09/28/2013 11:20AM

Belmont: Closer Looks for September 29, 2013


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Race 1

Mahubo (SAF)
Stakes winning veteran ran his better races when he was a member of the McLaughlin barn and he will have to improve over what he's shown in his last five starts to prove to be a player in this spot; perhaps the addition of blinkers can make him more of an early pace factor.
Smokin Candy
Stakes placed veteran is making his first start after a claim for a barn that can move one forward, but if this high win percentage outfit has a weakness, it might be with turf starters; leaning toward others.
Liquidity Trap
He really hasn't run a bad race to this point in his career, and even though this barn has been quiet to this point in the meeting, it's still worth noting that this will only be his second start for this outfit; he's a good fit at this 20k claiming level and Cohen gets a lot of live calls from Jacobson.
Livingston Street
10-time winner carries a G3 stakes placed credential with him and he's certainly capable of showing up with a competitive run against these; that said, it is worth noting that he is making his first start for a new barn after a 20k claim.
Sam's Buck
He ran pretty well the last time he was seen racing over this turf course and he didn't run poorly in a couple of starts at Saratoga; however, he's likely going to need to show up with an effort that earns him a career best Beyer Speed Figure to have a shot at the top spot.
Native Wave
Can't ignore that he's making his first start away from the barn of Anthony Dutrow after a 20k claim, but his turf form has been strong enough to give him a competitive look against these; not going to count this Midwest-owned gelding out of it.
East of Danzig
He's been beaten by a couple of today's rivals in his two most recent races, but he's given a good account of himself in those starts, and his best effort makes him a threat to walk away with the top prize; he deserves to be listed among the contenders.
Drink With Pride
Sire wins with approximately 13% of his turf starters and dam won 2 of 7 starts for 21k, and she didn't make a start over turf; turf is a question but he's won nine of 33 career starts and he's an obvious threat if this race has to be moved to the main track.
That was a solid effort he showed up with just two races ago, and that level of performance can play well in this spot, but you have to go back 26 starts to August 2010 to find his latest victory, and that alone is a reason to look elsewhere for the top spot.
Minnie Punt
Multiple stakes winner has seen faster days, but he's still plenty capable of making noise against competition of this caliber and he might be ready to give a good account of himself while making his third start back from a layoff; he's tough to ignore with the hot-riding Castellano taking over.
Radiohead (GB)
He's a G2 winner sprinting overseas, and even though a couple of his route attempts have been solid, it does like like a slow early pace might be a key to him being able to stay 1 1/16m; add in a difficult outside post, and he might find this to be a tough assignment.
A few horses in the main body of this race have shown some dirt ability, but if this gelding runs the way he did just two starts back, there isn't any reason why he can't prove to be a legitimate player; winner from latest won next out here on 9/11 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. 62k OPC's with a 90 Beyer; 1st call for Franco.
Artie Luvsto Party
Multiple stakes placed performer has run some of his better races over the main track here, but when seeing what he's done in his two most recent starts, he has to be approached with caution.
Not wild about the effort he showed up with in his latest start, but he was sharp in a near-miss performance two races back, and he seems to step up his game a little bit when he gets to run over a surface with moisture in it.
He hasn't been anywhere near his best in his last four starts and perhaps this stakes winning veteran is simply losing steam nearing the end of his 9-year-old season; this wouldn't be a bad spot for him to land in if this race has to be taken off the turf, but prefer to lean toward others.

