusiastic about the other lightly raced runners in this race and actually prefer some hardened older campaigners to fill out the bottom rungs of exactas and trifectas. Testosterstone (#7) has been in the best form of his career now as a five-year-old, reeling off three straight triple-digit speed figures. He beat the well-regarded Bellamy Way back in January and then nearly held on in the mud last time after making a strong middle move into a fast pace. The 110 speed figure that he earned for the effort is tied for the highest last-out number in the race. Juan and Bina (#9) rarely finds the winner’s circle, but he’s the picture of consistency and usually runs on late for a minor award. We could even throw in Pax in Terra (#4), who needs some pace to close into but should be picking up the pieces late at a square price.

Selections: 6 – 7 – 9 – 4 

Race 3 Selections: 5 – 6 – 4 – 3 

Race 4 Selections: 6 – 7 – 10 – 5 

Race 5 Selections: 5 – 4 – 2 – 6 

Race 6 Selections: 8 – 2 – 12 – 7 

Race 7 Selections: 6 – 9 – 8 – 13 

Race 8 Selections: 9 – 2 – 5 – 13 

Race 9 Selections: 6 – 5 – 8 – 13 

Race 10 Selections: 10 – 1 – 2 – 6 

Race 11 Selections: 10 – 4 – 11 – 13 

David Aragona's in-depth Analysis and betting strategies for all Belmont Stakes Day stakes races are available as part of the TimeformUS Belmont Stakes Day Package. Get it now:

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Race 12: He may not have as much upside as some others, since he's now 31 starts into his career, but we cannot deny that ROMAN APPROVAL (#1) brings the strongest form into this race. A mile and a half has always been a little far for him, so we can excuse his loss at a short price in the Louisville Handicap last time. Two races back, he was simply overmatched against Take the Stand and World Approval, who are not without a chance in today’s Grade 1 Manhattan. Perhaps he has compiled a few too many second place finishes for some horseplayers’ likings, but the fact remains that he’ll be awfully tough to beat if he runs back to his form from earlier this winter. Jose Ortiz should be able to use his tactical speed from this inside post position. Chad Brown’s pair of runners are likely to attract their fair share of support. Fundamental (#8) is listed as the favorite on the morning line, but we slightly prefer his other charge, Inordinate (#3). This Juddmonte homebred was somewhat disappointing in his U.S. debut, but he was taken pretty far back behind a moderate pace, and Bigger Picture did return with another solid performance to beat Fundamental next time out. Perhaps the blinkers can wake him up. Gold Shield (#2) comes into this race with the best last-out speed figure of 118, but he was beating a much softer group last time.  A few horses ran back out of that race and disappointed on Thursday. He’s obviously found a home racing on the turf, but we think he could be an underlay in this spot.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 8 – 2 

Race 13: The Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace in the finale, but it does clearly show that Amoral (#2), Cerro (#6), and Colonel Sharp (#7) will all be vying for the early lead. Amoral and Colonel Sharp do their best running on the front end, so it’s fair to assume that the early tempo will be honest enough. Cerro (#6) is the horse to beat. He’s learned to rate off horses successfully and he’s coming off a strong performance at today’s seven furlong distance. He’s earned speed figures in the 120s in two of his last three starts and would only move up if we receive some rain by the time this race goes off. We respect him, but our top selection is the morning line favorite, WATERSHED (#10), who makes his first start since returning from Dubai. While some may consider his trip overseas a disappointment, he actually ran very well in the Firebreak Stakes back in February, where he finished just behind eventual Godolphin Mile winner One Man Band despite a poor break. He was best as a sprinter in the U.S., but for whatever reason Godolphin tried to stretch him out to 10 furlongs in the Maktoum Challenge in March. That, unsurprisingly, did not work out, but he’s back at his best distance today. Kiaran McLaughlin gets a 100 trainer rating with sprinters returning from layoffs of this length. These are the main two, but we could also throw Sir Bond (#1) into trifectas at a big price. The layoff is a concern, but it’s encouraging to see Bruce Levine refusing to drop him in class. He figures to get a favorable pace setup and would also move up on a wet track if it does indeed rain.

