07/19/2013 10:23AM

Closer Look: Saratoga July 20, 2013

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Race 1

Mela Dramatically
Late running mare has been in decent form lately but she will need to show up with her best effort to date to prove to be the one in this spot; not that she's entirely out of the question against these, but leaning toward others for the top spot.
 
Bonatini
She's another who likes to do her work from off the pace, and like Mela Dramatically who finished in front of her in her latest outing, she's going to have to step up with a career best run if she's to see her number posted on top.
 
Palace Dreams
She's two-for-two in the quality start department to begin her career and have to respect the potential for better that is behind this filly at the moment; Moseley-homebred made it look easy going seven furlongs in her latest outing and today's 1 1/16m distance appears to be within her range.
 
Absolute Beauty
Big Brown is proving to be a strong influence as a turf sire and this filly didn't run poorly in her only turf attempt behind G3 winner Unbelievable Dream and Roses for Romney; if nothing else, she appears to be well meant while getting a rider switch to Castellano.
 
Moonlit Sonnet
Schettine-homebred goes out for a capable turf barn that can have one ready to fire fresh, and this miss has some quality turf form on her card to consider; she bumped with a rival leaving the gate in her latest outing and she ran on very well after that to finish second; winner from latest won next out at Bel on 6/20 going 1m over turf vs. 35k OPC's with a 78 Beyer.
 
Heart of New York
She exits the same race as today's rival Moonlit Sonnet and this stakes placed missed didn't get away from the gate in smooth order either; she'll appreciate moving closer to the rail for this, especially when considering that posts 9-12 went 0-for-41 going 1 1/16m over the inner turf at the Belmont Park spring meeting.
 
Hlao Roo
She's stakes placed over this turf course and it's interesting to see John V. taking the call for her first start of 2013; winner from latest won next out at Bel on 5/16 going 1m over turf vs. 25k OPC's with an 81 Beyer and runner up won next out at Aqu on 4/21 going 1m over turf vs. starter alw. rivals with a 75 Beyer.
 
Strike Accord
She had every right to need her latest start after a layoff and that race can serve as a useful conditioner for this; if she can find her way back to one of her better performances from 2012, she's eligble to get herself into the mix against these.
 
Eurokay by Me
The 1-for-24 career mark alone is a reason to look in another direction and this filly has been beaten by a number of today's rivals in her recent starts; respect the presence of a strong turf rider in Alvarado, but looking toward others.
 
Flirtatious Spring
She had been doing some nice work over turf prior to taking a step in the wrong direction in her latest outing, but even if she does bounce right back with a sharper try, it does appear that a career best performance will be needed to get the better of this field.
 
John's Mariah
She's yet to run a race that is strong enough to suggest that she might be able to jump up on this field, and she might be better off at distances shorter than today's 1 1/16m assignment; she's eligible to be involved in the running early on, but going to look for others to have more to offer late.
 
Chloe Bear
She's been beaten by a number of today's rivals in her recent races and she's yet another in here who will need to show up with an effort that is much strong than anything she's done to this point in time in order to get the job done.
 
Rennina
She needs to see a scratch from the main body of this race in order to draw in and there isn't anything in her form to suggest that she can produce an effort that makes her competitive against these.
 
Motion Lounge
Stakes placed filly will find herself in a favorable spot if this race has to be moved to the main track, and like to see the blinkers getting scrapped for this; she ran well the last time she was entered after a layoff and that level of performance can play well against these.
 
Physical Delivery
This outfit is having a strong 2013 and like to see that this is the first call for Alvarado as he's won with 8 of 18 (44%) mounts for this barn this year; she'll merit contedner status if this race gets taken off the turf.
 
Swift Taylor
Like the effort she showed up with in her latest outing and the winner from that race returned to win next out at Bel on 7/11 going 1m vs. 35k OPC's with an 85 Beyer; however, she doesn't always show up with that level of performance, so it won't be a shock if she takes a step backward.

Race 2

Kitstrickortreat
Don't know much about the barn and this guy's debut worktab doesn't look to offer many clues; sire gets 11% winners from his first out runners and 9% winners from his runners trying the green for the initial time; dam lost all 7 tries, 6 of which came on the lawn and dropped 3 main track winners; sibs were a combined 0 for 6 on the grass.
 
Acigarisjustacigar
He was given some time off another weak downstate turf sprint in his second career start; he doesn't break particularly well so the inside draw could put him in a tough spot from the bell and he hasn't been working as if he'll have a big move forward in him; have to look elsewhere for the winner.
 
Downgoesfrazier
Just missed behind a subsequent repeater (67 Beyer) when offered for a tag in his first start of the year; gray was given some time off the try and he will get a switch to a top pilot for his local return; field's highest last out Beyer earner looks to again be a big threat while moving back in with statebreds.
 
