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TimeformUS Race Analysis

 

 

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TimeformUS Analysis for May 30

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Monday May 30th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: On turf, we’re not trying to beat the likely favorite CLASSY CHRIS (#3), who ran a pretty remarkable race in her debut. She was off about a length slowly and launched a wide, premature move around the far turn in a race that was won on the front end. If she breaks better and merely repeats that effort, she will be extremely tough to beat. (If expected rains force this race onto dirt, we believe DREAM ON (#6) will be difficult to catch. She actually ran decently in her turf debut last time and is far from impossible on that surface, but her speed makes her especially dangerous in a paceless dirt race. Ginned Up (#4) and Lulu’s Blues (#7) have run well enough on dirt and also merit consideration.)

Turf Selections: 3 – 6 – 4 – 7 

(Dirt Selections: 6 – 4 – 7 – 1A)

 

Race 2: Golden Gem (#6) has earned the fastest speed figures, but she just has had trouble getting back to the winner’s circle since taking her debut as a two-year-old. In her defense, she was against a track that was favoring inside speed last time and she has been up against slow paces (color-coded in blue) in many recent starts. The trouble is that the Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead again today. Our top selection is the projected leader, ENDURING TOUCH (#7). This filly has actually earned some of the fastest speed figures in the field, pairing up 96s in two of her last four starts, and Michelle Nevin gets an excellent 94 trainer rating first off the claim. We could also use Bold Print (#2), who was awesome when breaking her maiden, but then fell apart at Saratoga next time out. She’s working well for her return and would be pretty formidable if she gets back to her effort two back.

Selections: 7 – 2 – 6 – 5 

 

Race 3: ROYAL POSSE (#4) has put together quite the run, having finished in the exacta in eight straight starts since being claimed by Rudy Rodriguez. Notably, he’s run some of his best races over wet tracks, which is what he is likely to encounter here given the current forecast. It’s been a while since he’s gone as short as a mile, but that’s a negligible knock on a horse that will be a deserving favorite. Weekend Hideaway (#7) has had trouble putting top efforts back to back, which is a concern, but he’s drawn well outside of the other speeds and finished a strong third in this race two years ago, so perhaps the distance is not that much of a concern. If the pace heats up, perhaps Drama King (#5) can come running late for a minor award.

Selections: 4 – 7 – 5 – 1 

 

Race 4: We’re not trying to beat the two favorites in this race. We give slight preference to QUEZON (#5), who overcome a rough start to draw off to a facile victory against a much weaker field last time. She’s been given plenty of time to recover from that race, which is not a concern since she’s run some of her best races when fresh. She loves Belmont and is predicted to get a fast pace to close into. However, she will have to get by Bar of Gold (#1), which should be no easy task. She is dropping out of tougher races and is facing New York-breds for the first time since stepping up into stakes company in her fourth start. Like Quezon, she’s handled wet tracks in the past. The only concern is the rail post position, since she must avoid getting caught up in a speed duel with Perfect Freud and Jules N Rome. If the race starts to fall apart late, look for Storied Lady (#8) to complete the trifecta at a price.

Selections: 5 – 1 – 8 – 4

 

Race 5: On turf, we’re most interested in J K’S GIRL (#6), who figures to appreciate this surface switch, as a half-sister to multiple turf winner Ave’s Halo. We would also use the likely favorite, Rescue Cat (#2), who drops in class and goes out for the hot George Weaver barn, and Super City (#8), who got some trips last year and might be an overlay as she comes into this race off an eye-catching set of works. (On dirt, we would still include J K’s Girl, whose dirt races are fine, but our top pick would become CHEERING FOR AL (#16), who didn’t do much running in her debut, but was facing a much tougher field and should appreciate this class drop. Rudy Rodriguez gets a 90 trainer rating with these maiden special weight droppers.)

