Good spot for second-time starter #5 Wing Foot
, who endured disastrous trip in Keeneland debut last month and never had a chance to run. Well-connected colt has a big pedigree, being a brother to three stakes winners in Great Britain, including Group 1 winner Lucarno, who banked over $1 million. #3 Pacific
seems sure to attract some attention in here considering his connections and big sticker price, and we'll hope he takes some money, as we are against this colt about whom questions abound. Purchased for $1.8 million at last year's Ocala sale of selected two-year-olds in training after posting the bullet work (one furlong in 9.4 seconds), where has he been since then, and why he is debuting long on the turf, which is one of Todd Pletcher's relative weaknesses (71 Trainer Rating)?
Race 2: #3 England
may wind up a short price for the third straight time here, and while he may have found the right spot, he is not the kind of horse we are ever going to trust at low odds. He simply has not run very well in either of his starts since arriving in NY. Since
there is not much apparent other talent in the field, we will go with a lightly raced rival who is still eligible to improve. #7 Dexter Cheesestake
has made only two starts to date, and in the last one he tried to circle the field from last behind an almost 10-length winner going a mile. But the thing that really attracts us to him is his new trainer. Michelle Nevin gets a 100 Trainer Rating off the claim, and she is a perfect 6-for-6 with maidens first off the claim in NY since going out on her own last year. That's good enough for us in this field.
Race 3: We really like the chances of #4 Againsome in this spot off of his 99 TimeformUS speed figure win going a mile vs. maiden claimers last time. He returns in a protected spot this time, and will be very tough for this field to beat if running that well again. His main rival figures to be #1 Blue Cherokee, who handled a wet, sealed track in his first start for David Jacobson, who sports a strong 97 trainer rating with last-out maiden winners.
Race 4: Appears to be plenty of pace signed on to this $20k claimer for older horses that have never won three, so we will try to wake up some closers.
Race 4. Pace Projector is available for all North American races.
#1 Demon's Deputy hasn't won since going back-to-back over a year ago, but he has been in some tougher spots, and we'll excuse some of his recent efforts over wet tracks, as he has never seemed to care for those conditions. If he can still run, he can take advantage if a contested pace scenario develops. We also think the dynamics here could help #4 Bos'n Alwyne, who has been in deceptively good form vs. better horses, and who did not get a comfortable trip when behind #9 Poliziano, another horse we are using in this race.
Race 5: Tough to trust anyone in this compact field in which four of the seven entrants are dropping in class. #6 Bridget Moloney is the one taking the biggest drop after chasing open company allowance horses to no avail last month, and she ran very well when last in for a tag. The others for us in this race are #2 Platinum Bombshell, who turns back after getting an unaggressive ride last time and switches to Rosario, and a little #3 First Penny, who hasn't won a race in over two years, but enters with the top last-out figure in the field (84).
Race 6: #8 Dramatize has been in good form since returning from an October layoff, breaking her maiden in convincing fashion over the Fair Grounds turf, and then finishing a game and well-clear second at Keeneland after an ill-advised run in stakes company. She looks much better on TimeformUS data than she does elsewhere, so it will be interesting to see how she fares in her return to NY.
#3 Nickerdoodle is the logical horse to beat, and Pace Projector indicates that she should get the set-up she needs. We're using her in this race, but we want to try Dramatize at a better price.
Race 7: Ten-furlong turf allowance drew a stakes-quality field that is led by #9 Stormy Len, returning from a layoff after being campaigned ambitiously through the summer and fall of his 3yo season. We think he has much potential to fulfill and are looking forward to following him into bigger races this year, but do wonder whether he'll be fit enough to go 1 1/4 miles vs. a strong field right off the bench. His main competition may come from a familiar rival in #4 Mills. Like Stormy Len, Mills is probably unlucky not to have an extra win or two on his resume at this point, and he also has the ability to re-enter stakes competition this year. Perhaps the distance is a bit of a question for him, but he did break his maiden over 1 3/16 miles. We thought that #5 Bravodino was an interesting player in this race after getting in a prep race off the layoff at Keeneland. He finished gamely that day after a good trip, was only narrowly outfinished, and figures tighter for this for a trainer sporting a perfect 100 Trainer Rating second off the layoff. We'll take him to go forward in this spot and play him with Stormy Len and Mills.
Race 8: #2 Carried Interest seems to have finally come into his own recently, and he projects for a good trip tracking the pace of #1 Royal Currier or #3 Green Gratto or, better yet, both.
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We believe that he is better than those horses right now, although Royal Currier did show some of his old spark last time in his first start for David Jacobson. Carried Interest was unable to hold off #5 Sensational Slam when off a short layoff and after a contested pace while wide two starts back, and will have to worry about that closing rival once again today, as Sensational Slam is in very good form right now. He finished gamely to hold his ground through the stretch behind the talented Vyjack last time, and is going to be tough to hold off if he can catch some pace up front. #4 Saturday's Charm is another who will appreciate any pace that develops in this race, as he has been compromised over and over again by race dynamics since a sharp effort in last year's Tom Fool Handicap.
Race 9: #6 Tenacious Indeed was outrun in a very strong maiden heat in her debut, and now switches to turf and stretches out for start number two, both of which should suit her. Tenacious Indeed is the first foal out of a dam who won four times on grass in her career and made over $150k on that surface, and she is from a quality family of distance runners who won over turf. #10 Laurenmychanelgirl is also eligible to improve in her second start, as she was outrun early over a speed-favoring track in her debut, and starts for a trainer who gets a strong rating with second-time starters (92) and with horses going sprint to route (84).
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Of the experienced turf runners, #3 Eddy's Time is logical, but she's had chances and has simply proven to not be that good, and #8 Sleek could be given another chance, although she did nothing with a good trip in her turf debut when last seen.