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TimeformUS Analysis for June 5

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Sunday June 5th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: On turf, we’re somewhat against morning line favorite Jeremy’s Song (#3), who gets a very positive rider switch to Javier Castellano. However, it’s not as if the five-pound apprentice made any major mistakes last time and we feel he may take too much money off that angle. The horse to beat might be Invisible Crown (#6), who makes his first start off the claim by Michael Pino. It may have been a shrewd move picking this horse up for only $16,000 with the intention of waiting for turf season to return. He appears to be working strongly for this race and he has run well enough to win at this level on a few occasions. House of Bourbon (#5) also merits consideration as he drops in for a tag for the first time. He faced much tougher company in both of his prior starts, but just didn’t do that much running on either occasion. We’re not sure how good he actually is, but he has to be left in the mix. Our top pick is SIMON KENTON (#4), who probably would have won each of his last two starts if not for rider error. Two back he was asked to weave through traffic and come through a tight spot on the rail. Then last time he was unwisely reserved behind tiring horses coming to the top of the stretch, losing all of his momentum, before re-rallying late. This horse has shown ability on a number of occasions and we love the switch to Joel Rosario. (If this race gets moved to dirt, we would take a shot with the aforementioned HOUSE OF BOURBON (#5) as our top selection. He actually has plenty of dirt pedigree and would still be taking a huge drop in class. Main Track Only entrant Abolitionist (#14), who ran in one of the strongest maiden races of 2015 in his only dirt start, and Simon Kenton (#4) both also merit consideration on dirt.)

Turf Selections: 4 – 6 – 5 – 11 

(Dirt Selections: 5 – 14 – 4 – 3

 

Race 2: We’re not trying to beat the Danny Gargan-trained pair of runners and would be comfortable backing either one if he were to scratch half of the entry. Gargan has been so dangerous off the claim, especially in recent months. The stronger half of the entry may be NORTH SLOPE (#1A), but HURRY UP ALAN (#1) has been in some of the best form of his career and gets the services of Kendrick Carmouche, Gargan’s go-to pilot. City Steel (#2) has been in great form as he seeks his fourth win in a row, but he’s stepping up to face a tougher field than the one he beat last time. Late runner Inca Saint (#4) always seems to run his race, but a minor award may be his ceiling in this spot.

Selections: 1/1A – 2 – 4 – 5 

 

Race 3: As long as this race stays on grass, we’re very much looking forward to the U.S. debut of FULL MAST (#5), who was a very promising two-year-old back in 2014. He finished a strong second to 5-time Group 1 winner Gleaneagles (before being promoted to the win by disqualification) in his juvenile finale. He recorded a 118 Timeform figure in his three-year-old debut before things went awry in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat. He’s been given plenty of time off since that effort and returns at a distance that is very much in his wheelhouse. If he brings anything close to top form, the others are running for second. Second place is a position that Sandy’z Slew (#3) is used to occupying, but he does come into this race having finished a decent sixth in a very tough edition of the Elusive Quality last time. We prefer him to Almasty (#7), who rode a rain-softened turf course to victory in the Commonwealth at the end of last year. He may get similar footing today, but he was beaten by Sandy’z Slew in his only prior start at this distance. (On dirt, we would give preference to CERRO (#9), whose recent dirt races are significantly faster than those of his competition. Heaven's Runway (#1) may be slightly off form, but he has also run well enough to contend in this spot.)

Turf Selections: 5 – 3 – 7 – 10 

(Dirt Selections: 9 – 1 – 8 – 3)

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Race 4: Greyjoy (#4) is a deserving favorite, but he was probably supposed to win two back against a horse that has not come back to run well. He owns some of the fastest speed figures and gets the services of Jose Ortiz. We’ll certainly use him in the Pick-5, but our top pick is BIAVIIAN (#2), who has faced tougher maiden special weight company in most of his starts. He didn’t run as poorly as it seems last time and may just not have cared for the sloppy, sealed track. Perhaps this drop in class can wake him up.