Turf Selections: 6 – 2 – 8 – 12 

(Dirt Selections: 16 – 6 – 1 – 2)

 

Race 6: The two runners likely to take the bulk of the play here are Sudden Surprise (#1) and Championofthenile (#5). Both are coming off wins in which they earned career-best speed figures. However, both also prefer to be racing up on the lead in the early going, which should make for an interesting chess match between John Velazquez and Jose Ortiz down the backstretch. We have slightly more confidence in Sudden Surprise, who you know will be sent from his rail post position. Championofthenile’s connections have flirted with rating tactics in the past and we believe his chances would be compromised if they decided to take him back off the pace again today. While we respect them, we believe a couple of others will offer better value. Our top selection is AWESOME GENT (#9). On a fast track, we believe this is the most talented horse in the race. He was absolutely sensational three races back when he overcame a fast pace and drew off to an impressive win in the Jimmy Winkfield. Most would say that wet tracks were his undoing in his last two starts and reason that he’ll be similarly compromised today. However, we also think that he reacted negatively to kickback in those races. Perhaps he won’t have to deal with that this time as he draws the outside post position. He’s too talented to be a much bigger price than the two aforementioned favorites. We also want to use the deep closer Taoiseach (#3). He’s probably not going to win the race, but he’s always running on at the end and should appreciate turning back in distance. He usually outruns his odds, so don’t leave him off your exacta and trifecta wagers at a big price.

 

Selections: 9 – 3 – 1 – 5 

 

Race 7: All three of our favorite veterans of the New York-bred turf scene are signed on to renew their rivalries in this Kingston, and, remarkably, they’ve all won this race before (King Kreesa in 2013, Kharafa in 2014, and Lubash last year). The one coming into this race in the best form is King Kreesa (#7), who hardly disgraced himself in Grade 1 company last fall in the Shadwell Turf Mile and returned in fine form when finishing a good fourth in a deep renewal of the Elusive Quality last time out. However, he will likely have to adopt rating tactics today with the speedy Macagone (#1) in the race. He’s rated before and has handled rain-softened turf courses in the past, so he’s probably the horse to beat. The one that we have the most questions about is Lubash (#6), who was uncharacteristically dull in his return at Aqueduct last time. He’s needed a race off layoffs in the past, but he showed absolutely nothing that day. This horse has resurrected his form multiple times in the past, but he’s getting up there in age, so we’re slightly against him pulling off another form reversal today. Our top pick this time is KHARAFA (#2), who may be best-suited of the three to a very soft course. He broke a few lengths slowly in the Elusive Quality last time, which was not noted in the chart comments, but ran on well thereafter. He figures to move forward off that race and he’s always done his best running at Belmont Park. Anything above 5/2 would represent good value on this guy.

Turf Selections: 2 – 7 – 6 – 1 

 

Race 8: The morning line favorite is Bag of Tricks (#1), who has been visually impressive since returning from the layoff this past winter. The 109 speed figure that she earned last time out is the highest number in the field, so she is the horse to beat. That said, there are a few things working against her today. She’s breaking from a difficult post position down towards the rail, given that there’s other speed drawn to her outside. Additionally, John Kimmel does not do well with runners coming off wins (53 trainer rating) or with horses moving up from allowance to stakes company (2 trainer rating). We prefer the Rudy Rodriguez-trained pair of runners. Katniss the Victor (#4) turns back in distance after an easy allowance win back in late March. She proved her quality when finishing a good third in the open Busher Stakes earlier in the winter and should get some pace to close into as she turns back in distance. Frosty Margarita (#5) may have been somewhat compromised by a wide trip last time, but still was a little disappointing as the favorite. However, she usually shows up with a competitive effort, so we can’t count her out. We actually prefer a different horse coming out of that NYS stakes. GREGORIAN GOLD (#3) has run slower speed figures than the aforementioned fillies, but we believe that she’s more talented than it appears. She was good in her debut last summer, nearly holding off Frosty Margarita, prior to easily taking a stakes at Finger Lakes. She probably needed her return in March, and then last time she lost all chance at the start. This is a filly that wants to be placed up close to the pace, and she was squeezed back to last a few strides out of the gate. She then encountered more traffic when attempting to rally between horses in the stretch, and actually finished up decently thereafter. She’s hardly the most likely winner, but she’s going to be a gigantic price, and we don’t think she’s without a chance to pull the upset.

