09/27/2013 10:29AM

Belmont: Closer Looks for September 28, 2013


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Race 1

Mr Rosenthal
Exits his lowest Beyer speed figure since October when fading at longer on SAR sod; brief speed off the bench in July on BEL-Widener turf when defeated by the runner-up finisher who posted an 82 Beyer in his next-out SAR-optional-claiming win; last victory was right on the lead and wants to be part of the early pace here then hopes to hang on late for a share.
Greeley Pack
Exits a co-career-low Beyer when finishing last at today's distance on today's Widener green; displayed in his longest-distance test ever that he likely wants no parts of today's 7F distance; rallied to graduate 3-back over the runner-up finisher who posted a 65 speed figure in his next-out SAR-MSW win; would be a shocker.
Iron Power
Was outfinished when trying today's 7F distance; lone win was on the lead going long on dirt; in recent races has been outfinished while well supported at the betting window; today's rider is number 6 in as many career races which is not a good win angle but gets in with his lightest-weight assignment ever.
Sky Blue Pink
Now 0-for-9 since claimed off a top-grass trainer nearly 1 year ago; 67 days since rallying mildly on less-than-firm grass a surface he posted his career-best Beyer over; the 2-back winner repeated in a BEL-optional claimer with a 91 speed figure; the 3-back winner repeated with a 76 taking a SAR-35K claimer.
River Tune
Was screaming out for more yardage in last and gets it here but has to avenge the 2-back loss to Northern Tripp at 7F over today's turf course; has been best racing on less-than-firm grass which is what he received in the 2-back defeat.
Half Wildcat
97 days since a key-race loss for a 1-for-19 fresh trainer since 2012; the show finisher from last Beyered 77 capturing a BEL-optional claimer next out; he beat the 8th and 11th-place finishers from last who both posted 66 speed figures in next-out FL alw. and BEL-16K-claiming victories.
Win rider lands on Fourseventeen for this; 54 days since primed for this at longer; good sign that he won his last 2 times racing off similar layoffs; has not raced this short of a distance since May, 2010, a 4th-place finish in a BEL-Widener turf-MSW defeat; beat the 3-back show finisher a next-out 71 Beyer BEL-25K-claiming winner.
Ludo Bagman
Grass debut was not his best effort when outfinished by River Tune at 1.5F shorter than this; the 3-back winner repeated in a SAR-optional claimer with a 99 Beyer; beat the 3-back show finisher a next-out 87 speed figure BEL-15K-claiming winner; one race at today's distance during career on dirt is a career-low Beyer.
Knockher Off
Has never raced this far but the grass debut was sensational when bet to odds-on right off the long layoff then pulverized the field by more than 8 lengths; hopes to avoid a bounce for the 1st start vs. winners a major class test; beat the 2-back show runner a next-out 70 Beyer AQU-MSW graduate; worked a bullet for this suggesting another biggie is on the way.
Couple of dull efforts in the 2 starts for the new conditioner; career-best Beyer was posted at today's distance on the BEL Widener green rallying strongly over a less-than-firm turf course; the May winner repeated in a BEL-optional claimer with an 84 Beyer then made it 3 in a row with a 91 speed figure.
Northern Tripp
Races with his lowest-weight assignment of 2013; another runner who posted a career-best Beyer over today's turf course at the 7F distance; the win and career-best speed figure occurred over less-than-firm green; late runner's lone win came when breaking 22 lengths behind the field at the 1st call.
Madam I'm Adam
Career-best Beyer at today's distance on firm BEL Widener green; 52 days since a middle moving Mile loss; lone win was fresh on dirt so hopes the time off for this will help him move forward; drawn widest so a wide-ground-losing trip seems likely.
Precious Metal
Mixed reviews in the 2 races off the claim with latest his best Beyer since June when crushing dirt runners; has been at his very best with blinkers off during career and the hood was smartly removed for the 2-back loss; late runner has 3 turf wins but clearly seems at his very best on fast dirt.
Dual Citizen
Winless in 2013 with one exacta finish; latest fade did not give the impression that he currently wants to race this far; last victory was on today's Widener 'good' turf at 1M and 1-16th October, 2012, an allowance victory; know him early then hopes to hang on late.
Mississippi Duel
Dangerous if in posting back-to-back Beyer Tops including latest when showing up without front wraps on then holding on by a head; the 3-back winner and show finishers both Beyered 86 in next-out BEL-125K stakes and optional-claiming wins; muddy-BEL graduation so would not mind this rained off the grass onto wet dirt.
Tycoon Cat
Claimed off a 2%-win trainer moving into a barn that wins 27% first off the purchase; exits his lowest Beyer since dirt a January loss; best Beyer on fast dirt but his last win picture was on turf 3-back beating the show runner a next-out BEL alw. winner (85).

