09/21/2013 11:34AM

Closer Looks: Belmont September 22, 2013


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Race 2

With Diamonds
Respect this hot claim-box item; both Jacobsons here have speed but would figure this gal to be in more of a stalking mode; Cohen has had good success for this barn; respect.
So Blessed
Proven locally, she flashed career speed in last and got a boost when the winner of last repeated in a $25K optional last Wednesday with an 82 Beyer; miss proved in the local win she can pass horses too; legit threat for all the money.
Currency Union
One of 2 in the field offered for sale today; don't be too harsh about last as she could not stand up in the off going; best when sent along, miss was caught 4 wide in last too; expect much better result.
Belle Gallantey
Off the best Beyer of the year in last, note show horse was 4 clear; the 7/3 winner took a state-bred $50K stakes next out with a 77 Beyer; there seems to be enough speed here to help the cause; repeat of last makes her a tough cookie.
The miler last time could have helped the stamina; note she was fully extended in the lone win and now has to go a sixteenth farther; bothered early in the shore finale; contention goes deep.
Original Kitten
Involved in a racing rarity last time as the winners were in a heater too; miss has a nice turn of late foot and at least she kept her legs moving with the drill on Thursday; if you figure she just needed her last, you can make a valid case for a move forward.

Race 3

Indy's Illusion
Now 0-for-5 since blinkers were added; his lone win was on a BEL-muddy oval; the 3-back winner repeated to make it 5 in a row capturing the Kentucky Derby with a 104 Beyer speed figure; not much at SAR and figures to be doing the rain dance for this; best trip would be stalking saving ground from the rail draw.
Cool Under Fire
Was entered as a Main Track Only entry for a 10K-higher price tag at 1M and an eighth Saturday in BEL's 7th; 1st start on BEL dirt in last did not produce the desired results stretching out for this after losing ground from the quarter pole to finish of last.
Ghost Hunter
Trying to shake up the form here off the career-low Beyer and last-place finish on turf; both dirt starts were solid like 4-back when edged by the runner-up who Beyered 90 in his next-out PIM alw. win then repeated in a CD-G3 stakes with a 92; blinkers on is just a 10% win angle from the trainer since 2012; the 3-back show runner Beyered 87 in his next-out 153K WO stakes win then 2 starter later captured a SAR-G3 with a 95; his lone win was posted at 3F shorter than this.
Long River
High-perentage long-layoff trainer since 2012 adds to the appeal; the winner from last repeated in an FG-Grade 2 with a 93 Beyer; the 2-back winner repeated in an AQU-G3 with a 93; last BEL dirt start nearly 1 year ago represents a field-best Beyer; is working like he is ready to fire a big one.
Street Thug
Good-gate speed racing 1st at the 1st call in 3 of last 4 starts; trainer Pletcher wins 27% with runners 1st time in the barn; have to go back to May, 2012, to see his career-best Beyer on BEL dirt; has never raced this far while the worktab for this has been steady but not spectacular; try to catch me.
Dan and Sheila
Winless drought with his last victory coming 13 races ago August, 2012, in a 35K-claimer in a SAR-7F event; he just hasn't fired best form off the claim showing no gate speed in each of the 4 losses; the 0-for-11 sprint-to-route trainer since 2012 does not add to the appeal.
All That
Looked like a new runner in last when racing 1st time at SAR crushing maidens after stalking the speed; figures to set up just outside of Street Thug in the early stages; the 2-back runner-up finisher Beyered 83 in his next-out DMR-MSW victory; gets the massive-class test facing winners for the 1st time; his worktab for this does stand out.

