08/14/2013 12:39PM

Closer Looks: Saratoga August 15, 2013

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Race 1

Sharp Numbers
Way too strong early last time so if he settles even a little he has a chance in what should be a slightly easier spot; respect Fisher, whose barn is firing on all cylinders with four wins at the meet (three jump); changes jocks from apprentice to English veteran; ugly tries since maiden win are the concern.
 
Easy Reach
Remember All Together? The Fisher-trained veteran won a race with these conditions two weeks ago by putting a huge experience edge to work; similar look to this guy, though he doesn't quite have back class of stablemate; two wins this year, several good efforts in 2011, low weight, in-form barn and jockey; must use.
 
Network News
Bad choice by me two weeks ago and won't make same mistake this time; just too strong early and not experienced enough to handle jumping at speed he was going vs. winners; longer distance of this might change complexion a little but can't see him rebounding.
 
Apse
Gets weight from almost everybody as 4-year-old maiden claiming winner; two good efforts to start 2013 including solid second in allowance company at Great Meadow; will get speed test today coming off 2-mile try, but more apt to be successful at 2 3/8 than 2 1/16; player.
 
Forgotten Man
Labored home eighth in Kiser and gets a little class relief here; must rebound with big effort to contend, though he did that with third here last year and then another third at Belmont: distance should not be a problem; toss the last and he can be a factor underneath at a price.
 
Total Command (GB)
If you handicap on pedigree, here's your horse; by Sadler's Wells (superb jump sire in addition to success on flat) out of English 1,000 Guineas winner for Juddmonte back in 1999; 6-year-old was part of Michael Stoute barn in England and tried St. Leger in 2010; joined Sheppard last year and won jump debut easily; would have looked better here last summer, but must respect.
 
Cognashene
Could the Kitten's Joy be a key race for Saratoga jumpers? Meet winner All Together finished ninth, one spot behind this one; solid prep for sure; back class on flat and jump form improving though Colonial form has not held up at Saratoga this year; distance helps, weight does not.
 
Young Bohemian
Still looking for first jump win but has been second twice and represents strong barn; first-call jockey Walsh chose Apse, but Dalton has hit board twice with longshots at the meet; upset potential.
 
Casual Creeper (IRE)
Irish import also looking for first jump win; second to Sharp Numbers in American debut and prepped for this with flat spin at Delaware; five hurdle starts in Ireland before coming to U.S. so more experienced than he looks.
 
Kingdom
Expected more out of him here three weeks ago when he was right there until the end; three lengths behind Martini Brother, though, and that one's a potential star; gets more distance today, which helps; different complexion, pace, tactics; Fair Hill maiden win looks great, but not much race; one of the ones.
 
Call Me Sonny
Here's the veteran vs. newcomers angle again; he s run 18 times over jumps, which towers over the field; Saratoga not necessarily his game but that might not matter and longer race fits him; trotted up in last, a restricted starter stakes; needs best effort.

Race 2

Extraextraordinary
Good third last time when running late behind Martini Brother; if he repeats that effort he'll be there again; longer distance should help but still needs pace up front to weaken in stretch.
 
Cat Feathers
Heroine of distaff stakes here at huge price last summer seeks another upset for capable husband/wife team; obvious prep for filly/mare stakes later in the meet; good third in open company at Colonial Downs last time, but watch and tab for later.
 
Private Equity (FR)
Experienced French-bred drops back in distance, adds Lasix after decent career in Britain; will appreciate recent rain though still firmer turf than he's tried; been running over chase fences at lesser tracks, faces test for speed and jumping.
 
Sacred Soul
Flourished when switched to jumping with two wins in first three starts; crushed Orebanks, who hit board at meet, in last; flat prep should have him fit and ready; trainer change, top jockey; inexperienced but live.
 
Powerofone
Well-bred and showed a knack for jumping in winning first two starts this year; flopped when stepped up against novices at Nashville; stable's top jockey lands here; Sheppard won with A.P. Indy son in jump opener; gives away experience, but plenty of talent and Sheppard in corner.
 
Alajmal
Mystery man; Hall of Famer goes back to blinkers for experienced novice; won one of these last year, then turned in strong effort vs. best in the game in Colonial Cup to finish season and produced sweet win in Carolina Cup to start this season; big efforts seem a long time ago, but any of them would be good enough to compete here; do you believe in blinkers?
 
Black Quartz (FR)
Coupled with Sacred Soul and another who started year strong before flopping in Ferguson, soft ground could be the culprit as Smithwick winner came out of same race; freshened since, changes trainers, Geraghty lands here; like many in here, best effort wins it but hard to endorse with confidence.
 