Race 2

Steady breeze pattern for this new face, son of Distorted Humor who won multiple G2s and 769K (his offspring have scored in 119 out of 724 debuts); the dam won multiple G1s and 1.61 million; this is her only foal to start.
Sheds the blinkers after that troubled first run earlier this month; his sire won a G2 and 310K overall while the dam scored in 2 of 14 appearances earning 14K; sib to 68K bankroller Iridescence.
Endowment Manager
This colt was a clear-cut second in his maiden voyage upstate; his sire won multiple G2s and 1.13 million while the dam was without a victory in 6 attempts; sib to 262K earner New Yawker; latest workout was superior; respect.
Patty and Nooche
Respectable try at this distance to begin his career; his sire won multiple G1s and 3.63 million; the dam went 4 for 14 earning 46K; among the winning siblings is 49K earner Indian Treatment.
Very fine half-mile breeze 5 days ago suggests this one is at the ready; his sire twice won the Breeders' Cup Classic and 6.42 million (progeny of Tiznow are 44 for 577 as far as winning their first test); the dam won 3 of 15 and 64K; sib to 169K earner Michael With Us.
Justin Nguyen
See Patty and Nooche, above, for information about the same sire; the dam won 12 of 34 and 474K; there are no winning siblings to mention; no match for Endowment Manager last month but the sloppy track might have been the reason.
From the leading trainer at the meet, this colt stands a tall chance; his sire is top-notch A.P. Indy who amassed 2.97 million and whose descendants have won 94 out of 819 initial starts; the dam was zero for 5; sib to 218K earner Shredded Edge.
Game in defeat first time out while favored; his sire won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 1.31 million; the dam was a G3 winner who captured 168K; among the winning sibs: G3 victor Winslow Homer who netted 273K.
Branded Hand
Unfortunately, got caught up into speed duels in both attempts over the grass; his sire won multiple G2s and 2.67 million; the dam won 3 of 24 and 100K; this is her only foal to compete; will offer a square price.
All My Memories
Even effort in his unveiling last month when losing to a blowout winner; his sire is the versatile Elusive Quality who garnered 413K; the dam was a G2 winner who notched 264K; there are no winning siblings to highlight.

Race 3

Genuine Flare
Sire wins with approximately 8% of his first-time starters and with approximately 11% of his turf starters, and multiple graded stakes winning dam won 5 of 11 starts for 326k, including 2 of 6 North American turf starts for 245k; this colt is a 1/2 to graded stakes winners Art Master, Indian Flare, and Latent Heat.
This Guy Is Blue
His career debut was an encouraging performance, and of the horses in the main body of this race, he sports the top Beyer Speed Figure; he's eligible to be ready to take a step forward now that he has some experience to draw from.
Sire wins with approximately 15% of his turf starters and dam won two of three starts for 59k, and she didn't make a start over turf; this colt is a 1/2 to multiple G1 winner Point of Entry (9-17, $2.3 million, including 8 of 12 turf starts for $2.2 million).
Full brother to multiple graded stakes winner Secret Circle (5-7, $1 million, no turf starts) wasn't able to get much going in his career debut, and he's obviously going to need to take a step forward to have a say in the outcome against these.
Interesting to see Lezcano land aboard this import and he's a 1/2 to G1 winner overseas Bachelor Duke (1-6, 311k); he adds a little intrigue to this contest and his latest performance looks like his best effort to date.
Romans Paradise
This barn does nice work with young/lightly raced turf horses and they'll hope that the addition of blinkers can help lead this colt to an improved performance; he's a 1/2 to stakes placed Local Celebrity (16-47, 289k, including 4 of 10 turf starst for 77k).
Sir J. J.
Sire wins with approximately 9% of his first-time starters and with approximately 14% of his turf starters, and multiple stakes winning dam won 14 of 27 starts for 644k, including 3 of 8 turf starts for 136k; this is an outfit that is more than capable of having one ready to run well going long over turf at first asking.
Good Response
Sire wins with approximately 12% of his turf starters and dam was a G1 winner in Argentina while winning 5 of 22 starts for 237k, including 3 of 14 North American turf starts for 169k; this barn can move one way up at second asking and Ortiz has won with 17 of 77 (22%) mounts for this outfit in 2013.
Mack Miller
He's shown us that he has a little bit of ability to work with in his first two starts and like the idea of him getting a chance to see what he can do going long over turf; this colt is a 1/2 to G3 winner Electrify (10-22, 666k, including 0-for-1 over turf).
Storming Inti
He gave a good account of himself in his career debut and that race has proven to be productive; winner from latest returned to win next out at Sar on 8/29 going 1 1/16m over turf in a G2 with an 81 Beyer, and runner up won next out at CD on 9/14 going 1 1/16m vs. MSW rivals with a 63 Beyer.
Souper Lucky
His latest effort was much improved, and if he's ready to come right back with that level of performance, he'll be tough to tackle in this spot if this race has to be taken off the turf; this is the first call for Castellano.