Race 5

Street Prince
Tries the green for the initial time after chasing a moderate clip and fading in his return from the freshening last week; barn doesn't do much second back from the break or with its runners switching surfaces; sire does get 15% first turf winners, but neither the SW dam nor her other foal to race tried the footing.
Enough Already
Earned a decent number from a wide spot in the upstate debut sprint and now he'll stretchout some; barn doesn't do so well second off the break and don't know that he'll get much pace in front of him today, but he has a right to improve with the initial effort behind him.
General Pico
Hood goes on for his turf debut while making his first start in 2 1/2 months here; he was no match for an ill fated runaway winner on the main track here off the break but that guy came back to run huge in a G1 upstate last month; none of the dam's other foals to race tried the footing, but the sire gets about 10% first time surface winners from his offspring and the barn is profitable on the move to the infield.
Our Emerald Forest (IRE)
Just missed in 3 straight on the green and wasn't very well supported at the windows in any of those heats; expecting he'll be tighter with the Spa try behind him and he should have a little more to offer late on the turn back today; looks as if they'll have him to beat.
New hood brought out some speed in him on the main track but he didn't have enough to factor late on the turn back in that one; sire was a Breeders Cup Turf Mile winner so maybe he deserves another shot over the footing, but he didn't do much in his intiial grass spin and there's not much surface pedigree on the dam's side.
Mad Props
Barn has won just once on the year and doesn't boast any recent success with newcomers; sire gets 9% overall first out winners and just 3% first surface winners from his offspring; limited sprint winning dam never tried the green prior to droppig 2 winless foals who were a combined 0 for 8 over the stuff.
Able Baker Charlie
He's had plenty of chances but his last on the Spa lawn was his best yet from a figure standpoint; colt certainly seems to like the green and he'll get some added ground here, but there doesn't look to be a lot of pace this time and he doesn't get off to very alert beginnings; one to fear in the lane.
Charlie's Picnic
He was more alert early in the new shades last time but didn't have enough to go on late and now they'll move him to the lawn; sire gets about 11% first surface winners from his offspring, but the dam was winless from 3 grass tries and her foals were a combined 0 for 7 over the footing; nice to see a top pilot interested in getting back aboard for a barn that's going well here, however.
Cowboy Prince
Steps back up to the MSW ranks and lures Castellano after getting run down in his Saratoga finale last month; outside draw colt showed good speed first time over this course in the spring and though he subsequently did little over it, he looks to encounter a rather paceless bunch this time; a hustling ride could help him clear these but he's also shown he can rate and still fire if need be; think they'll have to come and get him in the lane to win.
In the Dark
MTO didn't have much to offer in his first start of the year upstate but he has returned to work pretty well locally for this; he ran into some pretty good ones in his 2 starts on this circuit as a juvenile and doesn't face anywhere near that quality in this spot; pedigree says he'll handle the wet so he must be considered a big threat if the rains come.

Race 6

The Giant's Beauty
The long layoff alone is a reason to look in another direction, and it's not like this filly displayed form that measures up to the top contenders in here prior to the extended vacation; she has the look of an outsider.
Left Uppercut
She has a solid turf pedigree and she's been known to outrun her odds from time to time, but she's going to need a career best effort to get over on the top contenders in this spot; she's eligible to be involved in the running early on, but going to look for others to have more to offer through the stretch.
Life's a Stage
She's another with plenty of turf in her pedigree, but she's also had her chances to show us what she can do from six turf starts; she's going to need to dial up a sharper performance if she's to prove to be the one in this spot.
As Well
This filly has run well in three consecutive starts since being returned from a layoff, and although beaten as a favorite in her latest outing, she didn't have an ideal trip while being fanned wide in the midst of a rally entering the stretch; Castellano has won with 5 of 14 (36%) mounts for this barn in 2013, including 2-for-3 at the current meeting.
Field Star
She looks like another in here who is going to need to find a way to show up with a performance that is much stronger than anything she's done to this point in time in order to contend; runner up from latest won next out at Aqu on 1/31 going 6f vs. 12.5k MCL's with a 46 Beyer.
She's been beaten by a number of today's rivals in her first five starts, and although a minor award might be within her grasp, it's difficult to give her a favorable push for the top spot against these.
Today Not Tommorow
Sire wins with approximately 5% of his first-time starters and with approximately 9% of his turf starters, and dam won 4 of 45 starts for 68k, including 0-for-2 over turf; this might prove to be a tough spot for this filly to make her career debut.
Quiet Kiss
She appears to be heading in the right direction entering this race, but Ortiz really gave her a nice ride from off the pace last time, and it's difficult to give her the nod over a couple of other horses exiting that same race.
She has to step up with an improved performance to get the job done, but she has a little bit of appeal while making her first start since July and her first start wearing blinkers; note that she ran well after a layoff in April.
Stock Fund
Looks like Castellano might have opted for another in here, and it's tough to back her for the top spot with any confidence when seeing that she's 0-for-21 with 10 runner-up finishes; she's a good fit at this level of competition, but it's certainly fair to question her desire to win races.
Amber Morning
She ran well at second asking while making her first route attempt and she chased a gate-to-finish winner who has since returned to finish 2nd against N1X alw. company going 7f over the Bel turf with a 76 Beyer; her dam won 2 of 5 turf starts for 74k; looks like the stronger of the two Serpe-trained horses in here.
Like the idea of her getting back over turf after staying in an off-the-turf event in her latest start, and if she can regain some of her better form from earlier in the year, she can have a say in the outcome; prefer this one of the two Bush-trained horses in here.
You So Smart
Her form has improved with a move to turf, but she enters this race off of a dull performance, and she's going to need to improve over her previoius best to get the better of the top contenders in here.
Chow Fun
Late running type might have to worry about a slow early pace developing if she draws into this race, but she's shown enough in her turf route attempts to merit some consideration against these.
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his turf starters and dam won once from four starts for 26k, and she didn't make a turf start; she has some quality to her pedigree but it is a dirt leaning pedigree; keep her in mind if this race has to be taken off the turf.
Sky Lassie
It's fair to question the dirt form that is signed on in this spot, so even though her form hasn't been all that encouraging, she'll have the look of a top contender if this race has to be moved to the main track.

