09/06/2013 1:16PM

Closer Looks: Belmont September 7, 2013


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Race 1

Go Get the Basil
Tries older after failing to threaten in either of his 2 cracks against stakes peers; maybe the return to one turn racing benefits him though he did get a hot clip in from of him in the big Beyer placing here 3 starts back; don't know that he'll get much pace in this spot, but he can get involved for a share.
Cousin Michael
Gelding was caught in wide spots in each of his last 2 at the level, most recently finishing behind some of these in the Spa sprint; maybe he finds himself closer early from this draw and he has hit the board in each of his 3 local spins, but a minor award may prove to be his ceiling.
Junior Officer
Gelding packs a nice off the pace run when right and he did encounter some early trouble behind a few of these at a shorter trip upstate last month;beat cheaper at the local trip in the spring and the bug aboard for that one gets on again today; his career best number did come 3 back over the track, but he's going to need his best to have a say in here.
Bake Shop
Just missed when forced to change his tactics after some gate trouble from the fence first time at the trip in his lone Spa appearance; gelding has solid early foot and with a clean start should be able to find a great spot from the bell; contender may prove to be the one to run down.
Smooth Bert
SW sophomore has given a good account of himself in each of her 3 recent stakes tries against his peers; returns to the scene of his front running maiden score over a wet track last fall and he's handy enough to secure a good spot close to the pacesetters early in a heat whose pace scenario looks to favor that style; barn unveiled a nice filly upstate and maybe her efforts help get the low profile barn going; main foe.
Quiet Power
Wasn't beaten much by a couple of these after sitting out of it early at a shorter trip upstate; his win here 3 back was pretty solid and the barn's numbers on the stretchout suggest he may be set to take a step forward here; price should be right to consider him.
Ran too well to lose in his first start in nearly a year at Saratoga and now he'll return to the scene and trip of his maiden score; have to think he's tighter with that one behind him and he's been given plenty of time to get over the try by an outfit that excels second off the break; expect he'll again take money, but they'll have him to beat.
Jade Run
He's yet another who broke his maiden at the local trip and now he'll turn back for his initial start at the level after seeing his number put up in a questionable order reversal; guy who beat him to the wire in that one did already return to score (80 Beyer) and this gelding has had plenty of time to get over that career best Beyer effort.

Race 2

Fantastic Eyes
Stakes placed filly has done some nice work as a late running turf sprinter and this doesn't look like bad spot for her new connections to take a shot with her after claiming her for 20k from her latest outing; however, this barn is 0-for-36 going out 1st after a claim the past 4 years, and 3-79 (4%) with turf sprinters the past 5 years.
Pop Pop's Smyle
She's going to need to do more than she did in her turf debut in her latest outing, a race that saw her finish behind a number of today's rivals, if she's to prove to be a threat; feel that she's worth an upgrade if this race has to be moved to the main track.
Desert Bliss
Her lack of early speed is always a concern, but she can make some noise against competition of this caliber on her best day, and it doesn't hurt her to be getting back over a turf course that she's been at her best over; she's a little interesting with Castellano getting the call.
My Uptown Gal
She's clearly a good fit with this bunch and her fine positional speed might prove to be a key in a race that doesn't seem likely to have a fast early pace; she might fall right in behind the early speed of Uncle Southern early on and find herself right in the hunt turning for home.
Scribbling Sarah
She really hasn't run a bad race to date and she put together a solid performance to break her maiden in her latest start; looking at this as being a realistic assignment for her first attempt against winners.
She has just a single win after 17 starts, and she's likely going to need to earn a career best Beyer Speed Figure to get the job done in this spot, but it's tough to ignore that she's making her first start for the Jacobson barn after a claim; J.V. has won with 5 of 15 (33%) mounts for this barn over the past year and the 3rd finisher from her latest race won next out at Sar on 8/31 going 1 1/8m vs. 20k OPC's with a 63 Beyer.
Ave's Halo
She ran well from a tough rail post in her latest start, and just for the record, post one going 5 1/2f over turf at Saratoga went 4-for-61 (7%); she commands a good deal of respect while boasting the best last race Beyer Speed Figure.
Uncle Southern
She's another who broke from post one going 5 1/2f at Saratoga in her latest start and feel that she's a very interesting player in this spot; she looks like the dominant early speed and she exits a live race; winner from latest won next out at Sar on 8/23 going 5 1/2f over turf vs. 50k OPC's with an 89 Beyer and 3rd finisher won next out at Sar on 8/18 going 5 1/2f over turf vs. N1X rivals with a 77 Beyer.
White Crane
Looks like the Rice barn will be live in here whether this race is run over turf or dirt and this is the first call for Velasquez; it's fair to question the dirt form signed on in the main body of this race, and if this miss performs the way she did over the main track here in the spring, she figures to be tough to deal with.