Race 4

Ambassador Bridge
Gelding cuts back a panel for his second start back from the summer freshening for a barn that's done well of late on the circuit; his most recent score did come at the trip and he does look to get some lick in front of him here, but a minor award may prove to be his ceiling.
Luxury Appeal
Moves inside while stepping back into the statebred ranks after tiring from his pace efforts in his return to the track over which he earned both of his scores; gelding could be tighter with his last behind him and given a clean break he should be gunning from the bell; with a solid pilot getting aboard he looks to be a legitimate pace threat.
Crafty Dreamer
Didn't do much running at all when returning from a year on shelf at Saratoga last month; he's had a full 5 weeks to get over that effort and he return to breeze as if he's now set to get back to his first 2 career cracks; expecting a much improved try from him today.
He's in for the cheap optional tag after another weak spin, this time up at Finger Lakes; gray is clearly not the runner her was as recently as last fall and given his current form it's tough to make a serious case for him getting back on track in this spot.
Meet the Mets
Took a step back at this level after just missing in the conditioned claiming ranks in his first Saratoga crack this summer; gelding ran well in defeat over the track at this time last year, but none of his subsequent local spins was much; maybe he bounces back to factor for a share of this, but prefer to side with others for the top spot.
Reggie D
Late runner didn't have much of a shot against open company in the Saratoga slop last month, but his prior off the pace sprint efforts did earn numbers that fit well in this spot; career slate is a certainly cause for concern, but Castellano sees fit to stick with him and he should at least get an honest clip to rally into here; contender.
He Has Charm
Offered little from a wide spot in his return from the break and that was his second weak try in as many local spins; barn does ok second back from the break but this guy has a lot of improving to do in order to have a say in here; have to pass on him.
Cay to Pomeroy
Didn't have enough to go on late from a tracking spot at a big price in his Spa finale; he's got some decent early foot so he should again be close early, but given his lack of stamina this year, it's tough to back him on the win end in this spot.
Leilani's Ticket
Offered some solid early foot against open company runners in his first off this outfit's claim and now he'll move back in to face statebreds; he ran some big ones from tracking range earlier in the year and maybe the move outside allows this sophomore to relax a bit early in here; with Lezcano taking the call we'll give him the nod to get back on track in here.
G W's Hammer
Recent graduate tries winners for the first time in this spot after getting his neck down at the Saratoga wire last month; he hasn't hit the board in 2 local spins and his numbers don't stack up so well against this bunch; have to side against repeat.
Quiet Miracle
He's been sitting on the bench since failing to pick up his feet on the ship back here in early summer; low percentage outfit moves him in to gace a tougher bunch in this statebred heat and don't know that he'll be up to the task; looms a big price.
Western Grit
Sophomore has only run a handful of times thus far and now he'll move back in to face statebreds off the solid wet track score upstate; barn hits at a nice clip with its runners second back from the break and maybe the outside slot allows him to sit a good tracking spot on the slight stretchout.