Race 7

Potosi's Silver
Horrendous trip when breaking from this tricky post in her debut last month; her sire won multiple G2s and 1.04 million; the dam went zero for 5 lifetime; among the winning siblings is 30K bankroller Jehan; worth some follow-up.
Might prove another wise claim by Jacobson as this filly ran an excellent race against claimers a month ago; her sire won a G1 and 1.76 million; the dam lost her only attempt; sib to 192K earner Tiz Gianni.
Respectable even effort in her maiden voyage while on a wide path; her sire twice won the Breeders' Cup Classic and 6.42 million overall; the dam was unraced; sib to 26K earner Im a Classy Cat; draws much more favorably today.
Sky Crew
She was involved in a lengthy pace battle in her second attempt when defeated by a repeat winner; her sire won a G1 and 633K while the mom won 4 of 17 and 160K; this is her only foal to compete; the narrow selection.
Biddy Martin
Newcomer hails from the brilliant Medaglia d'Oro who won multiple G1s and 5.75 million (his progeny have won 10 percent of their first races); the dam won 1 of 11 and 19K; sib to 52K earner Garmentos Girl.
Lost all chance when bearing out on the lead in her first route test; her sire won the G1 Wood Memorial and 557K; the dam was a G2 winner who captured 557K; sib to 112K earner With Sugar On top; can land a share on the turnback.
Lemon Point
Never got untracked when trounced by Sky Crew last month but the sloppy track could have been the main reason; her sire won the Belmont Stakes and 3.24 million; the dam went 6 for 16 earning 164K; sib to 267K earner Star Harbour.
Las Olas Azur
See Foxbeau, above, for information about the same sire (whose descendants have won 32 out of 247 initial starts); the dam went 3 for 16 earning a total of 151K; there are no winning siblings to mention.
Earth to Matilda
The latest in a long series of half-mile breezes was upbeat; her sire won multiple G1s and 915K (progeny of First Samurai are 15 for 158 as far as winning their first test); the dam won 1 of 8 and 50K; sib to 171K earner Escort.

