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TimeformUS Race Analysis



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TimeformUS Analysis for October 9

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Friday October 9th

Race 1:  DENIM BLUE (#7) drops into maiden claiming company for the first time after making wide runs from off the pace in a couple of turf sprints at Saratoga. Unless one of the first-time starters is particularly headstrong, Denim Blue should be sitting closer to a moderate pace today, and his strong finishing ability should carry him to victory. Of those that have run, Axtell (#3) is the logical other horse to use. His turf debut was fine, but our Race Ratings suggest Denim Blue contested the tougher maiden special weight races. Hotinthehamptons (#2) switches surfaces after barely lifting a hoof in his Saratoga debut. He’s the wild card.

Selections: 7 – 3 – 2 – 5 


Race 2HUSH NOW (#3) took a step forward when switched to turf this year, but her most recent outing on dirt suggests that she may just have returned a better filly at three. After getting away from the gate poorly, she became very rank while trying to rush up into traffic. Despite fighting Jose Lezcano for the early portion of the race, she remarkably was still able to put in a strong late run. This time, if she’s able to get away from the gate cleanly, she should have an excellent chance to break her maiden. 

Selections: 3 – 1 – 4 – 6


Race 3: Modus Operandi and Tizallheart exit the toughest races and, judging by the preliminary Race Rating for this affair, are both dropping in class. Neither one has shown much of an affinity for winning races, but we’ll take 1-for-11 MODUS OPERANDI (#3) over 1-for-25 Tizallheart (#5). Angel Choir’s (#4) last race makes her somewhat competitive as well, but she will have to deal with stretching-out sprinter Petticoat Day while negotiating an extra half-furlong.

Selections: 3 – 5 – 4 – 6 


Race 4: Our selection in this race is a great example of the potential benefits of using TimeformUS’s pace-adjusted Speed Figures. Whereas speed figures that are strictly final time-based wouldn’t point out SPARTAN EMPEROR (#8)  as a contender in this race, our Speed Figures tell a different story. Our color-coded Pace Figures indicate that he’s been a part of fast paces (marked in red) in both of his races. Due to the fast pace he set last time, his most recent TimeformUS Speed Figure of 83 is actually tied for the highest number ever earned by any horse in this race. There’s less other speed signed on today, and the TimeformUS Pace Projector predicts that Spartan Emperor will be clearly in front early. A repeat of his last effort makes him a top contender, and he should offer value at or around his 6/1 morning line.

Selections: 8 – 2 – 3 – 5 


Race 5: The drop in for a $12,500 tag off the claim for over 3 times that much is a  concern, but if anyone can pull off that kind of move it’s David Jacobson. BASS RIVER ROAD (#1A) didn’t show up last time, but his prior form lays over this field. We won’t try to beat him. Gentrify (#4) also drops sharply in class after a subpar performance last time. One of these two will likely win, with Mach Seven (#3) looking to pick up the pieces if one or both fall apart late.

Selections: 1A – 4 – 3 – 6 


Race 6SCORPION ALY (#3) faced a much better field last time and gets a needed drop in class as she makes her NYRA debut for trainer Patricia Farro.  If she’s able to stay in close attendance to what is predicted to be a pace favoring horses on or near the lead, she should be very tough to beat. Bargaining Table (#5) is the other logical horse to use, as she gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz, Jr. while making her second start for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who gets a superb 100 Trainer Rating with horses running second off the claim.

Selections: 3 – 5 – 9 – 6


Race 7: Disco Partner (#1A) has turned into a very capable turf sprinter lately, but he’s been most effective as a one-run closer, and a slow pace could work against him here. (The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead.) At a short price, we believe it’s worth taking a shot against him. Our top pick is GLOWING EMBER (#11), who moves back into New York-bred company after trying open N1X allowance foes in his last few starts. His previous rider had been intent on rating him despite the fact that he’s run his best races on the front end. Eric Cancel gets aboard today and should be looking to send Glowing Ember to the lead from his outside post. Speed is his weapon, and if he’s allowed to use it, Glowing Ember may prove impossible to catch.

Selections: 11 – 1A – 6 – 8 


Race 8OCEAN KNIGHT (#7) previously had no trouble stretching out to a route when he overcame a wide trip to beat eventual Preakness third-place finisher Divining Rod in the Sam F. Davis earlier this year. Something obviously went wrong in the Tampa Bay Derby, but his return was encouraging. The price will be short, but we could not come up with a suitable alternative to the favorite. Noble Moon (#6) appears to be a contender once again, but it’s been a long time since he’s visited the winner’s circle.