Race 5

Roman Invader
The stretch out and turf to dirt maneuver worked to perfection last time but now the waters get much deeper; she has been in good hands and now has some black type but this is a far cry from losing vs. claimers or beating up on 3 rivals like she did in her last race; mare was getting a little late in last and now has to go a sixteenth of a mile farther; runner that ran second last time has been consistent stateside but has never won a Group or Graded stakes; even though Jacobson is 23% the last year with runners that won last time, could see this gal pushing issue, just not sure she will there late.
Princess of Sylmar
Educated in her sprint debut, she has thrived once given a shot to go long; one of her best assets is her stalking style but she proved in the Kentucky Oaks she is agile enough to overcome a mugging at the start and still prevail; place horse in that May 3 race took the $100,000 Torrey Pines next out; winner of her only loss this year Close Hatches returned to win the Grade 1 Mother Goose and the Grade 1 Cotillion last weekend in Philly; love the spacing of the drills since last win; Pletcher can keep them going good once they get good as he is 26% the last 5 years with last out winners in a Graded stakes; this is a serious runner.
And Why Not
Somebody had to be third in the short field on July 20; miss could be a bit fragile too as the races have been spaced; hooked 6 wide in her last race on a surface she may have hated and the race came back live as the show horse took a $150,000 stakes next out, winner repeated in a $111,000 Churchill stakes and the place horse was second in the Parlo; horse that beat her 3 back, Bryan's Jewel, has lost 3 times since; with just a one for 15 record, she could be giving away too much winning experience.
Royal Delta
The champ is back to defend her Beldame title and she figures to be a handful; only poor effort this year came against the boys on a taxing surface in the Dubai World Cup and that effort can be dismissed as a sub-par performance often happens when returning from the Middle East; hung wide in her June debut at Churchill when not flashing her usual speed; throughout her career, this star has thrived when the leaves change, as she is 4 for 5 in autumn races; she remains the Queen of the Hill until somebody can knock her off the mountain.
This returnee caught live splits last time and just could not keep up but one positive is that she finished her last 8th in a clever :12.67; just a double winner in her career, would love to see her find that killer instinct, and note the score last fall was against just 4 rivals; nearly 5 lengths clear in the last race but note both wins came in second off the layoff situations; class on the bottom side as her dam was a Grade 1 winner and also kin to over $800,000 earner Ready Set; she figures to be getting involved late if at all.
Lady Cohiba
Love the fact this gal has natural speed but she doesn't need the lead to succeed; ehe did set moderate splits last time and will have to gun to stay with Royal Delta early; youngster has been out of the money in her Graded efforts and was life and death to hold on last time; place horse in the August 9 race returned to run second as the chalk in a restricted $95,000 race here on September 19; she does seem to move up in the off going so keep one eye to the sky.