Race 3

She did everything but get unsaddled; over 4 clear in the process; 3rd and 4th finishers won next out in this league, winner was 2nd a half in a $51K DEL stakes; 3 for 6 dam didn't go at 2, earned $66K; half sis to win Merry Meadow took 2 of 12, earned almost $180K, lost 5 times at 2; one to beat.
Longride to Wisdom
Harlan's Holiday about 15% with juvenile debuters in a 294-runner sample; sire won 4 times at 2, banked $3.6 million; stakes winning 4 for 17 dam earned over $135K, took debut at 2; this is her first to race; nice move on the 29th.
Cryptic Comet
She got to lugging and has to deal with the fence again; dam was unraced; the sibling that won took 6 sprints as older horse; has every right to run better.
Golden Missile about 7% with juvenile debuters in a 219-runner sample; sire was 2nd in debut at 2, won over $2.1 million; dam out of the money in only out; lone full bro to race took one sprint, never went at 2; $4K purchase is in good hands.
Ms. Sylvia A.
First Defence 3 for 33 with debuting juveniles; sire won at 2, took the Grade 1 Forego, won only try on grass, banked nearly $600K; dam took 2 sprints as older horse; both sibs won; one cashed in juvenile debut in lone out, the other, Chief Talkeetna took 14 of 46, earned over $260K; homebred has trained steadily.
She's a Sizzler
Three clear in a solid opener; 2 for 11 dam won debut at 2, earned nearly $50K; lone half sis took one sprint as older runner; should give a very good account of herself.

Race 4

Drink With Pride
The big-gate speed displayed in his other 2013 wins has been missing from recent starts; stalked the pace nicely 2-back at shorter; 9 weeks away since the last-place finish and lowest Beyer speed figure since February; BEL-win picture was posted May, 2012, in a 20K claimer at 1M and 1-16th; reunites with the 3-back rider; the winner from that event repeated in a BEL-starter handicap with a 93 Beyer.
Sacred Ground
His wet-track record and career-best Beyer were accomplished on less-than-fast ovals suggesting he is doing the rain dance for this; 11 minor awards on fast tracks suggests he often races well in defeat; odds-on victory looks better since the show runner Beyered 59 in his next-out PRX-$12,500-claiming win; has much to prove off the 2-back loss vs. this same group.
Talk Therapy
Caught a muddy track the only other start on BEL dirt but has raced well on other wet surfaces during his career; rematch with Itsagoodtendollars and gives that one an extra 1-pound concession off the more than 3-length SAR loss; others appeal more.
Giant Indian
Primed for this at longer when no match for Itsagoodtendollars; back to BEL dirt where his 2-back last-place finish was excused with a bad-gate break vs. the winner who repeated in a SAR-optional claimer with an 88 Beyer; new rider is his 6th in as many races which is not a good win angle.
Cutting back to 1 Mile adds to the appeal and is clearly the one to catch; his 1st race off the claim was his best Beyer since May; is back to BEL Park where he's fired almost ever single time and posted a fresh-careeer-best Beyer in May at today's distance when testing the winner who repeated with a 93 in a BEL-starter handicap.
Raging Daoust
2-back field-best Beyer when stalking the speed; 1st time at BEL Park after unable to show any stamina at longer; sheds 8 pounds for this to race with his lightest assignment of career; beat the 3-back show runner a next-out 93 speed figure DEL-50K stakes winner.
2-for-2 at BEL Park both wins were closing at shorter; has been working well for the 31%-winning sprint-to-route trainer; the 2-back winner repeated in a SAR-75K claimer with an 89 Beyer; defeated the 3-back show runner who Beyered 75 in his next-out BEL-35K-claiming victory.

