09/07/2013 11:39AM

Closer Looks: Belmont September 8, 2013


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Race 1

Geaux Mets
A distant fourth in his debut, he can improve today with the extra distance and drop into the common ranks; his sire won a G2 and 662K while the dam won 2 of 21 and 86K; among the winning siblings is 60K earner Tapped Out Bruno.
Executive Office
Newcomer turned in a very fine blowout 8 days ago; his sire won 1 of 6 and 75 (progeny of Stanislavsky have won 3 of 33 debuts); the dam won 1 of 14 attempts and 50K; this is her only foal to make it to the races.
From the Point
Adds blinkers after modest first run when confronting a repeat winner; see the first runner in the field for same sire info; the dam won 3 of 9 and 87; winning siblings include 73K earner One Fit Baby; worth some follow-up.
Breezed very well on 8/19 upstate but did not fine a race at Saratoga; his sire is the versatile Golden Missile who won a G1 and 2.19 million (his offspring have won nearly 11 percent of their initial races); the dam won 28K; there are no winning sibs to mention.
Far back in his first attempt but he was caught very wide when doing so; his sire won his only race and 25K while the dam went 1 for 10 earning 10K; there are no winning siblings to highlight.
Valar Dohaeris
Decent breeze pattern for this beginner; his sire was undefeated, a G1 pure sprinter who banked 480K (descendants of Bustin Stones have won 4 of 24 debuts); the dam never raced and there are no winning sibs to mention.
Let's Discuss
A slow getaway prevented him from a realistic chance in his unveiling; his sire won 5 of 22 attempts and 370K while the dam never competed; among the winning siblings is 85K earner Alpha J.
Captain Toews
His sire won 4 of 19 and 219K (progeny of Roaring Fever are 6 for 119 as far as winning their first attempt); the dam won 1 of 7 and 25K; the most recent breeze from the gate is very encouraging.
Metropolitan Storm
Has retreated early in each of his starts regardless of surface; the grey's sire won 1 of 12 and 44K while the dam won 5 of 27 and 203K; this is her only foal to make it to the starting gate; change of venue may help matters but it is doubtful.

Race 2

Master Lightning
Sire gets about 12% winners from his first out runners and the 322K earning, multiple SW dam was a 6 time winner (4 routes) prior to dropping a couple of multiple route winners including 229K earner Starcastic who won 8 times going long; barn needs no introduction with newcomers, but their first call pilot does side with their other, uncoupled entrant.
Long Water
He was one of the seemingly few of his barn's runners not to come up big at the Spa this summer, but he did run into the envetual G1 hopeful winner in his late running debut try; outfit does nice work with its second out runners and the dam was a local G1 SW miler whose other foal to race was a limited route winner so maybe the added trip proves right up his alley; consider.
They paid over a million bucks for this guy at auction last year and he ran ok sprinting in a first out key heat; he's since returned to work well for a barn that moves them up with racing and his dam was a 3 time route winner who dropped local G1 SW miler and 633K earner Contested, so have to think he'll move forward with the added trip.
Cousin Stephen
Barn gets them ready first out, but their top pilot ends up on the outside drawn runner in here and this guy's breezing drills are nothing special; he's the first foal to race out of a 4 time sprint winning dam who banked 145K and his sire gets 11% winners right out of the box.
Earned the field's best number when third behind the subsequent Hopeful winner a few weeks back at Saratoga; barn's second runer in here went for 350K in training earlier in the year so they obviously think something of him and they hit at a huge clip with runners who have had a race; their top pilot will take the call on a colt who is kin to a route winner; one to beat.
Tony B
Adds the hood after getting caught in a wide spot and finishing behind some of these first time out; he's since breezed well and both of his sibs are winners, including multiple SW sprinter and 293K earner Safe Trip so maybe he'll have more to offer with the initial experience behind him and the price will again be right.
Sire gets nearly 11% winners from his newcomers and the dam was a first out juvenile winner who won 2 of her 3 starts and finished second in the other; he's kin to 5 winners including 2 time G1 SW router and 666K earner Pine Island and current lawn mower and 2.3 million earner Point of Entry who has taken 5 G1 turf routes; barn usually lets them race into shape but they did unveil a good one upstate last week.