Selections: 10 – 6 – 1 – 8

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 10

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday June 10th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: The class of the race is obviously One More Round (#1), who, though still a maiden, finished a strong second in the Lexington Stakes two back. That was hardly the strongest stakes on the Derby trail, but he still deserves credit for his admirable performance and field-best 109 speed figure. Though he lost again last time, his speed figure barely dipped at all and he showed a new dimension, rating off the pace before making a bid for the lead at the top of the stretch. He’s the horse to beat, though pace rival Do Share is likely to keep him honest early. We’ll certainly use One More Round to kick off the Pick-5, but our top pick is BOMBS AWAY (#7). This son of Smart Strike showed good early speed in his debut, but was briefly hemmed in along the rail at the top of the stretch, before extricating himself in the final furlong. Shug McGaughey, who gets a 57 trainer rating with debut runners, gets an 84 rating with horses making their second career starts. He’s worked well since that race and has attracted leading rider Jose Ortiz. If there’s a long shot in the field that could make an impact, we believe it might be Whitegate (#5), who was completely eliminated at the start of his debut, but actually ran on decently thereafter in what has proven to be a strong race.

Selections: 7 – 1 – 5 – 2 

 

Race 2: Pine Needles and Kitzys Rocket both exit the same allowance race at Keeneland, which was run over a soft turf course that may not have suited either one. We felt that Kitzys Rocket (#3) benefitted from the more favorable trip that day and just appeared to be more comfortable racing over that surface. PINE NEEDLES (#2), on the other hand, had to wait for room while in behind horses at the top of the stretch, losing some momentum. She re-rallied mildly late, but we feel she’ll be more comfortable over the firmer footing she’s likely to get here. She’s the top selection. The other runner that we want to use prominently at a bigger price is Evidently (#1). She got a ridiculous trip in her first start off the bench at Tampa, but was more effective when reverting to her typical stretch-running tactics at Pimlico last time. In an unusual move, she’s getting Lasix for the first time as a five-year-old mare.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 7 – 3 

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Race 3: None of these fillies is proven at anything close to this 12-furlong distance, so there’s plenty of guesswork to be done. The Pace Projector is predicting that Mei Ling (#2) will assert a clear early lead in the early going, which should allow her to dictate terms to the field. It’s difficult to know if stamina will be an issue, but she is by a Belmont Stakes winner. You have to use her, but our top pick by a slim margin is the other major contender, THEOGONY (#6). This late-running filly has been in the best form of her career in recent starts and she gives the impression that she will run all day. Her sire, Curlin, nearly won the 2007 Belmont Stakes and sired Belmont winner Palace Malice. Joint Return (#4) is another deep closer with some stamina that could be thrown into the mix. She was second in the 10-furlong Alabama as a three-year-old.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 4 – 5 

 

Race 4: The horse to beat is the only filly in the race, Lady Stardust (#3). Wesley Ward and the connections apparently had another horse for the Astoria and decided that this one might be up to the task of beating the boys. Her debut speed figure would certainly lend credence to that notion, since the number is some 12 points higher than any other figure in the field. She has to negotiate the extra furlong, but she finished strongly that day. Hey Mike (#2) is the most experienced runner in this race, having already gotten a pair of starts under his belt. He finished well to take his debut, but had no excuse last time. Our top pick is IS EVERYBODY HAPPY (#5), who may not have been beating much at Delaware Park in his debut, but did so the right way, drawing off impressively through the final furlong. Tom Proctor gets an excellent 98 trainer rating with horses that broke their maidens in their last starts.

Selections: 5 – 3 – 2 – 1 

 

Race 5: This is one of the most interesting races on the card. The headliner is Kareena (#6), who may only be coming off a maiden win, but has earned two of the fastest speed figures in the field. She ran very well against the undefeated Lightstream in her debut going seven furlongs and is probably better-suited to this six furlong distance. However, she is not going to get a free ride up front, since there is certainly other speed in this race. Appealing Maggie is very fast and Quick Release (#4), in particular, set one of the hottest paces we’ve seen this year at Pimlico last time, getting an amazing 166 pace figure at the first call of the Miss Preakness. That’s why Quick Release recorded a 116 speed figure in that race despite finishing over a length behind One True Kiss, who benefitted from the fast pace and earned just a 105. Ultimately, we decided to take a different horse out of the Miss Preakness. SHE’S ALL READY (#3) was forced to race farther back than she prefers after ducking in at the break last time, but she finished up well despite having to close inside of horses. Today, we think she can work out a better trip sitting just in behind the first flight of runners. She could fly under the radar a bit as a New York-bred in this open company field, but she’s just as talented as the others.

Selections: 3 – 6 – 4 – 7 

 

Race 6: We have to start with the two runners dropping in class, Steamboat Bill (#7) and Good Response (#9). Of the two, we slightly prefer the former, who has recently faced some three-year-olds that are surely bound for stakes. The drop in for a tag worked when he broke his maiden late last year. Good Response (#9) did not get the right trip at Keeneland last time when making a wide, premature move going a mile and a half. He’s run well enough to win this race, but we wonder if he was just one of those horses that really thrived up at Saratoga last summer. Our top pick is DATAMINING (#8). We realize that this horse needs to improve, but Jason Servis gets an excellent 100 trainer rating with horses making their first starts off the claim, and he’s especially effective with claims on turf. Don’t be surprised to see this three-year-old take a step forward today.