Selections: 7 – 6 – 8 – 4 


Race 9: With so many fillies stretching out from sprints, it’s no surprise that the TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace for this race. Taken by Surprise (#2) appears to be the horse to beat. In her debut, she finished right alongside Miss Kew and Lady Lucky, who returned to defeat a handful of the runners in this field in that September 18th maiden race at Belmont. The horse that we’re most interested in out of that particular race is LIGHT REIGN (#10). She was steadied at the start and was slow into stride thereafter, giving away many lengths in just the first eighth of a mile. She gradually advanced to regain contact with the pack by the time they reached the top of the stretch, but she was very green through the lane, wanting to duck down towards the rail. All indications are that this was strictly a learning experience for a filly who was unprepared for her first start. She should be more professional this time, and her lack of early speed may suit this race well. At anything close to her 30/1 morning line odds, she would be an excellent value play.

Selections: 10 – 2 – 6 – 9


TimeformUS Analysis for October 8

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Thursday October 8th
Race 1: We won’t try to get too creative in the opener. ZEALOUS WILDCAT (#5) has flashed speed in her first couple of starts against maiden special weight company and should be able to control this race on the front end as she drops into maiden claiming company for the first time. The TimeformUS Pace Projector shows her getting out to a clear lead early. Kayleigh’s Road (#3) appears to be the main competition as she returns in just her second start for a claiming tag after making a premature move going a mile at Gulfstream back in April. Consistent check-getter Ferzetti (#1) should round out exactas or trifectas.
Selections: 5 – 3 – 1 – 4 


Race 2: Send It In (#4) is the horse to beat off his last effort, a race in which he may have been best. Despite featuring a relatively moderate pace, that September 18th race at this level was dominated by horses who made outside moves from the back of the pack. Send It In was trapped down on the rail and found himself briefly stymied in traffic at the top of the stretch before shaking loose too late. The one drawback is that he appears likely to go off at or around his morning line odds of 2/1. Our top selection, at a somewhat more enticing price, is SHADOW RIDER (#5). Previously a one-dimensional plodder, he showed improved early speed last time while beating a maiden field that may have been of comparable quality to what he faces here.That race received a TimeformUS Race Rating of 93, and the preliminary rating for today’s race is just one point higher. His conditioner, John Toscano, does well second off the claim (83 Trainer Rating) as well as with horses coming off wins (82 Trainer Rating).
Selections: 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 


Race 3: While we’re going to take a shot against him, we readily acknowledge that Pirellone (#6) is the most likely winner of this race.  The 96 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned in his debut is easily best in this field, and the subsequent effort by winner Greenpointcrusader, who returned to take last Saturday’s Grade 1 Champagne, reaffirms the strength of that Saratoga maiden race. However, we believe there is another horse in this race that may have a very bright future. SEAT OF HONOR (#3) did not run nearly as fast as Pirellone in his debut, but he still showed considerable promise. After getting away to a sluggish start and showing no early speed behind a slow pace (note the opening quarter-mile fraction coded in blue), Seat of Honor really kicked it into gear through the stretch, running his final quarter mile in under 24 seconds. The added distance shouldn’t pose a problem, and Shug McGaughey (overall TimeformUS Trainer Rating of 85) shows excellent ratings with these types of runners: 90 with 2-year-old maidens returning in 14-24 days, 92 with runners getting Lasix for the first time, and 94 with horses stretching out in distance. The likely difference in price between Pirellone and Seat of Honor could make the latter worth a bet.
Selections: 3 – 6 – 4 – 2


Race 4: We prefer two horses dropping class. Our top selection is SHE’S GIFTED (#4), who set fast paces in each of her two starts against tougher company and now gets a chance to race over a dry track for the first time. Shoot the Moon (#9) appears to be the strongest rival after putting in a solid effort against maiden special weight company back in May. It’s hard to get excited about the prospect of anyone else in this field improving enough to beat both of these fillies.
Selections: 4 – 9 – 11 – 3 


Race 5: With Irad Ortiz, Jr. named aboard both halves of the Jason Servis entry, only one will run. Fortunately, we’re perfectly content to take either RIVIERE DU LOUP (#1) or BOSS MAN (#1A) on top. Riviere Du Loup’s last effort is better than it appears on paper since he got stuck in traffic in upper stretch and showed good acceleration when guided to daylight. He may have won with a clean trip that day. Boss Man also may have been best in his most recent effort at Saratoga. That race was run during the final week of the meet and, like so many races during that time period, was dominated by horses that stayed on the hedge for the majority of their trips. Boss Man spent the entire race running at least one path off the rail and still nearly held on for the victory. The one caveat is that both must prove that they can handle the turnback to seven furlongs. Our backups are Defining Product (#4) and Sun Worshipper (#5), who both have been successful sprinting on turf at Belmont and should be up close early in a pace situation favoring horses on or near the lead.
Selections: 1/1A – 4 – 5 – 2 


