07/22/2013 2:46PM

Closer Looks: Saratoga July 24, 2013


Race 2

Parc Monceau
First start since coming from SoCal was very nice - bided her time, made a strong run to grab the lead by midstretch but then was no match for big winner Garnet Street while a clear 2nd; that run looks even better, though, when you note 2 she beat that day came right back to win; obviously comfortable on this coast and she's been working regularly since, albeit fairly slowly; Rosario was up but ends up next door on Montana Native instead, so read into that what you will.
Montana Native
Freshening and return to dir did thet rick as she looked super whipping a nice bunch on CD dirt June 27; among her victims was today's foe Tap Twenty One (ran 2nd); filly has ample tactical speed to be in a good spot from the start but she's in no way a need-the-lead type; Rosario was up for her 8 1/2-length maiden win at GP Feb. 8 and rides again today with a big bullet 5f work (1:00B) July 16 in tow.
Tap Twenty One
Kept to her task nicely to be 2nd at CD June 27, though she was no threat to big winner and today's foe Montana Native (baten 2 1/2 lengths); that was her first start after about 7 weeks off, however, so she's certainly eligible to improve; you also have to like how her Beyers continue to trend north and there's a snappy :48B at KEE July 13 to encourage.
Wonderfully bred filly cost $775K at auction and she's indicate she may eventually be worth the price as she didn't miss by much in her debut (2nd by a half) and then beat maidens at CD May 3 and came to BEL and whipped a nice bunch there, too; usually once Mr. Mott gets 'em headed the right track track they tend to stay there; same overall connections that have done so well with champion Royal Delta; sharp :48.20B at BEL July 7 (2nd fastest of 32 that day) says she's doing well.
Flash Forward
Freshened after a dull G3 run at OP March 9, came back with an OK run at BEL May 24 and then moved forward nicely to be 2nd in a stakes similar to this there June 23; that makes her a decent fit here and the Beyer (81) matches up well with her foes today, too; also, that came vs. elders (winner was an elder) whereas she's back in vs. 3yos only today, no small matter; looks headed the right way now and there's a nice work since to say she's feeling spry.
Majestic Marquet
Won 3 of her last 5 so she comes here sharp; ran into mud and My Happy Face (2nd in Saturday's G1 CCA Oaks) in the Lotka June 13 and was a non-threatening 3rd (beaten 8 3/4 lengths); doesn't face anyone quite like that here but you can't blame the mud for that outing either as she was 3 for 7 on on wet tracks going into that start; faces no one as tough as 'Face here and the way she's finished in her wins at 1 mile and at 1 1/16 miles says she'll handle this longer trip no problem.

Race 4

Go Baby Go Go
She showed up with an improved performance in her turf debut at second asking, and when considering that was during her 2-year-old season, there's reason to believe that she can be ready for an even stronger showing today; 4th finisher from latest, Pure Fun, won next out at KD on 9/12 going 1m over turf vs. MSW rivals with a 59 Beyer.
Shortbread Scotty
Like the idea of her getting back over turf for this after staying in a couple of off-the-turf events most recently, but it does appear that she'll need to see a very slow early pace develop to have her best chance at getting herself into the mix against these.
Celtic Arch
Late running type ran well when finishing behind one of today's key rivals in Callana in her latest outing, and if that rival feels more early pace pressure in this event, perhaps this miss can turn the tables on those foes; she commands respect as a legitimate contender.
Pleasant Cat
She ran well in a couple of tough maiden events to begin her career and it looks like she's been doing some decent work in the a.m. in preparation for her first start since January; feel that she's another in here who is eligible to show up with an improved run.
She enters this race off of what can be viewed as being a useful career debut and she's making her first start for a barn that does nice work with young/lightly raced turf horses; Espinoza has won with 3 of 7 (43%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
She's tough to ignore based on what she's shown in her first two career starts and this is an outfit that is known for improving horses with age and experience; she's out of a multiple graded stakes winning dam who won 10 of 16 turf starts for 876k, and Alvarado has won with 20 of 71 (28%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Forever Road
Like to see the step forward she took at second asking with a rider switch to Castellano, but it is probably worth noting the presence of Castellano aboard another in this event; on a positive note, she figures to be involved in the running right from the bell and she has a sharp looking recent workout in tow.
Industrial Policy
She hasn't finished worse than third in her first five starts and have to respect the effort she showed up with in her turf debut in her latest outing; she hails from a top turf barn and Castellano has won with 28 of 89 (31%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Lunar Surge
She showed enough in her career debut to be taken seriously in this spot if this race has to be moved to the main track; winner from debut won next out at Bel on 7/7 going 1m vs. 25k OPC's with an 83 Beyer.