Sulwaan (IRE)
Beaten by some and beat some in Kiser; nobody hotter than Aizpuru right now; nearly flipped in paddock last time which certainly didn't help matters; Irish-bred will appreciate longer distance and recent rain; you could do worse.
 
Barnstorming
Wow, nearly got it done at 18-1 in first start here; whoops, we missed him as he completed Sheppard-Sheppard exacta that paid $92; new jockey, bad post but certainly live in a deep race.

Race 3

Rooster Cruiser
Sire 201-1362 (15%) 2yos; 1st starter from turf-winning dam (0-3 sprints); dam 1/2 multiple turf SP Nice Nelly (73K, 1-3 at 2, 0-1 sprint), turf SP Ms Pianist (54K, 1-3 at 2, 1-4 sprint); barn 0-10 past 5 years 2nd-time 2yos adding blinkers on dirt; didn't do much in debut and is now stuck inside.
 
Roll All Knight
9K wnlng, 52K yrlng, 37K 2yo after 1F work 10.2; sire 15% 2yo FTS; dam 2yo SP sprinter (94K) with 3 wnnrs/3 rnnrs (0-2 with 2yos, 3-3 sprinters); dam 1/2 SP Cheyenne Spirit (185K, 1-15 sprint); barn 3-14 (21%, $7.94 ROI) pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; 7/20 work match Flashy Sunrise (6th 100K OPC 84 Beyer 7/29); interesting.
 
Pure Sensation
Sire multiple G1 SW sprinter (669K, 0-1 at 2, 5-7 sprint, 3-15, 20% 2yos); 1st starter from multiple SW dam (496K, 2-5 at 2, 7-25 sprints); dam full multiple SP turfer Captain Gaughen (87K, 0-8 at 2, 0-3 sprint); barn 2-9 (22%, $0.73 ROI) 2nd-out 2yo MSW dirt sprint; showed excellent speed and good courage when 2nd to Saratoga Special winner; very logical.
 
Tony B
100K yrlng, 500K 2yo after 2F work 21.2; 1/2 SW sprint Safe Trip (275K, 0-1 at 2) by 2yo G2 route SW (3-3 at 2, 1-1 sprint, 1-8 2yo FTS); dam route winner (22K, 0-3 sprint) with 2 wnnrs/2 rnnrs (0-1 2yos, 2-2 sprint); barn 0-49 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; 7/26 work .01 slow Tightly Bridled (5th FTS MSW 9 Beyer 8/5)
 
Enthrone
Sire 125-786 (16%) 2yos; dam won sprint (36K, 0-1 at 2, 1-3 sprint) with 0 winners from 2 runners (0-1 with 2yos, 0-2 with sprinters); 3rd dam SW My Dear Lady (52K, 2-3 at 2); barn 0-31 past 5 years 2yo MSW dirt sprint; chased next-out Vandal Stakes winner Go Greeley (70 Beyer) in the Colin; classy family; now with new ownership
 
Darwin's Dream
87K RNA yrlng, 135K yrlng; sire 2yo G2 SW router (3-3 at 2, 1-1 sprint, 1-8 2yo FTS); dam won turf (7K, 0-2 at 2, 0-5 sprint) with 1 wnnr/2 rnnrs (1-2 2yos, FTS wnnr, 1-2 sprint); dam 1/2 G3 SP sprinter Brushed On (424K, 2-9 at 2); barn 0-17 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; 7/12 work match Ostentaious Me (3rd FTS MSW 50 Beyer IND 8/9)
 
Divine Energy
Sire 13% 2yo FTS; dam placed sprinting at 2 (14K) with 2 wnnrs/2 rnnrs (1-2 sprinters); dam full G1 turf SW Sophisticat (443K, 1-8 at 2), G2 route SW Grand Reward (545K, 1-4 at 2, won debut, 0-3 sprint), G3 turf SW Schramsberg (394K, 1-4 sprint); barn 35-97 (36%, $2.74 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; can't ignore.
 
Pecorino
70K short yearling, 77K yearling, 130K 2yo after 1F work 10.1; sire 45-433 (10%) 2yo; SP dam (3-17, 130K, 0-1 sprint) has 2 winners from 5 runners (0-3 2yos, 1-5 sprinters); dam 1/2 G2 turf SW Big Booster (820K, 1-3 at 2); barn 6-36 (17%, $0.61 ROI) past 5 years 2nd-time 2yos MSW dirt sprint Spa; chased impressive winner; factor.
 
Aarons Orient
35K yearling, 75K 2yo after 1F work 10.0; sire 118-778 (15%) 2yos; unraced dam has 0 winners from 2 runners (0-1 with 2yos, 0-2 with sprinters); 3rd dam G2 SW Geraldine's Storm (347K); barn 7-21 (33%, $3.22 ROI) past 5 years 2nd-out 2yos MSW dirt sprint Spa; showed good speed debut vs. Pure Sensation.