Selections: 2 – 4 – 3 – 1 

 

Race 5: Danny Gargan is better known for his dirt runners, but he can certainly win on the turf, too, and his Lone Trader (#9) is very dangerous in his first start off the claim. Our only knock against him is that six furlongs could be on the short side of the spectrum for a horse that has won going seven. Oscar Mike (#2) should appreciate getting back to six furlongs and finds himself in a cheaper spot than the race he contested here two back. Both of these runners have their merits but are not particularly inspiring at short prices. Our top pick is HERTHUM (#7), who is making just his fifth lifetime start as a six-year-old. This one obviously has some issues, but he actually ran much better than it appears in his only turf start last time. He was never fully clear from the five-sixteenths pole to the wire and seemingly had more run than he was allowed to give. After the wire, he galloped out very strongly, and perhaps could have made more of an impact against what was tougher company than the field he meets today. (On dirt, this race becomes totally wide open, since there are no Main Track Only entrants and solid dirt form is hard to come by. We could use any of Honorable Daniel (#6), Herthum (#7), Elusive Talmo (#8), Lone Trader (#9), and our top pick, CORPIE THE CAT (#10).)

Turf Selections: 7 – 9 – 2 – 10 

(Dirt Selections: 10 – 8 – 9 – 7)

 

Race 6: We want to focus on runners with prior racing experience. Young Anna Lee (#6) is the logical morning line favorite, having earned a field-best 94 speed figure in her last start, a distinct improvement off her dull return effort in April. However, we prefer SABRINA BALLERINA (#2), who returns from a lengthy layoff to finally make her second career start. In her debut, she was off about two lengths slowly, which was not noted in the published chart comments. After rushing up to take the lead through fast fractions (color-coded in red), she seemingly put away her rivals at the head of the stretch, but ultimately tired late. With routine improvement on that 89 speed figure she earned in her first start, she should be awfully tough to beat. Bruce Levine does fine with horses coming off layoffs of this type. 

Selections: 2 – 6 – 3 – 4 

 

Race 7: If this race stays on turf, Brimstone (#7) is the horse to beat. He’s just barely lost twice in a row at this level after bringing clear leads to the final furlong. To his credit, he did display a new dimension last time, rating in midpack before making a wide sweep to the front approaching the stretch. However, there are a couple of recent maiden winners that we find more intriguing. One of those is Storm Prophet (#10), who returns from a layoff and makes his three-year-old debut for Mike Hushion. He should be fine at this distance and has worked strongly for this comeback, but we would not want to take too short a price on a horse that will need to show improvement from two to three. We think that DREAM DOCTOR (#11) will offer better value. He got a great ride and trip to win off the layoff last month, beating a solid field of maidens impressively. The best race he had run prior to that was at six furlongs, so we actually like this turnback to an elongated sprint. We hope Angel Arroyo can again keep him closer to the pace now that he’s seemingly gotten over his bad gate habits. (On dirt, we would give PIERCE’S PRIZE (#5) the slight edge over Brimstone (#7), who is the horse to beat on that surface as well. New York Chrome (#13) would also attract plenty of support, but he beat a much weaker field last time and has run slower races overall.)

Turf Selections: 11 – 10 – 7 – 6 

(Dirt Selections: 5 – 7 – 13 – 8)

 