Race 2

Tiger D
Very fine training track breeze on the morning of 9/18; this colt's sire won multiple G1 stakes and 971K (offspring of Grand Slam have won 105 out of 920 debuts); the dam was zero for 4 lifetime; among the winning siblings is 122K earner Notell.
Sideways Vision
Brave to capture the place finish time out; his sire won a G2 and 1.43 million while the dam scored in 1 of 12 appearances earning 31K; winning sibs include 21K bankroller August Gala; average a.m. moves of late.
Empire Dreams
Displayed good early speed in both attempts upstate, over different soil conditions; his sire won 4 of 19 and 452K while the dam did not compete; winning siblings include 118K earner Power Dreams; improved a tad in latest work.
Executive Office
Sharp debut effort when claimed earlier this month; his sire won 1 of 6 and 75K while the dam won 1 of 14 and 50K; this is her only foal to make it to the starting gate; can return dividends to the new connections despite the ascent.
Speed Read
Held fairly well in his first test but must avoid drifting out again; his sire won a G2 and 450K while the dam was without a tally in 8 attempts; winning siblings include 216K earner Cribnote; shows solid work tab at Big A headquarters.
Sired by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again who won 4.37 million and whose descendants have won nearly 10 percent of their first races; the dam was zero for 2; this is her only foal to start; playable.
All kinds of trouble while the odds-on chalk in his debut; his sire won a G1 and 239K while the dam won 3 of 16 and 98K; sib to 296K earner Game Token; in the care of the meet's leading trainer, he can atone.
Campion Lane
Vast improvement to the latest breeze; his sire won multiple G1s and 4.91 million (progeny of Utopia are 6 for 113 as far as winning their first try); the dam won 8 of 336 and 169K; sib to 269K earner Big Brownie.

Race 4

All Mine Tonight
The first 3 finishers 2 back all returned to win SAR-optional-claimers next-time out with 75-70-63 Beyer speed figures; best Beyer and lone win on turf but remains on dirt for this; last 2 races were troubled trips and did not handle the only other time breaking from the rail draw at SAR.
Exits her best Beyer since the career-best speed figure and AQU win; good sign that latest occurred in her return to BEL dirt; the 3-back winner repeated with an 81 Beyer taking an AQU-optional claimer then a 79 winning a BEL-OPC event; posted both exacta finishes for today's rider.
Yampa River
Latest now looks a lot better now defeating the runner-up finisher who Beyered 77 in her next-out BEL-35K-claiming victory; also a great sign that last occurred 1st off the claim and has been freshened up for a high-percentage trainer with 31-60-day absentees.
Hot Stones
Bet hard in all 3 races with 1 win but has raced well in the other 2 defeats; the runner-up finisher from last Beyered 69 in her next-out BEL-optional claiming win; comes into this with a bullet worktab but off a declining-Beyer speed figure pattern; beat the 2-back runner-up finisher who Beyered 76 in her next-out SAR-MSW win.
L B's Expression
1st blinkers off the loss to similar rivals fading over the track with a career-low Beyer 1st time on BEL dirt; last win on a wet race track and her strong gate speed displayed earlier in career has been missing from latest starts; know her early but unsure about late.
Necessary Luxury
Has not raced this short of a distance since her November, 2010, career debut at 6F on AQU dirt; looked like she was screaming out for more distance at longer in last noting her last win was at 1 Mile on BEL dirt; new rider is her 11th different pilot in as many races which is not a good wn angle.
My Unbridled Storm
Sure could have used today's extra half furlong in last when rallying well showing an improvement 2nd off the claim; the 1-for-27 fast dirt record with 9 minor awards suggests she often races well in defeat like last; 3-for-10 BEL jockey-trainer combo since 2012 adds to the appeal that another good effort is on the way.
Gee Linz
1st race off the claim produced her lowest Beyer since November, 2012; the 2-back winner Beyered 74-69 in her 2 next-out BEL-20K-claiming wins; BEL dirt win was November, 2012, beginning career 2-for-2 with a 6F stalking-optional-claiming score; has much to prove off latest fade.
Copper Bluff
7 weeks since rallying strongly at 6F; today's distance off last seems to add to the appeal; lone win was over the track in a maiden-claimer going 0-for-8 since with latest being her best finish since the diploma earner; has been working well for a 10%-winning fresh trainer.
Absolute Beauty
Working well for the 25%-winning fresh trainer for her 1st BEL dirt start; has to get by Hot Stones who handled her in last when she broke poorly from the gate she needs to break sharper for best hope; clearly seems set for a better effort than shown in latest.
April absentee returns after burning even-money in a race where she was never made an impact; wish the worktab for this was more eye catching; lone win was on BEL dirt beating maiden claimers; trainer was off to a 1-for-10 start this BEL meet; will be taking a wait and see approach.
Defeated the 5th and 6th-place finishers from last who Beyered 55-51 in next-out FL-$4,500-claiming wins; 31%-winning fresh trainer for a runner who won May, 2012, on a sloppy-BEL dirt oval in a 20K claimer; the 2-back winner repeated in a FL alw. with a 70 Beyer.