Race 5

Insane Speed
Improving work tab for this beginner whose sire won 3 of 15 and 274K (offspring of Simon Pure are 5 for 50 as far as winning their debut); the dam won 1 of 15 and 37K; among the winning siblings is 64K earner Code Legal.
She has a passion for the lead but thus far no endurance; makes her first run of the season and is likely to encounter outside early pressure from Work N Flirt; returning breeze pattern at the Big A is modest.
Mama Zee
Deceptive first effort when caught wide throughout; her sire, a pure sprinter, won 440K including a G2 stakes score; the dam went zero for 7; winning siblings include 159K bankroller Stellsie; the right value play and the selection.
Charming Becky
Adds blinkers in search of the wake-up; should have gained some physical conditioning from her latest run over a tiring turf course; seems capable of cutting back effectively today and would benefit if a duel develops right out of the gate.
Work N Flirt
Owns a strong first gear but must avoid a prolonged war with Passionforsongs; she is the only runner in the field dropping out of the special weights class and is therefore a primary contender; should be on or near a softer pace than what she encountered in the last pair.
Beaten favorite makes first start for the new trainer who specializes with fresh claims; the grey has a running style which fits the race and picks up Rosario who has important prior experience aboard; latest local breeze was fair.
Lady Halite
Although finishing off the board yet again in her comeback race of a month ago, she suffered through a very difficult trip (still finished midpack and did not lose much ground at all in the final furlong); daughter of the brilliant Medaglia d'Oro should be able to stay within range at a price.
Malibu Queen
Flashed decent fighting speed in her unveiling way back in February but then had a nightmare effort second out; her prolific sire won 1 of 2 and 333K while the dam won 1 of 4 and 25K; there are no winning siblings to mention; very puzzling item.
Respectable showing at Belmont Park last month especially in light of the trouble along the way; cannot avoid another slow getaway considering the pace nature of this crew; may have to settle for minor spoils once again.
Diamond Maker
One of 4 beaten chalks in this line-up, she rallied well 3 weeks ago downstate when descending to this class for the first time; more than likely, she will have to overcome much swifter early fractions today but maintains Hall of Fame rider who will try to get her into the race at an earlier point.