Asset Inflation
Twice beaten chalk makes his first start on the lawn while returning from the brief break for a outfit that does great work on the surface switch; sire is 1 for 30 with his first turfers and the dam finished off the board in her lone grass try prior to dropping several winners including SP, 8 time turf winner and 269K earner Extra Zip; expecting he'll take to the footing, but he'll likely again take plenty of tote support.
 
Insighting
Ran big sprinting first out at Belmont last fall and will make his initial appearance this year here; backed out of it as the chalk in the troubled second out route try but maybe he just prefers one turn racing and this barn does solid work with its runners off this type of break; with Rosario taking the call have to expect he returns running and proves to be the one to beat.
 
Pete and David
Makes his first start off the claim by an outfit that hits at a nice clip with this type right back; showed some early foot while routing in his surface debut and his lone sib is a 2 time main track sprint winner so maybe the return to one turn racing helps; may be worth a look for exotics inclusion at a long price.
 
Gentle Jim
Brings plenty of lick to the table in his local debut after coughing up midstretch leads in each of his 3 downstate sprint starts; cut back to this trip looks to be to his benefit and there's not a whole bunch of lick to go with him early in this spot; pilot goes elsewhere, but he gets a solid replacement and will have to be run down.
 
Slimshady
Nearly got there from the rail when dropped in price in his Belmont finale; he doesn't have much early foot and maybe the move off the fence and to this draw helps; barn doesn't win very often and this guy has had his chances, but off his last he must be considered.
 
Solengo
First part of the entry wasn't close in his return to the turf at Belmont last time; ran ok from a tough post in his lone local start last summer but it doesn't appear as if he'll be up to stepping with these today; have to pass in his current form.
 
Saguaro Blossom
Gelding has had plenty of chances and his last looks to have been his best yet; he'll switch to a solid journeyman pilot for this and maybe that helps, but from out here he's probably going to have his work cut out for him and he'll still need to improve off that last one to factor.
 
Chang's Secret
Sire gets 4% winners first out and is 3 for 47 with his initial surface starters; 2 of the dam's 3 wins came on the lawn prior to dropping 3 winners from 4 foals to race including G3 SP, 2 time turf winner and 182K earner Mrs. M; worktab is light and the barn hasn't had much recent luck with newcomers.
 
Poppy's Watching
Steps bacl into the statebred ranks after a solid effort as the chalk in his return to the downstate lawn; quick breaker could secure a decent tracking spot going into the turn and he doesn't look to catch a particularly tough bunch today; price will be much better than last time.
 
Winamen
Sire is 2 for 17 right out of the box and 1 for 5 with his first turfers and the dam finished off the board in her lone start on the main track prior to dropping one foal who was winless from 4 starts; second part of the coupling is on the AE list here and will go from a tough draw if she does get to meet the starter; works aren't much.
 
Escape to the Moon
MTO is by a sire who gets 14% winners and the New York statebred SP dam won 5 times (4 sprints) and banked 184K prior to dropping this guy's full brother, Towering Moon, who won first out on dirt with a 90 Beyer; barn doesn't do much right out of the box, but the pedigree says he'll like it wet.

Race 3

Kitten's Queen
Lone win at shorter than this then she was outfinished in last; she projects to press the pace from the inside but stamina is a major issue; 22%-winning jockey-trainer combo adds to the appeal as she chases Silsita to the front.
 
Let Me Entertain U
Only grass race is a career-low Beyer; class relief off the graded-stakes losses; the runner-up finisher from last Beyered 102 in her next-out BEL-G1 Mother Goose win; the 2-back runner-up won next out in the G1 Kentucky Oaks with a 97 speed figure; 41%-winning jockey-trainer combo adds to the appeal but has much to prove on the surface switch.
 
Stick to Your Guns
Last win looks better since the runner-up finisher Beyered 75 in a next-out MTH-35K-claiming win; her maiden breaker was off a 56-day break so she fires well fresh here with 50 days idle; projects to race from midpack then needs the speed to fall apart late.
 
Miss Squeal
Both wins on wet main tracks is doing a rain dance for this to be moved to dirt; saved best Beyer for last at longer when overmatched vs. G3 company; just 1 exacta finish on turf was a runner-up at shorter than this; trainer pops 20% stakes winners since 2012.
 
Lady of Gold
Expecting improvement for a high-percentage trainer with winners 2nd time off the bench; fired a biggie off the bench 1st time on turf but sees the rider of last on the speedy Silsita; the win rider is on Let Me Entertain U; has been working sharply for another big effort.
 
Silsita
Won her career debut at today's distance on turf; projects as the one to catch for a 33%-winning sprint-to-route barn and a 30%-jockey-trainer combo; 1st time back on turf since a February loss vs. the runner-up finisher who Beyered 86 in a next-out GP-Grade 3 stakes win.
 
