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Updated on 09/15/2011 1:03PM
A CLOSER LOOK at Bay Meadows races for 9/20
At least he's been facing open claimers - most of his foes here have been in against restricted foes; of course, the results haven't been very pretty - it's been a while since this old guy has been competitive, regardless of the level; shaky.
He's a Putt
Recent efforts have been better - at least he's been in the hunt; still, he's yet to beat winners - he's facing horses here with lots of wins over winners; at least has a race over the track this meet; still iffy.
Gone nearly a year, then came back at STK with a strong 2nd; however, he's failed to go on with it; could be $6,250 foes are too much for him, and last time vs. $4k foes he did do better; worth a look.
Here Comes Mr Gold
Old-timer still has some gas in the tank, as evidenced by those good efforts at SR and FER; however at SAC last time ran poorly; maybe it was just one of those days; has 10 career wins so he knows what he's doing, but at his age is it reasonable to expect an effort big enough to handle even these? mixed feelings.
Comes off 2 solid efforts vs. open foes ? the last 2 times he faced restricted foes he won; looks like a real cozy fit here; major player.
You don't win 12 of 48 by accident so you know this guy's scary; of course, his last 3 wins came when he left NoCal and went to BOI; well, he's back and while he's run decently he hasn't been imposing by any means; certainly a player, but there are issues.
Appears on the upswing as the results have been getting better; still, he's only beaten winners once, and that came routing; does have some speed and he's certainly not facing the toughest bunch around; huge threat.
Things haven't been pretty at all of late; last win, in fact, came a year and a half ago, at tiny Rillito in south Arizona; difficult to build much of a case on paper.
Occasionally pops up with a good effort - in fact note a smart try routing here in May for this same tag; that race, however, came off a long layoff - maybe he's best fresh; last pair have been dull; mixed feelings.
Appeared to get things going decently in the winter and spring, but his last few have been a bit dull; still, it's good to see Jerry's main man Russell keep the call; maybe last time the post was too much to overcome; after all, when he ran for this tag here back in April he romped by 5; consider.
Joy to Me and You
Winter/spring form was solid, but he seems to have tailed off of late; at least you know he can handle the trip and he's run well here before; he's also routinely been facing more expensive; the drop could be pivotal here - so long as those last few duds aren't a sign he's lost a step or 2; tricky read.
Knocking on the door; comes here off a big race for this tag at this track at this trip; been pretty reliable of late and last shows he can handle a route - previously he'd done his best stuff sprinting; respect.
Has won plenty of races and finished 2nd plenty of times - his form here in the late spring/early summer was solid, it came vs. more expensive and vs. open foes; so, assuming he's the same horse he's mighty scary on the drop, but his last 3 races haven't been as good, and last time he had his value cut in half; shouldn't he have done better there? tough, tough call.
A rare turf sprint at 4 1/2 furlongs, with none of the pedigrees of the entrants offering many clues; this is the only horse in the field to have won on the grass, and on that angle she'll likely be the favorite; in a race like this, with so many unknown variables, taking a short price is asking for trouble; plus, she'll be looking to come from off the pace while on the inside, and even in a short field she may find traffic; obviously impossible to completely dismiss, given her edge in
experience, but it may be worth trying to beat her on the win end.
Call Me Soon
Scored via a front-end trip in her latest, then went to the sidelines; she closed well in her prior start, proving her versatility; she makes her first start since July but she ran well off a layoff back in February; she was off the board in her only start on the turf to date, and her overall record suggests she's more likely to get a minor check than to win; seems best to use her 'underneath.'
Turns back after showing speed going longer; she was also off the board in her only turf start thus far; her running style seems to be the biggest concern, as she's likely to get caught up in a duel for the lead here, since she doesn't seem able to rate; if that's the case she'll have a tough time shaking off the speeds and holding off the closers.
Has been away since January, but she's been working steadily for her return, and even posted a bullet work in her last move; note that she ran a game race in defeat the last time she came off a layoff, and it was a layoff very similar to this one; the fact the she was eased last time is not encouraging but the barn, which has posted good numbers this year, is entering her at a higher level off the break, and that suggests confidence; could be worth a shot if a square price.