Selections: 8 – 7 – 9 – 5 

Race 7: The horse that they have to beat is the morning line favorite, Adulator (#7). Things didn’t go right for him in his debut at Gulfstream, but he certainly put it all together last time at Aqueduct, coming with a strong charge through the stretch to pull away for the victory with an impressive 109 speed figure. He’s worked strongly since that race, but must avoid getting too involved in what should be a contested pace up front. We do think this race has the pontential to fall apart in the late stages, which is why we landed on DREAMSDOCOMETRUE (#8). This gelding was not at his best over a sloppy track last time, but had previously been earning competitive speed figures at Aqueduct. He’s likely to go off at a much larger price than Adulator and we’re not convinced that there should be such a disparity. R Limo Joe (#1) comes in with the best last-out speed figure of 113, but he was racing over a track that was coded red (in the race rating box), indicating that it was a speed-favoring surface. Of the speed types, we prefer Condo King (#5), who gets some needed class relief after a series of stakes tries.

Selections: 8 – 7 – 5 – 1 

Race 8: The True North certainly lost some of its star power with the pre-announced scratch of Private Zone. That could potentially leave Holy Boss (#1) as the controlling speed from the rail. Dads Caps also has some early zip, but he’s been less aggressively ridden since the switch to Irad Ortiz two races back. Holy Boss rarely runs a bad race and should appreciate the slight cutback in distance to six furlongs. He’ll definitely be on our tickets, but he’ll be hard-pressed to hold off the in-form ALWAYS SUNSHINE (#6). This Ned Allard-trained colt has finally put it all together, reeling off four wins in his last five starts. Last time he beat a decent field of runners in the mud, but he’s equally as adept over fast tracks, as is evidenced by the 120 and 121 speed figures he recorded in his two prior starts. We prefer these two runners to Catalina Red (#5), who was the surprise winner of the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby day. This horse took a huge step forward in his first start for Jorge Navarro, who has unrivaled success out of town but has historically struggled when trying to replicate those feats in New York.

Selections: 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 

Race 9: We’re not trying to beat the heavy favorite SEA CALISI (#1), who was absolutely stellar in her U.S. debut in the Sheepshead Bay. Victory seemingly never in doubt, she inhaled the frontrunners with devastating ease coming off the far turn and was never asked for her best in the late stages by Jose Ortiz, who is back aboard today. This filly had previously been competitive with some of the best in her class in Europe last year and appears to be superior to her rivals today. We’ll make it a Chad Brown exacta by trying to get Dacita (#2) to rally into second. This mare needs a firm turf course and she’s likely to get it here. Her major claim to fame is that she’s the last horse to beat the champion Tepin, which she accomplished last summer at Saratoga. Her recent form may leave something to be desired, but she had to swing very wide when making her rallies in The Very One and the Jenny Wiley. Those performances are better than they appear. Finally, Trophee (#3) might be able to sneak into the trifecta. This half-sister to Treve took a while to figure things out, but she’s coming into this race in the best form of her career.

Selections: 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 

Race 10: The Belmont Gold Cup is largely a guessing game, since so few of these runners have ever gone this far. Of the horses that have run well in Grade 1 and Grade 2 company in this country, the only one that we would use prominently is Da Big Hoss (#5). This horse gives us the feeling that he can run all day, and his tactical speed should put him in a good spot early under Florent Geroux. We’re less enamored with other proven graded stakes performers like Up With the Birds, Kaigun, and Twilight Eclipse, who all project to take plenty of money here and are total unknowns at this extreme distance. We’re instead more interested in a few prices. Our top pick is NOW WE CAN (#13), who makes the trip overseas for Nicholas Clement. This horse has eased back into tougher races since returning from a nearly two-year layoff earlier this spring, but has been competitive with some nice horses going back through his career. While he wasn’t successful in his lone start at two miles, at least he’s tried it before, and he does own wins at 14 and 14.5 furlongs back in 2013. We could also use massive long shot Silver Lime (#8), who was a winner at 14 furlongs in England, and hasn’t had his best shot in a few shorter races in this country. Even Biz the Nurse (#11), who has largely been a disappointment since coming over from Italy, could be dismissed at an inflated price.