Race 3

No gate speed in latest when her best race was a sitting-just-off-the-pace trip; she needs to break a lot sharper to stalk the pace while saving ground from the rail; just has not been on her best game when losing 4 other times on BEL dirt; posted a 4F-dirt bullet-workout for this but others appeal more.
My Unbridled Storm
Late-running win in 2013 occurred on a wet-main track; expected more run showing up without the front wraps in last but then ended up screaming out for more distance; today she cuts back to 6F for the 1st time since the August, 2010, SAR-career debut 7th-place finish at 5F on dirt.
Career-best Beyer was following a 96-day absence which why latest with 141 days away was a disappointment when finishing evenly; the 2-back winner at today's distance repeated in an AQU-optional claimer with an 81 Beyer; the 3-back winner repeated in an AQU-optional claimer with a 70 speed figure.
L B's Expression
Adds more gate speed with Sweet Maxine; leaves a high-win percentage trainer which is not a good win angle; she has been unable to duplicate her career-best Beyer a gate-to-wire win at DEL at shorter; 3-back victory traveling on a wet track when defeating the runner-up finisher who Beyered 71 in a next-out PEN-75K stakes win.
Ascended Fever
Back in just 6 days off the wet-main track loss where she could not sustain her bid; is winless on dirt; posted however improved the Beyers in 2 races off the claim; her only fast-track start was an exacta finish; last BEL dirt start was an October 10th-place finish competing in a 125K stakes; the 3-back show runner Beyered 71 in her next-out SAR-20K-claiming win.
Sweet Hot Toddy
Can win from anywhere with 6 wins on the lead and 5 from off the pace; 11-time winner all at FL; her only BEL dirt start was April, 2012, finishing 5th by 10 lengths in a 15K claimer racing 6F; best Beyer of 2013 was over a sloppy race track a wet-main track would move her up.
Kitty Panda
Exits a career-low Beyer 1st-time blinkers on; has been away 50 days since finishing far back in key race with 5 next-out winners; the top 3 finishers and 5th and 6th-place all won their next starts with 75-70-69-64-63 Beyers in next-out optional-claiming and alw. wins.
Sweet Maxine
Raced 3 of last 5 races and 2 straight 1st at the 1st call including her LRL win and career-best Beyer in February at today's distance; try to catch me; her lone-BEL dirt start was at 6F June, 2012, vs. MSW company finishing 8th-beaten 10 lengths.

Race 5

Chang's Secret
Half-brother to G3 stakes placed Mrs. M (2-11, 134k over turf) is going to need to show up with a sharper try in his first start wearing blinkers if he's to get the better of the top contenders in this spot; note that he was soundly defeated by a couple of these in his latest start.
His better races have been run over dirt, and even though his one turf attempt was without blinkers, it wasn't an encouraging performance; he'll have to do a lot better than that to have a say in the outcome in this spot.
Lyrical Lynx
Sire wins with approximately 7% of his first-time starters and with approximately 10% of his turf starters, and dam was unraced; this is a demanding distance for a firster and he'll have to run a good one to beat this field.
Key Decision
He's a 1/2 to multiple stakes placed Key Event (4-19, 170k over turf) and when seeing that his first two starts have been split by a long layoff, maybe he still has more to show us; nevertheless, a much improved performance is needed in order for him to contend.
A Better Tomorrow
All of his starts have been in the neighborhood of what it will take to win this and he shows up for an owner/trainer combination that has had a big year; his recent workouts suggest that he's ready for his return to action and he's being reunited with Castellano who was aboard for his one runner-up finish.
Saltine Warrior
Wild Desert has been a poor influence as a turf sire, but this gelding showed up with a fine run in his turf debut in his latest outing, and he shows up for a barn that is coming off of a strong showing at Saratoga; he deserves to be listed among the contenders.
Mr. Masterpiece
He's had his chances to show us what he can do, including a couple of turf starts, and he's yet to do anything to suggest that he can threaten the top contenders in this spot; strictly an outsider.
He brings a good deal of early speed with him and he's run well since being placed back over turf two races back; the rider switch might be worth noting as Alvarado has done some nice work riding for this barn from limited starters, including some big wins aboard Emma's Encore and Go Unbridled.
Take It Easy Baba
He took a step in the right direction at second asking and it's interesting to see that he's making his first start away from the Bush barn; new barn will see if the addition of blinkers can help move this gelding forward.
Mister Dooley
He's a very interesting player in this spot based on what he showed us in his career debut as he was very clumsy out of the gate, found some early trouble before finding himself in last place going into the first turn, and he ran on well late while racing very green; seems reasonable to expect an improved performance out of him this time around.
Ocala Jim
Like the idea of his new connections giving him another chance to see what he can do over turf as he's a 1/2 to multiple stakes winner Rhum (7-16, 306k over turf) and multiple stakes placed Elisa's Energy (4-13, 175k over turf).
He ran well in his first start routing over turf in his latest outing and that level of performance is eligible to get him into the mix against these; like to see that he'll benefit from the services of Velazquez once again.
Sun Worshipper
Half-brother to Royal Sighting (4-26, 206k) was much improved in his first start with Lasix in his latest outing and he's worth keeping an eye out for in the event that he draws into this contest as the result of a scratch from the main body of the race.

