Saturday, September 05, 2015
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
Race 1: #7 Wynhurst is the horse to beat as the best speed off the claim by Rudy (100 rating off the claim), but his last race has to be a concern. #6 Howaboutwe lost all chance at the start last time, but still managed to put in a run through the stretch.
Race 2: #8 Donegal Moon appeared to get in a prep sprinting on dirt, as he couldn't keep up early, but leveled off with a good run through the stretch. Has significant pedigree to move up on turf. #9 Italian Charm is by turf champion Gio Ponti and out of Voodoo Dancer, who combined to win 22 races on grass, including 9 Grade 1s, with over $5 million in earnings. Trainer handled both of those horses, and he gets a strong 94 rating debuting in turf routes. #1 Highland Sky is from a potent female family of turf runners, and she was an effective runner herself. Trainer having a strong meet here from limited starters.
Race 3: #4 Mrs. Hudson made an impressive debut over this distance back in April, and she ran into a sharp front-running winner in her 2nd start. All potential right now for top connections. #1 Excuse My French made a nice appearance pre-race, then went out and wired a field of maidens on a fast pace (note Pace Figures/fractions color-coded red) on debut with a TFUS Speed Figure of 95. Has the rail again.
Race 4: #3 Greenpointcrusader raced greenly while taking dirt first time out, but he finished gamely once clear in the stretch to fall just short of Saratoga Mischief, who returned to run 2nd in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Experience gives him a big edge over this distance. #9 Revved Up did no running in turf route debut, but he is bred for dirt, and may have been entered there just to avoid the shorter sprints that have prevailed around here for 2yos.
Race 5: #4 Travel True took over off a fast pace to win his debut going short, and he was in against much better horses when giving way in turf debut last time. #9 Sheldon has disappointed so far this year, but he has been kept to longer distances, and we are wondering if he won't appreciate going shorter this time. Needs to get back to form. #1 Are We Not Men has competitive form, and he will add lasix for the first time as he goes off the claim for Phil Serpe (100 rating off the claim).
Race 6: #5 West Village made an impressive turf debut on Derby Day despite lugging in through the stretch, and he had no chance, and was not ridden, in Lamplighter Stakes that was dominated in wire-to-wire fashion. May not have an easy time with #1 Tale of Life, but he'll be a price. Tale of Life is lightly raced from a top Flaxman family (2nd dam is the great Miesque), and he had a trip behind eventual Guineas runnerup New Bay two starts back. Lasix on for US debut.
Race 7: #12 Set the Trappe did very well to be 2nd best after contesting a fast pace (note Pace Figures/fractions color-coded red) over a closer-friendly track (note Race Rating Box shaded blue) on debut. Trainer gets strong 99 rating with second-time starters. #1 Rafting debuted going long on grass. Cuts back switching to dirt for second start with pedigree to handle the changes.
Race 8: All graded stakes Pick 3 begins with the Saranac, for 3yo turfers over 9 furlongs. ML favorite and horse to beat is #3 Takeover Target. Recent winner of the Grade 2 Hall of Fame here last month, he has never taken a backward step on TFUS Speed Figures following an impressive debut (97-102-107-111-114), and he has a handy running style. Stablemate #4 Winter Springs made his stateside debut in the Hall of Fame. He was left with a lot to do in the stretch after settling last early, and finished up well. #5 Go Around steps up in class following clear-cut win after a perfect trip here on August 1st. Potential is there, and the other speed in the race should allow him to settle early.
Race 9: Grade 1 Spinaway for 2yo fillies has only six, all of them eligible to an entry-level allowance race. #1 Tap to It didn't get a figure, but she was impressive in overcoming trouble in a couple of different spots to close down maidens first time out. Has to overcome rail draw, but it's a short field. #2 Rachel's Valentina didn't have speed, but came wide and kicked away with a good finish first time out. TFUS Speed Figure of 99 earned for that effort tops the field. #5 Constellation brought a big ticket as a 2yo in training, and she ran a big one first time out to dust a big field with a figure of 97. #6 Banree is the most experienced, though her races are well-spaced. Had trouble at the start when taking on colts on the Tremont two back, and she was dead game after a tough wide trip in the Schuylerville here opening day.
Race 10: Loaded Grade 1 Woodward for older horses does not lack for early speed, though that may not matter with #2 Liam's Map making first start out of tremendous effort in the Whitney last month. Whether he can repeat that effort 4 weeks later is the question of the race. If he does (he earned a TFUS Speed Figure of 130), they're running for 2nd behind him. Pletcher is running four here, including Liam's Map, but it is the Jimmy Jerkens pair of #1 Wicked Strong and #7 Effinex who may prove to be the biggest late threats. Wicked Strong hasn't managed to improve enough for us as a 4yo, though he was close to that strong pace in the Whitney. Effinex has been in raging form this year; aside from bolting in the Brooklyn, he has hung up TFUS Speed Figures of 125-126-125 in winning his three other starts.
Race 11: #4 Ceisteach has paired up TFUS Speed Figures of 115 since stretched out for last two starts. Versatile running style allows her to avoid being compromised by dynamics. #3 Eastern Belle and #8 Evidently were both compromised behind front-running #6 Goldy Espony last time.
Race 12: #1 Yankee Dealer has won all three starts vs. non-stakes company since switched back to turf this year, and he overcame a slow pace to get it done last time (note Pace Figures/fractions color-coded blue). #12 Hollywood Idol has tough post to overcome, and it's not as if there is no other speed in here, but he has been a different horse since switched to turf. He was dead-game through the stretch after overtaking a fast pace.