Race 6

Vitoria Olimpica (BRZ)
Trainer does not compete with many 1st-time North American Imports but is 1-for-2 since 2012 with this angle; 1st Lasix today and in with his lowest-weight assignment ever; the 11th and 13th-place finishers from last took CJD 32K and 8K events next out; the worktab does not stand out but gets Johnny V a 32% win rider at SAR for Pletcher since '12.
Bim Bam
Far off his best form in 2 races since going 3-0-1-1 for trainer Asmussen exiting a career-low Beyer speed figure; the winner from last Beyered 95 in his next-out IND-101K stakes win; 2-back winner repeated in a CD-Grade 2 with a 101 speed figure; is winless since June, 2010, and 22 races ago last scoring in a CRC-55K 1-Mile event racing over a 'good' turf course.
Paris Vegas
Low-percentage fresh trainer (6% since 2012) does not add to the appeal; no match for Hoofit in his last SAR Inner Turf start last summer; posted a career-best Beyer on SAR Mellon-yielding grass; wish he showed more run 3-back when last catching a less-than-firm course chasing the show runner who Beyered 93 in his next-out LRL-103K stakes win.
Pants On Fire
Figures to be part of the pace in an event lacking defined gate speed; sire is 5-for-160 with 1st-turf runners; is out of a 1-for-11 grass dam (40K); 2 foals to race on grass are 0-for-10 combined; doing the rain dance as he loved the wet-main track 3-back which produced his last victory; the 2-back runner-up finisher Beyered 109 in a next-out CD-Grade 2 win.
Super-fresh trainer off the middle-move competing on less-than-firm turf; is far off very-best form heading into this; the Woodbine Mile winner from 2011 has gone 0-for-7 since; was defeated by Beau Choix in his only other start on SAR Inner Turf; 1st-time JLezcano riding who began the SAR meet icy (1-for-24).
Seal Cove
Has never raced this short of a distance during career; winning-fresh trainer reunites with the debut-win rider; the runner-up finisher from last Beyered 96 in his next-out BEL-Grade 3 win; the 2-back winner repeated in a TAM-Grade 3 with a 95 speed figure.
Hoofit (NZ)
Last start looks better since defeating the show runner who Beyered 93 in his next-out MTH-76K stakes win; just 2 grass wins and owns a much better slate on synthetic (5-2-0-2) including his last win picture October, 2011; good sign that he was stakes-placed on SAR Inner Turf at today's distance in his only other start here.
Sleepless Knight
Beaten-betting choice when necked as the favorite at 1Mile on the green; he just doesn't ever seem to run a bad race; main issue is whether he is this good defeated by Paris Vegas 4 races ago when closing roo late; rare trip up here for a 26%-winning jockey-trainer combo who have not had 1 SAR starter since at least 2012.
Last win was right off the long layoff so he can fire well fresh; best game is when he races on or near the lead which is a good scenario for this in a field lacking defined pace; the winner and runner-up finisher from last Beyered 103-91 in next-out BEL Grade 3 and alw. wins.
Beau Choix
Late runner needs a hot pace and a clean trip for best result; the winner from last repeated in a MTH Grade 3 with a 94 Beyer; defeated the 11th-place finisher from last a 90 Beyer CD-optional claiming next-out winner; reunites with the 3-back win rider when beating the show runner a next-out 90 Beyer KEE-optional claiming winner.
Mr. Commons
Classy sort projects to press the pace wide then hopes to come up big when the real running begins; solid-fresh trainer adds to the appeal; stalked the pace in a last-out key race; the winner from last repeated in a CD Grade 1 with a 103 Beyer; beat the 4th-place finisher from last who Beyered 96 in a next-out PIM-G2-stakes win.
Don Dulce
Main Track Only entry with mixed reveiws off the April claim; late runner's career-best Beyer was produced at longer than this on a fast track; finished 1st in his last wet-track start but ended up being DQ'd to 9th place; they all must hold him off in deep stretch to win this.
Class relief off 3 consecutive Grade 3 defeats; 2-back is noted when no match for Pants On Fire who follows him here; MTO lost the rider when last seen more than 5 months ago with a so-so worktab fort this; doing the rain dance noting the career-best Beyer on a sloppy oval; ran well in defeat last summer in his only SAR start which was over his preferred less-than-fast oval.

Race 7

Baal Perazim
Last out runner up at the level cuts back a half panel for her local debut run; she's had plenty of chances and the inside draw doesn't figure to help a runner without much early foot, but she will likely be running on late; looks capable of grabbing a share for an outfit that saddled a couple of big priced winners here last year.
Bear Slayer
Sire gets 11% first out winners from his offspring but just 3% winners from those trying the lawn for the initial time; SP dam's 4 wins all came on the green and this gal is her first foal to race; Bowie drills aren't much, but this barn has had a pretty nice year from a moderate amount of starters so we'll keep an eye on the board.
My Cousin Zinny
They've been trying to get her on the lawn for a while now without any luck, but she's been better of late; drop to this level should help and she does have speed which should benefit her in a field without a lot of early lick; sire gets about 9% first surface winners and the G3 SP dam did win 3 times on the green prior to dropping a couple of turf winners; front running contender.
Statebred is offered for a tag while in with open company here after failing to factor first time on the green; filly breezed well before leaving her downstate base and her lone sib to race is 125K earner Ornellia whose 2 wins both came on the lawn.
Beaten last out chalk has had many chances thus far and hasn't been able to get the job done; his prior couple of efforts earned numbers that would put him in the mix here if he's able to get back to them and the price should be much better today.
Brianna Nicole
Goes first off the claim for an outfit that boasts excellent numbers with this type; filly ran ok sprinting first time on the lawn downstate this spring and she should have a little extra to offer late at today's shorter trip; one to consider.
Lady Gaby
Adds the hood for her return to the local circuit after showing some improvement in her second Finger Lakes spin; neither of her turf starts was much and it doesn't appear as if she's much of a fit at this level; tough to make much of a case for this longshot.
Blue Ballerina
Beaten chalk has settled for plenty of minor awards in her 10 race career but now she'll drop to a career low level for her local sod debut; maybe getting off the fence helps and those numbers she earned in her 2 downstate turf sprints were good enough to win this; cuts back a half panel for this but they'll have to hold her off to win.
Looked good getting second money in her debut at Gulfstream this winter while in for twice this price, but hasn't had much to offer late in 3 starts since; maybe the return to claimers helps and the barn excels second off the brief freshening, but she'll be tackling one turn racing for the initial time in this spot; a solid pilot does take the call but she'll need to keep this shipper involved from the bell.
Allie Sweet
Starts from the outside slot for an outfit that's been on a poor run of late with its newcomers; filly is by a sire who gets just 4% first out winners from his offpsring and has seen just one of his 102 runners trying the lawn win first time over the stuff; dam was winless from 3 starts prior to dropping 2 turf winners; outfit does hit at a nice clip with Castellano aboard.

