09/13/2013 1:54PM

Belmont: Closer Looks for September 14, 2013


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Race 1

Long River
Offered some promise as a juvenile and ran into some solid sophomore stakes runners before hitting the bench this winter; he'll tackle older for the first time in here but has been working extremely well of late and his one turn try here last fall earned him a career best number; expecting he'll prove a tough foe in his return from better than 7 months on the shelf; dangerous 3 year old.
Dan and Sheila
Steps up to face allowance runners after finding 9 furlongs too much for his liking in his third Spa start of the summer; he's run ok without winning here in the past and maybe he has more to offer late at this trip, but this bunch looks to be a bit much for him right now.
Midnite Poppa
Ran ok late first time with older in the slightly shorter sprint upstate while returning from half a year on the shelf; expecting he'll be tighter with that one behind him and he did run into a subsequent G1 SP turfer when third as the chalk second out here around this time last year; move forward makes him a threat at a decent price.
Opened up a clear lead first time in shades while returning from the break at Parx and never looked back in that big figure score; third place finisher from that heat returned to finish off the board next time out while earning a 53 Beyer; new outfit does nice work with this type and their first call pilot gets aboard; he'll tackle winners for the initial time here but there doesn't look to be a lot in his way if he wants the top so they'll probably have to come and get him to win.
Reaching Out
Statebred makes his first start for a new outfit after failing to finish his turf debut 4 months back; he did show good speed on dirt at Aqueduct and maybe he'll be better for the surface switch; worktab is a little spotty of late but he should be able to find a decent spot early in this heat.
Make Your Move
Barn's other half found himself trying to mount a rally from a wide spot after breaking from the fence at Saratoga and now he'll move further out in the track for his second crack at the level; gelding returned to the scene of his trip score 3 starts back and maybe that helps but he's going to need to step things up a bit here and if his rail drawn mate meets the starter as well the price will be tempered some.
Sophomore moved forward since facing winners off this barn's claim and finished ahead of the guy drawn to his immediate outside 2 back at Saratoga; he's capable of sitting a tracking spot which should help him in a field without a lot of early foot and that maiden score did come locally; he looks to be the one to down today.
It's been quite a while since this guy has won, but he's hit the board in 8 straight and has earned numers that make him plenty tough in this spot; despite the slight stretchout his off the pace style may be a disadvantage and Castellano opts to side with the guy who finished ahead of him 2 back; acknowledge he's fast enough, but prefer to beat him on the win end.-Steve Grabowski

Race 2

Tony D
Deserves a chance to race on a fast track; no match for Scam and the runner-up and 8th-place finishers from last who posted 85-79 Beyer speed figures in next-out SAR-AP-MSW wins; best Beyer at 1 Mile but has been absent 8 weeks since the 1st-blinkered last-place finish.
Has been screaming out for more distance and gets it here; 25%-win angle 1st blinkers; he has never raced past 7F; sire's only dirt route was a runner-up finish in the 10F-Breeders' Cup Classic; is out of a G1-dirt route dam (4-for-7, 622K); one foal raced in a dirt route 5-0-1-1 Risky Asset (24K).
Town Extension
The runner-up and 5th-place finisher from last Beyered 84-83 in next-out DMR-SAR-MSW wins; 55 days since the turf career-best Beyer and now back on dirt today; the 2-back winner repeated in the G2-Dwyer with a 100 speed figure.
Howie's Tiz
Career-best Beyer in the slop at longer but then showed nothing on a wet track in his only other Mile attempt; outrun throughout in latest; twice-beaten favorite switches riders again seeking answers; doing the rain dance for this.
King of Broadway
Working well on dirt off the career-low Beyer on turf; troubled debut then a runner-up main-track finish he figures to be a major player now back on best surface today; reunites with the 2-back Beyer-Top pilot; expecting a much quicker gate break for this.
Street Slang
Kentucky-Derby winning sire is 17-for-147 with 1st-time starters; 1-for-7 dam (36K) finished 2nd and 4th in 2 dirt routes scoring her lone win at 9F on turf producing 5 winners from 7 other foals to race including G2- 784K Tap Day (9-for-26 dirt routes 734K).
Tiz for Tat
Exits a field-best Beyer; has never raced past 6.5F; sire captured a Grade 2 at 1M and 1-16th on dirt; dam was unraced producing 198K-dirt router Point Taken (7-for-16); was also entered Thursday at BEL in the 7th a 6F-MSW event where 5-2 morning-line odds favorite; style suggests he should like the added yardage for this; the debut runner-up finisher graduated next out in a GP-MSW event with a 94 Beyer.-Art Gropper