Win for Kitten
Faded for her 2nd loss in a row when favored; 7% first-off-the-claim trainer does not add to the appeal and was taken from a high-percentage win barn which not a good angle; both wins were when allowed settle early then made one run; she has been stalking too close to the pace in recent starts.
 
Wave Theory
Grade 2-placed in last when edged by the winner who repeated in a BEL-98K stakes with an 87 Beyer; the 2-back winner repeated in a CD-Grade 3 event with a 93 speed figure; the trainer is awesome 32% winners with similar-fresh runners; rider of last sides with Silsita while the win rider is on Lady of Gold.
 
With Sugar On Top
Expected improvement for a high-percentage trainer with winners 2nd time off the bench; main issue is she was outfinished in last and will need to show better stamina to land a share; been a new runner since Lasix was added noting the GP win rider lands on Silsita; the 3-back show runner Beyered 89 in a next-out WO-Grade 3 win.
 
Caroline Thomas
Was on the wrong end of a 3-horse win photo finish in last improving off the 2-back loss when not firing down the lane; her December win on turf vs. winners was accomplished at today's distance vs. the runner-up finisher who Beyered 77 in a next-out KEE alw. win.
 
Broken Spell
Winless since August; stakes-placed in 2012 at today's distance on the SAR Inner Turf which she gets today; is winless in 12 races taking a SAR Mellon Turf MSW graduation at today's distance; mild late punch 2-back racing this far; best Beyer and last exacta finish was on a synthetic surface which she will not get today.
 
Blossom's Trail
Undefeated runner was purchased off a high-win-percentage barn which is often not a good win angle; 7% first-off-the-claim trainer does not add to the appeal; projects to sit just off the speedy Silsita then hopes to get 1st run on the closers; ground-losing trip on tap breaking widest.
 
Flash Forward
Main Track Only entry saved her best Beyer for last when stretched out this far; returns to the January win distance and also shows a win on a sloppy race track which a type of surface which would move her up; 29%-winning jockey-trainer combo is a plus; 3-back winner repeated in an OP-Grade 3 with an 88 Beyer.
 
Skyfall
MTO won both dirt races during career; both wins occurred on wet race tracks; 27%-winning turf-to-dirt trainer since 2012 adds to the appeal; debut winner at shorter than this over the SAR sloppy strip; she showed she can carry her speed this far in a May-BEL score; dangerous pace presence if in.
 
Majestic Marquet
Late runner with a 3-for-5 record since the barn change; MTO posted a career-best Beyer 2-back on a wet track which why last was disappointing when catching another less-than-fast race track but ended up a non factor; 1st SAR start for a super-fresh barn for a 25%-winning jockey-trainer combo.

Race 4

Utopian Wife
Utopia 4 for 98 with debuters, 3 for 47 with first-time turfers; sire took 2 Group 1s in Japan at 2, banked nearly $5 million, lost 8 times on grass; dam won over $300K, but lost 5 times on grass; both siblings won multiple times, one banked nearly $250K, both tried grass to no avail; miss looks fit enough.
 
Hot Rendezvous
Three clear in last, miss has been knocking on the door; note rider 6 for 20 for this barn in the last year or so; should be around the wire once again;
 
Bileaps and Bounds
Disco Rico 10 for 104 with first-time turfers; G3 winning sire won twice at 2, banked over $500K, never turfed; 3 for 39 dam earned almost $170K, won on grass once; both siblings won including stakes placed triple grass winner and over $330K earner Bounding Bi; needs a turn around.
 
Scribbling Sarah
Pace was on the sluggish side last time but at least she was keen to run; 4 for 25 dam earned $50K, won on grass once; all 3 sibs won; two won on grass including Grade 3 placed nearly $100K earner and full bro Deciphering Dreams; shorter trip should help.
 
Silent No More
Mirror races and neither was pretty; 5 for 21 dam earned over $50K, never turfed; lone sibling to race was out of the money twice; can't endorse.
 
Sarah's Wild Girl
See Ivana Pucker for sire stats; dam's lone win was on dirt, and she was third in best turf result; several multiple race winners in the tree; the one that tried grass was 2nd in best turf moment; may need softer to shine.
 
Amber Morning
Pure Prize about 11% with debuters in a 355-runner sample, about 11% with first-time turfers in a 219-runner sampl; sire won at 2, took a G2, banked $425K, never turfed; 2 for 9 dam earned nearly $90K, was turf only; both siblings won multiple times, one was 0 for 9 on grass with a second; pretty nice move on the 4th.
 
Therapy
Miss can flash sub :22 speed when in the mood; must be left in the exotic picture but she is due to punch it on in; can't be counted out.
 
Echluath
Passed a few tired ones from the marooned slot; 2 for 14 dam was 2nd in best turf moment; the 2 siblings to race are a combined 0 for 8; looms a late threat if at all.
 
