07/26/2013 10:31AM

Closer Looks: Saratoga July 27, 2013

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Race 1

Metaurus
Beaten nearly 3 in the lone local start on a sealed sloppy strip sprinting; the 5/12 show horse took a state-bred $98K stakes with a 92 Beyer next out; runner got the work a week ago and he has been value in the gimmicks; that is where is strength may lie once again.
 
Caixa Eletronica
Gelding has always had a penchant for finding the wire; proven locally, he has natural speed but doesn't need the lead to win; 3 exited the opulent CT race 3 back to win next out; back class screams off the canvas and the last race was a nice confidence builder; repeat well within the realm.
 
Point Taken
Must respect his consistency and note the trouble trip two back; 4 exited the May 1 race to win next out; Jacobson thought enough of this guy to take him back and it was obviously a good move; should be around the wire once again.
 
Joan's Choice
Only beat 4 horses in the lone win this year; best when sent along and at least he has the two races under his girth; the 3/23 winner repeated in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, then was 2nd beaten over 2 in Flat Out's Suburban; easiest spot since the 2013 opener; must be left in the mix.
 
Tuvia's Force
Nothing wrong with hitting the exacta in 9 of 17; runner handles any kind of going, like the way he was getting to the winner in last; he looks comfortable here with the several local drills; can't be dismissed.
 
Indy Scent
Pushed into the stakes after the last win and has not been able to close the deal since; inching toward the winner in the only local start; she has failed in her last several return efforts; would tread lightly here.
 
Dan and Sheila
Ambitiously placed off the claim; the show horse and 6th finisher two back cashed next out; not really close in several attempts in this league; may need softer to shine.
 
Magic Harbor
Repeatedly proven off the layoff, the 3/23 show horse took a $25K optional next out, lost next pair; only beat 5 foes in the lone win this year; the bad news is he has to deal with Point Taken once again.
 
Most Happy Fella
Respect hot claim box item; 2 of his 8 wins came here and he got a boost when the winner of last repeated in the Shipman last Monday with an 87 Beyer; 3 decent drills coming to this race; tactical speed gives him a puncher's chance.
 
Cinnamon Beach
Over 3 times as many slices as wins makes him a tough on top only ticket; place hrose in the 2012 closer took a $50K optional next out, then ran 3rd; Judy Simek was named as owner for the last race; one concern: not gap in published mopves till 7/21.
 
Au Moon
Proven fresh, he has run well at a number of different venues and love the fact he has speed but doesn't need the lead to win; don't be too harsh about the race two back since he only has won on grass once; far too sharp not to take seriously. -Brian Mulligan

Race 2

Indigo Kitten
110K RNA yrlng; 1/2 SW sprint Notonthesamepage (120K, 1-5 at 2, 1-1 turf), full G2 SW sprint Holiday for Kitten (327K, 1-4 at 2, 3-12 turf) by 18% 2yo FTS, 16% 1st-turf sire; dam won sprint (303K, 0-1 turf) with 5 winners/5 runners (2-5 2yos, 3-5 turfers, 2 1st-turf winners); barn 1-11 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW turf route; 7/8 work match Barisoff (78 Beyer).
 
Base Case Scenario
1/2 G3-placed Alydarla (150K, 1-3 at 2, 1-6 turf, 1st-turf winner) by 2-7 (29%) 2yo, 1-1 (100%) 1st-turf sire; dam SP sprinter (53K, 1-1 at 2, 2-6 turf, 1st-turf winner) has 2 winners/4 runners (1-4 2yos, 1-2 turf, 1st-turf winner); 2nd dam G2 SW Investalot (310K); barn 3-12 (25%) past 5 years 2yos dirt/turf (1-4 Spa).
 
Mexikoma
55K 2yo after 2F work 21.1; sire 10-98 (10%) 2yo FTS, 3-84 (4%) first-time turf; 1st starter from sprint-placed dam; dam 1/2 SW Doctor Decherd (159K); barn 1-2 (50%, $8.10 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS.
 