Race 5

Sir Maurice
Tries turf for the first time after showing some improvement on the drop second time out; gelding did encounter some trouble in his return but his sire is just 4 for 89 with his first time surface runners; unraced dam dropped a 2 time turf winner.
Courageous Karen
She brings plenty of early lick to the table while tackling the boys in her return from the freshening; 10 time loser hasn't packed that knock out punch at shorter trips of late but she draws inside here and maybe she has things her own way today; dangerous pace threat.
Irish Etiquette
Wasn't good enough after making a run at the leader turning for home in his local return; he should again be able to secure a tracking spot in this heat as the low percentage pilot returns for a barn that is winless from limited starters this year; maybe for a minor award.
Poppy's Watching
Beaten chalk was a length off a couple of these in his reutrn to the local sod a few weeks back; barn boasts a poor record with its turf sprinters, but that's clearly what this guy does best and he'll switch back to the pilot aboard for the upstate near miss 2 starts ago; contender.
Larry's Bentley
Didn't do much in a key inner track heat this past winter and now he'll try the lawn; sire gets just 5% first surface winners but the unraced dam dropped a pretty good one in statebred SW turfer and 334K earner Kharafa so maybe this guy has more to offer over the new footing.
Raglin River
Ran big first time over the local course after a solid try upstate in his first start on this circuit; he goes back to a solid pilot for this one, but the barn hasn't had much luck of late with its turf sprinters; consider.
Sun Worshipper
Field's highest last out Beyer earner cuts back a panel off a solid placing first time over the local sod; like the positional foot he's shown going long which means he won't be run off his feet early against this quicker set and he should have some more to offer late at this trip; one to beat.
Gentle Jim
Speedy gelding draws a bit better this time after fading from his pace efforts at 7 panels last time; there's other lick drawn inside that will likely make things tough on him from the bell and a handful of these have finished in front of him recently.
Bob and Jim
Rolled up to get second money in his first start in over 4 months; barn hasn't had any recent success with runners second off the break but the clip in front of him does figure to be solid and maybe he keeps improving in his second turf sprint try.
Onecats Chance
Changes hands for his turf debut after showing some late interest in his Finger Lakes unveiling; gets Lasix for this and maybe that helps, but his sire is just 3 for 33 with his first time surface runners; prefer to just watch him here.
Sat a good spot from the outside draw in his local return and didn't save much for the drive; cut back to this trip should help but he really hasn't done too much on this footing; looking elsewhere for the winner.
Shot to Win
MTO adds the hood for his second crack after offering little in his well bet upstate debut; he's only worked a couple of times since and his lone sib was winless from 3 starts but the dam was a 10 time sprint winner and 275K earner.

