Wednesday, May 28, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: No one to trust in opener full of horses who have displayed little talent to this point. #3 Ballerena Bliss is among the most lightly raced, and since we wouldn't mind being on the early lead in a race like this, we will allow ourselves to be swayed by her having the top early pace rating in the field; she also earned a 77 TimeformUS Speed Figure for her also-ran 3rd in debut, a number that lays over this field.
Race 2: The #1 entry may wind up being tough here as they both drop in class for good trainers, but neither one of them is particularly scary at a short price, so we'll look elsewhere. #7 Giant Fox drops down for the first time while switching over to grass, and he has the pedigree to assimilate being by Giant's Causeway and out of a dam who has two prior foals to try grass, and they were both winners over it. This is not a bad spot for a first-time starter to land in, so we could give #4 Nine Forty a look in here for George Weaver, and he's a brother to a pair of grass winners overseas. #2 In Speight Ofitall is a horse we will include, as he'll be a price and is way better on grass.
Race 3: #5 Dawly picked up his game significantly after getting stretched out in distance last winter, stringing together several races that are going to make him tough in here; dead game once again last time while giving futile chase to a very sharp winner. #1 Mr Palmer is the one to beat as he steps back from stakes company and drops back in distance, but we've been a little disappointed in him overall after being on his bandwagon as a 3yo. #2 Summer Sunset is plenty fast enough to win this, and Pace Projector indicates that he may get the best trip of the three mentioned here.
Race 4: #5 Bajan Summer had a tough task chasing the 1-2 finishers of his debut run all the way through the turn before tiring badly, but he returns on grass with a strong pedigree rating for the switch (89, dam is sister to Val de Bois, a multiple graded stakes winner on grass, who was 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1991), for a trainer sporting a perfect 100 rating first-turf.
#4 Old Friend also brings a strong pedigree rating into his turf debut (90) and he had some early trouble in his first start, which was contested over a speed-favoring track at Keeneland. Of the experienced turfers, we prefer #12 Junger, whose lone try over this distance on grass found him chasing a fast pace and then just failing to last.
Race 5: #2 Bounty Pink has buried weaker in each of her last two dirt starts, and will get a stiffer test here, but we think she's heading the right way and has found the right spot. #1 Two Blue Hens is dropping back down, which figures to help, and she has won over this distance on synthetic, but that wasn't one of her faster efforts.
Race 6: #5 Chelsea Road is cut in half for her return to turf, and her lone race for this trainer on this surface was a strong one at Saratoga last year, and he re-claimed her right away for his top owners. #6 Persnickity doesn't want to go long, so turning back to this distance will help, and her turf-sprint form from last year is very competitive with this bunch. #8 Sunrise Kitty has lost three straight turf sprints as the favorite, but vs. better, and figures to benefit from the class relief she gets here.
Race 7: #6 Don Tito has been in very good form recently, so it may be best to forgive him for his uncompetitive run in the slop last time; he's earned strong TimeformUS Speed Figures for each of his three wins since being claimed by these connections, and he has the tactical speed to get the right trip here.
#2 Sam Sparkle is an infrequent winner, but he's talented and is dropping out of tougher races. We'll see what we get from #8 Head Heart Hoof, who hasn't been seen since being claimed by Jacobson over three months ago; he projects as the clear speed in this matchup, and there was a time when he would have used that to great advantage.
Race 8: #5 Nuffsaid Nuffsaid got a well-deserved layoff after ripping off a series of strong efforts off the claim by sharp connections last summer. If she returns in the form that she was in when she left, she'll be a handful. #3 Sky Skier and #4 Laguna Girl both hold good form, but they also both have speed and could potentially hurt each other early on.
Race 9: #10 Copper Bluff gets some needed class relief as she makes her second start off the layoff, and she's run well enough several times over to be very tough on this field. #11 Absolute Beauty is taking a significant class drop for Rudy, and is very logical as the ML favorite. #8 Caught by You is clearly a huge wild card returning from a two-year layoff, but she was running layover numbers prior to hitting the sidelines, and projects for a loose early lead in here, if she can still run.