Selections: 3 – 4 – 5 – 1 

 

Race 9: This is a wide-open race and there are many ways to go. We ultimately settled on MAH JONG MADDNES (#5), who got her prep race in last time and should be fitter this time out. She shows a similar pattern last year prior to finishing an excellent second in this race, and we love that Jose Ortiz is getting back aboard. Futhermore, she’s one of a few horses that has routinely run well over rain-softened turf courses. She does her best running over this Belmont course. We could also use The Tea Cups (#7), last year’s Yaddo winner. She appeared to tail off at the end of last year, but she also did not get the best trip in the Ticonderoga, going wide every step of the way. Jeremiah Englehart gets a fantastic 100 trainer rating with horses coming off layoffs of this type. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, which may work against Invading Humor (#4), who does her best work when she’s up near the front. She’s not the most consistent mare, but she’s one of the most talented runners in this race when she’s on her game. Finally, Distorted Beauty (#2) merits consideration off the layoff. She ran well in the Ticonderoga last fall after encountering trouble past midstretch, and we love this one-mile distance. However, we wish the connections had named a more experienced rider.

Turf Selections: 5 – 7 – 2 – 4 

 

Race 10: If this race stays on turf, we’ll focus on FREEDOM SEVEN (#9), who actually ran fine in his lone turf sprint effort last fall. He wanted no part of routing in his second start and has raced exclusively on dirt since then. His last race was encouraging, and Tom Albertrani gets a 79 trainer rating with horses making their second starts off a layoff. We could also use long shot Starago (#12), who is probably not a winning type at 0-for-27 lifetime, but has run plenty of turf race that would make him competitive here. He’s turned his career around on dirt over the winter and may move forward with this surface switch. Vino Blanco (#8) has some of the best turf form in the race, but is unproven at this distance and may need a race off the layoff. (On dirt, we want to take a shot with long shot LUCKY TOWN (#5). This runner is dropping in for a tag for the first time, while getting Lasix. His debut doesn’t look that encouraging at first glance, but consider that he was beaten only seven lengths for third in a very strong maiden race. That 71 speed figure puts him in the mix here. We don’t know what happened last time, but he was vanned off and laid up for a while after that. This apprentice rider has booted home some long shots at this meet. We could also use proven dirt runners like Secret Scholar (#10) and the long Main Track Only entrant Hopper Dropper (#16).)

Turf Selections: 9 – 12 – 8 – 11 

(Dirt Selections: 5 – 10 – 16 – 9)

 
 
 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 22-29

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona will be on vacation May 22-29. David's Belmont analysis will return May 30th. 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 21

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Saturday May 21st

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: The two main players here exit the same race on April 13. That day, You Got It (#5), the less fancied half of the Rudy Rodriguez-trained uncoupled entry, was allowed to run off to a comfortable early lead. He was passed by Tom’s Gift in midstretch, but gamely battled back to win. You Got It returned to form after tailing off this winter and a repeat of that performance would make him a contender again. However, this time he must deal with the speed of Whiskey Neat (#6) just to his outside and potentially Boilermaker to his inside. We’re not in love with the idea of taking the favorite, but it’s hard to go against TOM’S GIFT (#7), who should sit a perfect trip just off what could be a contested pace up front. The only other runner we’d throw into the mix is Willie’s Mojo (#3), who is the wild card in this race. He improved when breaking his maiden last time, and now returns in his first start off the claim for Steve Asmussen as a new gelding. 

Selections: 7 – 3 – 5 – 6 

 

