09/21/2013 1:12PM

Belmont: DRF Plus handicapping report for September 22, 2013

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Race 1

 

Race 2

Spot Play

CURRENCY UNION (#3, 8-1) disappointed in the slop recently at Sar, but that is a track surface on which many struggle when it is wet; contender if one tosses last. – Byron King

 

Vulnerable Favorite

BELLE GALLENTEY (#4, 5-2) is favoried on the basis of a near miss at Saratoga Aug. 21 when second, beaten a neck; seconds are all too common for her, having been the runner-up 12 times in her 33-race career; meanwhile she has won just 3 races; beatable in the win pool. - Byron King

 

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Race 3

Spot Play

STREET THUG (#5, 4-1) been on the bench since this winter at GP where he was last seen chasing Cross Traffic to no avail; likely third choice going first time for Pletcher is enticing.- Chuck Kuehhas

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Race 4

 

Race 5

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Race 6

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Race 7

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Race 8

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Race 9

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Race 10

Race 10 features two short prices on the morning line, KITTEN KABOODLE (#6, 2/1) who gets a trainer change to Chad Brown and is the horse to beat; and KETEL TWIST (#9, 3/1) who is a good horse to play against. Ketel Twist is okay, but she emerges from a pair of losses upstate, both times to first time starters, without an excuse. Kitten Kaboodle, on the other hand, has viable excuses for each of her races at Saratoga - she raced greenly & was briefly trapped behind horses coming to the stretch of her debut before finishing well; and she was rated after stumbling at the start of her second start, which featured a ridiculously slow pace. She's clearly pretty good, at least, but there are still some questions surrounding her now, after a pair of losses at short prices, so maybe this is a good race to go price shopping.

To me, two horses that finished behind Kitten Kaboodle on August 18th are viable alternatives in this spot. SEEKING HER GLORY (#7, 8/1) went off a long price in that race for Todd Pletcher (who also saddled the wire-to-wire winner of that race) and was rated wide off of that glacial pace before winding up racing on behind horses through the stretch; she can be given a chance to run better here in a more honestly run race, but it is the horse that finished just behind Seeking Her Glory that day that interests me most. JAZIL'S DREAM (#4, 12/1) was taken under a rating hold immediately after the break and just sat last all the way around to the top of the stretch, which left her zero chance to contend considering the flow of that race. All things considered, she raced on very well to the finish, and I don't think she necessarily ran that much worse than a horse like Kitten Kaboodle in that race.

I don't generally like to bet firsters in these races, unless there are no other alternatives, but there are three in here to take a look at, and to keep an eye on for future reference. MEANS WELL (#3, 15/1) goes for solid connections and is out of the dam Great Intentions; Great Intentions was a multiple graded stakes winner sprinting on dirt (all 7 of her career wins came in dirt sprints), but she is a half-sister to the multiple turf stakes winner Sea Road, and her first foal, a full sister to Means Well, is a two-time winner on grass.

TOUCH THE STAR (#5, 15/1) is a Juddmonte Farms homebred from Bill Mott's barn and she is a Tapit half-sister to Etoile Montante who was a Group 1 winner in France before shipping stateside to win multiple graded stakes on turf for Bobby Frankel. Etoile Montante ended her career with a second place finish in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park. Of course, Mott's overall record with first time starters is uninspiring, but it won't be surprising of this horse turns out to be able to run a little.

MEDAGLIA D'ARGENTO (#10, 201/1) makes her debut for George Weaver, and she is the first foal from Maribel, who won multiple stakes over turf in her career, was also multiple graded stakes placed over that surface (her lone graded stakes win came in Keeneland's Valley View, which was scheduled for turf but run over the main track), and earned over $520k.

 

Live Longshot

MEANS WELL (#3, 10-1) full brother to multiple turf winner makes debut for sharp Jersey outfit; barn due for one of these. - Chuck Kuehhas

 

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