Race 6

Omos Journey
Wide in last pair but he really has not flashed much talent so far; runner never looked like a happy horse when rank in last; and he's been handled by some of these rivals; not seeing it.
You Tricked Me
Hat Trick 10 for 50 with first-time turfers, 6 for 72 with debuters; sire was a turf monster in Japan with several Group 1 wins and over $3.1 million in earnings; Grade 2 winning 7 for 22 dam banked over $350K, won 6 times on turf; several winners in the family; stakes winning top earner Winsome took 2 of 14, earned about $90K, won on grass once; note gap in published drills till 7/30.
Seemed in a good spot in last off the July finale but he pressed soft pace and had to hail the taxi cab; backers can point to the fact there is a double turf winners in the tree and also over $300K earner and G2 winner in Northern Soldier; a slice may be the ceiling here.
St. Sincere
Been in some good barns and Jacobson awesome off the red tag; he could mature with grace as top kin Wild Memories won on grass thrice and banked over $200K; brings speed, off the fence, and note this rider is 28% for this barn in the last year or so; things pointing in the right direction.
Like a Boss
Exclusive Quality 5 for 46 with first-time turfers; stakes winning 3 for 4 sire was second in only try at 2, never turfed, banked almost $100K; dam was unraced; the sibling that won took one sprint, never turfed; even if you figure he hated the rail of late, this is a tough ticket to sell.
Red Shogun
Not thrilled with the multiple beats already for a tag; at least there are 2 double turf winners in the family; 5th new pilot takes the reins; would think long and hard before taking too short a number.
Ducks Dock
Mineshaft about 5% with first-time turfers in a 155-runner sample; sire did not race at 2, took multiple G1s going long, banked over $2.2 million, never turfed; 1 for 12 dam did cash on grass; lone half sis to race Elusive Kate took a couple of Group 1s on turf, earned over $1.3 million; again in for $325K less than purchase price; that fact may speak volumes.
Gelding has been crushed in cheaper company; he has a lot of work to do to match top kin Akronism, who won on turf once and banked over $500K; runner does have sneaky speed, note zip in the July race; rates upset glance.
Been given time since the sloppy fiasco in last; he has teased several times in his career as Brown tries to put him in the right spot today; blinks off, as they were for the top Beyers and the GP finale came back live as the 4th and 7th finishers took maiden claimers next out and the winner repeated in a $60K AQU optional; lone sibling was a double winner on grass; respect everything from this outfit.
Has a right to run better after taking the overland route; no help from clan as the lone sibling to race was just one for 28; best race in that second start came against only 5 foes; if you figure he needed last, one could make a case for a move forward.
In for $75K less than purchase price, if he can run at all, he figures to show it today; there is a double grass winner in the tree and also a near $180K earner; runner bobbled early in last but could see him sitting a stalk and pounce trip here; don't ignore.
Jade Master
Was freezing on the tote and fans were right on the money; dam was unraced; all 4 siblings won; top earner Paracaidas banked over $100K as a double turf winner; could need softer to shine.
Fiddlers Chico
No luck with blinks in last, has to at least be left in the exotic mix; note runner was 4 clear two back; contender, far from a cinch especially from a marooned post.
Big Brown 11 for 55 with debuters, 6 for 35 with first-time turfers; sire took only start at 2, won first two legs of the Triple Crown, banked over $3.6 million, never turfed; dam was unraced; this is her first to roll; no moves beyond 4 furlongs.
Six Drivers
Sunriver 2 for 72 with debuters, 0 for 45 with first-time turfers; Grade 1 winning sire cashed at 2, took 6 of 17, banked over $800K; dam out of the money thrice; 3 of 4 siblings won including triple grass winner and over $230K earner Downtown Hottie; lean toward watching one.