Branded Hand
50K yearling by 7-90 (8%) 2yo FTS, 9-87 (10%) first-turf sire; 1st starter from SP dam (100K, 2-5 at 2, 0-1 turf); 2nd dam SP Miss Pine Top Az (15K); barn 0-25 past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW turf routes Spa.
 
Stroll to Victory
4.7K wnlng, 31K yrlng; 1/2 2yo SW sprint Maileys Cat (86K, 0-3 turf) by 9-28 (32%) 2yo FTS, 4-24 (17%) 1st-turf sire; unraced dam has 2 winners/2 runners (2-2 2yos, 1 FTS winner, 0-1 turfers); 3rd dam G1 route SW Dreamy Mimi (585K); barn 1-14 ($3.45 ROI) pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW turf route Spa; 5/18 work match Carjon Carjon (63 turf Beyer).
 
Tall Boy
425K weanling; 1/2 SP router Irsaal (123K, 1-4 at 2, 0-2 turf) by 253-1400 (18%) 2yo, 235-2007 (12%) turf sire; dam won route (37K, 0-1 turf) with 1 winner from 2 runners (1-2 with 2yos, 0-2 turfers); dam 1/2 multiple G1 route SW Saint Liam (4.4M); barn 3-23 (13%, $3.99 ROI) past 5 years 2yo MSW turf route Spa; faltered 1st start turf/2 turns.
 
Nice Way
60K 2yo after 2F work 22.2; 1/2 2yo G1 sprint SW Bevo (410K), 2yo G3 route SW Moonlight Sonata (145K, 0-4 turf), turf SP Carson Hall (249K, 0-2 at 2) by 40-288 (14%) 2yo, 10-85 (12%) 1st-turf sire; 2yo sprint SW dam (73K, 0-3 turf) with 7 winners/12 runners (4-9 with 2yos, 4-5 turfers, 2 first-turf winners); barn 1-41 (2%) past 5 years 2nd-time 2yos.
 
Divorce Party
1/2 turf SP Dom (81K) by 11% 2yo FTS, 10% 1st-turf sire; dam G3 SW turf at 2 (145K, FTS winner, 1st-turf winner) with 3 winners/3 runners (2-2 2yos, 1-2 turfers); barn 1-19 (5%) past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW turf routes (0-6 Spa); 7/15 work matches The Careless Cat (5th 60 Beyer turf 7/22).
 
Smooth Daddy
1/2 multiple SP Virgin Voyage (226K, 2-9 at 2, 0-3 turf), multiple SW Prairie Charm (270K) by 17% 2yo, 14% 1st-time turf sire; dam multiple SW (294K, 4-11 turf) with 5 winners/6 runners (1-3 with 2yos, 1-4 turfers); barn 1-11 (9%) past 5 years 2nd-time 2yo dirt to turf; 7/17 work matches 3yo Let the Cat Out (49 dirt Beyer); jock's 2nd call.
 
Bobby's Kitten
Full multiple SW Major Magic (123K, 2-3 at 2, FTS winner, 3-13 turf, 1st-turf winner) by 18% 2yo FTS, 16% 1st-turf sire; winning dam (54K, 1-5 turf, 1st-turf winner) has 2 winners/2 runners (1-2 2yos, FTS winner, 1-2 turf, 1st-turf winner); family multiple G1 turf SW Paradise Creek (2.5M); barn 5-26 ($2.11 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW turf route Spa.
 
Spun
195K wnlng, 220K yrlng, 130K 2yo after 1F work 10.2; 1/2 multiple SP No Passing Zone (185K, 1-3 at 2, 1-8 turf), SW sprint Double Down Vinman (538K, 2-4 at 2, 0-3 turf) by 15% 2yo, 15% turf sire; unplaced dam (0-1 at 2, 0-1 turf) has 6 winners/7 runners (2-6 2yos, 2-6 turf); barn 2-13 (15%) pst 5 yrs 2nd-time 2yos MSW sprint to route turf.
 