Race 6

Easter Gift
A Grade 3 winner in the off going last year, this colt has a penchant for finding the wire and you must respect everything from the Brown stable; runner needs help on the front end but Graydar should provide some semblance of speed along with the sprinter going long in Souper Speedy; he caught off surfaces in the only races he has not been in the money; clever work on the 20th was over a full second the best on the tab at that distance and tied with drill by stablemate Saint Vigeur, who was recently 2nd in the Peter Pan; will be in it late if at all.
Fresh and dangerous are the key words to describe this runner right now as he is repeatedly proven when running off the vacation; like the spacing of the return drills and note the work on the 16th was tied with stablemate, Whitney hero, and near $700,000 earner Cross Traffic; only off performance was his first vs. winners; class was proven for all to see in the Grade 1 Donn to kick off the year and he proved it was no fluke by repeating in the Bayou; emerging star figures to be on the muscle off the layoff but if he could sit third like he did last time behind some suspect speed, that could be the winning ticket.
Life and death for the lone win this year when claimed; place horse in that win returned to win a $100,000 optional by a nose before running 5th; off the rail, Beyers are going in the right direction but in his 3 Graded efforts, this runner was beaten a total of 52 and a half-lengths; he may need the race of his life to prevail today.
Jackson Bend
There is nothing wrong with 2 for one action as he is coupled with the rail runner and the leading earner in this field is looking to snap the 2013 slump; note he did stretch out successfully in the Hal s Hope last year and he overcame trouble that day in the process; 8/3 winner repeated in a state-bred $100,000 stakes with a 103 Beyer and runner did finish with interest last time getting his last 8th in :12.75; another slice?
Hymn Book
Bothered in the Grade 2 to kick off the year, there is nothing wrong with hitting the exacta in 7 of 9 locally, runner has proven he can handle any kind of going and like the way he was getting to the winner in the shore finale in July; the winner that day flattered him by winning the Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill on September 7 with a juicy 107 Beyer; and the 4th finisher that day took an $86K Philly stakes next out with a 95 Beyer. Best of 31 bullet workout on the 16th was tied with stablemate and 5-race maiden named Jet Away; the hotter the pace the better for this guy.
Souper Speedy
Consistency has been his calling card and one can build a case he is the speed of the speed; successful in 3 of his 4 starts here and although he has never won at this distance he did have the lead at the mile marker in the Remsen as a juvenile; Albertrani 1 for 12 the last 5 years with sprint to route runners in a Graded stakes but 6 others were in the money; he has a right to get this distance as his top sibling Brilliant Speed won the Toyota Blue Grass going long on way to millionaire status; not sure whom he has been beating; the horse he just beat by a nose is 0 for 4 this year and that runner's last win came in a Fort Erie allowance over 4 rivals last year; brief threat at least.
Brujo de Olleros (BRZ)
This Brazilian-bred runner was dull in his first two starts stateside but turned the corner in Philly and than overcame being fractious to win going away in his last; he's trained steadily this month and flashed renewed energy in the drill on the 21st and the next best on the tab that day was 1:02 flat; mile also seems to be ideal for him as he freaked by over 14 lengths at this trip last year; runner that beat him two back in Philly returned to run out of the money in a state-bred $76,000 stakes next out; needs very best.

Race 7

Forty Tales
Sophomore tries older for the initial time after a slow break and wide trip saw him get on track too late in the G1 King's Bishop upstate last month; don't know that the cut back is going to help him all that much from this inside draw, but he is undefeated at the trip, albeit against much softer than he'll catch here; expect to see him rolling late.
Justin Phillip
Didn't have enough to go on after sitting a wide spot in the slop when beaten by one of these in the 7 panel Forego last month; he ran well from a good spot to take the 6 panel Vanderbilt with a career best number prior to that one so maybe the cut back helps and he does like the local main track; dangerous from close range.
Bahamian Squall
Fresh colt found trouble when runner up in the Vanderbilt last month but he's since returned to work quite well at his Gulfstream base for his second crack at this G1 level; he's never carried this much weight, but he does have some positional foot and maybe that helps him secure a good spot from this draw; can get in the mix for a minor award.
Strapping Groom
He's come into his own since taken by this sharp claiming outfit here 4 months back and his Forego score was very good considering he did it on the front end at a trip that's probably a little longer than his best; 3 time local winner wasn't much of a worker prior to his last out victory so the slow interim breezes aren't a concern and he does figure to be right up with the pacesetters from the bell in here; one to beat.
The Lumber Guy
New York bred is this G1 heat's defending champ and though he's had his issues since the sharp Breeders Cup Sprint placing, his upstate prep was at least a sign that he's got something in the tank; recent breezes suggest he's on his toes for an outfit that's profitable with its recent runners second time back; slight cut back should only help as he returns to a trip at which he's yet to finish off the board in 3 career spins; Velazquez does opt to side elsewhere, but the price should be right to give this guy a good look.
He took advantage of a quick clip in front of him and blew past today's foe The Lumber Guy to take the statebred Spa sprint stake last month; number he earned in that one was a little light given the setup and though he fires all the time the rise in class may prove to be a little too ambitious; have to side against the repeat against this salty field.
Candyman E
Exits a Saratoga restricted stake from which the winner, who shows up in this spot as well, returned to take that venue's G1 Forego; he's a consistent check earner and maybe this gelding is even starting to come around some now, but these may just prove to be too much for him.
Private Zone
Earned the victory in the Del Mar restricted sprint stake while making his first start since the trip to Dubai in early spring and now he'll ship cross country to make his local debut; he draws outside here and will probably have to work a little harder early to make the top than he did in that last one which could leave him vulnerable late against this better bunch.