Race 6

Tycoon Cat
Drops directly off the claim, a race where he middle moved to command only to tire in the final furlong; although 2 of his 3 lifetime victories have been local, he still seems better suited at the one-turn mile; tough call overall.
Sneaky Freud
He has been an unlucky runner of late; sole score was at this distance but he benefited by the wet-fast track condition that day; returns to statebred competition and might be able to make a late impact if the pace is proper.
Fiona's Hero
Eased in his first start against winners; worked very well upstate following that poor performance and returns to the winning soil here; a difficult runner to pinpoint for sure but he should put in a better performance if not challenged early.
Leilani's Ticket
One of the few pure speeds in this event, he ran into repeat winners in his last pair; remains a question mark at 7 furlongs though but should appreciate the softer half-mile split that seems likely today; can last longer than many anticipate.
Ambassador Bridge
Finished strong in his last assignment but that was more than 2 months ago; one-run type may be pace compromised here if Leilani's Ticket is able to back down the fractions; see how front-runners have fared on the card and adjust your play.
Street Lord
Tries blinkers for the first time after that respectable try at 9 furlongs last month; broke maiden here in convincing manner and he might be able to get into the race sooner today with the new equipment; could prove the right value play in what appears to be a tight field.
Greeley's Law
Among the missing in the latest effort, first try for these connections; he has a win at this distance to his credit but still believe he is in serious need of another tightener; cannot endorse as a major contender today.
Roaring Conquest
The trainer has a solid record in various categories including turf-to-dirt; this gelding, in his last main track performance, was too near the early lead and never got involved; seems better when reserved further off the pace; can end the long drought.
He Has Charm
Quit early in his only start following the maiden breaker; a newcomer to seven-eighths, he has been breezing well during the last month but still seems to be spotting way too much experience now; draws a comfortable slot but remains doubtful.
Charlie's Punch
Chased a quick pace upstate a month ago but in this spot, if both parts of the entry go, he can secure ideal stalking position; worth some exacta consideration but would downplay his chances for such a finish if an off-track is the case at post time.

Race 7

From Tiz Moment On
Tiznow about 7% with juvenile firsters in a 294-runner sample, about 8% with first-time grass runners a 345-runner sample; sire did not race at 2, was a double BC Classic hero, never tried grass; dam won at 2, earned over $450K, lost 4 times on grass; this is her first to race; nice move on Wednesday.
Bikini Beauty
Bernardini about 12% with juvenile firsters in a 106-runner sample, 3 for 117 with first-time turfers; sire didn't run at 2, won his 2nd career start with a 90 Beyer, earned $3 million career, never turfed; dam didn't go at 2, won a G2, liked grass; this is her first to race; respect homebred.
Tapit about 13% with juvenile firsters in a 264-runner sample, about 8% with first-time grass runners a 283-runner grid; sire was unbeaten in 2 juvenile starts, banked over $550K, was never on turf; dam was unraced; lone half bro won once on dirt as older runner; solid drills.
Crashing Conclave
Distorted Humor has hit with 10% with first-time turfers in a 467-horse sample; sire did not race at 2, earned over $750K, never turfed; dam earned nearly $300K, won at 2, all on grass; this is her first to race; passing.
Dunkirk 2 for 20 with debuting juveniles, 0 for 1 with first-time turfers; sire didn t go at 2, was G1 placed, banked nearly $400K, never turfed; dam took debut at 2, lost only turf out; lone half bro won thrice on grass as older horse; like the works.
Two solid races for clever barn; dam third in only out, but banked nearly $300K on grass; this is her first to race; major threat with slight improvement.
War Front 16 for 111 with first-time turfers; sire was out of the money in lone start at 2, won 4 times including a G2, never turfed; dam took 10 sprints on dirt as older runner; a half bro lost 4 times; could need more experience.
Shy Society
Pleasantly Perfect 14 for 79 with debuting juveniles, 14 for 123 with first-time turfers; sire didn't run at 2, lost twice on grass, took BC Classic; dam 0 for 4; both sibs won at 2, both lost on grass; only cost $7500.
Wonderfully Wild
Offlee Wild 5 for 72 with first-time turfers; sire won at 2, took a G1, banked nearly a million, never turfed; dam won twice, earned about $80K; all 3 sibs won, none on turf or at 2; could need sellers to shine.
Miss Super Quick
Rock Hard Ten has hit with 13% with first-time turfers in a 184-horse sample; sire didn't run at 2, took soph debut at SA with a 101 Beyer, won multiple G1s, banked over $1.8 million, never turfed; dam was unraced; lone half sis to race Defy Gravity cashed thrice at 2, never turfed, earned about $170K; barn awesome with second shooters.
Samurai's Honor
First Samurai 10 for 94 with first-time turfers; 5 for 8 sire took juvenile debut, banked over $900K, was dirt only; dam won on turf, lost only out at 2, earned nearly $900K; several multiple race winners in the tree, top kin Passport took debut at 2, won twice on grass, earned almost $300K; she may have hated the going.
Sunset Ride
Artie Schiller 5 for 100 with debuting juveniles, 17 for 140 with first-time turfers; sire won twice at 2 including the debut, banked over $2 million on grass as a BC Mile hero; dam 0 for 2 at 2, earned over $100K, all on grass; blood is there as kin Gaviola won at 2, cashed 8 times on grass, banked almost $600K; respect.
Hung wide in educational debut; dam took 2 dirt sprints, earned over $100K; this is her first to race; clever move last Wednesday.

