12/01/2017 3:39PM

Some horses to follow

The Cigar Mile, the last Grade 1 stakes race in New York this year, highlights this weekend's racing. 
It's the Saturday DRFBets Race of the Day and you can access free Formulator past performances at this link: 
Mike Beer and I go over the race in the following video feature:

In this week's "Out of the Gate," a whole slew of handicappers gave their thoughts on the Cigar Mile and the other graded stakes races at Aqueduct on Saturday. 
Here are some interesting horses that I'm following on Saturday:
Parx - Race 6 - #5 - BLUEGRASS EXPRESS (4 to 1 Morning Line)
I found a fascinating article about 66-year-old jockey Tony Black, who recently returned to the saddle at Parx. 
Black rides Bluegrass Express, an improving 3-year-old colt that just ran his best race last month traveling six furlongs. In that spot, Bluegrass Express pushed longshot Prep Pride (finished seventh of eight), put that one to bed on the turn, was confronted by favored Brother Chub turning into the stretch and fought gamely all the way to the wire. Beaten a head, Bluegrass Express was flattered somewhat when Brother Chub returned to finish second against 'n2x' company with a career-best 86 Beyer. 
Bluegrass Express drew a comfortable outside post position on Saturday. That gives Black the option of hustling to the front or sitting just off the pace while racing in the clear. We'll see if the additional half-furlong of this race is too much for horse and jockey, but I'd take 5 to 2 in the win pool. 
Parx - Race 7 - #1 - AUTHORITATIVE (8 to 1 Morning Line)
My opinion on Authoritative isn't as strong as this filly doesn't have much speed and could be at the mercy of a slow pace. It's just that I'm against the favorite, Mama Jones, and want an alternative at a price. 
Authoritative really has picked up her game since trainer John Servis added blinkers to the equation. Three back, she came with a determined rail rally to defeat a pair of next-out winners. On October 1, she was no match for a gate-to-wire winner over a speed-friendly Parx main track. Last time out, Authoritative swung widest into the stretch before finishing with an even bid. 
It seems like she's in decent form and she usually comes with a solid late kick. All she needs is a fair pace scenario. I'll need no less than 6 to 1 before considering her on the win end of things. 
Parx - Race 8 - #4 - PRINCE LUCKY (7 to 5 Morning Line)
Prince Lucky will probably be too short of a price to consider as a win wager, but the promising 2-year-old sprinter can be leaned on in multiple-race wagers. He comes into this race off a powerful victory at Laurel on October 30 (see below).

While Prince Lucky didn't beat the strongest field in the world while racing without a whip, a repeat of that race should be good enough to handle fellow Pennsylvania-breds in this $100,000 stakes races. 
If he gets through this spot without much fuss, it will be interesting to see where trainer Larry Jones goes next. 
Laurel - Race 8 - #8 - SHE ROLLS (5 to 2 Morning Line)
As with Prince Lucky, I'm not sure if She Rolls will offer enough value in the win pool. She's the second choice at 5 to 2 on the line and I would need that price before I play her. I wouldn't be surprised if she goes off as the something-to-five chalk under a rejuvenated Edgar Prado. 
Let's take a look at her last race, the Maryland Million Distaff on October 21. She was a rank outsider at 60 to 1, but showed her usual early speed over a track that seemed to favor late-running types. She really tried hard in the stretch to finish third behind favored Crabcakes and next-out stakes-winner My Magician (won the $75,000 restricted Geisha Stakes with a 77 Beyer). 
While the morning line favorite (#6 Tiger Eyes) is riding a five-race win streak, I'm not sure that one wants anything to do with a prolonged pace battle with She Rolls. Prado might get a clear early lead with his filly and that might be enough to stave off the sharp Tiger Eyes. 
During FormBlog's hiatus, I continued to put together a "Horse to Watch" list. I'd like to share Part 1 of that list with you this week while adding some more runners in each blog post.
Past performances for each of the following runners can be accessed at the bottom of this blog post.
This 3-year-old sprinter made the list after a very good runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx on September 23. The trip notes I typed into Formulator for the race indicate that American Pastime "had a stutter-step start, tracked the pace 4 wide from the 5 path, made a 3-4 wide bid on the turn and finished second best to the odds-on favorite." That talented winner, COAL FRONT, emerged from the race with a non-displaced condylar fracture to his right foreleg. He underwent surgery and it is questionable whether he'll return to the races. 
American Pastime lost valuable ground at the start of the race and gave up even more distance when wide all the way around the turn. There was always a little bit of buzz surrounding this horse ever since he debuted back in March and Hess showed a great deal of confidence by shipping the Tapizar colt back to Southern California for a start against the best older sprinters in the country in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Far from embarrassed after finishing fourth behind Roy H, it is hopeful that American Pastime will return to action in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds traveling 7 furlongs at Santa Anita on December 26. 
No disrespect to either Good Magic or Bolt d'Oro, but Chad Brown's Analyze It might be the best 2-year-old in the country. From the first crop of top turf performer Point of Entry out of a half-sister to stakes-placed turf sprinter Sweet Assay, Analyze It has impressed in two lifetime starts, both at one mile on the grass. 
He destroyed a maiden field at Belmont on October 28 with a 90 Beyer, then took no prisoners when shipped across the country for Del Mar's Grade 3 Cecil B. Demille Stakes (see below). 