Bold Visionary
1/2 multiple turf SP Pure Incentive (112K, 1-3 at 2) by 11% 2yo FTS, 6% 1st-turf sire; dam 2yo turf SW (73K, FTS winner, 1st-turf winner) has 5 winners/8 runners (2-6 2yos, 2-5 turf, 1 first-turf winner); barn 3-15 ($2.64) pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW turf route); 4 works match Thank You Marylou (1st Tippett Stakes 7/13 CNL 65 Beyer); jock's 1st call.-Dan Illman

Race 3

Vigorish
1/2 SW router Gold Trader (81K, 1-1 at 2, 1-2 sprint), G3 sprint SP Swift Attraction (42K, 0-1 at 2), G3 sprint SP Big Top Cat (54K, 0-2 at 2) by 9% 2yo FTS sire; dam G1 SW at 2 (911K, 5-7 sprint) with 5 winners/8 runners (3-7 2yos, 2 FTS winners, 5-7 sprint); barn 1-34 past 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; 6/28 work match Channel Isle (82 Beyer)
 
A Touch of Poetry
Sire 10-98 (10%) 2yo FTS; 1st starter from multiple SP dam (159K, 1-2 at 2, 2-12 sprint); dam 1/2 G1 route SW Tapit (557K); barn 1-52 (2%) past 5 years 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa.
 
Twang
Sire 12% 2yo FTS; dam 2yo route winner (28K, 0-3 sprints) with 1 winner from 2 runners (0-2 2yos, 0-2 sprinters); dam 1/2 SW turf router Dream Nettie (146K); barn 2-18 (11%) past 5 years 2nd-time 2yo MSW dirt sprint; winner of debut returned to run 2nd (73 Beyer) in Colin Stakes at WO; runner-up returned to win ELP with 91 Beyer; capable.
 
Justin Nguyen
65K yearling by 42-283 (15%) 2yo FTS sire; dam multiple SW sprinter (474K, 1-4 at 2) with 0 winners from 1 runner (failed to win sprinting at 2); female family SP sprinter She's the Mint (46K); barn 2-7 (29%, $2.17 ROI) past 5 years 2yo FTS dirt sprint (0-1 Spa); 6/12 work went .01 slower 4yo filly Brianna Nicole (2nd 16K MCL turf 59 Beyer 6/19)
 
Bay of Biscay
1/2 SW Warning Flag (1.4M, 2-4 at 2, sprnt wnr Ire./Hong Kong), by 9% 2yo FTS sire; dam won turf (21K, 0-2 sprint) with 5 winners/7 runners (3-7 2yos, 1 FTS wnr, 5-5 sprint); barn 32-99 pst 5 yrs 2yo FTS MSW dirt sprint Spa; 5/28 work match Corfu (FTS Thurs); 2 works match Danza (1st 68 Beyer 7/12)
 
Sky Drama
80K weaning, 100K yearling by 104-558 (19%) 2yo sire; winning dam (17K, 0-3 at 2) has 1 winner from 3 runners (0-1 with 2yos, 0-3 sprinters); dam 1/2 multiple G1 winner (Peru) Tomcito (157K); barn 7-22 (32%, $3.15 ROI) past 5 years 2nd-time 2yo MSW dirt sprint Spa; 3rd-finisher from debut returned to win here 7/22 with 93 Beyer. -Dan Illman

Race 4

Supreme Commander
Sire wins with approximately 15% of his turf starters and multiple G1 winning dam won 14 of 21 starts for $2.2 million, including 13 of 19 turf starts for $2.1 million; this colt is a 1/2 to G3 winner Smart Sting (4-13, 413k, including 2 of 11 turf starts for 161k); Stronach-homebred is eligible to improve with a move to turf.
 
Parnelli
Three of his four starts over turf have been decent performances and perhaps the most interesting thing with this half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Casino Host (4-16, 578k over turf) is that he's making his first start with Lasix; Saez has won with 5 of 18 (28%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
 
Rakete
He's flashed some ability at times, but his overall form has been so-so at best, and he's starting to look like the type that might hang around the maiden ranks for awhile; he finds himself facing a tough bunch today and looks like more of an outsider.
 
Rome Burned
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his first-time starters and with approximately 13% of his turf starters, and dam won 2 of 17 starts for 42k, including 2 of 13 turf starts for 36k; this colt is a 1/2 to Performing (5-20, 166k over turf) and Dodging (4-18, 123k, including 3 of 14 turf starts for 87k).
 