Race 2: When handicapping this race, one has to decide what to do with Onus (#2). It’s pretty clear that her best efforts could beat this field, but it’s hard to trust her completely given that she’s only produced those stellar performances at Laurel Park. She was disappointing when shipped to Churchill for the Mrs. Revere and now returns from a lengthy layoff. Shug McGaughey gets a decent enough 76 trainer rating with runners returning from layoffs of this type. We’re not way against her, but we believe some others will offer better value. Suffused (#5) put in a solid effort in her U.S. debut, finishing fifth in the Orchid after making a midstretch bid. This filly kept very solid company over in Europe, finishing behind a couple of Group 1-placed runners last summer. She should be fitter for her second start in this country and could be dangerous if she handles this shorter distance. We’re also interested in the two fillies coming out of that April 20 allowance race at Keeneland. Industrial Policy (#1) ran fairly well that day, but she’s not exactly a winning type and figures to pick up her usual minor award. We’re more intrigued by MOJO RISIN (#4), who did not get an ideal trip last time. Javier Castellano was never able to find any cover for her and she ended up racing three-wide in the clear all the way around the track, which seemed to dull her stretch kick. This filly was well-regarded in France, going off at just 9/2 in the 17-horse Group 1 Prix de Diane last year. If the good Mojo Risin shows up today, we believe she can beat this field.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 2 – 1 

 

Race 3: It’s pretty cool to see a Queen’s Plate winner running in New York, but that doesn’t mean we’re interested in betting Shaman Ghost (#2). He appears to be coming into this race off a strong series of works, but we just have too many questions to back him at a short price. His speed figures are distinctly slower than what some of his more seasoned rivals have been running and the Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors horses on or near the lead, which could really work against this closer. J S Bach will be that pacesetter, but we’re not convinced that he’s good enough to beat a field of this quality. We’ll instead rely on DONTBETWITHBRUNO (#1), who has run three solid races since the claim by Rudy Rodriguez. He may not have cared for the mud two back, but he had previously shown tactical speed, which should serve him well here. We like him to turn the tables on Indycott (#4).  Touchofstarquality (#5) would be very interesting if he had a recent start under his belt, but he seems like the type that usually needs a race off a long layoff.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 5 – 2 

 

Race 4: If ANIMAL APPEAL (#7) repeats the effort she put forth on opening day of this meet, she’s not going to lose this race. It’s that simple. None of the other fillies here seems capable of approaching that 110 speed figure, earned when setting a blazingly fast early pace before hanging on gamely in the late stages. There is other speed in this race (note that the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace), but she’s drawn well outside of them. We’re not trying to beat her, but we will also use long shot First Charmer (#1) in hopes of completing the exacta. Most will perceive this trainer switch to Richard Metivier as a major negative, but the fact remains that she’s run some decent speed figures and appears to be better-suited to sprinting despite having broken her maiden going two turns. Perhaps she can work out a trip from just in behind the speeds. Startwithsilver (#4) seems like the likely second choice, but she wasn’t facing much in her initial turf start and will have to do much better than that to beat this group.

Selections: 7 – 1 – 4 – 6 

 

Race 5: If he draws in off the also-eligible list, we would make ANALYZE DATTT (#11) our selection here. He actually hasn’t disgraced himself in either turf start, making a middle move into a quick pace on October 31 last year, and then finishing a decent fourth behind a trio of well-regarded runners at the recently completely Aqueduct meet.  This would be a difficult post position, but we believe he has the ability to overcome it. If he doesn’t play, we’d land on Ezra (#6), who tries turf for the first time. He has a little surface pedigree as a half-brother to one turf winner, and he strikes us as the type of horse that should take to this surface. It’s encouraging that Jose Ortiz takes the mount and he should be placed up close early in a race lacking a clear pace scenario. There Goes Ben (#7) made a strong wide move to threaten for the win two back at the maiden special weight level before ultimately flattening out to be fourth. He’s been pretty inconsistent, but we can’t deny that his best effort would give him a major shot. We’re against morning line favorite Majority, whose turf races are not very good and has now lost twice in a row at very short prices.

Selections: 11 – 6 – 7 – 9 – 1 

 

Race 6: Be a Hero (#1) has to be considered the horse to beat as he makes his first start off the claim for Bruce Levine. We felt that his rider was not aggressive enough in the early stages last time and let the eventual winner sneak away through slow (color-coded in blue) early fractions. This time Jose Ortiz has no choice but to send him from the rail post position. We’ll certainly use him, but our top pick is the runner drawn just to his outside. RICH ‘N’ TUCK (#2) had no business running in a mile and a sixteenth N1X allowance race last time and understandably tired badly in the stretch. We like that he’s turning back to a more appropriate distance. He’s run well in all of his other races since returning from the layoff in December and he has the tactical speed to be placed within striking range early. Bad Hombre (#6) also turns back after losing at this level last time, but he may have been hindered by a speed-favoring wet surface that day. It’s been a long time since he’s found himself in the winner’s circle, but he’s far from impossible. Attractive Ride (#4) would be dangerous if he could regain his early zip, but we wonder if he’s lost a step now at age 10.