Race 4

Sneaky Blowout
Working well off the 68-day layoff for a trainer who's done almost nothing wrong at the current SAR meet; the winner from last posted a 100 Beyer speed figure in his next-out BEL-Grade 2 stakes win; the 2-back show runner Beyered 81 in his next-out BEL-MSW win then repeated in a SAR-100K stakes with a 97; the main issue is if whether he can finish well enough to win at 9F showing his best closing punch at 7F.
 
Cat's Destiny
No exactas in 5 dirt starts making his 1st attempt at Saratoga in a tough spot off his distant-show finish on synthetic; 2-back posted a career-best Beyer on that type of surface; had the lead in his only other 9F start but figures to sit back and make one run for this.
 
Tiz Nasty (IRE)
Primed at longer on turf when stalking then fading; good sign that he displayed his best race on dirt rallying in a key-race; the winner and runner-up finishers Beyered 78-65 in next-out SAR-MSW and DEL alw. wins; must show more.
 
Rap d'Oro
Showed up with front wraps on in last then finished last posting his 2nd-lowest Beyer ever when no match for Sneaky Blowout; 37%-winning fresh trainer since 2012 adds to the appeal; his 3-back runner-up finish was superb vs the winner who repeated in an AQU-optional claimer with an 86 Beyer.
 
Speechmaker
Just missed on the lead in his only race at today's distance; thinking turf was the issue in last returning from an 8-week absence with a last-place finish; working well for this getting 1st-time Rosario a 28%-win rider for the trainer since 2012; view as a pace presence.
 
Dyker Beach
Reunites with the rider from his May career-best Beyer/near-miss finish in the slop; has not come close to firing back to that effort most recently finishing evenly 1st time over the SAR main track; would move him up a lot if the track comes up wet.
 
All That
Came up empty in the lane 2-back at shorter; has never raced on a fast-main track which could move him way up; should improve off the troubled-grass debut as today is 2nd time back off the 64-day absence; 30%-jockey-trainer combo for a 28%-winning turf-to-dirt barn.
 
Brabbham
30%-winning 1st-Lasix barn as he attempts go all the way on the lead; was primed for this at today's distance but have to be concerned if Sneaky Blowout and Speechmaker press him hard from the bell; could not off Dyker Beach on a wet track 2-back hoping to find another gear today in deep stretch.

Race 5

Call Up the Chief
Tough to ignore the 1-for-25 career mark when considering her for the top spot and it's not like her recent form has been in the neighborhood of what it might take to win this; prefer to keep looking around in here.
 
Chics Palace
Have to acknowledge the early speed that she has to employ after breaking from an advantageous inside post, but she's going to need to produce a performance that is much stronger than anything she's done to this point in time if she's to prove to be the one.
 
Flowing Mane
Like to see the improvement that coincides with the addition of Lasix two races ago and this gelding is making his first start after a claim for a barn that scores well in that category; well connected gelding looks like he fits right in with these; Rosario has won with 42 of 125 (34%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
 
Smoke Town
From two turf starts, he has a win and a second, and it doesn't hurt to see that he sports the best last race Beyer Speed Figure in here; feel that he's eligible to take a step forward now that he has some route experience to draw from; have to respect his chances while going out for a barn and rider that win plenty of races together.
 
Mr. Starr's Report
Lightly raced 5-year-old only managed to beat two to the finish in his first start of the year and don't care to see it he's needed more time off since that effort; respect the presence of Lezcano, but others entice more.
 
Summer Sands
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his turf starters and dam was unraced; this gelding is a 1/2 to Beachrock (1-4, 51k over turf); Darley homebred goes out for a solid trainer/jockey tandem and he gets blinkers for his turf debut.
 
Request a Puck
He ran pretty well the first time he raced over turf in Louisiana and he might appreciate stretching out in distance after trying a turf dash in his latest outing; feel that he has at least mild appeal while dropping in with claimerrs for this.
 
Golden Greeley
He earned a career best Beyer Speed Figure in his turf debut in his latest start but he finished behind a couple of today's rivals in that race and he loses the services of Rosario to another in here; his lack of early speed makes him a candidate to be outrun throughout.
 
Mr Algebra
Don't like to see that he has just a single victory next to his name after 21 starts, but he finished right behind one of today's key rivals in Smoke Town in his latest outing, and that level of performance is eligible to get him into the mix with these.
 
Song of Aspen
He looks like he's going to need to find a way to step it up over his previous best performance in order to have a say in the outcome; he's been sent to post at long odds for all of his recent races and he figures to play the role of an outsider once again today.
 