Race 8

Jan's Perfect Star
Not sure what went wrong in her latest but she may not have cared for running under the lights; focus on her previous race at Churchill and she looks like a serious player; it was a super key race and the horse that finished fourth won her next two including the Iowa Distaff and then finished second in the Grade 3 Shuvee here on Saturday; she looks like the speed of the speed and could take them all the way over this speed-favoring surface if she leaves there running; big shot.
Alexandra's Grace
Goes for her third in a row but her career-best Beyer Speed Figure comes in a bit light and the only time she ran on this circuit she wasn't much of a factor; none of the horses she beat in her latest at Parx June 4 have won since and she will need to pick things up considerably to contend here; Dutrow has solid stats with horses coming back in this time period but we're still going to pass.
Half to Grade 2 placed Doctor Diamonds flopped as the chalk in her latest at Monmouth going around two turns but she gives the impression she is a much-better horse in one turn races and we know she's comfortable going this distance; horse that won her race at Gulfstream two back won the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne in her next start; strong route to sprint stats for Clement and it is encouraging to see Rosario accept the mount; contender.
Girl Code
Won her only start going this distance at Parx but there were no real stars in the field; nice effort over a muddy surface in the Lotka and the horse that beat her is a Grade 3 winner who finished second in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks last Saturday; she ran well over this surface in her debut last year plus she has good tactical speed and could get first crack at Jan's Perfect Star; consider for the exotics.
Moment in Dixie
Not a bad effort coming off a long layoff and she figures to move forward with a race behind her; the horse that finished directly behind her won the Grade 3 Victory Ride in her next start; this gal will appreciate the extra furlong she gets to work with and she equaled her career-best Beyer Speed Figure running over this surface in the Smart Guest last year; nice work here July 17 could mean she's ready for a big effort in her second start back; the pick.
Natalie Victoria
She certainly knows how to win races but none of her six wins came going this distance and it sure looks like she wants to control things right from the start; that isn't going to happen here; she did come from a stalking position in her two wins sprinting at Suffolk but she was facing a lot easier competition; two solid races since she was claimed by Levine but she'll probably be overbet with Castellano riding so we're looking in other directions.

Race 9

Watsdachances (IRE)
A nice resume - with wins in the Miss Grillo at Belmont and P.G. Johnson over this course; she was even second in the BC Juvenile Fillies; two starts this year have been a little disappointing, but you have a high % turf trainer in Brown and he and Javier are a winning combo; caught a race with no pace in her last, and should get much hotter splits this time around.
Is perfect in three starts on the turf, including a dominant frontrunning score in the Florida Oaks, defeating Kitten's Dumpling; the layoff is the concern, as well as the presence of other speed; Rosario lands on Kitten's Dumplings; so Mott calls on Smith, who of course, he has teamed with success with Royal Delta.
Blossom's Trail
Yet to taste defeat in three starts, but all of her wins have come against lesser; she's never even raced in a stakes race, much less in one as good as this; has been scratched from a couple other stakes leading up to this, but Contessa shows confidence by putting her in here; just don't think she's up to this standard.
Like the filly to her inside, she is 3 for 3 - though she has a stakes win to her credit, a score in the Bit of Whimsy; she just narrowly won that race, however, in a tightly paced field; not concerned about the headstrong comment - take note of the pace; most would have been headstrong being reserved off a 1:16 and change 6f split.
Midnight Watch
Gets tested for class after recording two wins from three turf starts; obviously she's a free running filly that wants to go to the front; Tapicat has the same style, of course - so handicappers will have to guess if they'll duel, or which one of the two might take back.
Kitten's Dumplings
If she can transfer her fine form from CD - where she won the Regret and Edgewood - she is going to be tough to beat; her two wins there were beauties; fell short of Tapicat earlier in the year, but likely has a fitness edge over that comebacking rival, and this one also seems to have caught a field with pace; choice.
Fab Flowers
Multiple stakes placed miss is a half to stakes winners J.D. and Water and Exotic Wood, a G1 winner of 890K in the mid 1990s; has been racing much shorter and looks shaky on the stretch out, particularly against graded company.
Has just a third in the Little Silver stakes among her list of stakes accomplishments - and that came with the help of a DQ; is entered for the main track only - a smart move;she doesn't appear to have the class to run with these on turf, but against a depleted field on dirt - if that scenario were to unfold - she'd fit; none of those in the body of the race have won a race on traditional dirt.