Selections: 2 – 1 – 6 – 4

 

Race 7: Thomas Hill (#5) beat two of today’s rivals when he was last seen October 18 of last year. That effort would make him a major player in here, but we wonder if he’ll be ready for his best performance in his first start back from the layoff. Instead, we’re more interested in a couple of runners that finished behind in that very race. Special Selection (#12) has run some of his best races over this Belmont turf course and also has no trouble handling give in the ground, in case the rains come early. The only drawback is that he typically needs some pace to close into and we’re not sure how much of that he’s going to get here. Our top selection is RAPSCALLION (#6), who was forced to race three- to four-wide for most of the way when he finished two lengths behind Thomas Hill in his last turf race. He’s done some of his best work sprinting on this turf course and his tactical speed may give him an edge over the two aforementioned runners. We could also throw in The Imposter (#11) off his strong 2015 form. We realize that he had some excuses in his two losses since then, but we still wish he had shown a bit more fight in defeat.

Selections: 6 – 12 – 11 – 5

 

Race 8: Our top selection is AMETRINE (#8), who makes her three-year-old debut after getting seven months off following a strong debut effort last October. That day she finished second to the highly-regarded Ancient Secret, who returned just last week to register an impressive score against allowance company. We feel that Ametrine ran a much stronger race than today’s rival Tough Temper, who exits that same maiden heat. Whereas Tough Temper was setting the slow pace (color-coded in blue), Ametrine was a little slow into stride and made a four-wide move around the far turn before staying on in the stretch. David Donk gets a strong 92 trainer rating with horses returning from layoffs of this type. We could also use Katie Ice (#1), who took to turf pretty enthusiastically last time, earning a field-best 91 speed figure when finishing second on opening day of this meet. (Note: The chart caller incorrectly places Katie Ice eighth, 7 lengths back at the first call of her last race, though she was actually up close to the pace vying for third at that point.) At a bigger price, we could even use Out of Nowhere (#2), who had to endure a three-wide trip around both turns last time and actually ran a lot better than it appears. We’re not sure if she wants to go this short, but she’s one to consider in your trifectas.

Selections: 8 – 1 – 2 – 6 

Race 9: The Pace Projector is not predicting a fast pace, but there does appear to be an ample amount of speed in this race. Its All Relevant, Easy Comparison, and especially Reverend Green all prefer to be placed on or near the lead in the early going. This could potentially complicate matters for our top selection, WAYMOND BOYD (#3), who woke up last time when Jose Ortiz gave him a more aggressive ride. The 116 speed figure for that effort is by far the highest number in the field, and if he repeats that performance he probably will not lose. That said, he's been somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde sort in the past, so we'll be crossing our fingers that the tuned-in version of Waymond Boyd shows up this afternoon. Juan and Bina (#1) kept decent company down in Florida while earning progressively faster speed figures. He's not much of a winning type, but he's an excellent candidate to round out exactas and trifectas. Point Hope (#5) is ambitiously stepped up off the claim by Rudy Rodriguez, which seems like a sign of confidence. However, it is somewhat disconcerting that it's taken him so long to get back to the races and that he's been a vet scratch twice since that last race. Mister Monolo (#4) was no match for Waymond Boyd last time, but he did sustain a four-wide trip and may be able to do better here at a square price.