Saved the Best
He has plenty of turf in his pedigree and he's shown enough in his recent races to help give him a competitive look at this 25k claiming level; note that he finished just a neck behind today's rival Flowing Mane in his latest start.

Race 6

The Truth and K G
It's a tad worrisome that he was a nice 3rd in the G3 Bay Shore April 6, but then wasn't seen for 2 months, came back with an OK run at BEL June 2 and now hasn't been seen again for another 2-plus months; good news is that he's been working well and while he's in for a tag he's no fire-sale item for this kind of price ($100K); that last 4th looks better, too, when you note it was a tough bunch, his first try vs. elders (back in vs. 3yos today) and the 4th and 5th finishers both came right back to win.
King Henny
Sharp 2nd in a 3yo stakes at PRM April 20 suggested he was on his way; however, then came 2 not-so-hot outings in June; Asmussen opted to give him time to regroup and like the rail horse while he comes back for a tag it's a mighty big one so this isn't som panicky drop; he's faced some nice peers and a return to top form can make him a threat; nice also to see Rosario climb aboard.
Ration
Smart maiden win at CD June 22; first try vs. winners came here and wasn't too bad; sure, he was no real threat while finishing 5th but again, not only was it his first try vs. winners but his first try here, and his Beyer actually went up quite a bit so he looks headed the right way; question now is where he fits vs. winners and he's still in a pretty tough spot here.
Perilous Indian
Seemed to turn the corner in the winter/spring with 2 nice wins at LRL and PIM; however, things haven't gone so well in 4 starts since; in his defense, 1 of those came on turf vs. elders and the other 3 were all stakes races; this is a drop on paper, to be sure, but the quality of opposition probably is still on par with the level he faced in those stakes race; could it be then that this level is a smidge beyond him, hmmmm?
Much Stronger
Love LOVE big class jumpers like this; when a sharp trainer moves a horse up in value like this it's a big thumbs-up - they're telling you the horse is doing great and that if someone wants to claim him they're going to have to pay top price; looked super blasting much sorter here July 24 and could be he's found a home; all that being said, such a class hike means facing tougher so even if he is thriving here the water is much deeper; but that helps buoy your price, too.
Two T's At Two B
Came out smokin' in Florida in spring 2012, winning his first 3 starts; even after that he had 2 nice SPs there last summer/fall; however, after a long layoff (8 months) he came back dull there June 8, and was then a no-factor 4th in a G3 at MTH July 4; that means today's drop seems prudent but it's still a tough spot and even if he turns back the clock is his 'A' game enough to handle these?
Where's Dominic
So which guy shows up, the one who ran so well to be 3rd in the Delp at DEL May 29, or the guy who hit the brakes hard in MTH's Long Branch July 7?; well, today's class drop surely helps and while he has routed well his best work has come sprinting, and he's back sprinting today; that FAI bullet Aug. 10 also indicates there are no ill effects from that MTH debacle.
Jumpinofftheedge
Came out firing to win his debut but was no factor in first try vs. winners; in his defense, that was just his 2nd start, it was his first vs. winners and he was asked to go longer (mile); well, now he's got a bit more experience and the return to a shorter trip may help, but he's still got to find quite a few more lengths even off his debut win to beat these.

Race 7

Lucky Nancy E.
Sire 8-79 (10%) 2yo FTS, 10-107 (9%) 1st-turf; unplaced dam (0-2 at 2, 0-2 turf) has 5 winners from 6 runners (0-2 with 2yos, 1-3 with turfers); 3rd dam multiple G1 SW Missy's Mirage (2-4 at 2, won debut); barn 2-67 (3%, $0.46 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS; 6/28 work went .01 faster than Momma's Mark (6th FTS SMSW dirt 12 Beyer 8/2)
 
Flying K C
37K yearling RNA by 256-1411 (18%) 2yo, 55-539 (10%) 1st-turf sire; dam SW sprinter (188K, 1-2 at two, 0-2 turf) with 2 winners from 3 runners (1-2 with 2yos, 2-2 with turfers); 3rd dam multiple SW Fat Emma (225K, 0-3 turf); barn 1-12 (8%, $4.01 ROI) past 5 years 2yos dirt/turf; chased runaway in debut and can improve.
 