Race 8: Harmonize (#3) is the slight morning line favorite after an encouraging run in the Edgewood last time out. In our opinion, she probably would have won that day if a poor start did not have her placed so far back early. That said, we don’t think that the winner, Catch a Glimpse, ran one of her better races that day, so we don’t want to give Harmonize too much credit for her eye-catching late run. Additionally, a yielding turf course was her undoing in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup and she could face a similar surface today. We prefer Time and Motion (#2), the winner of the local prep for this race at Aqueduct. She was undoubtedly best that day after making a three-wide run around the far turn before getting pushed out wider into the lane. She should relish the extra distance and she handled a rain-softened course in the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll use her strongly, but both of the aforementioned fillies may have their hands full with the pair of Chad Brown-trained runners exiting that N1X allowance race on May 11. Elysea’s World (#5) won that day in impressive fashion and is very much a player in this race. However, second-place finisher GREY STARK (#6) intrigues us at a bigger price. Elysea’s World entered the stretch looking as if she was going to draw off and win by open lengths, but Grey Stark cut into her margin late with a furious rally. This filly has run well in both turf starts. She’s unproven over a softer course, but if she’s going off at anywhere near her 8/1 morning line, she’s the one we want to bet.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 5 – 3 

 

Race 9: We believe that Apache Warrior (#7) is the horse to beat as he gets a very positive trainer switch to Michael Piano, but can he withstand pressure from Two Times Book, Miroc, and possibly even Congrats Kid? At a much bigger price, we want to take a shot with NORM THE GIANT (#4). We have no idea whether to trust these new connections, but this horse ran much better than it appears in his last two starts. He was against speed biases on both occasions and was one of the only runners to overcome the strong rail bias on Gotham day. There should be pace for him to close into, and a huge price is guaranteed.

Selections: 4 – 7 – 5 – 9

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 4

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday June 4th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: In a race where we find it difficult to completely trust anyone, we'll take a stand against the likely favorite, Marble Falls (#6). This horse's best efforts can win this race, but it’s a fair question what we can expect as he continues to drop in class while disappointing at short prices. Overcontrol (#7) has finally started putting decent races together, but he beat a decidedly weaker group last time. Almost by default, we've landed on PARK RANGER (#8) as our top selection. His effort two back would almost certainly win this race, and his surrounding efforts are good enough to make him the horse to beat in our eyes. Seventhfleethumor (#4) may be worth considering at a price, but we fear that six furlongs may be too short for him.

Selections: 8 – 6 – 7 – 4 

 

Race 2: Our top pick is FIRST CHARMER (#5), who should move forward in her second start off the layoff while catching a softer field than the one she faced last time. Additionally, she did not get the best of trips last time. After getting steadied sharply down the backstretch, losing a few lengths of position in the process, Junior Alvarado never really got into her in the stretch, apparently giving up despite the fact that she had a bit of run. She should be placed closer to the pace this time and seven furlongs may be more to her liking. The other runner that we want to use at a bigger price is Hush Now (#8). She ran pretty well on turf as a maiden, and while her last race looks disappointing at first glance, keep in mind that it was her first start back from a layoff and she was involved in a very fast pace (color-coded in red). She is projected to be the primary speed in a situation favoring the frontrunner, and she could be tough to catch if Luis Saez is able to get her to settle a bit better. Finally, we also want to consider Eloweasel (#3), who showed promise as a two-year-old but may need a race off the bench.

Selections: 5 – 8 – 3 – 7 

 

Race 3: Looking purely at speed figures, Achnaha (#8) cannot possibly lose this race. She's consistently run 15-20 points faster than her competitors while doing so in graded stakes races. The problem is that she just never wins, and she feels like the type of horse that just runs to her competition. For a long time she was stuck at this N1X level, often grabbing a piece, but never really threatening for the top spot. Her connections stepped her up into stakes company and she continued to do the exact same thing. For that reason, we prefer one of the up-and-comers, GALILEO'S SONG (#9), who was visually impressive when breaking her maiden last time. Her tactical speed should allow her to get the jump on Achnaha and she is bred to relish the stretch-out in distance. Blame It On Me (#1) also has the potential to take a step forward, but it’s asking a lot of this filly to handle the added ground and huge step up in class in just her second start.