Race 8

Golden Cheetah
Don't be too harsh about last as it's never easy to beat winners right back; she caught fast splits in last and just could not keep up; one angle to think about: Luzzi is 5 for 18 the last year or so for this outfit.
Sophie's Turn
Bothered in the debut and the race came back okay as the show horse graduated next out and then was 4th beaten 3 at this very level; the 6/20 winner repeated in this league, then was 3rd beaten just over 3 in a $100K restricted stakes; she has a right to have a nice career as kin to stakes winner and near $200K earner Bag of Mischief.
Chloe Bear
Hung wide from marooned slot the last time at this level; she could have sulked early last time when in tight but showed a bit of grit; she has the two races now under her girth; don't ignore.
The Lady Says Yes
Carefully placed, miss has fired every time and now has the confidence builder to draw from in last; note show horse 2 back was clear for run and the drills coming to this race are solid; in good hands, can't fault those that say a resounding Yes.
Rebellious Chic
Mare had to be off for about 17 months for a pretty serious reason; she has teased a few times in this league but comeback drills appear on the light side; note she also had to take 2010 off; try to get a good look at her before taking a swing.
Flirtatious Spring
Tough beat in last, but they were all together on the line, sometimes a sign of just an ordinary race; slight improvement and she'll threaten as connections still hope she matures like top kin, multiple stakes winner and near $350K earner Flirt for Fame.
Satin Sheeks
Put on the shelf after solid effort in last; that's kind of unusual, you would figure connections would want to strike while the iron is hot; she has trained well for this accentuated by the bullet move on Monday; 5/27 show horse won in this league next out, lost next pair; should be making legit impact late.
Strike Accord
Beyers going in the right direction, like the series of drills since the last race and miss has a decent turn of late foot; with her style, backers have to hope the pace is wild and the race falls apart.
Freaked in the mud for the sheepskin but in the money just once since; at least she has the 2 races to draw from now; the 6/20 winner took a state-bred $35K optional next out, then was out of the money in a $100K stakes; miss did graduate in the third off the layoff run and the blood is there as she's kin to 9 for 15 near $200K earner Golden Galaxy.
Kate Is a Ten
Youngster has picked it up since she tasted grass; considering the slop was being kicked in her face last time, the race was pretty solid; back to favorite pilot; respect.
Clever Spirit
Freshened since the flop as chalk; maybe she was intimidated by the rail in last; at least she graduated on this course; with her style, things will have to break just right.
Soul Opposition
Mud, 6 foes and the freshening produced the win last time; miss could be on the fragile side as the races are spaced; the 4/17 place horse graduated on the cut back, lost next 5; nice spin on the 5th, look for rider to be aggressive from the get go.
Bit Bustin
Soph has natural speed and then could show more with the blinks today; bug got a chance to figure her out and she showed more energy in the drill on the 15th; must be left in the hopper.
First effort vs. winners was okay, but she has not been able to duplicate that race; 8/19 place horse took a state-bred $14K optional next out with a 69 Beyer; needs a rebound run after the last fiasco.
Motion Lounge
Miss must prove she can go this far; lone half bro to race won twice and cashed at a mile and 3 eighths on grass; can't fault those that give her another shot.
Our Day in Court
Life and death for the lone win and it may have just zapped her as she had to hit the bench; return less than stellar; she was beaten in pretty cheap company earlier in the year and may be compromised by the post if she gets a chance to suit up.

Race 9

Fiftyfour Forever
Filly has lost a step since last year and now she'll cut back to a trip at which she has yet to win; expect she'll show some early interest from here but the presence of other speed will likely make things tough for her in her current form; siding with others.
La Bella Valeria
Switches surfaces in her local return and she didn't do much in her 2 main track starts earlier in the year here; filly will get some speed in front of her and a weight break with the switch to a capable bug but don't know if that will be enough to get her in the mix here.
Lenders Way
She's been stuck at this level for over a year and her recent tries upstate weren't very good maybe the return to her preferred venue helps, but even if she's set to move forward some a minor awards figures to be her ceiling in this spot.
Bird House
Just missed repeating while in against open company in the muddy off the turfer on closing day upstate and now she'll get an added half panel in which to make her run; filly didn't run so well here in the spring, but she does get some pace in front of her and the way she's been going, has to be considered a big threat for the top prize.
Ah Gaga
Barn has some alive of late and this gal was quite good here before fading from a wide spot in the Sap turf sprint last month; maybe the return to the main track helps, but she'll face other speed in this spot while switching to yet another new pilot.
She's Stones Sis
Led a cheaper field through moderate splits at the Sap last time and held on to score in that 7 panel heat; she hasn't run so well at today's shorter trip but she has shown the ability to rate a bit so maybe she takes to the cut back; barn has been on a poor run since racing returned here, however; consider.
Saichi Sweepin
Speedy filly returns from the summer break to make her local debut run for the optional tag; barn does well fresh and they've gotten off to a nice start here; while there's other lick in here she figures to be firing from the bell and may have to be run down.
What the Frost
Steps up after wiring a softer field at Saratoga; she's another who hasn't done much at this shorter trip but maybe the move outside helps her relax a bit here for an outfit that repeats at a nice clip and the price should be improved.
Discreet Force
Lightly raced sophomore ran well going a big longer than the trip she'll face today while tackling the Spa mud last time out; she overcame trouble to beat weaker off the break here 2 back and breezed well last week for this; barn boasts nice numbers with its runners going second off the break; giving her the nod to move forward on the slight cut back and beat this bunch home.
Make the Moment
Late runner got up to defeat cheaper upstate at the trip last out and now she'll return to a venue at which she's hit the board in all 4 starts; filly has been consistent on the figure scale of late and she does look to get a nice clip in front of her in this spot; should offer some value on the class rise.