Race 3

Mr. G. Zee
His only other start for a tag was a fine placing against better company; the trouble today is the lack of a clear pace picture and he might be compromised by rail position; naming of a top-notch rider, however, can negate all that.
Prometheus Crown
Nothing to highlight here except for the important drop from special weights; his sire won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 1.01 million while the dam scored in 2 of 13 appearances earning 144K; this is her sole foal to start.
Keeps earning minor spoils but his last local effort featured a respectable effort from unlucky post 13; may find himself much closer to the early lead than normal and have enough staying power to land a better share today; worth some consideration.
Red Shogun
Sports a poor record thus far over different surfaces; wheels right back for reasons unknown and the latest workout suggests nothing in the way of a sudden turnaround; cannot endorse at this time, rain or shine.
Saguaro Blossom
Goes back to blinkers after displaying little early foot in recent attempts; best efforts by far have been over the turf and perhaps he is gearing up for such an assignment; should benefit nonetheless by the exceptionally soft pace that seems in store.
Sir Maurice
Although trounced in his debut, he met tons better in that venture and lands into an exceptionally light crew today; his sire won multiple G2 stakes and 1.34 million; the dam was unraced; sib to 63K earner Breathaway.
Magical Salute
New face hails from G2 victor Performing Magic who amassed 723K and whose offspring have won 7 of 63 debuts; the dam did not compete; among the winning siblings is 22K earner Ginger Sea; can be a major factor by default.
Ten Ed
He finished far behind Mr. G. Zee back in June but today's affair shapes up much different; the blinker addition, weight shift, and pace structure of the field makes him the selection; should obtain striking position from the opening bell.
Earned a personal best in the last showing at Saratoga; the sad fact is, however, that this is his 46th attempt in these ranks and he is destined for another wide, futile trip; minor share seems very possible but still cannot get the vote for the top spot on the ticket.-Jim Kachulis

Race 5

Noble Moon
Malibu Moon has hit with about 16% of his juvenile debuters in a 367-horse sample; sire graduated in second start at 2 at 5 furlongs on dirt for only win in 2-race career; dam was twice routing as older horse; all 3 siblings won including Mambo Fever, who won at 2, was Grade 2 placed, earned nearly $125K; cut out to run.
Hard Spun 8 for 99 with juvenile firsters; sire unbeaten in 3 juvenile outs, banked over $2.6 million; dam was unraced; this is her first to race; may need experience.
Harlan's Holiday has hit with about 15% of his juvenile debuters in a 296-horse sample; sire won 4 times at 2, banked $3.6 million; dam won once routing as older runner; 2 of 3 sibs won including juvenile winner and over $125K earner Fastongrass; tab snappy move on the 8th.
Who's Z Daddy
The Daddy 4 for 45 with juvenile debuters; sire didn't go at 2, took the Super Derby, banked over $500K; 3 for 16 dam won at 2, earned nearly $90K; all 5 siblings won; 3 won at 2 including a debut winner and top earner Mr. Bowling took a G3, banked $270K; he seems comfortable with the surface.
Tightly Bridled
Bet like a good thing to kick it off but he retreated quickly; dam was unraced; lone half bro to race was 0 for 4; shorter trip could be right up his alley.
American Strong
Pioneerof the Nile 4 for 18 with debuting juveniles; sire won twice at 2, took multiple Grade 1s; dam was unraced; 5 of 6 sibs won; one won at 2, none were special; drills ideally spaced.
Don't be too harsh about the debut as barn is patient; dam was unraced; 2 of 5 sibs won including juvenile winner, G2 winner and over $1.1 million earner Gone Astray; we probably have not seen the best from this homebred.
Bourbon Sense
Street Sense 10 for 77 with debuting juveniles; sire won twice at 2 including BC Juvenile, took the Derby, banked over $4.3 million; stakes winning 2 for 7 dam earned nearly $100K, both wins came at 2; this is her first to race; would have liked to have seen a local spin.
Divine Energy
Could be more focused with the blinks and with the way he closed, he should appreciate the added real estate; dam 0 for 6; both sibs won, neither at 2, one earned over $100K; barn great with 2nd shooters.
Woelf Den
Curlin 5 for 57 with debuting juveniles; sire didn't race at 2, won a ton Grade 1s as a 2-time Horse of the Year; G3 winning 4 for 15 dam earned $225K, won twice at 2; this is her first to race; respect steady work tab.
Indian Brut
Indian Charlie about 16% of his juvenile debuters in a 303-horse sample; sire took debut at 2, won first 4 starts including the SA Derby; SP 3 for 17 dam earned over $100K, didn't go at 2; 3 of 5 sibs won, 2 cashed at 2; tab tote action.
Horse Greeley 2 for 21 with debuting juveniles; Grade 2 winning sire won twice at 2, earned over $225K; 2 for 16 dam did go at 2; this is her first to race; may need softer crew.-Brian Mulligan