This is a LONG layoff, of over a year and a half; will be making her turf debut here, and while she was in good form before the break, that was quite a long time ago; that layoff, together with the fact that she's untested on this surface make her a tough proposition.
Hasn't been close in 2 career starts and, perhaps more importantly, he hasn't taken any money at all; has not shown any speed in those tries, and he'll break from the rail here, not a particularly good combination; drops in class and has license to improve in his 2nd start but it would have to be drastic improvement.
Ran okay in his debut but he has been off the board in all 3 starts, and his last 2, at Sacramento, aren't all that encouraging; rises in price and, as a stone closer, will be at the mercy of the pace; another unlikely candidate.
Smoke And Ice
High-speed colt has been fading in the lane in his last few, and that's without any pressure on the lead; he'll be a relatively short price here off his figures, his early speed and the drop in class but despite all of that he's still a risky proposition, given his propensity to just stop on the lead; can't completely dismiss him but holders of win tickets may be holding their breath in the lane.
Vista Del Lago
Showed an ability to take back and make one run last time after pushing the pace from the start in his debut; he has license to improve in his 3rd start, and given the lack of strength in this field the rise in price doesn't really mean all that much; big threat to get it done here.
Picks up Baze; faded last time after a short rest off the claim, and this is his first try sprinting; the drop in class is significant, and the fact that he has some zip is a plus, as he may be the one to get first crack at Smoke And Ice, and could inherit the lead if that one stops, as he's been doing; huge chance to win this and looms the one to beat.
Dam was one-for-43 lifetime, and her only other foal to start was winless through at least 14 races before breaking his maiden; this one turned in a nice work for this last Sunday, which could be significant; board may tell the whole story, though.
Only sibling to race, Blushing Sword, won 5 of 42 races and $67k; dam herself won 2 races from 40 starts; works don't give much hint as to her ability, and that's where the tote board comes in; one factor that may work against her is her draw, as the rail can be tough for young or inexperienced runners.
Dam won 3 of 16 races, and $22k; this is her first foal to make the races; works don't really inspire much; tab the tote, but early indications are that she has her work cut out for her.
Naab A Chance
Her 0-for-20 record, right off the bat, makes it tough to consider her on top; she's gone off at some short prices lately, too, despite the record, and she had no excuse against bottom-level maidens here last time; has some speed but others seem more likely, even when considering triples.
May be the key to the race, as she may in fact be the one they have to catch; lost a tough one last time when she dueled from the start, dropped back some, then gradually closed some late; low percentage barn may be saddling the favorite here, and if she can shake loose she has a big chance to finally break through in her 9th career start.
4th in both starts, and she failed to threaten despite inside trips behind the speed; not sure how much pace she'll get in this one, as there's not all that much speed, and she'd have to run better in order to run anyone down late; will try others.
Easily has the best breeding of the 3 firsters in the races; her dam, kin to multiple stakes winner Warfie and $124k earner My Highness, and has produced 4 winners from 6 winners, including stakes winner Season's Flair and the stakes-placed Nickel Defense; she has some decent works, too; very eligible to come out running.
Back to a sprint after a failed attempt at 2-turn racing; her race 2 back, off the claim, was okay, as she did close some ground late; the lack of a clear-cut pacesetter makes it a tough race to plot but if she gets at least honest fractions she can close for a part.
Top runner from the Hardy entry begs the question of what to do with a runner from a barn who failed to win during a hot streak of first-time starters; the longer distance and easier pace situation may be just what he needs; he takes the blinkers off today and has a couple of lengthening works; contender with help from his friend.
Has three starts, two this cycle and the last saw him closer to the early pace when he races with blinkers which are removed today as he stretches out; he also goes turf to dirt for his first start up north where he might find the going somewhat easier; he has worked 6F in the interim and could be competitive with a good trip as he has been the distance.
Thirty Six Reasons
Faced a much easier group in his debut where he managed to close ground and pass runners following a slow beginning; he is probably overmatched in here but he has some form and has indicated a willingness to close ground, which could be enough to get him close if he can run a little better today.