Courageous Karen
Backers got a nice little thrill at 77-1; the 2nd and 4th finishers 6/16 graduated next out and the winner repeated in a $15K claimer; no help from lone sibling that lost twice on grass; could at least muddle the pace.
 
Rosalie's Pleasure
Homebred showed ability last year and the place horse in the 2012 closer graduated in an $80K state-bred stakes, then lost next several; Esler is from a racing family and worked with James Cassidy and the Dollase family on this circuit; 3 for 18 dam won on grass first time she tasted the stuff; several grass winners in the tree including near $100K earner Laurens Go Go; shades and Castellano.
 
Ivana Pucker
Stonesider 0 for 21 with first-time turfers, 3 for 45 with firsters; sire won only start in his juvenile dirt debut in a MSW at Belmont with a 81 Beyer cashing by a head; 2 for 22 dam never turfed; lone half bro to race won once, a dirt route; note gap in published moves till 6/20.
 
Pie's First Lady
She has fired every time and is due to hit paydirt; place horse in the 2012 closer took a state-bred MSW with a 58 Beyer, then ran out of the money; at least one sibling cashed once on grass; respect.
 
Hot Stones
Out to make amends for flop as chalk; like fact that this gal and the show horse were both 4 clear; dam was unraced; lone half sister took one sprint; major threat if she rolls.

Race 5

Wishingonadream
Steps back into the statebred ranks for his second start of the year after backing out of it from a wide spot against conditioned claimers; local winner earned a competitive number here last summer but he'll need to be more alert from the bell in this big field to have a shot at getting in the exotics mix today.
 
Toy Cannon
Late runner draws inside for his first local spin off a handful of solid downstate efforts at this trip; he has ability and offers a nice kick in the lane, but he's been beaten in each of his last 2 by a runner who returns again in this spot; there's not a lot of speed signed on for this one so he's going to need to find some racing luck from a tough starting spot in this big field, but if he does break free he can have a big say in the outcome.
 
Powerful Instinct
Makes his first start for a barn that does a nice job with its newly acquired runners; 4 year old also prefers to make a run from well out of it and he's not going to get a lot of help up top today; wasn't beaten much in his initial course try but his subsequent effort was weak; have to side with others on the win end.
 
Noosh's Tale
Field's highest last out Beyer earner just missed getting there in each of his last 2 downstate cracks at this level; pace didn't have an impact on his run behind that subsequent repeater 2 starts back and he did work quickly for this last week; looks to be the one to fear in the lane.
 
Mr Cowboy
Returns to the scene of his maiden score after being beaten just a couple of lengths on the Belmont lawn a couple of weeks back; maybe the move to this venue helps perk him up some for a solid turf outfit at what figures to be a nice price.
 
Sir Leslie
Recent graduate tries winners for the first time after getting his neck down for the maiden score last month; maybe that was the confidence builder he needed and he'll be able to move forward here, but he'll have to improve several lengths to contend.
 
Why Not Whiskey
Beaten chalk gets an extra half panel here after again running out of ground at the level at Belmont; pilot opts elsewhere but he gets a solid replacement and he's been stabled up here for a while now so maybe he's be set to deliver an effort over the course similar to what he ran here last summer.
 
Knock Quietly
It took this guy 32 tries to break his maiden and neither of his 2 subsequent spins with winners was much; gelding has hit the board a few times over the local sod, but don't think the return to this venue will move him up enough to threaten here; passing.
 
Tycoon Cat
Brings some speed to the table in a heat that is sorely lacking that commodity; barn led the trainer standings at the recently concluded Belmont meeting, but they haven't done their best work with runners switching surfaces and though he's run ok on the green downstate, this guy hasn't had much of an impact on the local sod; still, his early foot must be respected.
 
Captain Gaughen
Gray has certainly stepped things up since returning for his sophomore season and he'll get back in with older today after rallying from well out of it to get second money in the last out 3 year old stake; barn boasts sharp numbers on the stretchout and though he won't get a lot of lick in front of him, this guy should be rolling once he finds a seam.
 
Poliziotto
Lightly raced 5 year old makes his first start since the fall when beaten as the chalk over a heavy Aqueduct turf course; he should benefit from the return to the scene of his maiden score for an outfit that excels with its runners first off the break; outside draw would normally raise concerns, but with a long run to the first turn and little speed in here Castellano may be able to minimize the ground loss; giving him the nod to return running and beat these home.
 
Read the Proposal
He's yet to run back to the open lengths debut slop score he posted here last summer and now he'll give the lawn a shot; he's one of just a couple of runners in here with any early foot at all so maybe that helps him overcome the draw and the barn is profitable on the surface switch; sire gets 9% first surface winners from his offspring and he's the first foal to race out of a dam who was 0 for 1 on the green.
 
Nelson Avenue
AE has hit the board in each of his local sod spins, including his maiden score; gelding will start from a tough draw if he does get to go and his form this season leaves a lot to be desired.
 