Race 6KODIVA (#7) makes her second start in the United States after an encouraging outing in her American debut at Parx. After getting squeezed back at the start, she became rank heading into the first turn and made a premature move heading onto the backstretch. She continued to tug on the reins into the far turn, at which point Florent Geroux set her loose to go after the lead. She briefly struck the front but was outgamed to the wire by a useful filly in My Senses. Her European form suggests that she shouldn’t be a maiden for much longer. She finished just a length behind Lady of Dubai in her two year-old finale, and that one went on to finish third in this year’s Group 1 Epsom Oaks. Her prior connections even thought enough of her to try her in a stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in her 3-year-old debut. The one other filly that interests us at a slightly larger price is Ransomed Heart (#9). There’s a lot of quality to her pedigree, and Mark Casse does superb work with second-time starters, getting a 98 TimeformUS Trainer Rating, compared to a rating of just 60 with his debut runners. 
Selections: 7 – 9 – 6 – 4


Race 7: Ross J Dawg (#4) fell just a head short of coming into this race undefeated in two starts and is a logical contender, with the only drawback being a potentially short price. CLASS AND CASH (#2) has turned his career around since being switched to turf. He beat a weak field in his turf debut at Monmouth, but did so with the utmost ease. Last time, when stepped up against experienced turf sprinters, he gave a good account of himself despite having to alter course in midstretch. The 104 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned for that race is the highest in the field, and the preliminary Racing Rating for this affair suggests that he might have found an easier spot. He must negotiate an extra two furlongs today, but he may possess the talent to pull it off.
Selections: 2 – 4 – 3 – 5 


Race 8: This is one of the most interesting small fields you’ll find, since the six runners converging for this race have taken six very different paths to get here. Situations such as this make determinations about pace and class especially tricky. For instance, the TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a scenario that favors horses on or near the lead despite the fact that half of the field exits frontrunning efforts in their prior starts. Ruminations on pace aside, we believe that RUMBLE DOLL (#1) is simply the most talented turf sprinter in this field. She exits a very respectable effort behind the wickedly fast Lady Shipman, and a repeat of that effort will make her tough to beat today. Deep closers can be hard to trust, but Rumble Doll is as honest as they come and always shows up with her patented late run. Our main backup is Strong Incentive (#6), who has flashed brilliant speed on dirt (note the gigantic 154 Pace Figure at the first call of her debut) but now tries a turf sprint for the first time after handling a flat mile last out.
Selections: 1 – 6 – 5 – 4 


Race 9: Quarla (#5) has earned the highest TimeformUS Speed Figures overall, but it’s hard to trust a horse who has compiled a record of one win with 10 seconds and thirds in 17 starts. Gimme Jimmy (#1) interests us only because she drew the rail post position. She’s had the misfortune of drawing the outside post position in each of her last three starts, and it’s definitely had a negative effect on her riders’ ability to work out the right trips. We’re definitely using her, but our top selection is PUPAREE (#10), who may have slightly more upside. She was impressive in breaking her maiden over the summer, but hasn’t gotten ideal trips in either of her starts against winners. She may appreciate getting back to Belmont’s Widener course and will offer value at or around her 12/1 morning line.
Selections: 10 – 1 – 5 – 4 

TimeformUS Analysis for October 7th

TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona

TimeformUS Analysis for Racing at Belmont Park on Wednesday October 7th
Race 1: Boston Strong (#2) is the horse to beat as he drops in class after a series of failed attempts at the NY-bred N1X allowance level. He’s certainly on our tickets, but we feel that CHILLY BAY (#9) is an interesting new face that may pose a threat to the favorite. Chilly Bay’s lone turf race at Gulfstream was fine, if unspectacular, but he’s improved recently over the artificial surface at Presque Isle Downs. His trainer, J. Michael Rogers, is an unfamiliar name in New York, but he has done very well with his turf runners out of town. We give him a 100 TimeformUS Trainer Rating with high-priced 3yo+ claimers on turf and a 97 with horses moving from synthetic to turf, far higher than his 71 overall rating. We also find it encouraging that leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes the call.
Selections: 9 – 2 – 7 – 4 


Race 2: In a race where runners like Sanfiera (#2) and Splendid Gold (#4) are hard to trust at short prices, we prefer SUPER CITY (#8), who should offer better value. Super City was recently beaten by a couple of today’s rivals, but we feel that the trips she received in those races worked against her. While Super City has developed a bad habit of getting away from the gate slowly, we hope that drawing the outside slot may allow her to range up into a more forward early position while avoiding trouble. Her TimeformUS Speed Figures are on the slow side, but we think that she has not yet been given ample opportunity this year to show her true ability.
Selections: 8 – 2 – 3 – 4 


