Monday, May 05, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: Opener has the look of a two-horse race between drop-downs #1 SAMPSON COUNTY and #7 TAPULOUS. While they've combined to make 18 starts already, alternatives are hard to come by, and they tower over their opponents on speed figures. It does seem that today will be graduation day for one of them, and we'll take Tapulous on top. He got the better of the draw on the outside, and Pace Projector places him up on the lead, which should be to his advantage.
Race 2: #7 UNBRIDLED LOGIC has started on turf only four times to date, but he's run well every time, and he came with a strong finish to close down front-running #6 WIND OF BOSPHORUS when last on grass in September. Wind of Bosphorus projects to be on the front again today, but we'll take Unbridled Logic to come running again. #1 LOGAN STREET is also a closer with a chance, but he has had plenty of fast paces to run into lately, and that may not be the case for him today. #2 MCILROY has won two in a row on grass for Chad Brown, but those races are a little slow on our speed figures, and he'll have to improve stepping up here.
Race 3: #5 NICHOLSON and #6 MASTER YANK seem the two to take here, as they are both lightly raced and still eligible to improve, while their opposition has primarily already been exposed. They have both run top speed figures of 80, which makes them competitive here, and while Master Yank has more speed and turns back in distance today, we like Nicholson on top. Nicholson earned his 80 speed figure going longer in a strongly rated MSW field (93, compared to today's 79). He then turned back last time and was outrun early over a highly speed-favoring track (denoted by dark red in the race rating box), but did well to finish 3rd.
GOLDEN DOC would be our other horse, as he could be on the lead assuming a clean break this time, but we were disappointed in his last effort, despite his not getting away from the gate very well.
Race 4: Pace Projector indicates a fast pace is on tap for these $40k maiden claimers, and that worries us a bit because our pick in this race, #7 BAD TO THE ROAN, projects to be a part of it.
But we will keep our faith in this horse today, as he has the outside draw, which may help alleviate the harm from the pace scenario, and we just think he is better than his competition today. Yes, both #5 SPANGO
and #8 YOU YOU
have run better speed figures than Bad to the Roan, but they earned those figures while being defeated by Horatio, so, enough said. Bad to the Roan was bet strongly in his debut, but didn't have a lot of early speed and wound up in a 4-and-5-wide trip on a day when runners with speed and the rail
dominated the racing. He had more speed second-time out, but was simply in too tough. Finally, his trainer, George Weaver, has a very strong trainer rating when dropping from MSW to maiden claiming company (74 overall rating, 96 with this class drop). Our other horse in here is #3 SPEED READ
, who has faced some stiff competition in his brief career, and lost all chance with trouble at the start last time.
Race 5: Pace Projector places #2 PHOTON and #6 READTHEBYLINE up on the pace together, and they are the two horses we like in this race. For wagering purposes, it will all come down to price, but we'll put Photon on top. Photon has been holding solid form during his current form cycle, earning triple-digit speed figures for his runner-up efforts two and three back, and he was doomed by a fast and contested pace when last seen in a tough allowance race on Wood Memorial day. (Note that fast paces are denoted by red fractions or pace figures.)
Readthebyline has the best back races to get to, although you have to go back to last summer to get there. He is first off the claim by the very sharp Michelle Nevin (a perfect 100 trainer rating first off the claim), so maybe that will do it, and he did well to survive a pace battle in his last start.
Race 6: Enticing match up here between #3 DIVINE ENERGY and #5 BAY OF PLENTY, a pair of well-connected and talented colts who could play in some bigger races down the line. Divine Energy earned a strong 104 TimeformUS speed figure for his impressive effort off the layoff last time, while Bay of Plenty flat powered away from his competition going longer to break his maiden over Aqueduct's inner dirt. Neither one of them is likely to offer much in the way of wagering value on the win end, but this is a good race to keep an eye on for the future.
Race 7: Pace Projector indicates that this race will favor runners on or near the early lead, with #5 YOUR TIME IS UP and #8 SACRED SUCCESS being the pair likely to be up on the pace. Since Sacred Success was badly off form when last seen, we couldn't take her in this race, pace advantage or not. Not only does that leave Your Time is Up in an enviable position in this race, she earned speed figures for her winning efforts two and three back that would make her very tough in this field. We make her the horse to beat, and will use her in all wagers, but want to take a shot against her with a better-priced option. DEE DEE'S COMET was in very good form all winter at Aqueduct, and, while she is no burner early, she has enough tactical speed to not be compromised by moderate fractions. She also finished ahead of Your Time is Up when last seen, despite not getting the best trip (or ride) in the world that day.
Race 8: This is another race that our Pace Projector indicates will favor horses up close early, and it puts #3 SATISFACTION in control of things on the lead through the early fractions.
Perhaps that will be all it takes for her to find the winner's circle for the second time in four starts, but we like the chances of #4 PRECARIOUS here off the layoff. Precarious has run very well when up on or near the lead in the past, and while Pace Projector has her at the back of the field early, if she is showing some early initiative fresh off the bench, she can pull the right trip.
Race 9: #9 MANERO has been setting fast paces down in Florida recently, and he has all of the good speed figures in the race, but he is an infrequent winner, and is clearly hard to trust. We have to play against him in this spot, and will do so with #10 MAGMA, who has spent too much time racing on dirt since arriving stateside toward the end of last year. He earned a solid figure for his North American debut, which came in way too tough of a spot, and we can excuse his last, as he caught yielding ground vs. starter allowance company and was wired by repeat winner Princess of Mara.