Race 6

Soul House
Sire wins with approximately 13% of his turf starters and this is the first foal from a dam who won once from eight starts for 14k, including 0-for-1 over turf; runner up from latest won next out at Sar on 8/24 going 6f vs. 14k OPC's with a 92 Beyer; turf is a question but this looks like a good spot for him to try it for the first time.
Greeley Pack
Half-brother to multiple stakes winner Classic Pack (3-14, 281k over turf) ran well in his turf debut two starts ago, and even though he finished behind a few of these in his latest start, he's eligible to bounce back with a better effort while meeting up with winners for the second time.
Gossip Column
He's clearly capable of better than what he's shown in his last two starts and his best race makes him a serious player in this spot; however, even when he's been sharp, he's been known to settle for minor awards.
Dark Roast
Stakes placed colt has run well in two of his four turf starts and he might appreciate the added distance after a couple of 5 1/2f turf dashes at Saratoga; he's being reunited with Prado who was aboard for the maiden breaker four starts ago.
Make a Decision
He really hasn't run a bad race to date and he's stepped it up along the Beyer Speed Figure scale in his two starts since moving into this barn after a 75k claim; lightly raced 3-year-old might still have more to show us, and he's a 1/2 to multiple graded stakes winner J'ray (9-24, 969k over turf); 3rd finisher from latest won next out at Bel on 6/22 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. N1X rivals with an 82 Beyer.
Uncle Mitcho
Respect the improvement and level of consistency he's shown since being placed over turf, but his best race just doesn't appear to be up to the level of the top contenders in this spot; prefer to look in another direction.
Deferred Asset
Like what he did in his first two starts, both over the Belmont Park turf, and after meeting up with winners for the first time and trying a stakes in his latest start, maybe he'll be ready to give a better account of himself this time around.
Wise Guide
He deserves another chance to see what he can do over turf but he's going to need a career best run to prove to be the one in this spot; going to look toward others, but willing to upgrade his chances if this race gets moved to the main track.
Sky Colors
Carry My Colors has been a poor influence as a turf sire and this colt has yet to finish better than fourth from six turf starts; runner up from latest won next out at Sar on 7/20 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. N1X rivals with a 79 Beyer.
His recent form sprinting over turf has been solid, but he might not care for the added distance he sees today, and he looks like another in here who is going to have to show up with a career best effort to come out on top in this spot.
Northern Tripp
His complete lack of early speed is always a concern, and the early pace in here might not heat up all that much, but he has done some nice work over this turf course at today's distance in the past; not going to be surprised if he's moving in on them in deep stretch.
Iron Power
He seemed likely to run much better than he did in his latest start after a troubled turf debut, but he broke poorly once again and failed to be a factor; still feel that this lightly raced runner is capable of a stronger performance and he's out of a stakes winning dam who won 3 of 9 starts for 133k, including 2 of 4 turf starts for 87k.
River Tune
Sunriver is another poor turf sire being represented in here but this gelding has shown enough in his recent turf attempts to be given the look of a contender if he draws in; Castellano has had success riding for Asmussen from a relatively limited number of opportunities.
Ludo Bagman
He showed some real ability early on in his 3-year-old year before having to take time off, and if his turf debut in his latest outing is a sign of what we can expect going forward, it's probably a good idea to take him seriously in this spot; first call for Ortiz.
Madam I'm Adam
His form has improved with a move to turf, and after trying a couple of stakes events prior to this, he figures to appreciate meeting back up with N1X rivals; he's another sitting on the AE list that is worth looking out for.
Meet the Mets
This looks like it will be a favorable spot for this gelding to land in if this race has to be moved to the main track, but he is a late running type who needs to see some early pace, and he hasn't been at his best racing over surfaces with moisture in them; first call for Castellano.-Brian Pochman