Tiz Nasty (IRE)
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his turf starters and multiple graded stakes winning dam won 8 of 24 starts for 754k, including 0-for-1 over turf; runner up from latest won next out at Sar on 7/21 going 1m over turf vs. MSW rivals with a 77 Beyer.
 
Unitarian
He's run well against some legitimate maiden competition, including his last three starts over turf, and as long as he doesn't react negatively to the addition of blinkers, he figures to be a tough one to keep out of the mix; strong connections help add appeal.
 
Federal Agent
He finished right behind today's rival Unitarian in his latest outing and the fourth-place finisher from that race, King Balthasar, returned to win next out at Bel on 7/5 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. MSW rivals with a 79 Beyer.
 
Mr. Jenney
It would have been nice to have seen him show more at second asking but going to respect his chances based on what he showed in an encouraging career debut; he's a 1/2 to multiple G1 winner Mrs. Lindsay (4-10, $1.2 million, including 1-for-1 over turf in North America for 621k) and it doesn't hurt him to have Rosario aboard.
 
In Rocky's Honor
He's by a fine turf sire and his dam was G3 stakes placed while winning 3 of 16 turf starts for 138k, and even though his form hasn't been bad through his first three starts, he has been beaten by a number of today's rivals; prefer to look in another direction.
 
Speechmaker
There are a few horses in the main body of this race with decent dirt form to consider, but this colt will obviously be a top contender if this race has to be moved to the main track; he ran very well in his latest dirt start two races back while wearing blinkers for the first time; he's out of a G1 winning dam who won 8 of 31 starts for 902k.-Brian Pochman

Race 5

Irish Lute
Kentucky shipper may have gotten some confidence back in beating allowance runners as the chalk last out at Churchill and was flattered when the gal she necked returned to win by open lengths while posting an 89 Beyer here last weekend; she catches stakes fillies in this spot and there doesn't look to be whole bunch of speed in front of her, but she did overcome the inside slot last time and off the bullet breeze across the street maybe they are a little more aggressive with her early here; consider.
 
Wildcat Lily
Florida based miss worked sharply prior to leaving her Gulfstream base in preparation for the attempt at 3 straight here; she's certainly on the improve and her positional foot should have her in a good spot from the bell in her local debut, but she dances every dance and now she'll return just 3 weeks off another career best Beyer effort; a top pilot will take the call and acknowledge that she's certainly fast enough on her best, but this may be the spot in which she starts to back up; trying to beat her on the win end.
 
Ju Ju Eyeballs
She's taken 5 straight over a couple of different surfaces and now she'll return in less than a week for the acid test; barn is having a great year and this gal's style should have her within striking range of the pacesetters early in her local debut, but when the chips are down this filly will need to prove she's good enough to step with these.
 
Lighthouse Bay
Returns to the scene of her career debut after being given some time off the easy win over cheaper at Parx early last month; barn has gotten off to a nice start with limited runners at the stand, but this filly hasn't run particularly well off drills in the past and this is the best bunch she's faced thus far; prefer others on the win end.
 
So Many Ways
Last year's G1 Spinaway and G3 Schuylerville winner makes her local return while turning back to sprint off a solid route try behind a filly who also took the G2 Black Eyed Susan and may be Alabama bound; she was able to get up at a longer one turn trip at Churchill 2 starts back and is a stakes winner at this distance; Rosario gets aboard a filly who may prove to be the main threat.
 
Little Rocket
New York bred takes a big step up the company ladder after coming up short against restricted runners downstate in her return from nearly half a year on the shelf; she's clearly talented and has a right to move forward with that last one behind her, but this is an awfully ambitious spot and don't know that she'll be able to handle it at this point of her career.
 
Kauai Katie
G1 SP filly arrived on the local scene with a bang last summer and left the meeting a G2 SW sprinter; she ran into a couple of good ones in the Memorial Day Acorn and she's run quite well fresh in the past; Pletcher barn has won this race once, with Bobby Flay's Her Smile in 2011; lack of lick signed on should benefit her as she does have a nice early turn of foot and this may be her best trip; she'll get hit hard on the tote, but they'll have her to catch and beat.-Steve Grabowski

Race 7

Cantonic
His career best Beyer Speed Figure was earned in his one start over this turf course in a winning performance last year, and that was with Napravnik aboard; that said, this is a competitive gathering and this runner might have a tough time avoiding an early pace dispute.
 