Race 10

Carolina Chant
He's had his chances and can't be thrilled with the defeats vs. softer; cozy slot now after breaking from the marooned post; after 15 or 19 defeats, the upside is just hard to find; would think long and hard before taking too short a number here.
Cowboy Prince
One of a number in here showing for a tag for the first time, any are eligible to run huge; runner has much more speed than he flashed in last; rider has had good success for Contessa; if this guy can run ast all, he figures to show it today.
Show Some Lovin
Gelding may have just hated the yielding course last time; show horse 6/2 graduated at Colonel with a 65 Beyer, then ran second twice in state-bred N2L allowance company; 4th finisher in last took an N1X in Philly and the 5th finisher took a maiden $25K claimer at Penn National; lone sibling took one dirt route; beaten chalk half the time; that is something that has to be addressed.
Seriously Sharp
Gelding showed a little life in last and may appreciate the shorter trip; backers can point to the fact there is turf success in the tree and also an a near $180K earner; gelding could be more keen to run after the recent blowouts; got a feeling we have not seen the best of this one.
Where's Danny (IRE)
The big field doesn't figure to intimidate him and the stateside debut was solid considering he was pinballed at the break; backers can point to the fact that kin Katla took a couple of stakes, banked nearly $250K; note show horse was 3 clear in last; the one to beat.
Been given time to recoup from the pop and stop comeback effort; 2 for 26 dam earned nearly $45K, was turf only; several multiple race winners in the tree including grass stakes winner and near $400K earner Irish Colonial; he only beat three the only time in open company; may need Empire breds to show top talent.
Runner seems to be approaching his level; toss the MSW efforts and the talent is seen; he has a lot of work to do to match top kin, stakes winner and over $250K earner Paris Vegas; he has shown some semblance of speed in his career but also seems comfortable tracking; rates long look in all the slots.
Soph found it much tougher to be close up in the maiden claimer two back; the drop and the shorter trip can't hurt; the 5/18 winner repeated and than was 8th in $20K claiming league; look for rider to send hard and try to steal it.
Mel's Dream
If you figure he was just dead short in last, then you have something to work with; at least he got a spin over the track; dam was unraced; 2 of 6 siblings won; both won on grass and one banked nearly $100K; bred by owner, would probably be more comfortable vs. $16K foes.
Ride a Song
In tight early in last but still only beaten a couple of lengths; stakes placed 2 for 19 dam earned about $85K, both wins came on grass; lone sibling took one sprint, was 2nd in best turf result; Napravnik takes call on runner that is figuring it out; contention goes deep.
Indian Style
Lukas 7 for 58 or 12% the last 5 years with MSW to maiden claiming moves and 14 others ran in the money; in for $165K less than purchase price, you would figure it to be an all-out go today; there is no grass success in the tree but kin Palanka City took several stakes and banked nearly $400K; due to fire.
Pomeroy about 14% with debuters in a 121-runner sample, 1 for 46 with first-time turfers; sire took debut at 2, won a couple of G1s, banked almost $850K, was out of the money in only turf out; 1 for 11 dam did cash on grass; this is her first to race; note gap in published drill till last Saturday.
Harrier Hill
Tough beat in the heater two back, could have just been over his head in last; the lone sibling took a Group 1 in Argentina; key off the 2013 opener and this guy fits big time; legit player if he suits up.
Terranova 3 for 16 or 19% the last 5 years with debuting maiden claimers; Street Sense about 11% with debuters in a 133-runner sample; sire won twice at 2 including BC Juvenile, took the Derby, banked over $4.3 million; dam was unraced; 2 of the 3 siblings won on grass; may need softer as a $17K purchase.