Race 7

Sweet Potato
Been screaming out for more yardage and gets it here; declining-career Beyer speed figure pattern including latest when leaving a high-win-percentage trainer; the 2-back winner and runner-up Beyered 79-75 in next-out BEL-MSW and 80K-stakes win; the 3-back winner repeated in an SA-optional claimer with an 83 speed figure.
Most runners improve 2nd-time out and she has plenty of room to move forward off the troubled unveiling where she broke last then passed more than half of the field; 5 weeks away while the workout for this was not very eye-catching.
5 times has lost in maiden claimers so the MSW level is a huge concern despite her runner-up finish in last at much longer than this; the 2-back winner repeated in a SAR-35K-claimer with a 69 Beyer; figures to sit back early then make one run.
Toy Land
Super-long layoff trainer does not fare well with 1sters which makes her debut a throw out; steady worktab for this while the added distance can help the cause; obviously a sharper gate break after coming out 11th in the debut would help produce a better finish.
Jewel Kat
Steady worktab off the 8-week absence; she ran right on the lead in the debut then held on well enough to earn the exacta; owns plenty of upside off the career debut at today's distance which is a tricky-stamina test for any runner's unveiling; figures to be a major pace presence.
36%-winning 1st Lasix trainer but the long layoff after being outfinished at shorter is a major issue; working like she will fire a good one; the debut show runner graduated next out in a BEL-MSW race with a 75 Beyer; must be ready for best to land a major slice.
Medea (IRE)
Exits a field-best Beyer 1st time in the USA but has been away since with an August 31 bullet work for this; last race looks better since the winner repeated in a GP-optional claimer with a 90 Beyer; she beat the 4th-place finisher a next-out GP-35K-maiden-claiming graduate (64).
Hummingbird Hill
Sire is 51-for-419 with 1st-time starters; 24-for-285 with 1st-turf runners; dam did not race on grass (2-for-7, 69K) producing 4 winners from 5 other foals to race; 3 foals went 0-for-4 combined on turf; has been working forwardly for a trainer not known to win with 1sters.
Pleasant Cat
Returns to the distance of her career-best Beyer; was outkicked at longer in last by Acquisition; hopes to turn the tables by getting 1st jump on the closers; defeated the 2-back show runner a next-out 78 Beyer SAR-MSW graduate.
Main Track Only entry has been working well for her 1st start in 92 days in a high-percentage fresh barn; stamina has been the issue; the 2-back show runner Beyered 83 in her next-out BEL-MSW win then repeated with a 75 taking a BEL-80K stakes.-Art Gropper