Race 3: It is difficult to go past the two mares drawn towards the inside. We give the slight nod to KEEP BUSTIN (#2), who was hardly disgraced while facing far better competition at the $25,000 level last time (TimeformUS Race Rating of 98, as opposed to a preliminary rating of just 80 for today’s field). In her previous try for today’s $12,500 tag, she was hampered by a wide run around the turn. Keep Bustin’s only serious competition figures to come from Trail Walker (#1), who should play out as the lone speed in a race lacking a confirmed frontrunner. The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting that Trail Walker will lead Keep Bustin early and that the pace will favor horses on or near the lead.
Selections: 2 – 1 – 6 – 5 


Race 4: Our top selection is WRITTEN IN STARS (#8), who drops in class after a couple of tries at the $75,000 maiden claiming level at Saratoga.  You can basically drawn a line through her last race, since she took one of the worst stumbles you’ll ever see, at the start, and could never get back into the race thereafter. Her effort two back (TimeformUS Speed Figure of 91) makes her the horse to beat today. Underneath, we’ll use Break Away (#10), an honest filly who consistently grabs a check, and long shot Pound Sterling (#11), who ran better than it appears when chasing a fast pace against tougher foes last time.
Selections: 8 – 10 – 11 – 5 


Race 5TWO TAPS (#2) was mildly disappointing last time at Saratoga, but we feel that she is likely to give a better account of herself here. She improved her TimeformUS Speed Figure when stretched out to a mile last June despite overcoming a bad stumble at the start. In her one start since then, she was asked to go a distance that may be just short of her best off an 80-day layoff. John Shirreffs gets a TimeformUS Trainer Rating of 98 with horses stretching out from sprints to routes, up from his overall rating of 74. Two Taps should be well-positioned stalking the fleet-footed Theophilia (#5) early and will get first run on improving plodder Fast Retailing (#4).
Selections: 2 – 5 – 4 – 6 
Race 6: We’re most interested in a couple of runners dropping out of tougher maiden special weight races at Saratoga. Carysfort Reef (#10) figures to garner his share of support after chasing the talented Championofthenilebefore caving in at the top of the stretch. A fellow pace player in that race, Hit It Once More, returned to improve his TimeformUS Speed Figure by 29 points just over a week ago, so it’s reasonable to assume that Carysfort Reef will do better here. While we respect the Pletcher runner, we’ve made higher-priced HIGH NOON COCKTAIL (#7) our top selection. This Ken McPeek-trainee was green in his dirt debut behind the promising Get Jets and now turns back in distance and drops in class. We give McPeek an excellent Trainer Rating of 96 (up from an overall rating of 75) with horses moving from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company. 
Selections: 7 – 10 – 9 – 5 


Race 7: We feel that the distance will work in favor of GOTACHANCETODANCE (#6), who comes off a career-best performance going 11 furlongs at the Spa, where she was game in defeat behind the talented Trophee. Morning line favorite Runner Runner (#9) put in a strong late run in her stateside debut, but she did get a strong pace to run into (note the 6-furlong pace figure and fraction color-coded in red) and must prove that she can produce the same kick at today’s distance. 
Selections: 6 – 9 – 5 – 2


Race 8SCAT AWAY (#5) has taken her game to a new level since Linda Rice added blinkers two starts back. At Saratoga she overcame a speed-favoring surface (note TimeformUS Race Rating box coded in dark red) to nearly get up for the win, and last time, she extricated herself from a non-contending position in traffic at the top of the stretch to just miss. Scat Away appears to be poised to finally break through this allowance condition. The one concern is a potential lack of pace in this race (TimeformUS Pace Projector is favoring horses on or near the lead), which is why we made In Spite of Mama (#7) our second choice. She went far too fast early last time, but she did show major improvement on her poor recent form. She may be moving in the right direction, and if she can get back to her races from earlier this year, she’s a contender at a price.
Selections: 5 – 7 – 1 – 2 


Race 9: We end the day with a perplexing group of $12,500 claimers going to war over a mile. My Adonis (#9) and Golden Itiz (#11) are fairly consistent sorts who fit well at this level. However, we find it hard to place much trust in any of these runners and often prefer to go shopping for a price in such situations. The horse that we think will offer the best value is RAP D’ORO (#10). It wasn’t all that long ago that he won first off the claim for these connections right here at Belmont, earning a TimeformUS Speed Figure of 101, a number that would make him formidable in this spot. In his next start, at Parx, he was compromised by a slow pace (note fractions color-coded in blue), and last time, he could never get into a comfortable position from the disadvantageous outside post position going nine furlongs at Saratoga. We feel that he’s better than those recent efforts, and, with the TimeformUS Pace Projector predicting a fast pace, he may well receive a favorable setup.
Selections: 10 – 11 – 9 – 7