Selections: 13 – 5 – 8 – 11

Race 11: We’re most interested in HEAVENLY SUN (#1), whose campaign was cut short last summer after two awful trips over the Saratoga turf course. He was basically eliminated at the start twice in a row through no fault of his own. This horse had run competitive speed figures last spring at Belmont, including his best performance ever off a lengthy layoff. We wish the connections had named a different rider, but he has drawn a good post position for this course. Rooftop View (#9) finds himself in a much easier spot after getting caught up in a quick pace two back and getting hung wide last time while facing much tougher maiden special weight competition. First-time gelding Street Fightin Man (#7) is also a logical player off the layoff.

Selections: 1 – 9 – 7 – 3  

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TimeformUS Analysis for June 9

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday June 9th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

 

Race 1: Of those with starts under their belts, we prefer Malibu Stacy (#1) to Delay of Game (#4). The latter, a four-year-old, has only started three times, but her performances this year leave something to be desired. She’s listed at 2/1 on the morning line whereas Malibu Stacy is a much more palatable 8/1 and arguably brings in a body of work that’s just as strong. She earned a career-best 98 speed figure in just her second start after setting the pace in a race won by the very talented Carina Mia. Her performances since then have been somewhat inconsistent, but she was hampered by a rail trip three back and then was bumped at the start two back. If she can get back to her best races off the layoff, she’s the horse to beat. We could use her, but we’re just not in love with any of the experienced runners. That’s why we’re taking a shot with QUALKRIS (#6), who makes her debut for Robert Ribaudo, who has decent numbers with newcomers. This filly’s dam was a six-time winner with a bit of ability and is a half-sister to Pomeroy’s Pistol, a graded stakes winning sprinter that earned over $500,000. It’s interesting that Javier Castellano takes the mount and we suspect this one might be live.

Selections: 6 – 1 – 4 – 2 

 

Race 2: He’s not the favorite on the morning line, but Clifton Pleasure (#3) has to be considered the most reliable runner in this field, having finished in the money in three straight starts at this level. He probably should have won two races back when he was checked sharply between horses in the final eighth of a mile, and then last time he was no match for the quickly improving three-year-old Hit It Once More. He figures to get an honest enough pace to close into once again. We’ll certainly use him, but at a more inviting price we’re more interested in the horse that finished right behind him last time. NOBODY MOVE (#7) has been improving by leaps and bounds in recent starts, running better than it appears against a slow pace (color-coded in blue) three back before showing newfound tactical speed last time. The 98 speed figure that he earned for that effort puts him squarely in the mix. The morning line favorite is Core Portfolio (#1), who was visually impressive when beating a weaker field last time. It’s a positive sign that he was able to successfully rate that day, but we don’t want to take a very short price on this one as he moves up in class, especially given the possibility of a contested early pace.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 1 – 4 

 

Race 3: We don’t quite trust favored Doublebolt (#3), who seemingly should benefit from the turnback to sprint races after not handling two turns last time. However, we’re not quite convinced that the fields she was beating in those shorter races is quite up to par with the quality of the races others are exiting. Making Havoc (#5) was excellent two back, easily besting a group at this level with a field-best 113 speed figure. However, she was disappointing at a short price when stepped up into stakes company at Charles Town thereafter. It’s possible that she just did not care for the unique configuration of that track, but it’s true that she’s not exactly the most consistent mare. That’s not the case with SWEETRAYOFSUNSHINE (#2), who has finished in the exacta in 18 of her 21 starts on dirt and enters this race in some of the best form of her career. She’s versatile enough to sit off the two aforementioned speeds and we think she’s the most likely winner.

Selections: 2 – 5 – 4 – 3 

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Race 4: We’re not trying to beat the morning line favorite, ON LEAVE (#9), who faced a couple of strong fields in her two starts last year. She was up against slow paces (color-coded in blue) in both of those races and might have actually finished second to stakes winner Ava’s Kitten last time had she been able to angle out at the top of the stretch. This half-sister to Ironicus is obviously very talented and we expect that Shug McGaughey will have her ready to go off the layoff. Additionally, he gets a 94 trainer rating with horses adding Lasix for the first time. Behind her, we want to use Queen Pauline (#4), whose dam was best on turf, winning Belmont’s Pebbles Stakes during her racing career. This filly ran fine at two for Steve Asmussen, but may just be getting on the right surface here. We’d also throw in the pair of first-time starters, Withhold (#2), a half-brother to turf stakes winner Night Prowler, and Giovanna Blues (#7), whose second dam won the Just a Game.