Ultimate Empire
MTO took a while to get though the maiden ranks but he did earn that initial score in style over a wet track 2 starts back; his first try at the level was pretty good and he did prove during the winter that he's capable of getting 2 turns; contender if the rains come.
 
Piscesbymoonlight
MTO moved forward a bit in his second start of the year, but he hasn't been nearly as good as he was earlier in his career since moved to this outfit to begin last season; he did have trouble 2 back over a wet track and he was pushed through a solid clip before fading in his last local spin; have to dig a bit with him, but the maiden score did come over a wet track and that's the likely conditioned he gets if he meets the starter in here.
 
Jade Run
MTO looks to return to the dirt in this spot after offering little first time on the Belmont sod; gelding was defeated handily by some of these in his initial start with winners and there's not a lot to suggest he'll go a whole bunch better this time; prefer others.

Race 6

Power World
Exits a new career-best Beyer speed figure and gets the Night Maneuver rematch at 1F longer but goes to SAR where he is winless; best SAR finish was on a fast oval; blinkers have produced better Beyers despite troubled trips; have him ranked a notch below the top players.
 
Romancing the Gold
Has not raced this short of a distance since October, 2011, in his 2nd-career start an 11th-place PRX-MSW finish at 6F; 1st race off the claim produced a new Beyer speed figure Top but still finished 3rd of 4; December win rider pilots Night Maneuver here.
 
Integrity
Going to to be tough to beat if runs back back to last a muddy victory winning a key race defeating the runner-up and 6th-place finishers who Beyered 90-87 in next-out BEL alw. and $17,500-claiming wins; won his debut on a fast oval and figures to be a major presence from bell to finish in this paceless event.
 
Hannibal Lecter
Night Maneuver gets his win rider off latest mud win over the runner-up finisher who Beyered 80 in a next-out BEL-optional claiming win; beat the 2-back runner-up who posted a 93 speed figure in his next-out BEL-optional claiming win; 1-for-1 on SAR dirt capturing the career debut August, 2011, in a 5.5F dirt event in a 100K-maiden claimer.
 
Blind Hope
Game-upset win at 6F last summer over the SAR main track; exits his best Beyer since the career-best number in October at BEL a surface he loves; last looks better since the runner-up finisher Beyered 104 in his next-out BEL-100K stakes win; high-percentage fresh barn and jockey-trainer combo adds to the appeal.
 
Cozzetti
Has not raced this short of a distance since September, 2011, a BEL-7F MSW 5th-place in the career debut; looked like 7F would be right up his alley in latest fade at longer when pressing the pace; both wins were from stalking trips on wet turf and wet dirt.
 
Willyconker (IRE)
Has never raced on the main track but was apparently claimed for this; been best since 2012 at 1 Mile on turf; has worked nicely on SAR dirt for this; 20-1 morning-line odds July 19 SAR in the James Marvin at 7F on dirt a G3 event with a 100K purse.
 
Night Maneuver
7%-winning 1st-off-the-claim trainer since 2012 does not add to the appeal; will be tough to beat if fires back to last a new Beyer Top when game to the wire; win rider seemingly had other options but stays right here off the purchase; the 2-back winner repeated in a BEL-optional claimer with a 97 Beyer.
 
Uncle T Seven
Mixed reviews in his 2 races off the 3-back claim when defeated by the winner who repeated with an 83 Beyer in an optional claimer then made it 3 in a row with an 84; beat the 2-back runner-up and show finishers who Beyered 83-80 in next-out FL alw. wins; stamina issues as he lacked the finishing kick at shorter than this in a NY-bred stakes last summer at SAR.
 
Leave of Absence
Consistent sort has not run a bad race in 2013 yet; huge post change after the rail draw in last; 1st time for Napravnik to ride winning 1-of-3 for the trainer since 2012; attempted SAR dirt last summer a show finish behind the runner-up finisher who Beyered 94 in his next-out SAR-optional claiming win.

Race 7

Googleado (ARG)
The one to catch for a 9%-trainer 1st-time out with newly-acquired runners; owns strong gate speed but must outbreak Titletown Five and Ithastobegeorge to make the front here; away since tiring to the winner at shorter who repeated in a CD-optional claimer with an 89 Beyer speed figure; the 3-back runner-up finisher won next out in a CD alw. with an 82 Beyer.
 
Tenango
Massive class relief off the stakes losses just missing 2-back with a career-best Beyer at today's distance adds to the appeal; 32%-winning fresh trainer with the lone concern being whether he handles SAR dirt today or not; saves ground stalking behind a good pace then should be tough to hold off late.
 
Coin Flip
Just 2 career starts so still has plenty of upside; favored with winners then was troubled during the running; new rider yields 22% winners for the trainer since 2012; figures to sit off the inside speed then hopes to work out a clean trip and grind out the win; have mixed reviews from the SAR worktab for this.
 