Race 8

Naples Bay
Clement looking for that deja vu feeling this gal is out to defend her Damsel title; the fact she won her racing debut gives her a right to be on the muscle fresh and she did everything but get unsaddled in that return effort here in June of last year; considering she walked out of the gate in last, the shore finale was not all that bad; miss also may have disliked the yielding course 2 back; look out.
Not disgraced in the Graded debut last year in a big field; 5/25 place horse won twice since, the last in a $25K optional at Presque Isle with a 74 Beyer for Ness; not a ton of speed in here and would expect rider to put her into the race from the sound of the bell; clever move late last month screams off the page; could get brave with a lonely lead.
Better Lucky
Her back class screams off the canvas; freshened since 3 clear solid try in the Just A game, miss has won off the pine in the past and she should sit a super trip; top last-race Beyer in the resume; anything close to her A game and the rest could be looking at minor awards.
Laugh Out Loud (GB)
Last win came over 8 in the Group 2 so the class is there; winner of the 2012 closer repeated in the Grade 1 EP Taylor with a 102 Beyer; like this progression; she showed speed in her stateside bow, then was getting to the winner in last; a bit rank early on but note she was also keen to run in the tough beat in Ireland in September of last year; can't fault those that give her another shot at glory.
Peace Preserver
Key off the tough beat in the Beaugay and she fits nicely here; miss has a nice turn of late foot and she freaked on this course in the $150K Pebbles last year; note she also won off the layoff in April of last year; another interesting runner in a pretty solid 6 pack.
Hungry Island
Proven in the second off the layoff run last year, note mare was over 3 clear when losing the heart breaker May 4 at Churchill; her versatility could be her best asset; she can sit fairly close up and run big or come from 4 or 5 back and fire; wide in last 3, could be looking at a similar fate.-Brian Mulligan

Race 9

Multiple grade 1 winner ran a big race three starts back over the synthetic surface at Keeneland from post 13 and she looked good while recording a :23.98 final quarter in winning the American Oaks in her first turf start in her latest outing; runner up from latest returned to finish 3rd in G1 Del Mar Oaks on 8/17 with an 85 Beyer, and 3rd finisher won next out at Dmr on 8/23 going 1 3/8m over turf in a 95k stakes with a 92 Beyer.
Discreet Marq
Tough to argue with anything she's done since moving into this barn three starts ago and this New York-bred miss is looking to make it back-to-back G1 wins while shipping back from Southern California; note that she shares the best last race Beyer Speed Figure in here with Summer of Fun.
With Sugar On Top
That was a decent field of 62k OPC's she recorded an easy win against in her latest start, but she's meeting up with a different caliber of competition this time around; this barn has won with 8 of 17 (47%) turf starters over the past 30 days and Ortiz has won with 17 of 70 (24%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Alterite (FR)
She's a very interesting option to consider as she gets ready to make her first start in America and her first start with Lasix while being sent out by a top turf barn; looking at company lines, Flotilla was impressive winning the BC Juv. Fil. and she's won a G1 this year, Chicquita won the G1 Darley Irish Oaks with a 114 Racing Post Rating and Silasol is a multiple G1 winner who has won 3 of 7 starts for 640k.
Concise (GB)
She ran well when part of a blanket finish in the G2 Lake Placid at Saratoga in her latest outing, but she loses the services of Rosario, and this is a tougher group that she's meeting up with; maybe she still has more to show us while making only her second start wearing blinkers, but she must step up her game to threaten the top contenders in here.
Summer of Fun
Grade 1 stakes placed filly has been impressive in six of seven turf starts, and after a few starts without Lasix, she responded with a sharp winning performance in her latest outing; this barn has been going well since early July, and this miss looks like she tuned up with a very sharp six furlongs over turf on September 6.
Effie Trinket
Have to respect her overall form after eight starts, but she was beaten by today's rival Summer of Fun in her latest start after benefiting from an ideal early pace scenario, and now she's being asked to face an even tougher field from top to bottom while stretching out another half furlong; leaning toward others.
She's displayed solid turf form, but this has to be considered an extremely difficult step up in class for her after finishing fifth and sixth against 35k OPC's in her first two attempts against winners; 3rd finisher from latest won next out here on 9/8 going 1m over turf vs. N1X rivals with an 87 Beyer.
Really like what she did while earning multiple graded stakes placings in her first four turf starts, and maybe this is a filly who needs to compete over a firm turf course to be at her very best; feel that she has at least mild appeal in this spot, but this is a tough test for her, and she hasn't been shy about settling for runner-up finishes.
Watsdachances (IRE)
Don't like to see that she hasn't posted a win since recording a G3 victory in October of her 2-year-old season, but she usually shows up and gives a solid account of herself, and it's certainly tough to ignore when Brown and Castellano team up; can't help but feel that Alterite is the more interesting of the Brown-trained horses in here.
Caroline Thomas
Although she was awarded her first graded stakes victory via disqualification in her latest start, she ran a very nice race that day; this filly has a strong turf pedigree and her dam finished 2nd in this event in 2007; she might be able to prove to be a player at a price once again today.-Brian Pochman