Selections: 9 – 8 – 1 – 6 

 

Race 4: We view Mordi's Miracle (#5) as the most likely winner, but he's probably going to go off at a fairly short price off his commanding last-out victory. While Chris Englehart does have excellent numbers second off the claim (100 trainer rating), most of the horses that contributed to that figure did not win in their first starts off the claim, so we wonder if we can actually expect improvement from this runner. We have less confidence in the other likely favorite, Tairneach (#7), who drops in class while returning from a lengthy layoff. Even if he gets back to his typical efforts, he's not a cinch in this race given the unfavorable pace scenario. There is a serious lack of early speed, which has led us to our top pick, ATTRACTIVE RIDE (#3). Maybe he's not the horse he once was, even going back to last fall, but the Pace Projector indicates that he'll have circumstances in his favor today. If he can muster a halfway decent performance now at age 10, he could be difficult to catch, and the price will surely be generous.

Selections: 3 – 5 – 2 – 7

 

Race 5: If he draws in off the also-eligible list, we would be most interested in HEAVENLY SUN (#11), 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. It's not an ideal post position, but we think he would have a shot to pull off the upset. If he doesn't play, we would instead land on Port Au Prince (#3), who has faced tougher maiden special weight competition in both of his turf starts, including his most recent turf outing last summer at Saratoga, when he did not receive a great trip. We could also use Bapu (#8), whose turf efforts from last summer would make him competitive here, and Brudda Colton (#9), who ran well enough in his grass debut before getting an awful trip in his second start over that surface.

Selections: 11 – 3 – 8 – 9 – 10 

 

Race 6: The morning line favorite is Spearhead (#1), but last time was the time to have him when he almost got the job done in an easier spot. Today, he is likely to face some pace pressure and must stretch out to seven furlongs. We actually prefer the other speed horse, TASHREEH (#7), who is our top pick. This horse tried the turf only once, and disappointed at a relatively short price. However, that race does not look quite as bad when you consider the context. He didn't get the greatest trip, racing wide most of the way around two turns, and he may just want no part of route distances. This is a sprinter through and through, and he probably deserves another shot going one turn on the turf. After all, he has grass pedigree coming out his ears on the dam's side. We could also use Defining Product (#4) at what should be a decent price. This horse rarely wins, but he's run some of his best races going seven furlongs over the Belmont Park turf course. Saratoga Heater (#8) actually may have run better than Spearhead in the same race last time, but he could be up against it from a pace standpoint again today.

Selections: 7 – 4 – 8 – 1 

Race 7: We could make decent cases for at least half of the runners in this race, so the goal instead becomes to find the best value. Horses like Investigator and Jet Black can certainly win this race, but they're coming off improved performances in route races and we feel that they could be underlays. There are a few interesting horses exiting the same race on May 14. Brooklyn Major (#10) finished ahead of his competitors and actually might have won the race if his rider had been a bit more aggressive out of the gate. However, we believe a couple of others have more room for improvement today. One of those is D'Eloquent (#13), who was off slowly, but got a very good trip thereafter. He figures to show more speed for Michael Dilger, who gets an 87 trainer rating with second-time starters. We could use him, but the horse we want most out of that heat, and our top pick, is KENYAN (#7). This horse was a little sluggish early and couldn't keep pace with Brooklyn Major when that one went by him on the turn, but he stayed on well through the stretch while racing in tight quarters on the rail before galloping out strongly. He likely got plenty out of that race and Mike Hushion gets a superb 100 trainer rating with second-time starters. The other horse we want to focus on is Arthur Avenue (#2), who took a ton of money in his debut, but could not overcome a traffic-filled trip from the difficult rail post position. Michelle Nevin does much better with her second-time starters, and we're sure we have not yet seen the best of this one. Even first-time starter Cold Revenge (#9), a half-brother to I Want Revenge, is in with a chance.