Race 6

Shades of Indygo
Beginner was sired by Indygo Shiner who won a G3 stakes and 444K (his progeny have scored in 5 of 83 initial starts); the dam won 1 of 10 and 75K; among the winning siblings is 160K earner Lenders Way.
Mary's in Utopia
Nothing to highlight thus far although she did had a difficult trip last time out; her sire won multiple G1s and 4.91 million; the dam went zero for 2; winning siblings include 46K earner Amalfi Drive.
Margaret Ownzit
Turned in a modest showing behind a blowout winner in her first venture; see the previous runner for information about the same sire; this filly's dam won 2 of 6 and 72K; winning siblings include 26K earner Havana Sunrise.
Skye Saratoga
Her breeze pattern is steady; her sire won a G1 and 2.19 million; descendants of Golden Missile have won 10 percent of their first races; the dam was without a tally in 3 tries; sib to 58K bankroller Brickhouse Baby.
Peach Lake
No factor in her unveiling a month ago but she returns with Lasix and a sharp training track breeze; her sire won a G1 and 1.16 million; the dam won 1 of 15 starts and 6K; winning siblings include 206K earner Major Idea.
Daddy's Lil Saint
Beginner hails from Scat Daddy who won multiple G1s on the NYRA circuit (his progeny have scored in 22 out of 155 debuts); the dam did not race; winning siblings include 351K earner Clear Pasaj, a pure sprinter.
Stormin Mary
Quit early in both attempts at Saratoga and the local work tab is nothing special; her sire won the Derby and 1.99 million while the dam won 1 of 9 attempts and 22K; sib to 54K earner Le Me Be Nuts.
New face was sired by G2 victor Posse who captured 662K and whose descendants have won 10 percent of their debuts; the dam won 1 of 3 and 40K; winning siblings include 128K earner Love Your Smile.
Caught wide in her maiden voyage last month when disappointing at 3 to 5; her sire is G1 sprinter City Zip who netted 818K while the dam won 3 of 24 and 137K; sib to 337K earner Willy o'the Valley.
Lady Rhubarb
Might have lost all chance before the start of her first run; her sire won the Queen's Plate and 1.04 million; the dam won 1 of 8 and 27K; among the winning siblings is 23K earner Goldenstatewarrior; upgraded in latest half-mile breeze.
Under Scrutiny
Surface change can do wonders for this daughter of Freud who won 1 of 12 races and 44K in total; the dam won 1 of 8 attempts and 35K; winning siblings include 67K earner Clever Spirit; needs the right set-up.

Race 8

Court Dancer
Agile enough to overcome the bobble at the break in the debut; she has a right to grow into her skin as kin to over $200K earner City Spirit; like the series of drills since the win, note place horse was 3 clear but although she has some semblance of speed, not sure she can clear here; may need Empire-breds to really thrive.
Art of the Game
Don't be too harsh about last as she could not stand up in the off going; and note she was troubled in the debut; there is class on the bottom side as the dam banked nearly $300K; miss only beat 4 in the lone win and is looking at more speed here; needs a rebound run.
Sweet Whiskey
Pletcher looking for that deja vu feeling here as his trainee Kauai Katie won this race last year when making it 3 in a row after taking the Adirondack at SAR; show horse in the debut graduated next out for Matz with a 90 Beyer; she got a taste of local action with the training track spin; don't be shocked if she rebound in a big way today.
Miss Narcissist
Miss acted up before the debut, toss it; the show horse in last beat state-bred MSW foes next out with a 65 Beyer; miss was tabbed at 3-1 on the morning line Saturday at Finger Lakes in a state-bred $50K stakes; she was tiring in last and now has an extra 16th to negotiate; would be careful here.
Miss Behaviour
Face it, she has been on Cruise control in both of the starts; apparently not much of a work horse, but all she does is show up in the afternoon and sizzle; would have liked to have seen some local activity; can't fault those that stay or jump on this bandwagon.
Ocean Boulevard
Beyers going in the right direction and note she show horse was over 6 clear; dam took a stakes and banked nearly $200K; miss did come home with interest last time getting her last furlong in :12.66; homebred had an excuse for the poor debut; plenty of pace to help the cause; should be making legit impact late.
Educated in the debut when hooking the unbeaten rival, the place horse in last graduated here last Sunday by over 6 lengths; the Fair Hill bullet on the ? was 2 ticks the best and tied with a Dutrow charge that won only start and also by Nellie Cashman, a double winner and Grade 3 winner; all systems go.