Race 7

This Guy Is Blue
Medaglia d'Oro has won with about 13% of his juvenile debuters in a 182-horse sample, about 9% with first-time turfers after 260 starters; sire was 2nd in only juvenile out, never turfed; dam banked about $80K, lost only turf out; several multiple race winners in the family, a couple cashed on grass including near $300K earner High Blues; love work pattern.
Romans Paradise
Hard Spun 8 for 97 with juvenile firsters, 9 for 94 with first-time turfers; sire unbeaten in 3 juvenile outs, took a Grade 1, never turfed; dam took 11 sprints, was 2nd in best turf moment; all 3 sibs won including near $300K earner Local Celebrity, who won 4 times on turf; pretty snappy 8/12 spin.
Little Boss
Took his fair share of cash, was only a brief threat; all 9 of dam's wins were on turf for near $250K career; both sibs won on grass, one banked over $200K; could push the issue again, not sure he'll be around late.
Split cast and maybe he disliked the inside; dam took one sprint, lost only turf out; 2 of 3 sibs won but neither on grass; slight improvement and he'll be in the mix again.
Purim 8 for 94 with juvenile firsters, 7 for 69 with first-time turfers; G1 winning sire didn't race at 2, banked over $900K, won 6 times on turf; dam 0 for 2; 4 of 6 sibs won, 2 were triple winners on grass; trainer has spotted them great all year.
Ichiban Warrior
First Samurai 8 for 93 with juvenile firsters, 10 for 95 with first-time turfers; 5 for 8 sire took juvenile debut, won Champagne and Hopeful, never turfed; dam was unraced; lone half sis to race took one dirt sprint; he's not missed a beat in the mornings.
Shakespeare 3 for 24 with juvenile firsters, 7 for 41 with first-time turfers; sire won 7 of 8, took multiple Grade 1s, earned over $1.2 million, was grass only; dam 0 for 2; 2 of 3 sibs won, one cashed on grass once, the other, Sis City, banked nearly $800K as a G1 winner; the blood is there.
More Than Ready about 14% with first-time turfers in a 503-runner study; Grade 1 winning sire won debut at 2, earned over a million, never turfed; dam took 5 sprints, earned almost $300K, lost only turf out; this is her first to roll; like this progression, close in bow, speed in next; look out.
Northern Afleet about 10% with first-time turfers in a 326-runner sample; sire won juvenile debut at Del Mar, earned over $600K, was zero for 6 on grass; dam won once, never turfed; lone half bro lost thrice; due to put it together.
Giant's Causeway about 9% with juvenile firsters in a 276-runner sample, about 10% with first-time turf runners in a 519-runner sample; sire won juvenile debut by 7 and took a Group 1 at 2 as turf monster; dam took debut 2 and handled grass; this is her first to roll; could need one.
Pulpit about 12% with juvenile firsters in a 375-runner sample, about 10% with first-time turf runners in a 425-runner sample; sire won debut at 3 by over 7, took Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass, never turfed; G1 winning dam earned over a million, won on grass once; lone sibling lost only try; can't dismiss homebred.
Mischievous One
Into Mischief 1 for 15 with first-time turfers; sire took debut at 2, won a Grade 1 at 2, never turfed; dam was unraced; this is her first to roll; needs a total reversal of fortune.