Lil' Zilla
40K 2yo after 1F work 10.2; 1/2 SP Blue Angel (170K, 1-3 at 2, 5-26 turf) by G3 sprint SW (1-2 at 2, 0-3 2yo FTS); dam won sprint (29K, 0-1 at 2) with 4 wnnrs/6 rnnrs (2-4 2yos, 1-3 turf); dam 1/2 SW Steal a Heart (569K, 6-13 turf); barn 1-5, $0.78 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS SMSW turf sprint Spa; 6/13 work .04 slow than Lady Yellow Tail (70 turf Beyer); capable
 
Aspree
7.5K yearling; sire 88-609 (14%) 2yo, 29-216 (13%) 1st-turf; unraced dam has 2 winners from 5 runners (1-2 with 2yos, 0-2 with turfers; 2nd dam is G2 Thirst for Peace (2-3 at 2, 0-7 turf); barn 1-2 (50%, $23.60 ROI) past 5 years 2nd-out 2yo dirt/turf; 8/3 work matches Fox Rox (4th SMSW dirt 43 Beyer 8/9); jock's 1st call; expect solid speed effort.
 
May Shares
20K weanling, 125K 2yo after 1F work 10.2; sire 0-28 with 2yo FTS, 0-24 1st-turf; dam won sprint (19K) with 1 winner from 1 runner (0-1 with 2yos); dam 1/2 SW Pavo (304K, 2-5 at 2, 0-2 turf); barn 1-5 (20%, $0.78 ROI) past 5 years 2yos FTS SMSW turf sprint Spa; 7/11 work went .05 faster than Ale (4th OCL/SALW turf 78 Beyer 7/21); won't ignore.
 
Talk to Me
1/2 SP Wild Berry (254K, 2-6 at 2, 2-18 trf), SP route Berrytime (53K, 0-3 at 2, 0-1 trf), SP route Berry Bound (160K) by 13% 2yo, 2% 1st-trf sire; winning dam (100K, 1-2 at 2, 4-10 trf, 1st-trf wnnr) has 5 wnnrs/6 rnnrs (2-5 2yos, 2-4 trf, 1 first-trf wnnr); barn 1-1 (100%, $129.40 ROI) pst 5 yrs 2yos dirt/turf; finished ahead of some of these on dirt.
 
Hangingwithsonny
3/4 SW turf router Hangingbyathread (307K) by 14% 2yo, 11% 1st-turf; dam won turf at 2 (39K, 1st-turf winner) with 4 wnnrs/5 rnnrs (0-3 2yos, 3-4 turf); dam 1/2 multiple SW Senate Appointee (543K, 6-9 at 2, 0-1 turf); barn 1-8, $16.16 pst 5 yrs 2yos dirt/turf; 8/7 work match Chang's Secret (7th SMSW turf 8/12)
 
Hot Squeeze
23K wnlng, 70K yrlng; 1/2 SP Sandi's Ready (122K, 0-6 at 2, 3-24 turf), multiple G3 SP Domonation (181K, 1-4 at 2, 0-4 turf) by 14% 2yo FTS, 10% 1st-turf sire; winning dam (100K, 1-5 at 2, 0-5 turf) has 3 wnnrs/3 rnnrs (1-3 2yos, 1-3 turf); dam 1/2 SW Out of my Way (517K, 0-1 turf); barn 0-14 past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW turf sprint; solid pedigree.
 
Aesthetique
Sire 12% 2yo FTS, 13% 1st-turf; winning dam (78K, 0-2 at 2, 1-10 turf) has 2 wnnrs/2 rnnrs (1-1 with 2yos, 0-2 turf); dam 1/2 multiple 2yo G3 turf SW Incurable Optimist (271K, 4-6 at 2, 4-4 turf), 2yo G2 SP router Feisty Step (50K, 1-3 at 2); barn 0-14 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS; 3 works match Knacque (2nd FTS MSW dirt 71 Beyer 8/11); jock's 2nd call.
 
Freud's Sunset
Sire 23-189 (12%) 2yo FTS, 29-216 (13%) 1st-turf; dam won sprint at 2 (1-3 at 2) with 3 winners from 3 runners (0-3 with 2yos); female family multiple SP Battle Creek (144K, 0-2 at 2); barn 4-56 (7%, $0.83 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS (0-3 turf); sire gets some good grass horses.
 
Sassy Salsa
62K yearling; sire 18-130 (14%) 2yo FTS, 11-95 (12%) 1st-turf; dam first-turf winner (25K, 1-2 turf) with 1 winner from 1 runner (1st-turf winner); dam 1/2 G3 turf SP Irtahal (England), multiple SW Karis Makaw (159K, 0-1 at 2), multiple SW Nationhood (181K, 0-1 turf); barn 0-2 past 5 years 2yo FTS.
 