Race 10

Shine a Spotlight
She can benefit from getting a route race under her belt in her latest outing and she should have every opportunity to negotiate a comfortable trip after breaking from the rail post; however, this is a tough looking bunch and an improved performance is a must in order for her to contend.
Means Well
Sire wins with approximately 14% of his first-time starters and with approximately 15% of his turf starters, and multiple graded stakes winning dam won 7 of 20 starts for 425k, including 0-for-1 over turf; this filly is a full to No Splits (2-7, 56k over turf).
Jazil's Dream
Half-sister to stakes winner Maram (5-10, 900k over turf) didn't have any chance in her career debut after finding herself racing in last behind a ridiculously slow early pace, and she showed some life through the stretch before packing it up the final 50 yards while in behind horses; feel that there's a chance that she'll show up with a much improved performance today.
Not wild about what she's shown in her first two starts but she's out of a dam who was a multiple group stakes winner racing overseas while winning 5 of 10 starts for 349k, including 0-for-3 over turf in North America; 3rd finisher from latest own next out at Sar on 8/18 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. MSW rivals with a 77 Beyer.
Touch the Star
Sire wins with approximately 12% of his first-time starters and with approximately 12% of his turf starters, and dam won once from four starts for 20k; this miss is a 1/2 to G1 winner Etoile Montante (7-16, 659k, including 2 of 7 North American turf starts for 340k); interesting to see Mott go to Smith with this Juddmonte-homebred.
Kitten Kaboodle
She's two-for-two in the quality start department to begin her career and she's an obvious option to consider in here while making her first start for the Brown barn; Castellano has won with 46 of 151 (30%) mounts for this outfit in 2013.
Seeking Her Glory
She exits the same race as a couple of today's rivals and it wouldn't be any shock to see her ready for better at second asking while going out for Pletcher and Velazquez; note that Pletcher has hit at a 37% clip with horses making their second career start in maiden races; J.V. is 1-for-12 for this barn at the current meeting.
Sire wins with approximately 15% of his turf starters and this is the first foal to race from a stakes placed dam who won 4 of 18 starts for 202k, including 0-for-3 over turf; 3rd finisher from latest won next out at Sar on 9/1 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. MSW rivals with a 66 Beyer.
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his first-time starters and with approximately 15% of his turf starters, and dam was unraced; this looks like a tough spot for her career debut but she shows up for a very capable turf barn.
Ketel Twist
Outside of racking up runner-up finishes, she's done little wrong through her first three starts, and Alvarado has won with 28 of 105 (27%) mounts for this barn in 2013; can't help but be a little more intrigued by the other Mott-trained runner in here.
Medaglia d'Argento
Sire wins with approximately 10% of his first-time starters and with approximately 11% of his turf starters, and this is the first foal from a G3 winning dam who won 7 of 29 starts for 523k, including 6 of 25 turf starts for 430k; despite recent statistics, this is a barn that can have one ready to go long over turf at first asking.
Camden Jane
Don't like to see her lose the services of Castellano to another in here, and it remains to be seen how she'll handle the added distance, but her career debut was a fine run and she figures to grab the early lead and see how far she can take them.
Killarney Rose
Sire wins with approximately 10% of his first-time starters and dam was unraced; there is a chance that this race will fall apart if it has to be moved to the main track, and note what this barn has been doing with firsters lately.
This will be an ideal spot for this filly to get to make her second career start if this race has to be taken off the turf and she ran well in her debut behind a sharp looking first-time starter in Recepta; this filly is a 1/2 to Speechify (1-1, 19k with an 87 Beyer).