Indy Sea
All three of his turf starts have been solid performances, and when considering the long layoff, his connections had to be very pleased with his latest effort; winner from latest won next out at Bel on 7/12 going 7f over turf vs. 62k OPC's with an 84 Beyer.
 
Folk Singer
He has some early speed to throw at these and he's going to appreciate the fact that he isn't being sent out in a G1 today; respect the fact that he's won four of 10 over turf but all of his wins have been earned against claiming competition.
 
Balthazar
Lightly raced 3-year-old meets up with older horses for the first time, but he's eligible to have his best races in front of him, and his late running style should play well in a race that appears to have a good deal of early speed in it; runner up from latest won next out at Cnl on 7/13 going 1 1/4m in a G2 with a 95 Beyer.
 
Favor Factor
He's been good in back-to-back starts since being placed over turf and he was locked down racing along the rail until it was too late in his latest start; he's being reunited with Castellano for this and he's won with 29 of 93 (31%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
 
Lead Singer
He ran a nice race the first time he raced over turf and perhaps he can benefit from having some time off prior to this; runner up from latest won next out at Bel on 6/23 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. N2L alw. rivals with a 77 Beyer and 3rd finisher won next out at Bel on 6/27 going 1 1/4m over turf vs. 35k OPC's with an 84 Beyer.
 
King Balthasar
He didn't react well to his rider going left handed in his latest outing, but he has a fine pedigree for turf, and that was a very nice run for his first start with Lasix; if anyone in here is going to lead this field every step of the way, this looks like the one to do it, but he might have a tough time trying to catch an early breather.
 
Eton Blue
Sire wins with approximately 15% of his turf starters and multiple G1 winning dam won 4 of 12 starts for 871k, and she didn't make a turf start; runner up from latest won next out at Mth on 7/7 going 1 1/16m in a 107k stakes with a 91 Beyer.
 
Death Star
Tough to give this one the nod over today's rival Favor Factor when considering the trouble that one had when they met on June 23; that said, this 5-year-old does appear to be heading in the right direction for his third start of the year.
 
Box Office
Sire wins with approximately 11% of his turf starters and dam was winless from eight starts, including one turf start; this gelding is a 1/2 to Basone (1-5, 19k over turf); interesting to see that they tried to get him over turf right after a claim last September.
 
Craving Carats
His latest start was one of his better efforts and he earned his one career win over this turf course; however, he's going to need his sharpest performance to date to beat these, and he's another in here meeting up with older horses for the first time.
 
Cary Street
He'll belong on the list of contenders if this race has to be taken off the turf but there are a number of horses in this race who have run well over dirt; third finisher from latest won next out at CD on 6/30 going 1m vs. N1X rivals with an 85 Beyer.
 
Midnight Taboo
If his recent workouts are any indication, then it looks like he might be ready to bounce back with a sharper performance after taking a shot in the Belmont Stakes when last seen; he's tough to ignore while going out for Repole, Pletcher and Velazquez.
 
Norumbega
Nicely bred colt will have a live look to him in this spot while getting Lasix for the first time if he gets to go, and he recorded a sharp winning performance over the main track here in 2012; must consider.
 
Tiz Adonis
He's flashed ability at times through his first five starts but this looks like it will be a tough spot for him to land in if this race gets taken off the turf; perhaps a minor award is within his reach.
 
Tiz Now My Choice
His lack of early speed is a concern and it would have been nice to have seen him show more while meeting up with winners for the first time in his latest outing; others entice more.-Brian Pochman

Race 8

Plainview
When he makes the lead by himself is a very-dangerous runner but has Sarava's Dancer to battle with early while Film Shot projects to be pressing that pair; his 2-back race was sensational on BEL turf at today's distance; away since a Grade 1 loss and takes a big class plunge off that fade his lowest Beyer since June, 2012; reunites with the 4-time win jockey; good-fresh trainer and won at today's distance on SAR-Inner Turf last summer but races on the Mellon course for this.
 