Race 8

Grade 1 winner has won 11 of 22 over turf and he clearly didn't fire his best shot in his latest start; like to see McGaughey bringing him back on normal rest, and when considering how consistent he's been throughout his career, it isn't unreasonable to look for this veteran to bounce right back with a sharper try; J.V. has won with 7 of 23 (30%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Quick Casablanca (CHI)
Like what he did when finishing third behind a multiple G1 winner in Teaks North in his first start in America, and he had lengths worth of difficulty heading into the first turn of a three-turn affair in his latest outing at Saratoga; not going to be surprised if he delivers his best performance since arriving in America, and there's a chance that he might try to grab the early lead in this potentially paceless race.
London Lane
He's two races removed from a Grade 2 victory at Colonial, and that was a race that saw him get the better of today's rival Hyper; in his latest start, an outside post led to him having to give ground around the first turn and he might not have cared for being as involved in the early pace as he was after making an early move.
He's really been a solid performer racing over turf in his career and Castellano helped him to a very comfortable trip in a sharp winning performance in the Johns Call in his latest outing; not going to argue with anyone for looking favorably in this direction.
This looks like it can prove to be a tough step up in class for this colt after getting the better of a field of 62k OPC's in his USA racing debut in his latest start, but this barn has been tough to ignore with turf starters lately while winning with 8 of their final 14 (57%) turf starters at Saratoga with a $9.04 return on investment.
Finnegans Wake
His lack of early speed can always make for some anxious moments, but he's turned up in some extremely tough spots lately, and his best effort is clearly capable of getting him into the mix against these; that said, this G1 stakes placed performer is a stone-cold closer in a race that figures to have a slow early pace.

Race 10

Ride a Cat
Makes his debut for an outfit that doesn't start too many and the worktab is spotty; sire gets 14% first out winners and first time surface winners from his offspring and the dam was winless from 3 main track sprints prior to dropping this guy.
Bob and Jim
Gelding didn't have much to offer late in either of his 2 surface sprints earlier in the year and now he'll return to a sprint trip in his first start off better than 4 months on the shelf; maybe he likes this trip better and he doesn't face a very tough bunch but he hasn't shown much either and he'll get another new pilot for this.
Just missed the place behind one of the guys he'll catch again in here while making his turf debut upstate; gray did encounter some early trouble in that one and maybe he'll have a little more to offer with a clean run; consider.
Larry's Bentley
He's been idle since showing little in an inner track key heat first time out 7 months back; barn does ok with its fresh runners but hasn't had much luck moving them to the green; sire gets just 5% first time surface winners from his offspring, but the unraced dam dropped statebred SP gelding and 244K earner Kharafa who won first time on it and 4 times overall on the green.
Irish Etiquette
He's had plenty of chances and hasn't been able to get the job done; gray has sharp positional foot which usually helps him secure a good tracking spot and maybe the return to the local course helps as he was solid here at a big price around this time last year; worth a look.
Lightly raced coly turns back to sprint after a wide run in the last out Spa turf route; he didn't have much to offer in his return from the layoff sprinting up there, but his debut effort over this course last fall was very good; with Velazquez taking the call we'll give him the nod to get back on track today and beat these home.
Hooked Forever
Finshed behind some of these while riding the rail early in his turf debut upstate last month; maybe he goes better second time over the stuff, but he doesn't have much surface pedigree and would probably benefit more if this were to come off the lawn.
Raglin River
Just missed on the Spa green while mkaing his first start for this barn off better than 5 months on the shelf; guy who split him and the winner returns in this spot as well, but have to think this 4 year old will have a move forward in him second time back and that could make him dangerous.
Brings plenty of lick to the table in his local return and he does exit a heat that featured some solid splits; he probably won't get as firm of a turf course today and he's had his stamina issues so the added half panel doesn't figure to help, but he'll be there to mix it up from the bell.
Poppy's Watching
Runner up in his last 2 just missed lasting in his Spa finale; his prior try from an outside draw up there earned a number than will be tough to best if he's able to get back to it; guys who finshed just off him up there return in this spot as well so there's not a lot of margin for error, but they'll have him to beat.
Low percentage barn moves him back to the lawn after a weak try against open claimers in the Saratoga mud last week; he's yet to as much as hit the board in 11 career spins, 8 of which have come on the green; tough to make a case for him here.
Gentle Jim
Gelding has plenty of early lick and he owns several sharp efforts over the local sod; beaten chalk is stuck outside in this one and he looks to have a speedy rival in Sayaprayerforme to contend with, but maybe he's a tad quicker early and is able to clear; looks like they'll have to run him down to win.
Hidden Warrior
MTO makes his first start since last fall when he didn't do a lot of running on the dirt at this level; barn knows how to get them ready and their first call pilot rides him back; he's kin to a few sprint winners including SW and 248K earner La Concerto and 7 time winner Game Token who banked 296K; his sibs own a combined 6 wet track scores so he's one to look at if the rains wash this one off.