Race 8

Tannery (IRE)
Multiple graded stakes winning filly is coupled in the wagering with Laughing, so any thought of value goes out the window, but her late running style complements her front-running entrymate nicely; not willing to ignore her with the hot-riding Castellano aboard.
Mystical Star
She's a Grade 2 winner over this turf course and she's interesting in this spot when considering that the early pace is likely going to be slow to develop, and that she might be able to set up shop just off of the early speed of Laughing; a top turf barn helps add appeal.
Somali Lemonade
Her pedigree suggests that she'll be able to handle the distance, but this is her first start beyond 1 1/8m; she looks like she might be a cut below the top contenders in here but perhaps her chances can be upgraded if she gets a soft or yielding turf to run over; Saez has won with 4 of 8 mounts for this barn the past year with an $11.86 R.O.I.
Valiant Girl (GB)
She does appear to be heading in the right direction entering this race, but she's going to need to really step up her game to get the better of this field, and it's difficult to give her the nod over the other Motion-trained runner in here.
Kissable (IRE)
She was up against it trying to make up ground late in a paceless race at Keeneland two starts ago, and that was really a solid performance out of her, and even though she might have had every opportunity to move on to a win last time, there isn't any question that she was hindered by traffic trouble late.
Qushchi (GB)
It had been a long time between wins prior to getting the job done in the Waya in her latest outing, but she really hasn't run a bad race from five starts since arriving in America; she has the look of a contender but she might prefer more distance than today's 1 1/4m assignment offers, and Prado is seeking his first win at this meeting.
Laughing (IRE)
It remains to be seen if she can be as effective going 1 1/4m as she is at shorter distances, but it doesn't hurt to see that she got the job done going 1 3/8m racing in Ireland; feel that this Grade 1 winner has found a favorable spot to establish a slow early pace in an attempt to take them the distance.
White Rose
Perhaps she's taking too severe of a step up in class, but she hasn't finished worse than third from six turf starts, and she does seem to keep getting better with experience; this barn has been on a tear in graded stakes races the past two years, including winning with 15 of 61 (25%) starters in Grade 1 races; Velazquez has won with 13 of 41 (32%) mounts for this barn in 2013.

Race 9

Have to respect the possibility of this colt being ready for a better showing while making his second start in America, especially when considering how rank he was in the Sword Dancer; he's making his first start for a top turf barn that does well with new acquisitions and note the addition of Lasix.
Although he's been limited to just a handful of starts the past two years, he's won four of his last six, and when he's won, he's made it look pretty easy; he earned a career best Beyer Speed Figure in his latest outing while wearing blinkers for the first time and he's handy enough to sit a favorable trip right in behind the early speed of Joes Blazing Aaron, King Kreesa and Little Mike.
Big Blue Kitten
He's seeking his third straight Grade 1 win and he's a late running type in a race that has a good deal of early speed in it; Kitten's Joy won this race as a 3-year-old for the Ramsey's and this 5-year-old just beat a few of today's key rivals in his latest outing; must respect.
Slumber (GB)
Find it difficult to ignore that Mott sees fit to sign him up for this for his second start back from a year layoff, and this 5-year-old has made it look rather easy in his last two starts since being sent out with Lasix; it remains to be seen if he can handle competition of this caliber, but he's an interesting option to consider.
Real Solution
One of three signed on in here for the Ramsey's and he's one of two trained by Chad Brown; this is one of the premier turf outfits in the country and this colt earned a G1 win in the Arlington Million via disqualification in his latest start; Garcia has won with 9 of 34 (26%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Twilight Eclipse
Feel that this multiple graded stakes winner can be tough to deal with on his best day and he seems to be most effective at today's 1 1/2m distance; he's run well in his two most recent races against some of today's rivals and his ability to adapt to any early pace scenario can prove to be a key.
He's won six of 10 starts over the Belmont Park turf, including a Grade 1 win, and even though his two most recent races haven't been his best, he did have a minor excuse in his latest start with a slighty troubled inside trip; over the past five years, John V. has won with 16 of 45 (36%) starters in graded stakes races for McGaughey, including 7 of 19 (37%) in Grade 1 races.
Joes Blazing Aaron
He's taking on a Grade 1 after being claimed for 62.5k from his latest start and this barn won the G1 Jamaica here in 2012 after claiming King David for 35k; regardless, he's in very tough and horses like King Kreesa and Little Mike aren't going to let him get away with anything early on.
King Kreesa
He's been very sharp in his five starts in 2013 and he's recorded three consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures; however, this is the first time he's been asked to race beyond 1 1/8m and he's a front running type in a race that figures to have a fast and contested early pace
Little Mike
Multiple Grade 1 winner won the BC Turf last year, but in four starts in 2013, his best finish is a fourth; maybe the assignment of Smith is a sign that his connections feel that he's back on top of his game, but he must improve over what he's shown this year to get the job done.