There is some dirt in this pedigree with names like Came Home (Pacific Classic, Hopeful, Santa Anita Derby, etc.) and A.P. Assay (Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap - 115 Beyer) on the catalog page. Brown already has Good Magic, but I wonder if he eventually decides to give Analyze It a shot on the main track. 
Cerro was the focus of my June 22 FormBlog post. He had just won a $50,000 selling race at Churchill Downs and was re-claimed by the owner/trainer combination of Mike Repole and Bruce Levine, presumably for a chance to race at the prestigious Saratoga meeting. 
I really expected a good race when Cerro was entered in a $62,500 optional claimer on August 12. Unfortunately, torrential rains an hour before post time forced the now-muddy track to be sealed and turned a speed-friendly track into a truly biased one. Cerro couldn't make the lead and watched in vain as Lewys Vaporizer and Hey Jabber Jaw ran 1-2 all the way around the strip.
Taken by Mitch Friedman, Cerro was entered back at Belmont for $50,000 and I bet him enthusiastically at 5 to 1. He battled fellow pacesetter Lex Vegas into the ground, opened up a clear lead and was run down in the final 70 yards by good-trip closer Very Very Stella Foiled again.
Claimed once more, this time by Robertino Diodoro, Cerro ran last week for $62.5K and was again caught up in a fast speed duel. He tired badly in the stretch, finished sixth of seven and was again purchased by Repole. 
I believe his recent form is clouded by circumstances and legitimate excuses. Cerro fits at the $50,000 level over the winter at Aqueduct and is playable in dirt sprints, especially if he projects for a lone front-running trip.
I must admit that I'm starting to get sick of Donji's act. A 5-year-old gelded son of Big Brown, Donji now has 11 runner-up efforts from 40 starts and has only won four times. It is looking more and more likely that he suffers from a serious case of seconditis and lacks the pure will to win.
He made the list on August 27 after finishing (you guessed it) second in a $32,000 claiming race at Del Mar for trainer Andy Mathis. In a race eventually dominated by closers, Donji battled early with Small Town Hero (eventually finished last of seven), made the front turning into the stretch and was only beaten a half-length by Shackleford Banks, a horse that came from a mile out of it. TimeformUS has the second fraction for this race color-coded red which indicates an exceptionally fast split. Donji ran hard during that enervating period and was still hanging around at the wire. He was taken by trainer Leonard Powell. 
Since then, Donji has run second twice as the favorite. I'd like to give him one more chance in a $16,000 starter allowance, but be forewarned that he isn't the most trustworthy horse in the world. Demand value.

Under the old format for PP's & Products there was available Beyer Speed Figures for purchase. Now in the new format I can't find the item for Beyer Speed Figures that you can purchase. Have they been replaced by TimeformUS? I'm not a really, really big fan of TimeformUS, I have used them on occassion but the rating have the same success, to me as the older version of speed or pace figures you can see at other services in the market.
Try the following link for Beyer Speed Figures. 
I'll try to get HandiGambling up and going next week.
Best of luck with your wagers!


Watchlist1.pdf907.51 KB