Selections: 9 – 4 – 2 – 7 

 

Race 5: There’s plenty of guesswork to be done here since so few of these fillies and mares have attempted this marathon distance before. We decided to take the obvious way out and landed on GENEROSIDADE (#5), who is the only participant in this group that has proven she has the stamina to go this far, having finished a good second against males in the 15-furlong San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita two back. She may prefer a course with some more give in it, but we just could not land on any of the others. Suffused (#2) is certainly bred to run all day, but she’s been mildly disappointing in her two starts in this country. Jose Ortiz might be well-advised to use her early speed in this paceless race. Brandybend (#3) has raced beyond a mile and five-sixteenths only once in her career, and it was not her greatest effort, to say the least. She might stack up from a class perspective, but there’s no guarantee that this distance will agree with her.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 3 – 1 

Race 6: The horse to beat is More Zen Tea (#2), who successfully turned back to this seven-furlong distance last time and now attempts a repeat of that triumph at the same class level. Despite the presence of 12 other horses in the race, this is not a substantially tougher field than the one he beat last time. We have no major knocks against a horse that just always seems to show up with an honest effort and rarely finishes off the board. He will once against have to catch Uncharted Course (#8), who could not quite get the seven furlongs two back and then never was able to make the lead over a wet track last time. He's earned some of the fastest speed figures among this group, but we still think this distance may be his undoing. So Noted (#6) successfully returned to the races last month, beating Uncharted Course at six furlongs. Like More Zen Tea, he figures to get a fair pace to close into, and he has every right to take a step forward in his second start back from the layoff. However, we're going in a different direction for our top pick, and are hoping that the turnback angle works for DAMAGE CONTROL (#13). While such a wide draw is not usually a positive, perhaps it will allow him to settle out in the clear instead of taking dirt in his face early. This horse possesses plenty of natural speed and prefers to be in the hunt early. He can get two turns when he's in a position to control his races, but he's typically been much more effective around one turn at Aqueduct and Belmont. His last effort is not as bad as it seems, and we're confident that he's talented enough to win this race.

Selections: 13 – 2 – 6 – 8 

 

Race 7: It's become incredibly rare to encounter such a deep field of two-year-olds for a stakes in early June, especially one that includes eight maiden winners. These fillies appear to be very evenly matched, so trips will be of utmost importance. The vast majority of these runners accomplished their maiden victories in wire-to-wire fashion, with only OLIVE BRANCH (#1) successfully rating behind horses before rallying past the leaders. That's essentially why she is our top pick. We certainly don't anticipate that she'll be last in the early going, but her ability to comfortably rate behind horses does give her an edge, especially breaking from the rail. Furthermore, Olive Branch earned the highest TimeformUS Speed Figure in her debut and defeated one of the strongest two-year-old maiden fields of either sex at NYRA this spring. We could also use China Grove (#5) and Lightning Dove (#7), who both flashed high speed in their respective debuts at Keeneland, as well as the only maiden in the race, Golden Mischief (#8), who showed a lot of grit in her debut.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 7 – 8 

 

Race 8: Another competitive field highlights the featured Intercontinental. Zindaya (#8) has to start off the discussion, as she will attempt to come away with a repeat victory in this race. Last year she was the recipient of a very favorable trip, racing right up on a slow pace in a situation where many closers were compromised. The scenario may look fairly similar this time, as there is not a ton of early speed in this race either. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, and that early leader should be La Berma (#9), who flashed plenty of speed in her U.S. debut at Santa Anita. That race was dominated by closers and she understandably tired in the stretch after setting a fast pace (color-coded in red). La Berma, however, does own superior form overseas while racing against some of the best milers in Europe, and would be awfully formidable if she could replicate that form here. Our top selection is MISS ELLA (#4), who we believe will go off at the most generous price of the major contenders. She’s yet to win a race on turf, but she ran very well against Lady Shipman at Saratoga last summer, and got a terrible trip last time at Keeneland. Making an early move, she was forced to race four- to five-wide all the way around the far turn, which seriously compromised her chances. She’s run well at seven furlongs on dirt and possesses the tactical speed to not be compromised by a slow pace.

Selections: 4 – 9 – 8 – 10 

 

Race 9: Billy's Kitten (#3) is listed as the favorite on the morning line. As a lightly-raced three-year-old, he does deserve credit for successfully stretching out to a mile and a half in just his third career start, impressively drawing off to win by nearly five lengths. However, we're not quite convinced that he was beating a field of any quality that day, which is confirmed by the low 97 race rating. Of the three-year-olds, we actually prefer VULCAN'S FORGE (#8), who we have always thought was crying out for added ground. This long-striding son of Giant's Causeway is not your typical plodder, since he does have a potent late kick. It just takes him a while to get rolling. This mile and three-eighths distance should be perfect and a price of 4/1 or greater would be more than fair.

Selections: 8 – 6 – 3 – 4