Titletown Five
1 SAR fast-main track start was a neck loss vs. the winner who repeated in an AQU Grade 2 with an 87 Beyer then made it 3 in a row in a BHP-Grade 1 with a 92 speed figure; last-place finish in the Preakness but when on his best game flashes good gate speed; expect to see him break better for this; grass debut showed an improved effort but his best game was on the lead at 7F on CD dirt.
 
Wall Dance
Late runner needs a hot pace to rally into here; 1-for-12 record and winless on dirt are the big issues; the runner-up finisher from last Beyered 81 taking a BHP alw. event next out; he beat the 6th-place finisher a 95 Beyer next-out BHP alw. victor.
 
Strike One
Just missed vs. the winner from last who repeated in a CRC Grade 3 stakes with a 90 Beyer; beat the 4th and 8th-place finishers fron last 84-65 Beyer next-out CD-40K and IND-25K-claiming winners; working well for this and lone issue is whether he handles SAR.
 
New Line
The runner-up finisher from last Beyered 91 in his next-out 107K- stakes win; beat the 3-back runner-up finisher who Beyered 79 in a next-out PIM-MSW win on his way to 3 in a row with 80-76 Beyers in PRX starter alw. and PIM alw. wins; career debut on a wet SAR oval when defeated by the show runner who Beyered 78 in a next-out SAR-MSW win.
 
Indy's Illusion
Cuts back to his shortest-distance test since the SAR runner-up-maiden finish last summer; took on the Kentucky Derby winner Orb twice in 3 losses in 2013 but showed up with his best Beyer 2-back and seemed to get better with blinkers added; lone win in the mud and his SAR race was also on a wet-race track which would move him up.
 
Sayler's Creek
New blinkers and barn for this off 2 races vs. winners produced 2 last-place finishes; the runner-up from last Beyered 97 in his next-out AQU-G3 stakes win; was easily handled by Indy's Illusion chasing Orb the Derby winner 2-back; lone win and best Beyer at longer; hopes the new blinkers keeps him closer to the pace.
 
Dawly
Winless since the career-best Beyer August, 2011, when claimed but was taken back by that barn since then; that victory was right here at SAR and at today's 7F distance; exits his lowest Beyer since the re-claim; the 2-back winner repeated in a BEL-147K stakes with a 105 Beyer; beat the show runner 2-back who Beyered 103 in a next-out BEL-optional claiming win.
 
Ithastobegeorge
The 1st start vs. winners is often any runner's toughest assignment as he gets a major class test taken from a maiden claimer and facing runners who leave graded-stakes company; SAR debut was over a wet track and produced a career-low Beyer; the 2-back winner and runner-up finishers Beyered 96-89 in next-out AQU-71K stakes and MSW wins.

Race 7

Joe Mooch
Showed atypical early speed when graduating last month, a vast improvement; latest half-mile breeze was an upgrade as well; lost significant ground when trying today's tricky distance at Belmont; worth some follow-up today if rail path has proven favorable.
 
Kid Blast
Races outside of the Big A for the first time but has been training very well and the new equipment can help him focus; appears destined for a major pace battle today if all runners go and may have no choice but to revert to rating tactics; difficult call.
 
Cay to Pomeroy
Ignore the last effort where he was likely compromised by the rail slot which could have contributed to the stumbling beginning; he was a determined second in the previous run and has important prior experience over this course; the selection.
 
Even Got Quiet
Considering the year-long layoff, that was a commendable performance at Belmont recently; he should have gained much conditioning from that try and will be helped today by the strong likelihood of a prolonged speed duel; can be a major stretch factor.
 
Do I Amuse You
Has no known rating gear, a definite problem considering the pace nature of this field; also spots valuable experience at this precise distance; does have a strong rider in the irons though and the latest half-mile breeze was sharp; will offer good betting value.
 
Luxury Appeal
One of the main speeds today controlled the issue throughout last month when defeating lesser; he began his career over this soil and turned in an excellent placing when doing so; would move up his chances if there are late scratches among the others with early foot.
 
Sandy'z Slew
He fought alongside Cay to Pomeroy last month but faded in the last furlong (the muddy surface could have been the primary reason); got away unchallenged in his only score and that will not be the case today; on the plus side: he reverts to the handling of original pilot Velazquez who may gear him back a bit off the leaders today.
 
Soul House
Raced evenly in the Mike Lee, a very quick affair, and now faces more commonplace statebreds; the previous run was encouraging also, a race which featured a superior pace; picks up the red-hot Castellano who will likely reserve him for one middle move; exacta recommendation.
 
Comandante
Turns back from his first route attempt where he lost all chance at the break; turned in 2 sharp performances here last sumer while a maiden and that experience should help his cause; an off-track of any kind would likely work in his favor.
 