Race 10

Ron the Greek
Barn's first entrant in here hasn't been as good as his uncoupled stablemate Flat Out this year while traveling all throughout the country; he didn't have much pace to run at over a wet track in the G1 Woodward last time but didn't threaten the front running Cross Traffic in the G1 Whitney or Fort Larned in the G1 Foster at Churchill prior to that; though he's one of just 2 in here with 2 trip scores to his credit it's tough to make much of a case for him bouncing back to threaten for the top spot in his current form.
G1 Kentucky Derby winner was much more involved early in the G1 Travers after firing a couple of duds in the final 2 legs of the Triple Crown series; he's had 5 full weeks to recover from that career best Beyer effort and now he'll switch to the circuit's top pilot; faces a tough task in his first with older and the fellow 3 year old who beat him handily in the Belmont returns here as well, but if he's again kept relatively close early he can get in the mix here.
Last Gunfighter
Tough to knock a runner who has taken 7 of his last 8 and who was less than 3 lengths off today's big player Flat Out when they met here in the G2 Suburban 2 starts back; he does pick up some weight for this after having a little trouble putting away much less classier foes than he'll tackle in this spot, however; he's been given the barn's preferred amount of recovery time from the effort and today's 10 panel trip doesn't look as if it will post him any trouble, but his numbers suggest he's going to need others to not fire in order to threaten for more than just a minor award.
Vitoria Olimpica (BRZ)
First of the barn's 3 runners in here takes a big step up the class ladder off a solid ungraded stakes score after sitting a wide trip; he'll get a new pilot and pick up weight while finding himself in this G1 heat after a softer heat failed to fill earlier in the week; G1 SW turfer in his native Brazil will need to improve quite a bit and catch some breaks to have any type of say in the outcome here.
Took advantage of an easy lead through soft fractions over a wet Spa main track to wire his Woodward foes 4 weeks ago; his pilot will get off as he stretches out to 10 panels, a trip at which he did dead heat for the score in last year's Travers; the presence of Cross Traffic means that unless he's pushed extremely hard the lead won't be his and Velazquez does opt to side with the aforementioned for today; don't think he'll be a serious threat in the lane.
Flat Out
Seven year old has won the last 2 renewals of this heat with different pilots aboard and he looks to become the first to win it in 3 straight years since Kelso back in the 1960s; barn also won this race in 1995 with Cigar; he loves the local main track and enters this in terrific form after just failing to run down the front running Alpha who ran the race of his life in the last out Woodward; he's shown improved early interest this season and that should help him secure a spot within striking range of Cross Traffic early; looks like they will have him to beat.
Palace Malice
He's certainly been a new runner since the failed hood experiment in the Kentucky Derby and he did earn his G1 laurels over the track in the Belmont Stakes; sophomore took the worst of it at the break of the upstate Travers last month and after being allowed to settle, made a terrific run to get within a length of the subsequent repeat winner (105 Beyer in last weekend's Pennsylvania Derby); neither his rider nor the barn has won this race before; he'll tackle older foes for the initial time in this one, but a clean start should have him in his preferred stalking spot just off the guy drawn to his outside down the backside and he should have every shot to prove he's good enough from there.
Cross Traffic
Whitney winner is a nose and head shy of being perfect in 5 career starts while making a quick ascension into the upper echelon of stakes runners in the country; he's been working well since turning the front end trip into his initial G1 score while tackling 2 turns for the first time upstate and the outfit did skip the Woodward up there to allow him time to recover for this 10 panel test; he traded decisions with Flat Out at shorter trips in his 2 local starts this spring and that guy looks to be dangerous again today; his pilot has yet to win this race; the added trip is the question and he probably won't offer a lot of value, but it looks as if he'll have things his own way up top again and will have to be run down.

