Saturday, June 21, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Sunday, June 22
Race 1: #5 Letsgotovegas is an interesting firster for a very dangerous trainer in a race where the experienced runners leave something to be desired. She's the first foal from a stakes-placed dam who posted a pair of blowout wins sprinting on dirt in her career, and trainer Michael Mareina scores a perfect 100 rating with first-time sprinters.
#2 Silver Union landed in tough spot chasing the promising Thirteen Arrows in first start for Weaver; can do better in this kind of field. #4 Lateen was a convincing winner vs. cheaper before being disqualified from purse money; this figures tougher. #1 Magsamelia has blown a couple of clear leads already, but has speed and switches back to Castellano.
Race 2: #5 Knotty Pine raced greenly down inside before finishing up with interest behind an impressive winner at Pimlico in turf debut; has big pedigree to step up her game with racing and some distance. #1 Pedal Princess has big pedigree to live up to, and she finished with interest after getting away last and racing behind a moderate pace in well-backed debut; improvement expected. #4 Killington returned from long break to take a solid run at Charm City Girl, who came here to run a good second to heavily favored Hillhouse High the other day. #2 Jolene was a game runner-up after heading down to the rail in the stretch, and figures to improve on grass, being out of a dam who made over $360k on that surface.
Race 3: No one to trust in this $16k claimer for a group of horses who are on a down cycle right now. We'll take #6 Starship Captain on top, as he figures to be one of the better prices and won't be part of the pace, which may be the fate of some of the others, and he got a strange ride last time with his rider trying to angle sharply to the outside in the stretch for no apparent reason. #5 Rigby is difficult to take, as he figures a shorter price, though he did come up against a razor sharp performance from Upward last time. #2 Road Agent is taking a drop in class paired with a turn-back in distance, both of which figure to benefit him, and he still has his speed.
Race 4: #5 Sol the Freud may not handle turf at all, but he shouldn't be judged against his debut over the surface, as he was part of a hotly contested pace that collapsed that day; chance things are a lot different today, as Pace Projector puts him alone on the lead to big advantage.
#1A Mark My Way parlayed a perfect trip into a blowout maiden score last November; hung badly on his return to turf last month, but may not have wanted nine furlongs there. #7 Gridley Here is logical in here, and clearly eligible to be further developed as he makes 3yo debut here.
Race 5: #4 Make a Fortune is dropping down for third start off the Jacobson re-claim, and has easily the best early speed in this matchup; if not now, when? #2 Mystic Strike is the other Jacobson runner, and while he's been a big disappointment for these connections, he should be competitive at this level. At least #1 Steve Came Thru is in form, having won two of his three starts over this surface.
Race 6: #3 Cat's Claw looked good last year without winning, and then took full advantage of a perfect trip going longer to break her maiden after prepping over speed-favoring KEE polytrack; half to Point of Entry stretches farther, and looked as if he'll stay all day in that last one.
#4 Silky is the other logical contender here, but getting 1 1/2 miles off the layoff is not an easy task.
Race 7: We've been following #2 Four Directions since his inner dirt debut, where he finished up with interest, and he was very unlucky in each of his next two dirt starts, first getting bumped and shuffled out to last and then finishing strongly against a gold rail on March 16th, and then giving away all position early and finishing up best of all behind the talented John's Island in April; happy to go back to him here as he comes back to dirt.
Race 8: #10 Old Harbor got very rank on the lead upon switch to turf two starts back, and actually continued to race on after that tussle with her rider, and she finished gamely after getting headstrong once again on the turn-back last time; ability is there if she can put things together. #11 Lady Kreesa is on her way to being the best of these after a pair of promising efforts to start; impressive win vs. maidens last time. #2 Storied Lady has been going well on dirt and is eligible to handle turf, being a half to Barrel of Love, a six-time winner over grass who has banked over $250k.
Race 9: #2 Countknickerbocker gets a final chance after getting a bad ride and going down to defeat last time despite being clearly best. #8 Soul House has disappointed too many times, but he may be better over turf, and he was a new gelding off the layoff last time; maybe tighter second back. #6 Hooked Forever is clearly capable but looks to close and there may not be a set-up for him here. #10 Sun Worshipper took advantage of a pace meltdown two back, but doesn't project to have as much help this time.