Star Grazing
1/2 multiple SP Stolen Star (210K, 1-2 at 2, 0-5 sprint), multiple SW Friend Or Foe (349K, 3-3 sprint) by 16% 2yo FTS; multiple SP dam (91K, 0-1 at 2, 1-6 sprint) has 4 winners/5 runners (2-4 with 2yos, 2-4 sprint); barn 1-4 (25%, $5.65 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS SMSW dirt sprint Spa.
 
Don't Blame Her
9K yearling; sire 15-178 (8%) 2yo FTS; placed dam (43K, 0-5 sprint) has 2 winners from 2 runners (0-1 with 2yos, 2-2 with sprinters); dam 1/2 multiple SW sprinter Pas by Pas (86K, 2-2 at 2, 3-4 sprint), SW Bay Barrister (102K, 3-11 sprint), SW sprinter Go to the Ink (201K, 4-8 sprint); this is barn's 1st debut runner; jock's 1st call
 
Alwaysinstilettos
1/2 SP 2yo Always for You (43K, 1-6 sprint) by 13% 2yo FTS; multiple SP dam (95K, 1-1 at 2, 1-10 sprint) has 5 winners/5 runners (1-3 with 2yos, 4-5 sprint); dam 1/2 multiple 2yo SW sprinter Shesastonecoldfox (216K, 4-5 at 2, won debut, 4-9 sprint); barn 0-14 past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint; jock's 2nd call.

Race 8

Mr. Vegas
Pretty nice bit of training to have this guy run so well off the extended layoff; the local win came in sprint turf racing debut with a 68 Beyer; best when sent along but he doesn't absolutely need the lead to succeed; runner won in a second off the layoff spot back in 2009; respect.
 
Lubash
Pro out to defend title and even though he lost his last race, he brings a higher prior Beyer to this fray than he did last year; runner was on the lead just about every step of the way on this course winning a state-bred $100K stakes here on 2010 with an 84 Beyer; not disgraced in last pair and he got a boost when the winner of last gave Horse of the Year Wise Dan all he could handle in the Fourstardave here Saturday when second; clever barn due for a bit of luck, check out the 15 slices this meet; look out.
 
Jonrah
Game win on the course and he was inching away late but he gets the acid test today in his toughest placement to date; 6/21 place horse took a state-bred $35K optional next out, then was 2nd a neck in an open $35K optional; would not want to jump on too short a number here.
 
Barrel of Love
Can't be thrilled with the local grass slate; only beaten three quarters in the stretch out spot here last August; tough to be overly positive after the last fiasco.
 
Hear the Footsteps
Runner was tabbed at 15-1 on the morning line here Wednesday in a $100K Troy sprinting on grass but he is against some sizzlers here; proven here and one for one at the trip, note place horse in last was nearly 5 clear; probably needs another big move forward to make it 4 straight.
 
Street Game
Winning a third of the starts is a nice thing to have on the resume; he set the sizzling pace at Oceanport in last and just had nothing left in the tank; he only beat 4 in the last win and he may prefer a bit of give in the ground considering the yielding course that day; will at least muddle the pace.
 
Abilio
He has never won in a second off the layoff run in his career; he was losing ground late in the last win and has not been able to close the deal since; runner has been handled by a number of today's foes; hard to adore.
 
Hangover Kid
Nothing wrong with hitting the exacta in 9 of 17; left with a bit too much to do in the Grade 1 at the shore last time but he again proved to be value in the exotic; there seems to be enough zip in here to help the cause and the winner of the April finale cashed next out in a $16K optional, then was 3rd beaten less than 3 in the Grade 1 Man o' War; must find a way to turn the tables on the Clement charge among others.
 
Mia Poppy
Even when this guy brings the A game, he has had a tendency to get late; style no secret as he has one way to go, to the lead and then try to improve his position; with Street Game in the field, not sure this race sets up all that great for him.
 
Kharafa
Only out of the money twice in 12 turf starts; nice; he beat open foes in last and was coming away late in the process; far from disgraced in either turf effort, his tactical speed figures to give him first run on the deep closers; can't fault those that give him a legit shot to repeat.
 
Bigger Is Bettor
Veteran has been consistent all year and the Beyers are going in the right direction; the 5/9 place horse cashed next out in a state-bred $25K optional, then was out of the money twice; he comes to the race right but we really don't know how much the head win took out of him in last; too sharp not to take seriously.
 
Awesome Vision
Hung wide in last and note he got to drifting under a left-hand whip while trying hard; the May 1 winner repeated in an $88K stakes 6/14 with a 99 Beyer; they were all together in the Shipman last time, sometimes a sign of just an ordinary race; respect his consistency.
 
Groomedforvictory
Senior citizen had dead aim at the top of the lane, just could not carry on with the momentum; runner has more speed than he flashed in last and note this rider was up for the last win; respect everything from the Maker factory.
 