Race 9

In Trouble
Came out firing to win his debut nicely at SAR Aug. 10; not only did he look good but he got a nice Beyer (83) and that run looks evern better when you note the 2nd, 3rd and 4th finishers ALL came right back to win; worked strongly since and he showed ample professionalism to stalk and go on by in that win.
Sound of Freedom
Pletcher as been a force in the 2yo ranks here the past few years, but not so much in THIS particular race (King of the Roxy, 2006; Overanalyze, 2012); couldn't quite fend off In Trouble when they both debuted at SAR Aug. 10 but came right back to wire maidens in the mud at SAR; worked strongly since though note Velasquez, who was up for both outings, ends up on Pletcher's other runner (Corfu) instead, so read into that what you will.
Awfully game first breaking his maiden at SAR July 25 and then winning the G2 Saratoga Special there Aug. 11; last time in the G1 Hopeful?; well, he was pressed through brisk splits, in the mud, and gave way readily; at least nice to see Pletcher isn't giving up on him, that he wheels him right back and his top rider Velazquez, who rode both this guy and Sound of Freedom in all their starts, ends up staying here.
Financial Mogul
No match for Big Sugar Soda when he debuted at SAR July 22 but he came back to blast maidens in the slop there Aug. 31; don't just assume he's some mud freak; yes, he obviously liked it but daddy ran just fine (G1 SW) on dry land and that family line tens to run on anything; love the bullet Sept. 23, particularly as Violette Jr. is his trainer - the norm for him is if he horses go fast in the a.m. they tend to go fast in the p.m., too.
Big Sugar Soda
Looked super romping by 8 1/4 at SAR July 22; that was enough to earn a crack at the G1 Hopeful there Sept. 2; he was a bit slow into stride after a troubled start and never got involved but to his credit he kept to his task well and passed a number of rivals; that shows some versatility, too.
Wired Bryan
First 2 wins were smashing, and then he gave Corfu fits when 2nd, just a nose behind, in the G2 Saratoga Special; pressed a hot pace in the G1 Hopeful in the mud and gave way, but all the speed types in that race ended up hailing a cab into the lane as the fractions on that track were too much to handle; worked nicely since; obviously has plenty of speed and cutting back a furlong to 6fs may be just what the Dr. ordered.

Race 10

Saltine Warrior
Set the pace in latest and figures to race on or near the lead again today; was outfinished at today's distance on Widener Turf hoping the Inner Turf helps carry his speed today; muddy-track workout suggests he wouldn't mind this washed off the weeds either; career-best Beyer 3-back saw the show runner Beyer 70 in his next-out SAR-MSW victory; try to catch me.
King Wando
2nd-time Long can be an improvement angle but he has plenty of room to move forward off latest mud loss; lone turf try was the career debut on today's Inner Turf where he was a non factor sprinting; faded in latest at shorter so will be siding with others here.
Birchwood Road
Takes the blinkers off after Hudson Miracle reversed the 2-back decision on him in last; one race on BEL Inner Turf represents the lowest grass Beyer of his carrer; 0-for-19-fresh trainer wins 5% of the time with grass runners since 2012.
Daddy Dont Preach
Sire is 16-for-108 with 1st-turf starters; 22-for-155 with 1st-time starters; is out of a stakes-winning dam (2-for-5, 106K) who did not race on grass; she produced no winners from 3 other foals to race (0-for-14 combined); 1 foal raced on turf (5-0-2-1, 28K).
Been a new runner in 2013 just missing in last and was nosed on BEL Inner Turf in May behind the winner who scored next out in a BEL-20K claimer with a 67 Beyer; can he get today's distance is the main concern after being nipped at the wire in last; trainer began the meet 0-for-11 but has been all over the money locally so hard to leave out of the exotics.
Cat Man Fu
76 days since fading at shorter on dirt; his last turf start 3 back saw him rally mildly vs. the runner-up finisher who graduated next out in a SAR-MSW race with a 72 Beyer; career-best Beyer on BEL dirt so probably would not mind this moved to a fast-main track to see best form.
No Nukes
Sire is 14-for-221 with 1st-turf starters; dam produced a 6-0-0-1 grass line (4K) producing 1 turf winner from 2 foals to race on grass (1-for-18 turfer Silver Mast 60K); has never raced this far and his 2 other dirt routes were poor; a tough call.
Chang's Secret
Improving-Beyer pattern but off latest 1st-time with blinkers when fading behind this same group is ranked a notch below the top contenders; exits his best workout ever on dirt so perhaps would prosper going shorter on the main track?
Mr. Masterpiece
Defeated 2 runners combined in 3 other grass defeats racing to his 105-1 odds in last when outrun early then retreating rapidly behind similar rivals; best Beyer at today's distance when stalking the pace; might do better at much shorter than this?
Hudson Miracle
Defeated the 7th and 8th-place finishers from last who Beyered 79-65 in next-out BEL-MSW wins; 32%-winning-fresh trainer since 2012 off the favored loss in a key race; wish he fared better in 2012 on BEL Inner Turf; will be flying late.
Emmet Cullen
Sire is 30-for-225 with 1st-turf starters; 38-for-334 with 1st-time starters; is out of an 8-0-0-1 dam (2K) who went 1-0-0-0 on grass producing 3 winners from 4 other foals to race; 2 foals to race on grass are 0-for-3 combined.
Mister Dooley
Is eligible to improve 2nd time back off the 51-day absence; removed blinkers off the bench in last, was hammered at the betting windows down to favortism then hit the gate then rallied too late; was also troubled in the debut; wide draw like last today does not add to the appeal.
Charity Reins
Finished right behind the runner-up and show runners from last who Beyered 75-72 in next-out BEL-MSW wins; career-best speed figure 1st blinkers but has been away awhile for a trainer known to win (33% since 2012) with long absentees.
Native Singer
Main Track Only entry speedster with a new trainer off a co-career-low Beyer and 43-day layoff for this; the show and 6th-place finishers from last Beyered 79-58 in next-out BEL-MSW and 20K-maiden claiming wins; best finish and speed figure going long on BEL dirt; hopes to carry these a long way on the lead.