Race 11

Amazing Abby
Stamina issues off the turf-route fades; is cutting back 1.5F for this which is a plus; 5 weeks away for a 10%-winning fresh trainer since 2012; quick-3F dirt workout suggests we will see her gate speed in a major way today; know her early then hopes to hang on late.
Curlin N Twirlin
Needed last start off the 57-day break now away 40 days for this; been working well on dirt exiting a career-best Beyer when rallying outkicked by Stock Fund at shorter; the 2-back winner repeated in a SAR alw. with a 71 Beyer; just one race going at least today's 7F distance was a 6th-place fade.
Rosalie's Pleasure
57 days since being outfinished at shorter; her lone race at 7F represents a career-low Beyer; removes blinkers off the career-best speed figure when handled by Stock Fund; has to find more stamina in the lane for today's stretchout.
Courageous Karen
57 days since being outfinished at shorter; her lone race at longer than 7F comes back a zero Beyer; the worktab for this does not stand out; races for an 0-for-18 turf trainer since 2012; view as a pace presence for part.
Has never raced this short but off latest defeat 7F seems like an ideal distance after being outfinished several times at longer; was claimed off a 4%-win barn into a 28% first-off-the-claim trainer's hands; just missed in last vs. the winner who repeated in a BEL-35K claimer with a 74 Beyer.
The wet-main track taken-off-the-turf start for last produced her 1st-ever exacta finish; would prefer this washed off the weeds again; did not offer much on turf in first pair but is showing an improving worktab; 3%-winning MSW trainer since 2012 does not add to the appeal.
Soul Safari
Has taken plenty of time between each of her 4 career races with 48 days idle for this; defeated 2 runners combined in two 2013 starts leaving her as an outsider here; best Beyer was on BEL Widener Turf at today's distance but others appeal more.
Discreet Malena
Stalked the speed early in the 9-1 debut before fading badly; hopes the 2nd-race experience and cutback in distance provide answers; the worktab for this did not impress for an 0-for-10 trainer with 2nd-time starters since 2012.
Today Not Tommorow
Sire is 3-for-53 with 1st-turf starters; is out of a 2-0-0-0 grass dam; 1 foal to race on grass finished off the board in his only turf start; back in 6 days off the dirt debut where she was eased to finish the last of 6; they were trying to get her on the lawn in the unveiling and hopes this one stays on.
Given Fire
Long absence and trainer change off the key-race loss; the runner-up, 5th and 6th-place finishers from last Beyered 71-67-58 in next-out BEL-MSW and 25K and 20K-maiden claiming wins; posted a so-so worktab for this; will be taking a wait and see approach.
Stock Fund
Best Beyer at 1 Mile a field-best number; she will stretch out off 6 consecutive in-the-money finishes and has been knocking on the door with 3 straight exactas; one of her 10 career runner-up finishes occurred July, 2012, racing at 7F on BEL Widener turf.
Sire is 3-for-56 with 1st-turf starters; 1-for-4 dam (26K) did not race on grass; 1 foal to race on turf is 4-0-1-1 Brunelli (13K); trainer is 0-for the last-13 with 1st-turf starters; removes blinkers off the odds-on dirt loss fading.
Live Life Fast
Long absence since the 2nd-time out Beyer speed figure regression; trainer is 2-for-6 since 2012 with long-layoff runners; steady worktab off 2 favored losses to commence career; off latest 7F seems like a good distance for her; beat the debut show runner a next-out 63 Beyer BEL-MSW graduate.
Cake N Cookies
Sire is 6-for-71 with 1st-turf starters; 18-for-166 with 1st-time starters; 1-0-0-0 dam did not race on grass; 7 of 9 foals to race are winners; 2 of 5 foals to race on turf are green winners including 138K-grasser stakes-placed Mynavigator (3-for-20 turf).
Done Smoking
4-point Beyer speed figure improvement 2nd-time out when stretched out 8 weeks ago; she was outfinished in that event and 7F seems to be a perfect distance for her; has been working well for a 34%-winning route-to-sprint barn and 29%-BEL jockey-trainer combo.
Light Weight
Had to like how she rated in latest after being a pure-speed runner in first trio; Main Track Only entry exits 3 consecutive new Beyer speed figure Tops the latest coming over today's BEL dirt nearly overcoming widest post-position 10 and is way out here again if in.