Race 8

Master Wesley
This colt has been a pretty consistent performer, and even though it would have been nice to have seen him perform better in his return to New York in his latest outing, perhaps the turn back in distance can prove to be a key for this runner; regardless, prefer to look toward others.
Red Vine
Late running colt has done little wrong in his first three starts, and as long as the trip to Southern California hasn't taken something out of him, he figures to be tough to deal with in his first attempt against winners; a top turf barn helps add extra appeal.
Happy Fella
Have to give him credit for the sharp winning performance he recorded two starts ago at nearly 30-1 while making his first start back from a layoff, and if he can reproduce that level of performance against these, he's eligible to find himself involved in the running through the final furlong.
Lead Singer
He ran well the first time he raced over turf back in April at Aqueduct, but it's tough to give him a favorable push in this spot when looking at what he's done in his four most recent races; he looks like more of an outsider.
Yellow Mountain (IRE)
Two of his first three starts since arriving in America have been solid performances and perhaps he just didn't like wearing blinkers two starts ago; he's a lightly raced runner who may very well still have more to show us.
He finished behind today's rival Yellow Mountain in his most recent start but that that wasn't a bad run for his first start over turf and his first start with Lasix; blinkers are added for this, and this barn won with eight of their last 14 (57%) turf starters at the recently concluded Saratoga meeting.
Calm Pacific
Top connections snuck this one past many bettors in his career debut when getting the job done at over 11-1, and it's probably a good idea to respect the chances of this son of strong turf influence Stormy Atlantic based on that performance; Castellano has won with 44 of 143 (31%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Tug of War
Perhaps he's just a better horse racing over dirt than he is over turf, but he is making his first turf start since moving into this barn, and over the years this outfit has sent out many nice turf horses; runner-up from latest returned to win next out at Sar on 8/31 going 6f vs. N1X rivals with a 94 Beyer.
Ghost Hunter
He's out of a stakes winning dam who won 2 of 7 turf starts for 90k and he might be ready to give a good account of himself in his second turf attempt while making his second start back from a layoff; the rider switch to Velazquez is worth noting as he's won with 13 of 39 (33%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Indy's Illusion
There are a few horses in the main body of this race who boast strong dirt form, but still looking at this has being a decent spot for this colt to land in if this race has to be taken off the turf.

Race 9

Cuts back following a couple of sharp upstate efforts at the level and will get a new pilot for this; pace figures to be a little quicker this time but she'll need to hustle to secure a decent spot down inside in this bulky, well matched bunch; capable of again getting in the mix.
Yes It's Pink
Off the pace type chased a winner who returned to run second in a Saratoga stake a couple of weeks back; statebred won 3 straight on the lawn but hasn't been as good since moving in to face open company; maybe the return to one turn racing benefits her; contender.
Win for Kitten
They gave her a little time after running into a slow clip while making her first start off their claim in her lone Spa appearance; she's been ok on the green against her peers and now she'll tackle older in this spot; maybe a better clip up top will bring more out of her late at a price.
Giftie Gie
Broke her maiden off more than 9 months on the shelf when moved to the lawn for the initial time; filly has been given some time to get over that local win and now she'll tackle winners; these are tougher, but she does lure Castellano and that can't be overlooked.
Queen of Mambo
Fresh 4 year old is winless on the green though she lost just a neck in each of her spins over the footing; she's been quick enough to lead a sprint heat at the level so doubt she'll be far out of it here and her maiden score did come off time on the shelf.
She's been idle since breaking her maiden in Florida 8 months ago and boasts a steady breeze tab for the step up to winners; gal who beat her on the lawn across town last fall did take a Spa turf stake last month and this filly was impressive in her initial win so it wouldn't be a surprise if she were to factor in her comebacker at a nice price.
Kiss Me Lola
Just missed repeating at a shorter trip in her first with winners upstate and now she'll stretch out; barn hasn't had much luck of late with its runners tackling more ground, but this filly's pedigree suggests she'll handle the distance as she's kin to G1 SW router and 795K earner Sis City; thinking she's the one to beat today.
Lawless Miss
She's been pretty consistent on the Beyer scale this year and she was coming late as the wire approached in the last out sprint try upstate; filly should like the added real estate as she did run well at longer trip earlier in the year, though she was facing softer in those spots.
West coast shipper gets back to the green after a wide trip resulted in a third place finish on the Del Mar main track a few weeks back; 4 year old was pretty good going long on the green last fall in California and maybe she finds the locals at this level a little easier; can't count her out.
Made the lead and held on to beat cheaper over an upstate course that favored front runners most of the season; she clearly likes the lawn, but will try allowance runners in this spot; from out here she will likely need to revert to off the pace tactics to be effective, though that posed little problem for her at shorter trips here earlier in the year.
Sally's Dream
Statebred was good beating cheaper here early in the summer and was also pretty sharp against restricted runners first time over the Spa sod this season; she's got solid positional foot which will be tested from this outside slot and she was no match for cheaper last time, but on her best she's good enough to step with these.