Charlie's Punch
Exits the same affair as the previous runner but he was forced to race wide in that event; the trainer has a fine record with turnback types such as this and the gelding can be in the mix today especially if there is a serious pace meltdown.
 
Crackerjack Jones
Lightly-raced runner survived pressure in his maiden score at this distance and turned in an excellent training track breeze thereafter; despite the relative inexperience, he may be able to withstand early challenges and hold on for a major share; respect.
 
Alcolite
Best efforts have been in routes so this appears a tune-up for such an outing in the near future; must overcome a dismal post and although the latest a.m. move was fair, it is unlikely he can run down the pacesetting crew here; watch for him on the stretchout.
 
Captain Davrick
He got away with pace murder last month when unchallenged and while setting a soft half-mile fraction; prior try at Churchill was actually more impressive, in defeat, when narrowly losing to a repeat winner; this one is a puzzling item under top-notch rider.

Race 8

Bellamy Chief
Barn isn't known for its work right out of the box and the rail is a tough place to begin at this trip, but a top pilot is lured; sire gets 10% first out winners from his offspring and the dam's lone win came sprinting in her debut prior to dropping prior to dropping 3 foals who were each sprint winners.
 
Miraculousmo
Shipper ran into a couple of next out winners over a wet surface in his Churchill debut and ran ok from a wide spot; he's been working quite well of late for his return from the break and he appears to be quick enough to secure position from this inside slot; dam's 2 other foals to race are both multiple winners; consider.
 
Apex
Had the misfortune of running into a couple of good ones including the eventual G1 Belmont Stakes winner in his 2 placings here last summer; hit the bench again after failing to take to the route over synthetic footing in Kentucky, but he should appreciate the return to both one turn and a conventional dirt surface for a barn that fires with its fresh runners; contender.
 
Del Mar Sunset
West coast shipper returns from 3 months on the shelf to make his first start for a barn that does well with this type; colt ran big at the trip first out in California and he's been working like he's ready to return running while getting back to a one turn trip today; one to beat in his local debut.
 
Celebrated Talent
Gets Lasix for the initial time after offering little late and finishing behind one of these in his first stateside start off 8 months on the shelf; maybe he's better with the effort behind him for a barn that boasts some recent luck with its runners second off the break; dam was a restricted SW over this track a few years back.
 
Panama Will
Moved forward over a dry strip second out in Kentucky last month and returned to breeze a sharp half mile since; his lone sib was a 7 time winner so wouldn't be surprised to see him keep improving and his speed should help keep him close early on the slight stretchout; can get in the mix for a share.
 
Charlie's Picnic
Ran into an impressive debut winner while making his second career start at Belmont and held well for second money; pilot opts to go with the rail drawn newcomer in here, but he'll get a switch to another top rider who found himself in the winner's circle a handful of times on the Del Mar Opening Day card earlier in the week; last week's bullet move suggests this 300K auction buy is set to prove himself a dangerous foe today.
 
Tony D
Hood goes on for the cut back after a weak effort first off this outfit's claim on Belmont Day behind the subsequent G2 Dwyer winner who earned a 100 Beyer in that one; he's kin to a handful of winners including 2 time G1 SW router and 731K earner Composure; yet to try a dry strip, but off what he's shown thus far it's tough to make a serious case for him winning this.
 
Deadicated Deal
Ran ok first out but hasn't done much in either of his 2 subsequent starts and the gelding will get another new pilot for this one; he's kin to 5 winners including local G1 SP, G2 SW and 319K earner Star Dabbler; has some improving to do in order to threaten in this spot.
 
Catholic Cowboy
Addition of the hood didn't do much to help him when beaten chalk in Jersey and now he'll return to this circuit; lone solid effort came against claimers downstate and he'd need to move forward several lengths off that one to have a serious say today; passing.
 
Scam
Sire gets 11% first out winners from his offspring and the dam was a 2 time G1 SW router who banked 654K and took her downstate sprint debut; neither of his sibs to race was a winner and the fact they choose to debut him at this trip suggests he may not have much early foot; bred to be a good one but we'll likely see better from him at longer trips.
 
Street Prince
He was run down by a pretty good one (who has since become a G2 SW sprinter and triple digit Beyer earner) in his debut last fall but didn't have much to say after encountering trouble from the fence in his return to the races a couple of weeks ago; draw is no bargain, but maybe the move outside helps him sit a clean trip; at a price he's worth a good look.
 
Malibu Master
Newcomers starts from the extreme outside slot for a barn that's one just once of late with its newcomers, but remains quite profitable in the category; sire gets 14% first out winners from his runners and the dam lost her lone start prior to dropping 2 winners from 3 foals to race including multiple SW and 149K earner Lecturing Lynn; a top pilot is enticed but the draw won't make it easy on this guy.