So Scott
Flattered Bigger with the win in last; key off the June 1 race and this guy fits if he gets a chance to suit up; he's never been a win machine, check out the 15 slices and now he has to cut back; needs very best.
 
Most Happy Fella
Hot claim box item seems ambitiously placed here; runner set a :48 and change pace in the wins on the strip and pace could be much quicker this time; could see him pushing the issue, not sure he'll be around at the end.

Race 9

Reflecting
Went on a roll early in the year, winning a first-level allowance at GP and then repeating at Kee; the wagers then got deeper in stakes company and he couldn't produce at the same high level; needs to make up 2 1/2 lengths on Teaks North, who finished in front of him in that last race May 15; has won all three of his races when fresh - food for thought.
 
Roadhog
Dominants at PID in Pa-bred company, running one of his 'A' races with a Beyer in the low 90s; he needs another such performance here to repeat; on a whole, his better runs have come in state-bred or restricted stakes races, but he is a 7-time winner who cleared the N3X alw condition long ago in November of 2011.
 
Slumber (GB)
Two starts in America have been excellent, and his form overseas was solid, as well; the layoff is the hurdle, obviously; he has not raced in over a year, and is a 5-year-old with just 9 starts to his credit; even if a significant injury hasn't slowed him down, perhaps simply the inactivity will; he is a good comebacking barn with Mott, though.
 
Sky Blazer
Has raced in stakes in all but one race since July of last year - and that allowance, a race at Kee, was a stakes-quality race with How Great, Middie and Air Support in the lineup; owns solid Beyers and has been competitive in three stakess races leading up to this; 3-0-0-1 at Sar, but that's deceptive; he's actually ran quite well here on firm courses, running fourth in the Grade 3 Saranac in Sept. of 2011 andthen third in the Bernard Baruch last year.
 
Teaks North
Was an out from the Fasig Tipton Horses of Racing age sale this summer, and now shows up for a 100K tag; hmmmn; he's obviously the class of the race, having won the United Nations in 2011 and just running second in it this year to Big Blue Kitten, who will be one of the favorites in the Sword Dancer; deserving favorite, though he probably has an issue or two being a 6-year-old with a number of layoff lines in his PPs.
 
Olympic Thunder (BRZ)
First start in the U.S. was nice, though it wasn't against horses of this caliber; was far out of it last time behind a slow pace after a slow start; picks up Rosario; a Grade 1 winner in Brazil; has upside.
 
Star Channel
Looks a cut below these; he jus narrowly won a second-level allowance with a 62.5K claiming price, and then was a wide fifth in the Johns Call; very well would have been closer in his last start had he not had such a tough trip; still looks like a longshot against this fine group.
 
Aussi Austin
Main track only runner has obviously proved a rewarding claim for Rudy and Dubb and partners; he's well positioned here as an MTO, too; it's tough to get upper level allowances to go, and in the even this race comes off the turf, it would be depleted of much of its quality.

Race 10

Sayaad
He's a very interesting player in here as his form has improved with the addition of Lasix three starts back and it does appear that he'll be able to control the early tempo after breaking out of post one; note that a poor start cost him two back when in tough against Notacatbutallama.
 
Tiz Gianni
He's a stakes winner over turf and he can't be counted out of it while making his first start for the Jacobson barn after a 62.5k claim; third place finisher won next out here on 8/4 going 1 3/16m over turf vs. 62k OPC's with an 89 Beyer.
 
Razorbill
He has a fine pedigree for turf and he has the look of a live import while showing up for the Shirreffs barn with Rosario aboard; like to see the addition of Lasix and the runner up from his latest race won a 110k stakes over an Equitrack surface in his next start.
 
Just Sayin
He's been beaten by a couple of today's rivals in his two most recent starts and he's going to need to really step it up over those performances if he's planning on making any noise in this spot; he looks like more of an outsider.
 
Otto The Great (GB)
On paper, he's the least intriguing of the three imports in here, but he is showing up for a live barn that does well with turf starters, and he gets Lasix and Castellano for his first start in America; leaning toward others, but wouldn't consider him a shocker if he proved to be the one.
 
Nine O Wonderful
He ran well after a long layoff in his latest start and the winner from that race returned to win next out here on 7/21 going 5 1/2f in a 100k stakes with a 100 Beyer; of the horses in the main body of this race, he boasts the best last race Beyer Speed Figure, and today's one mile distance appears to be right in his wheelhouse.
 
Monument Hill
It seems like this Grade 3 stakes placed veteran shows up and gives it everything he has in just about every start, so it's probably a good idea to look for him to bounce back after failing to produce one of his sharper performances in his latest outing; a currently live barn adds further appeal.
 