Sachem Spirit
Super-long layoff barn and also strong 1st-time out with newly-acquired runners; did not like dirt at all in last posting a career-low Beyer when defeated by the show runner who produced an 88 Beyer speed figure in his next-out FG-optional-claiming win; the 4th-place finisher in that event Beyered 89 taking a GP-40K claimer next out; super closer's setup if all the speed stays in.
 
Eternal Ruler (IRE)
Set the pace in a 78K event the only time racing on SAR Mellon grass which occurred last summer; been rallying in her most-recent races exiting a new career-best Beyer in a BEL sprint over less-than-firm turf; has been working well off the sharp effort; the winner from last repeated in a SAR-100K event with a 99 speed figure; beat the 9th-place finisher a 92 Beyer BEL-optional claiming next-out winner; should work out a good trip saving ground then rallying into a hot pace.
 
Majestic Raffy
8%-layoff trainer after being outfinished by Film Shot; lost to Eternal Ruler 2-back; his last win was on the SAR Inner Turf course (races on Mellon today) catching a 'good' oval upsetting at longer than this; have him ranked a notch below the top players while likely needing a race to see a top effort.
 
Kris Royal
Sandwiched a Mile win in between two 5th-place efforts off the maiden breaker which occurred at today's distance on the SAR Inner Turf he races on the Mellon for this; likely needed last start while the barn is superb 30% winners 2nd time off the bench; the 3-back runner-up finisher Beyered 93 in his next-out CD alw. win; Johnny V become rider 4 in as many races which is often not a good win angle.
 
Shkspeare Shaliyah
Moves way up if this is contested over a less-than-firn turf course; was beaten by Film Shot 2 races back on firm when this one was outrun at long odds; his last win was 16 races ago October, 2011, in the Grade 3 Pilgrim on soft BEL-Inner Turf at today's distance.
 
Z Dager
Graduated on a wet-main track and would prefer this one rained off the grass onto a moist-dirt oval; exits his worst defeat on turf when favored off 3 straight solid efforts then did not break well and was a non-factor throughout; the trainer began the meet hot (3-for-8) and goes to a 29%-win rider for the barn; 1st time at the SPA; must show more to make amends.
 
Film Shot
Figures to work out a good trip if able to stalk Plainview and Sarava's Dancer projected to fly from the gate to contest a hot pace; ran right on the lead in last but also saw him rate well 2-back however both wins were right on the engine; best Beyer at longer on less-than-firm turf.
 
Channel Isle
Exits his lowest Beyer since December while taking on older rivals for the 1st time; this outsider beat 1 runner home in last and was outfinished on today's SAR Mellon turf course last summer facing maidens at today's distance.
 
Sarava's Dancer
Away since posting a career-low Beyer he hopes to get loose on the lead but Plainview and Film Shot both figure to be flying from the gate for this which could leave him pressing it 3-wide; just did not show up in last but 2-back beat the show runner a next-out 84 Beyer DEL alw. winner; view as a major pace presence.
 
Don Dulce
Main Track Only entry with rock-solid form off the claim and seems well spotted again; DQ'd from a wet-track win 4 races back but has shown he can handle an off race track; Z Dager loves a wet-main track also; looms for a super trip tracking the inside speed; scary if in.-Art Gropper

Race 9

Dream Peace (IRE)
Terrific renewal; mare was a strong 2nd in this last year, and it took top-class Winter Memories to beat her; 3 1/4 lengths behind her?; only Zagora, who came back to win the G1 BC F&M Turf and was champion turf girl; that being said, 2 starts this year weren't as strong but it's nice Brown opts to wheel her back here; also, she may have been a tad short for the Beaugay and then the footing wasn't quite right in the New York; well, there should be no such issues today, though it's a tad disconcerting that for all her talent she can't keep a jockey - Smith is her 5th different rider in last 5 starts; but hey, a return to her best makes her scary.
 