Has been raced twice on the summer fair circuit and the second race was better than the first; he has another breeze but will likely need a forward move to be competitive; should be a factor for a share of it with any kind of improved race against a somewhat slower pace.
Miss Dyna Chris
Is the lone filly to face the males in the race as she returns from a summer layoff and she will be asked to go a lot farther in this one; she has a series of preps geared at having her ready and her pedigree does support the move; have to give her a shot to be competitive ... or is this just a prep for an upcoming filly route race?
Il Est Renard
Chased a fast pace in his opener and did not muster much of a late run; he has come back with a short sharp gate work and a longer stamina affair; may have his work cut out; like others more but he could gain courage if closer early and more comfortable with the pace.
Bottom half of the entry debuts at a favorable distance for an outfit which has great success with debut runners and his pedigree surely supports waiting for the longer distance; he has shared works with his mate and looks as if he should be ready to fire today; he is interesting and should be carefully considered though unlikely to be much of a price.
Is by a moderate turf sire and from a dam who won on grass twice and has sibs who were also turf winners; he should be in good enough shape and if he can run on the turf he should have a decent chance in here.
Dam was placed in her only race on turf; young sire was winless on either surface from two starts; is stepping up and may be up against it though he did win the first time he went long; others look more promising for today.
Dam went winless on turf but has produced three turf winners, one at first asking; sire can get a turf runner and he would seem to be in good shape off the claim, layoff and narrow miss in this same condition; has live connections and would appear to be one of the better turf prospects in a wide-open race with so many trying to do something for the first time.
Is by an okay turf sire and from a dam who tried and failed on grass and has yet to produce a turf winner; came back from a layoff in good order; he is moving to the turf and stretching out and stepping up and trying a new surface; while the race is wide open he still has his work cut out; not impossible and has the speed to trip well perhaps alone on the lead and if he handles the turf he could be difficult to run down.
This Cats a Flying
Has multiple turf experience which gives him an edge on his own; he has run well and come close in similar spots and while his latest in allowance company was not terrific it might be enough to be competitive or even win in here; contender but will be looking for others to try to beat him, unless he is 5-1 or higher where he would be worth the risk.
By a young turf sire he will be the first to turf from the dam; he will also be stepping up and stretching out as he tries the new surface; he has a couple of works since the win but this looks a tough spot not reading him to be a turf move up.
Is by a decent turf sire and will be the first foal from an unraced dam to run; handled the route well at Dmr for a tag and may be up to these if he breaks alertly and gets good position for a decent trip; interesting after a pair of decent works.
Dropped to this claiming price last time, his 2nd race after a short layoff, and he stalked a soft opening first quarter-mile and then finished evenly as the late pace was on the strong side; with little projected speed in this field, he should be laying close from the outset; contender.
Comes off a lengthy vacation and as he was eased in his last appearance, it's likely he's been battling some kind of problem; he drops in class and returns to the track at which he won his maiden; recent workouts have been steady and at increasing distances.
Looks like one of the more prominent pace runners in the field and he turns back in distance from a one-mile race; he led for half that last race but could not maintain his momentum and the shorter distance should be better; threat to go all the way.
Seems to be on a 'good race, bad race' pattern of some kind recently; he ran well at this level 2 starts ago as a longshot but had a poor start in his latest and he was outrun; the 3rd place finisher from that race is back in this field; a prompter start would give him a chance at an exotics placing.
Mi Mister D
Lopsided maiden winner in July made his way to this track recently and switched back to a dirt sprint last time but he lacked speed and trailed; tough to like based on that last effort.
Dropped several class levels recently and broke through for his first win in his latest with a strong rally behind a fast pace; he might not get the same quick fractions to chase as he try winners but he appears to be realistically spotted and the small field gives him a chance to contend for a top three placing.
- Editor's note - The Closer Look feature, which is normally available to drf.com subscribers only, is being offered free of charge until Daily Racing Form can produce its full statistical and editorial product.