Selections: 3 – 1 – 5 – 4 

 

Race 10: Whether or not this race stays on the turf, Lightstream (#3) has to be considered the horse to beat. That said, it is somewhat curious that her connections have pointed to this grass race rather than take a shot in a spot like the Grade 1 Acorn. She actually does have more than enough turf pedigree, so the surface switch isn't supposed to pose a major problem. Nevertheless, there's always risk involved when dealing with horses trying something for the first time, and the price does not make her particularly enticing. We want to take a shot against her with SAHARAN (#2). This filly's connections tried to get her on turf last time, but the race was rained off and she romped in the slop. She is supposed to take to grass, being a half-sister to turf stakes winner My Conquestadory. She earned a competitive 104 speed figure last time and should sit a great trip stalking a contested pace. We believe she would offer value at or around her morning line price of 10/1. We could also throw in Wonderment (#1), who also has plenty of turf pedigree as she tries this surface for the first time, and the reliable Brinkley (#4), who probably does need to improve slightly.

Selections: 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 

 

Race 11: There's really not much to say about this one. PAULASSILVERLINING (#1) absolutely towers over this field and is deserving of her 1/5 favoritism on the morning line. If she holds her form, she's not supposed to lose this race. We'll try to get long shot Stormy Sky (#3) to complete the exacta. She's in relatively good form right now and can pick up pieces late.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 2 – 5 

 

Race 12: The conclusion of this late Pick-4 could get very chalky. If the same TIZ A CHANCE (#10) that we saw on the track last year shows up off the layoff, he's probably not going to lose. We realize that he's not much of a winning type, having picked up minor checks in most of his races thus far, but there just are not any appealing alternatives to this heavy favorite. The logical horse to use underneath is Disco Bill (#4), but we would also want to throw in New York's Zip (#3), who drops into maiden claiming company for the first time, and Summer by the Lake (#7), who has some turf in his pedgiree and could wake up with this surface switch.

Selections: 10 – 7 – 3 – 4

 

 

 

TimeformUS Analysis for May 20

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday May 20th

>>Go To TimeformUS Past Performances For These Races

Race 1: Queens Tiara (#2) is likely to go off as the heavy favorite as she drops in class for a top trainer/rider combination. While she is the horse to beat, she has not exactly run her best races going a route of ground, so we’re not sure that this stretch-out in distance really helps her. We prefer RAGAZZA PIU’ BELLA (#5), who has run reasonably well going a mile in the past while facing tougher competition. It’s about time that Bruce Brown gets back to the winner’s circle and he should have a good shot to do it with this filly in her first start off the claim. Even long shot Sweetneida (#1) is not totally impossible as she drops in class, though she may prefer sprint distances.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 1 – 3 

 

Race 2: Naughty Grace (#6) is coming off three straight runner-up finishes at this level while earning some of the fastest speed figures in the field. Those efforts clearly make her the horse to beat, but she's not the easiest horse to bet at a short price, given the number of chances she's had to break through. We'll use her, but we prefer SECRET EDEN (#8), who drops out of maiden special weight company. She didn't take to turf last time, but prior to that she had run a speed figure that would make her competitive here, despite getting outrun by a group of runners that was far superior to the field she faces today.

Selections: 8 – 6 – 5 – 4 

 

Race 3: Drop Shot (#7) is the only horse in this race to have run effectively over turf, which automatically makes him pretty formidable. That said, he still must prove that he can stretch out to this one-mile distance after finishing strongly going six furlongs last time. He handled this distance on dirt, so it shouldn't pose a problem, but we still don't want to take too short of a price on him. Our top pick is first-time turfer NOBLE AND TRUE (#6). Todd Pletcher has exceptional numbers switching horses from dirt to turf in maiden races, and this son of Giant's Causeway is certainly bred to handle the switch, as a half-brother to two turf winners. We could also use both Chad Brown firsters, Tricked Up (#4) and Dhukhr (#5), but would advise watching the tote board to see if either one is live.

Selections: 6 – 7 – 4 – 5 

 

Race 4: The David Jacobson-trained entry of HUSBAND'S FOLLY (#1) and LITTLE JERRY (#1A) figure to be awfully tough to beat in this spot. Little Jerry, the speedier half of the entry, is predicted to be racing on a clear lead in the early going. The Pace Projector is forecasting a fast pace, but we still have to take this gelding seriously given his set of superior turf speed figures. He has encountered wet dirt surfaces in both of his starts on the East Coast, and should do much better with the switch back to his preferred surface here. Husband's Folly's closing style should complement Little Jerry's speed. While he's been running for slightly cheaper claiming tags out West, he's been facing fields of good quality. As far as the others are concerned, we could also use Midnight Notes (#3), who ran well in a driving rainstorm at Gulfstream last time. He's a little inconsistent, but his last race gives him a shot here. The other Steve Klesaris-trained entry also merits consideration, but their morning line odds of 2/1 seem a little low.