Selections: 7 – 2 – 9 – 13 – 10 

 

Race 8: Our pick to win the Pennine Ridge is HIGHLAND SKY (#5), but it's not because we think he's going to offer inordinate value in the win pool. This horse is probably going to go off at closer to co-favorite with Camelot Kitten rather than at his 8/1 morning line. That said, we're picking this horse because he has turned into a beast. Normal horses cannot overcome the trip that he worked out in the Woodhaven Stakes, in which Luis Saez was forced to start his move at the half-mile pole and go wide around the far turn turn, before still running down the leaders. This distance does not figure to pose an issue, and the move to a Belmont turf course that is more conducive to his running style should only work in his favor. The other major players are all coming out of the American Turf at Churchill Downs. Victor Camelot Kitten (#2) is Highland Sky's main rival, but he worked out an absolutely perfect trip to pull off the upset that day. We slightly prefer Dressed in Hermes (#6), who had to race wide very step of the way after hopping at the start. He's better than that and could go off at an inflated price here.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 2 – 9 

 

Race 9: We're against morning line favorite Ground Control (#3), who got away with setting moderate fractions last time while beating a significantly weaker field. The horse to beat is Storm Pursuit (#1A), who defeated a few of these runners in his last dirt race. He's projected to be the fastest early, and they should be hard-pressed to catch him again. However, we will take a small shot against him with BECAUSE I'M HAPPY (#8), who has kept tougher company in recent starts. He's not the most consistent sort, but he does have races in him that would beat this field, and the price should be fair.

Selections: 8 – 1A – 9 – 6 – 3 

 

Race 10: If Aripeka (#1) brings his best effort, none of these will beat him, but we're not totally convinced that he's the same horse we saw last year, especially since his most recent start might not be the best indication of his current form given the unusual rainy conditions during that race. The runner that we think will offer the best value is DREAM MAN (#6), a deep closer whose last race is not nearly as bad as it looks. The Aqueduct turf course is not the best configuration for a deep closer and Dream Man was never totally clear in the stretch. Belmont will be a better fit for his typical wide, sweeping late run.

Selections: 6 – 1 – 12 – 10

 

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 3

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday June 3rd

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: Rick Violette is just so strong with his first-time-starting two-year-old maidens, getting a 98 trainer rating in that category. His RANDOM WALK (#1) is our top pick in the opener. The rail post position is not ideal, but this colt is out of a dam that was fast and precocious and he worked a flashy 20 3/5 quarter mile at the sales earlier this year. The other first-time starter likely to take some play is Pletcher’s Battalion Runner (#5), but he’s bred to go a little farther than today’s five and a half furlongs, so we wonder if his best efforts will come further down the line. Of those that have racing experience, the one that we want to use is Enasoit (#4), a half-brother to Three Alarm Fire. He was a little green in his debut and was steadied sharply at the sixteenth pole before galloping out well.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 5 – 6 

 

Race 2: The horse to beat is probably You Lie (#5), the morning line favorite, who ran pretty well against tougher company last time. However, she is likely to face some pace pressure from long shot Saluda, and perhaps a few others. We're certainly not against her, but we want to take a small shot with DA WILDCAT GIRL (#7), who finally showed some signs of life last time. She probably needed some time off after a long winter and looked like a refreshed horse rallying in deep stretch of her last race after encountering traffic at the three-sixteenths pole. We could also use Liberty Fuze (#9), who now goes out for 92-rated first-off-the-claim trainer Michael Pino. We're against the other short-priced runners like Familyofroses (#2), who beat weaker last time, and Aix En Provence (#3), who had no excuse to throw in the towel in the final furlong of her last race.

Selections: 7 – 9 – 5 – 3 

 

Race 3: We have the utmost respect for this race's pair of win machines, Natalie Victoria (#3) and Time for Angie (#5), yet we find flaws in both of them. Natalie Victoria is a need-the-lead type, but she is likely to face pace pressure from both Time for Angie and Can Can Babe (#1). Time for Angie has not finished out of the exacta in eight straight starts, but we have serious doubts about her ability to handle this stretch-out in distance. We prefer two of the closers, Doinwhatshelikes (#6) and our top pick, JUST GOT OUT (#4). The former may not have cared for a wet track last time, but could wake up as she moves to the Jeremiah Englehart barn. Just Got Out loves this one-mile distance and has run some of her best races at Belmont Park. We like the rider switch to Joel Rosario and feel that she is the most likely winner.