Race 11

Bashful Bandit
Over 3 clear in last, she is back at the claimed level and should sit a nice trip; sent along but the bug in last, he may be better off settling and making the one run; bothered early in the SAR finale; could easily be enticed into gimmick action here.
Deferred Asset
First time for sale, but this Empire-bred may need own kind to shine; she got a live pace in the lone win but has been ultra dull since; could need even a softer placement to show top talent.
Renzo Bertoni
Proven on the course at this demanding distance, if you figure she just needed the last then you can build a case for a move forward; he does have Tarzan to deal with once again and he can be his own worst enemy since he has limited speed; backers have to hope they go bonkers early and the race falls apart.
Out of Your Mind
One for 35 is a tough number to bet into no matter how you slice it; she was a bit more keen to run last time early but then reality set in; not my kind of play;
Vee's Accolade
She just has lacked the killer instinct; check out the 19 slices; last race came back okay as the place horse took a $16K starter, show horse won a $25K claimer and the winner was 2nd in a $25K seller; with limited speed, things have to break just right.
Denn Piper
Put on the bench after the first start vs. winners and the return leaves much to be desired; he has not been close on grass, and note wraps were added for the return in last; try to get a good look at him before taking a shot.
Freud's Debut
Even after the decent 2nd two back, fans didn't exactly go to the well at 8-1 and they were dead right; gelding can be closer early if in the mood as more experienced pilot hired; expect much better effort.
Call Up the Chief
Woke up at 23-1 for the lone win but has only been in the money once since; key off the May finale and he has a shot here but this guy has not raced them alike; new bug takes reins; hard to see that as the cure all.
Harlan s Holiday 3 for 29 with first-time turf runners; sire won 4 times at 2, banked $3.6 million, never turfed; dam took 2 sprints, never turfed; one sibling did cash on grass; will be in the picture late if at all.
Spirit of Peace
He split the field when off a beat slow in the last sprint attempt; bet like a good thing on the drop in last but after pushing the issue, she just had nothing left; beaten over 10 the last time cutting back; hard to adore today.
Horse Greeley 2 for 21 with first-time turf runners; Grade 2 winning sire won twice at 2, earned over $225K; stakes winning dam was 2nd in best turf moment; 2 siblings won on grass including double grass winner and over $100K earner Console; repeat well within the realm.
Smoke Town
Gelding had dead aim at the top of the lane in last, just could not carry through with the momentum; blinks on here, just like they were for the lone win and note he was protected last time; this is a much better distance for him; very dangerous.
You Tarzan
The last race was his best vs. winners; he could have sulked after the eventful start but this is his distance and connections try to strike while the iron is hot; just may be the bomb in the gimmicks once again.
Meeker Avenue
Might have just been pitched too high in last; he proved he could take the heat of a duel for this price two back and will be a major player if he gets a chance to suit up; look out.
Sky Colors
Like and death for the 5-1 maiden breaker, he has been double digits on the tote since; totally disrespected on the tote last time and this guy is just hard to take off the recent form.