Tapit Express
This barn has been putting live horses on the track at this meeting and they've been known to call upon Napravnik when they feel that they have one ready to fire; however, it does appear that this gelding will either need to show up with a career best effort or see a few of these show up with less than their best to have a shot at the top spot.
 
Beer Garden
Have to respect the way that he performed in his first start for this barn after a claim while making his turf debut with the addition of blinkers two races ago, and he'll appreciate dropping out of the graded stakes ranks for this; Garcia has won with 15 of 47 (32%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
 
Farhaan
Shadwell homebred looks like he did some decent work racing overseas, and if his recent workouts are any indication, it looks like they have him geared up for his first start in a year; like to see the addition of Lasix and note the success that Lezcano has had riding for this barn.
 
Canaveral (GB)
Since earning a stakes placing his first start in America when finishing second behind Seal Cove, he hasn't had much success, but maybe he'll be worth upgrading if he gets to run over a course that has give in the ground.
 
Star Harbour
There are a couple of horses in the main body of this race who have shown a little bit of dirt ability, but it looks like the focus will be on the three MTO's if this race has to be taken off the turf; this veteran has plenty of early speed and his best effort places him squarely in the mix.
 
Bradester
Lightly raced 3-year-old has done very little wrong in his first three starts and like to see the improvement he's displayed along the Beyer Speed Figure scale; third place finisher from latest returned to win next out at GP on 1/26 going 1 1/8m vs. 75k OPC's with a 90 Beyer; Lezcano has won with 13 of 36 (36%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
 
Cozzetti
Grade 3 winner nearly equaled a career best Beyer Speed Figure with a return to dirt in his latest outing, his first dirt start wearing blinkers, and not going to count out the possibility of him producing a sharp performance against these.

Race 11

Freight
Runner came out in last and felt the wrath of the stewards; the 9th finisher in last graduated next out but it was on the drop into a maiden $4500 FL claimer; backers can point to the fact that lone sibling Liquid Asset won on grass once; cozy slot, but rail at this distance this meet is just 2 for 32.
 
Dapper Draper
Maybe he just wanted grass all along; wraps on last time, try to get a good look at him on the track; he has the two races to draw from now, should be right there when the smoke clears.
 
Smokey Brown
Big Brown 6 for 29 with first-time turfers; sire took only start at 2, won first two legs of the Triple Crown, banked over $3.6 million, won both of his turf efforts; stakes placed 2 for 24 dam earned nearly $100K, won on grass once; both siblings won, one cashed on turf once; top kin Clear the Runway took a stakes, won $95K; could be on the muscle with the blinks.
 
Mel's Dream
Can never dismiss :21 and change speed; dam was unraced; 2 of 6 siblings won including double turf winner and over $100K earner Wishingonadream; figures to muddle the pace but he will be pressured early.
 
Sayaprayerforme
Plenty of lick so far, very little stick; can't be thrilled with the multiple defeats for a tag and there are several in here with designs on the lead; not sure the race sets up all that great for him.
 
Jacob Black
Freud about 11% with first-timers in a 325-runner sample, about 13% with first-time turfers in a 316-runner survey; sire, who is a half bro to Giant's Causeway, was 2nd a half in debut at 2 at The Curragh at 6 furlongs on a yielding course, graduated there at 3 at about a mile on turf; dam 0 for 11; all 3 siblings won; the one that tried grass lost 7 times on turf, none were special; in for $85K less than purchase price, would have liked to see some local spins.
 
Harrier Hill
Two huge regressions since tough beat in 2013 opener; runner he dead-heated with 5/17 has been out of the money twice since; there is potential as the lone sibling won on grass once; hard to be overly positive after recent efforts.
 
Show Some Lovin
Gelding always showed ability and note three exited the Penn National finale to graduate next out the winner 6/14 repeated took an N1X there, then was 4th beaten 2 in a $61K shore stakes; winner of last clicked next out in a $20K claimer here 5 days ago with a 71 Beyer; a clean start and it could be a whole new ballgame.
 
Southern Safari
Beyers going in the right direction and Rocco got a chance to figure him out; dam second in only start, a dirt route; lone sibling Financially Secure took 4 of 24, earned nearly $70K, won on grass twice; blowout on Sunday should have him on his toes.
 
Hoboken Joe
Pinballed against gate in the debut, the rest of the races are solid; 2 sibs tried grass to no avail but one did bank over $100K; had the excuse of the mud in the debut, ran well the last time for a tag and should sit a nice stalk and pounce trip; major player.
 
Hengroen
Troubled but only beat 2 the other time for a tag; the last time he cut back, he made the lead but caved in badly; when this guys folds up his tent, he really folds it up; passing.