Selections: 4 – 6 – 3 – 1 

 

Race 4: We don't have anything too clever to say here. CAVE JOHNSON (#8) is very much the horse to beat, having performed admirably against stakes-quality runners in each of his last two starts. If he repeats those efforts, his competitors won't be able to touch him. Zartax (#4) did not run badly in his only turf start and perhaps he can complete the exacta at a decent price. The others don't do much for us.

Selections: 8 – 4 – 6 – 10 

 

Race 5: We're chalking out in the last two legs of this Pick-5. TRUTH (#9) is a bit of a question mark stretching out to this mile and a quarter distance, but we cannot shake the feeling that she's coming out of the strongest races. Most of her competitors are plodding types and Javier Castellano should be able to ration her speed up front and wire this field. Of the horses exiting the maiden race won by Galileo's Song, Texting (#3) and Val D' Isere (#8) appear most likely to continue improving. We could also use long shot Dark Street (#6) underneath, since we think she'll have more to offer as the distances increase.

Selections: 9 – 3 – 8 – 6 

Race 6: We’re usually not ones to chalk out in a race as interesting as this one, but INSPECTOR LYNLEY (#4) figures to be awfully tough to beat in here. This horse took a few tries to break his maiden, but he nevertheless ran extremely well in each of his first four starts. Stepped up against stakes company after earning that first win, he put in a decent effort in the Transylvania, but was no match for the wire-to-wire winner. Last time he was facing a field of comparable quality to this one, but lost all chance when ridden into traffic at the top of the stretch. Joel Rosario should have him placed closer to the pace today. We also want to use long shot Strike Midnight (#5), who was utterly dominant in his maiden win two back before possibly not caring for a rain-softened turf course in the Awad. Gio’s Calling (#1) was visually impressive when breaking his maiden at Keeneland and goes out for the hot Brian Lynch barn.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 1 – 6 

 

Race 7: While the Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors horses on or near the lead, we just don’t trust the predicted leader, Bileaps and Bounds (#5). She absolutely loves a wet track and used that to her advantage last time. We believe she’ll be exposed at this class level as she figures to face some early pressure. Zippity Zoom (#3) can be right on that one's heels early and we strongly prefer her. We love that Linda Rice is continuing to move her up in class and Jose Ortiz has been making few mistakes at this meet. She’s the horse to beat at a relatively short price, but we’ll take a small shot against her with SKIPALUTE (#6). This filly is likely to get ignored on the board, but we believe she’s a different horse when you get her away from Gulfstream Park. She’s worked strongly since her last race and should sit a good trip stalking the two speeds.

Selections: 6 – 3 – 4 – 5 

 

Race 8: There is a lot going on in this featured turf allowance race. The main attraction is Hardest Core (#1), the surprise 2014 Arlington Million winner. He actually preformed admirably in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, but things have not gone according to plan since then. We have to seriously question his current form and whether or not this distance is short of his best. The horse to beat is Long on Value (#11), who finally gets some class relief after a long string of stakes tries. His best effort would win this race, but he’s struggled with consistency over the past year. We have to use him out of respect, but we believe there are a couple of other options that will be better prices. One is Jay Gatsby (#6), who couldn’t quite get 12 furlongs last time, but had previously been a strong second to the talented World Approval. We love the rider switch to Javier Castellano, and Jimmy Jerkens has been firing on all cylinders at this meet. Our top selection is BLACKTYPE (#5). He was never going to beat Ironicus in his return last time, but he also did not get the most clever ride, racing in the two-path, without cover, for the entire race. This horse needs to be reserved early and make one run, so regular rider Irad Ortiz is a much better fit. He’s run well over this Belmont turf course in the past and may get slightly lost in the wagering in favor of some of the bigger names.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 11 – 1 

 