Selections: 1/1A – 3 – 2/2B – 7 

 

Race 5: The two horses that have been running the best races on turf are Junger (#6) and Street Fightin Man (#11), who is stuck on the also-eligible list. They're certainly players in this race, but both have layoffs to contend with and are not wholly reliable at short prices. We will instead take a shot with RISKY SOUR (#2), who gets back to Belmont, where he has run some of his more encouraging races. More importantly, he gets a rider switch to Manny Franco, easily the best jockey to have sat on his back in the past year or so. His return to turf at Aqueduct last time was okay and he may appreciate turning back to seven furlongs here.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 11 – 8 – 1

 

Race 6: We're not trying to beat LUTHERAN MISS (#5), who has simply faced better fields than the one she meets today--that is, right up until she trounced a group of similar quality at Penn National last time. She possesses the speed to be placed up close to the pace early, but she's versatile enough to rate behind what is predicted to be a fast pace. Stone Supplier (#8) ran one of the fastest speed figures in the field two back, but that effort is sandwiched in between two non-efforts against tougher New York-bred allowance company. She's handled this distance in the past and has to be left in the mix. If the pace really comes apart late, look for Just Catty (#6) to work her way into the trifecta at a price.

Selections: 5 – 8 – 6 – 2 

 

Race 7: MAGSAMELIA (#5) was no match for a salty field of N1X allowance foes last time, but she should appreciate this drop into a much easier spot today. While she figures to face some token early pressure from More Than Rainbows, there really isn't much early speed in this race. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead and we believe she can take this field wire to wire. Saratoga Karaoke (#2) has run some races that would make her competitive in this spot, but she may need a race as she makes her seasonal debut. Chow Fun (#4) and Desert Bliss (#7) have both been successful sprinting in the past and appear to be the main dangers, as long as some pace materializes.

Selections: 5 – 7 – 4 – 2 

 

Race 8: The discussion has to start with the two horses exiting the same allowance race run at Aqueduct last fall. That day, SPIN CYCLE (#7) set the pace before getting overtaken by the well-regarded Whatawonderfulworld in the stretch. We feel that he ran the slightly better race than Summer Candy (#3), who basically plodded along at the back of the pack, cut the corner coming to the top of the stretch, and didn't offer up much of a late kick. A few dirt experiments this past winter didn't work out, but Spin Cycle gets back to his preferred surface here and should sit a good trip either on the lead or sitting just off the stretch-out sprinter Uncle Youdge. The only other horse we want to consider is E J's Legacy (#5), who gets back on turf for the first time since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct last fall. Linda Rice gets mediocre numbers (61 trainer rating) with horses switching from dirt to turf, but this colt does have a right to do better now as a three-year-old.

Selections: 7 – 5 – 3 – 1 

 

Race 9: Perhaps she's a little too obvious for our tastes, but we couldn't find enough reasons to pick against PUSSY WILLOW (#7), who earned one of the fastest speed figures in this field when stretched out last time. Her tactical speed should serve her well in a race where the closers aren't exactly reliable. Perhaps the biggest threat to this likely favorite would be Three Eighty Eight (#11), if she can draw in off the also-eligible list. This Carol Fisher trainee actually ran fairly well in her debut last time despite racing greenly for much of the stretch drive. However, even if she does get in, she's forced to break from a disadvantageous post position. Fly Ash (#1) didn't have much of an excuse to lose to Pussy Willow last time, but she drew well down towards the inside and has a chance to get into the mix once again. If there’s one more horse that we might throw in, it’s the first-time starter, Sonic Surprise (#6), whose dam was a solid turf horse. Don’t let her beat you at a huge price, because there really isn’t much quality to this field.

Selections: 7 – 11 – 1 – 6 – 4