Race 9

Royal Lahaina
Superstars like Lady's Secret, Life's Magic, Personal Ensign and Inside Information have won this race over the decades; the feeling is this gal can get the trip as she was getting to the winner in her first 9-furlong attempt; hung wide two back and that is a concern since it was her first Graded try; reformed claimer was taken for $50K earner in her career; may need softer to shine.
 
Flashy American
Miss is coming to the race at the top of her game; Rosario back in town after winning some races opening day at Del Mar on Wednesday; like the way she has extended late in her last two wins; but she gets the acid test here in her first Graded try; not sure she was beating anybody June 6 as the place horse that day returned to run out of the money in a G3.
 
Eblouissante
No mistakes so far; mare proved she can handle the conventional dirt in last and she did it in a professional manner; how high are the expectations for this gal?; try sky high; kin Balance took a Grade 1 and banked over a million and legendary sibling Zenyatta won 19 of 20, took a ton of G1s, banked over $7.3 million; show horse in last took a $32K claimer, 5th finisher took a $40K optional and the 4th finisher was 2nd a head in an N1X; look out.
 
Moon Philly
Did that freak job on Feb. 23 just knock the starch out of her?; could be; she had to take the time off and has been giving up ground late since; handled easily by the Brown student two back and that is a hard racing line to miss; her best asset may be her tactical speed but she has some things to work on here.
 
Sea Island
Far from disgraced in the G1 to close out 2012; miss may have disliked the sealed sloppy strip in last; show horse in the 2013 opener cashed next out in a $62K stakes, then won a $200K Delaware stakes with a 77 Beyer; she has the three races to draw from now and Shug knows what she needs, he trained full bro Sightseeing, who took Peter Pan and earned over $500K; rates upset glance.
 
Summer Applause
She stalked to no avail two back but made up for it in spades with an ideal 2-hole trip in last; place horse 4/12 returned to upset in the G1 Phipps with a 104 Beyer; lone try at this trip was in the big field in the Oaks when she was still getting to the winner; love the spacing of the comeback drills, should sit a nice stalk and pounce trip; major threat.
 
Authenticity
Pletcher looking for that deja vu feeling as his charge Awesome Maria was coming off a winning 102 Beyer taking a Grade 2 before getting up by a head in this race with a 93 figure; she held much better in last than the other speed; the leader in last was the chalk and faded to 5th; note show horse in last was clear for fun; the key for her will be to slow down and live; pace was extremely live in last and she just could not hold; more moderate splits could equate to a trip to the winner's circle.

Race 10

My Happy Face
Avg. winning Beyer is over 97; filly came back from a lengthy layoff (5 months) firing, pressing the pace, taking over and drawing clear to win the Lotka in the mud at BEL; Beyer was 90, a career best, and she's certainly eligible to vault forward; distance is a new test but hey, grandsire and damsire were both G1 SWs going even longer so the pedigree supports her; that being said, she's facing a couple Pletcher beasts here.
 
Cue the Moon
Gave My Happy Face fits in the G3 Tempted at AQU last fall; comes off a decent 4th in the G1 Acorn and considering the 3 top-class gals who beat her that day it wasn't a bad run at all; only try at this trip saw her run 3rd, but she was beaten a city block when Dreaming of Julia freaked; high Beyer of 85 means she has some work to do but Bond adds blinkers and she's been working terrifically over this track; and often the division gets a scary new shooter at this meet; could she be one?
 
Unlimited Budget
3rd in the Ky. Oaks was excellent as she stalked the pace and stayed on very, very nicely; there were a bunch of talented girls behind her that day; top Beyer of 98 shows she's got the oomph; you can forgive that G1 Belmont try as she was facing boys and 1 1/2 miles and that was probably biting off a bit too much; back in her element here and every reason to be scary, scary, scary.
 
Princess of Sylmar
Was the forgotten Pletcher in the G1 Ky. Oaks, hence the 38-1 odds but she'd run some real nice races prior; she just got lost in the shuffle but she really showed 'em when she powered home to be one of the strongest Oaks fields we've seen; that win certainly shows she's got the oomph to win this; freshened since and while it's first time here she's run big on PEN dirt, AQU inner dirt, AQU main dirt and CD dirt, so odds are she'll handle this place.
 
Marathon Lady
3rd to top-class Close Hatches inthe G1 Mother Goose at BEL last month, though she wasn't really a threat (beaten 7 3/4 lengths); wasn't far behind much ballyhooed Dreaming of Julia, though (1/2 length) so she's got quality; note, too, she nearly beat talented Fiftyshadesofhay when 2nd to her by a neck in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan at this trip at PIM 2 months ago; all that being said, she still has just the maiden win to her credit but she's got some class and talent and a couple 92 Beyers show she's got the oomph to be a player here, particularly if she's ready to move forward.

 

Steve Sabella More than 1 year ago
c;mon bet the speed race 10 go home with a happy face