Race 9: It’s no surprise that the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace given the presence of speeds like Chicago Son, Luckbox Sam, and Chairman Now. The obvious closer is Lure of the South (#2), if he is the half of the Gary Gullo-trained entry that participates. However, we could also use City Steel (#2B), who has shown the ability to rate in recent starts and enters this race in great form. Our top pick is LIEUTENANT DALE (#9), who makes his second start off the claim by Michael Pino. He’s on the slow side, but we believe he’s on the improve. Two back he was the only horse to make a significant late run in a race that otherwise held together on the front end. Then last time he made a strong late run on the turf in a similar situation. Manny Franco has been a great fit for him and we believe he’d offer value at 6/1 or above. We’ll also throw in Saturday Appeal (#6) underneath as he drops in class and gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz.

Selections: 9 – 2/2B – 6 – 1/1A

 

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for June 2

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday June 2

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, but we're just not enamored with many of the predicted frontrunners. The only speed type that we would use is U S Citizen (#7), who is the deserving favorite. He paired up 110 speed figures racing down the hill going six and a half furlongs at Santa Anita in his last two starts. If he can transfer that form to the East Coast, he'll be tough to beat. However, we slightly prefer D'CAJUN CAT (#5), who figures to go off at a more attractive price. It's fair to call into question his ability to get six furlongs, but he has kept decent company in his recent turf sprints, performing admirably in a few stakes tries. He's versatile enough to be placed closer to the pace when necessary.

Selections: 5 – 7 – 8 – 3 

 

Race 2: Rare Eagle (#7) is listed as the morning line favorite, but we're very skeptical of this once-talented runner. As a deep closer, he will always be at the mercy of the pace, and there just are not enough speed types signed on to ensure a favorable scenario. He returned from the layoff with a subpar performance last time and will likely have to do better to beat his chief rival, HUMBOLDT N FROST (#2), who is our top pick. This runner is projected to be racing on a clear early lead, which should work to his advantage, considering that he's the only natural frontrunner in the field. He may be slightly better on turf, but his recent dirt performances are not as bad as they may appear, especially two back when he was racing wide against a rail bias.

Selections: 2 – 7 – 4 – 3 

 

Race 3: The two runners likely to attract the most wagering support are Ghareeb (#1) and Sly Tom. Of the two, we strongly prefer SLY TOM (#6), who has performed admirably over this turf course in the past and takes a logical drop in class after a less-than-stellar performance against tougher company at Keeneland. Ghareeb has always faced better fields at Gulfstream, but he has a propensity to get away from the gate slowly, which could compromise him once again in what is a paceless affair. The other runner that we want to use with Sly Tom is Mambo at the Gym (#5), who is actually stepping up in class. However, we feel that he's set for a better effort today after encountering traffic trouble last time. He gets a positive rider switch to Jose Ortiz and has more tactical speed than he displayed last time.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 1 – 7 

 

Race 4: There is a lot going on in this race. The horse to beat is probably She Doesn't Mind (#2), who makes her second start in this country for trainer Chad Brown. She ran very well that day and probably could have won if not for some minor traffic issues around the far turn and in the stretch. However, we're not convinced that she was facing the strongest field and she may have to do better to come out on top here. We also have to use Squeeze (#5), who was impressive when taking her debut at Keeneland. She appeared to be spinning her wheels as the field entered the stretch, but she kicked it into another gear through the final eighth of a mile, easily overhauling the leader. We get the feeling that we haven't yet seen the best of this filly, but she does land in a tough spot for just her second start. We would even have to use long shot Desert Tune (#1), who lost all chance in her turf debut after getting sharply steadied at two key points. However, our top selection is SAGE HALL (#12). She did not draw the best post position, but we're hoping that Jose Lezcano will compensate by taking her to the back of the pack. This filly unleashed a devastating turn of foot to take her debut last summer, but her late kick was dulled when they employed more aggressive tactics at Keeneland in her return. If they can get her to settle early and make one run today, she could surprise at a decent price.