Race 10

Took him 11 cracks to get through the maiden ranks and he did it with the benefit of an easy lead over a speed favoring upstate course; faces some other lick so he'll need to be hustled to secure a similar trip from this inside draw and these winners are tougher than he's been facing; have to side against the repeat.
New York bred got his neck down to take the restricted sprint heat in his lone upstate appearance this summer; he'll stretchout while moving back in with open company runners against whom he was ok at Monmouth; 2 time course winner is worth a good look from close up in this spot.
Won at this level when last sighted here and now he's back for the optional tag; he's got early foot which should have him close early and the fact Castellano sticks suggests he retains his sharp form; contender.
Smoke Town
Gray enters this off a freshening after getting second money off the solid trip first time routing at the Spa; turn back should help him and he has had time to get over that career best number; one to consider.
Blinkers helped this guy get going when dead heating with conditioned claimers upstate last month; he's not the most consistent sort as he's had trouble putting big efforts together; local slate has us limiting his use to underneath in exotics.
Why Not Whiskey
Statebred tries open company after running down a solid clip over the Saratoga sod; he's been on the improve from a figure standpoint but he does return just 3 weeks off a career best number and that may make it tough for him to get back to it here.
Foolish Tiger
Didn't have much of a shot when well behind slow clips in each of his last 2 but wasn't beaten all that much either time; pace should be better this time and his effort 3 starts back suggests he'd have little problem with some moisture in the course.
Bluegrass Springs
Tactically inclined colt lost his best shot at the start in his second Saratoga spin after failing to go on late off the soft lead in his prior effort; he won sprinting over this course 3 back and maybe the return to one turn racing will benefit him.
Vinny Goodtimes
Lightly raced colt ran ok for third money at the level while trying winners for the initial time; he returns to a course he ran big over first time out and his blowout here last week suggests he'll be more involved from the bell here; looks to be the main danger.
Hot Sand
He's only run a few times and he was right there over a heavy course last time at Monmouth; he'll catch better in this spot and will start from an outside draw but it is nice to see they finally put him in a spot where they can't lose him.
Short Shrift
Got the job done at a nice price on Opening Day at Saratoga and hasn't been sighted since; don't know that this field is much tougher and that last out number does fit well in this spot; giving him the nod to make it 2 straight from tracking range.
Southern Tier
Outside drawn gelding just missed after rallying from well out of it in his first route try of the season; rough start may have done him in there but it's encouraging to see he didn't pack it in thereafter and he did run big against older foes here 3 starts back; thinking they'll have him to beat.
Hebert Hall
AE stretches out after a late running placing with better upstate a couple of weeks back; trip is a concern, but he did win twice here earlier in the year and Castellano is named to ride him back so he can't be overlooked if her gets to go.
D' Wildcard
MTO will turn back for his return from the freshening and his most recent winning effort did come at one turn; maybe the wide trip hurt him last time and he should get some speed in front of him here; contender if the rains come.
Mighty Ian
MTO goes first off this barn's claim after catching a winner who rolled home upstate; lone the front running maiden score here 2 back and though these are better he does figure to be close early and his pedigree suggests he'll go a lot better over a wet track than he did off the break here nearly 4 months back.
MTO ran well in each of his 2 turn spins upstate and now he'll turn back to a trip that may actually suit him better; his pilot sticks with him and this gelding has run quite well in 2 starts over a track with moisture in it; one to beat if the rains come.-Steve Grabowski