Selections: 12 – 2 – 5 – 1 

 

Race 5: We're not way against favored Roll Tide Roll (#1A), who can certainly win this race, but we're not in love with the idea of betting him at a very short price. Therefore, we landed on his main rival, GREY GLORY (#7). He's admittedly been disappointing since arriving in New York, but he's getting some needed class relief today. We're hoping that Kendrick Carmouche sends him to the front and attempts to wire the field.

Selections: 7 – 1A – 2 – 4 

Race 6: The two main players are a pair of second-time starters. The one likely to go favored is Girl Talk (#2), who stretches out to a route of ground for the first time following a solid effort sprinting at Keeneland in her debut. Kiaran McLaughlin does very well second time out (98 trainer rating) and this filly is out of a dam that was a graded stakes winner routing on dirt. We’ll use her, but she does need to improve, and we believe that CHASE MOTTO (#5) may offer slightly better value. This filly contested a strong pace in her route debut and hung in gamely right up until the final eighth of a mile before tiring slightly. The 101 speed figure that she earned is the highest number in the field, and Chad Brown does well with his second-time starters. This half-sister to $700,000 Easyfromthegitgo could have a bright future. Say Cin Cin (#1) is certainly fast enough to win this race, but she’s running out of chances to break out of the maiden ranks.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 1 – 3 

 

Race 7: The two favorites on the morning line are Summer Breezing (#8) and Changewilldoyagood (#10), but we have major questions about both. While they’re each coming off wins, they accomplished those victories against weaker fields and we believe they’ll be overbet. We’re instead taking a shot with SPARTIATIS (#3). While this horse has never won on turf, he is more effective over this surface than his lifetime record suggests. He had no chance to make much of an impact against a deep field in the Elusive Quality last time, but prior to that he had been in some of the best form of his career. His tactical speed should have him placed close to the pace in a situation projected to favor the frontrunners. We could also use Zandar (#4), who ran some decent races over this turf course last year, but has a lengthy layoff to contend with, and Speeding Comet (#12), who has been steadily improving and loves this seven furlong distance.

Selections: 3 – 4 – 8 – 12 

 

Race 8: There is no dearth of speed in this one-mile affair. There are four runners that have their running styles labeled as “Leader” in the TimeformUS PPs, and, unsurprisingly, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace. Given the likelihood of a pace meltdown, we’re focusing on the closers. Our top selection is YEAGER (#5), who took advantage of a similar scenario three races back when he weaved his way through the pack to victory at a generous price. He’s been overmatched in his two subsequent starts and may not have cared for the surface either time, but he appears to be back in the right kind of spot today. We could also use Street Lord (#4), who makes his first start off the claim by David Jacobson. Though he’s been placed closer to the pace in recent starts, in the past he’s shown the ability to rate. His last was a step in the right direction, and he’ll be tough if he takes another step forward for the new barn. Beyond the Green (#7) has been somewhat of a disappointment since winning his N1X allowance condition, but he may not have cared for a muddy track last time.

Selections: 5 – 4 – 7 – 3 

 

Race 9: We’re taking a stand against the favorite, Market Strength (#1), who had no excuse to finish off the board as the 6/5 favorite last time and is not actually landing in a much easier spot despite the apparent drop in for a tag. We’re instead most interested in JUST BEEN JAMMIN (#7), who may play out as the controlling speed in a field that does not include a confirmed frontrunner. This colt chased a fast pace (color-coded in red) last time and never quit in the stretch as he was run down by a couple of horses that rallied from the back of the pack. This is a slightly tougher spot, but we love the positive rider switch to Joel Rosario, and he figures to be a decent price at anything above 6/1. Arch Contender (#4) returns from a lengthy layoff for the hot George Weaver barn after an eye-catching debut, in which he made a long, sustained run from well back after breaking slowly. We could also throw in Caldera (#8), who has had more chances than most, but gets some needed class relief.

Selections: 7 – 4 – 8 – 2