Stephanie's Kitten
Sure come back firing this year with 2 smashing wins; remember, though, both came going just a mile and came on non-firm turf; she certainly won't get the mile aspect this time and may not get non-firm ground; even so, she's truly top-class, has won at this trip and handles firm ground; and while some of thesae beat her last year, could be those 2 monster triple-digit Beyers this year indicate she's come back bigger and badder.
 
Dayatthespa
1 of 3 Brown entered in here; nice comeback this season after a disastrous near-career ending experience in the G1 Matriarch last fall when she ran into the inner rail and suffered some serious injuries; good news is she's come back with 2 fine outings and it's a great sign Brown opted to go in here, knowing he had 2 other sharpies and knowing the likes of 'Kitten and 'Court were to line up as well.
 
Laughing (IRE)
Just beat Dayatthespa gamely at MTH June 29 so she's got quality to be sure; that being said, this is the deepest end of the pool and she's facing some real toughies; remember, though, 14 months ago she wasn't that far away from champin Zagora, and they thought enough of her in 2011 to try the G1 E. P. Taylor after some strong Irish work; that win at MTH June 29 was also her first start in 8 months so she may be ready for a forward move; of course, she likely need such a move to be a player here, but that's hardly out of reach.
 
Centre Court
Going into the G1 Just a Game II she looked like the best turf gal in the land - remember, she was favored; had an odd trip that day but the ground may have been more the culprit as it was a bog; good news is she shouldn't get such footing today and certainly a return to top form can reestablish her position in the division's pecking order; but the way 'Kitten has come back this gal is going to have to step up her game to do so, isn't she?
 
Samitar (GB)
Couldn't quite handle a few of these last year and early this year and you had to wonder if she was just a cut below; well, Brown apparently disagrees as he could have gone somewhere else but instead opts to take on the big gals, including a couple of his own; sure looked good with that nice confidence-builder win at BEL July 4; and remember, she was an Irish G1 SW last year so there's plenty of class here meaning she has the requisite talent if she brings her 'A' game - though that's no small 'if', is it?- Michael Hammersly

Race 10

Bashaar
Shipper has run well to pick up minor awards in each of his last 2 in Iowa and he'll get a top local pilot while tackling his toughest bunch to date in his local debut; off the pace type will likely find himself well out of it early from here and there doesn't look to be a plethora of speed signed on which won't make it easy for him to make up the necessary ground in the lane; prefer others on the win end.
 
Code West
He's had a little extra time to get over the hard earned G3 Matt Winn score at Churchill and he's been working well on both dirt and synthetic out West in the interim for his local debut; Baffert calls upon Rosario to pilot a sophomore who has been quite good this year and he did finish in front of subsequent G1 Belmont winner Palace Malice when they last met in the winter; from close range he's one to consider.
 
Will Take Charge
Colt caught the wise guy eye in his troubled G1 Kentucky Derby run but was unable to break through in his 2 subsequent Triple Crown spins; barn won this race twice - in 1989 with Is It True and in 2001 with Scorpion; he'll get another new pilot for a barn that hasn't had any luck here so far, but maybe the hood removal helps him move forward some; lack of pace is a concern, but maybe he's able to sneak into the exotics mix at a price today.
 
Moreno
He's looked like a new animal since shipping East and adding blinkers now he'll stretch out to 2 turns; G2 SW lands in a field that doesn't contain a whole lot of early foot so he'll likely again find himself on the front end; he'll have a little extra ground to deal with today, but they may have to run him down to win.
 
Palace Malice
Fresh Belmont winner took to rating tactics when the hood was removed for that Classic score and has breezing regularly for his return to the races; the fact that runner up Oxbow held second after arguing hot splits suggests that no one behind them did a lot of running in that heat; he's run ok fresh in the past and the Pletcher barn has won this race 4 times over the past 10 years (Stay Thirsty in 2011, Flower Alley in 2005 both returned to take the G1 Travers); pace dynamics of the heat figure to again have this morning line chalk in a good tracking spot early; contender.
 
Perfect Title
Deep closer beat older at the trip in the preliminary allowance ranks at Churchill early last month and now he'll make his stakes debut; barn won this race in 2008 with Macho Again; colt has been working well since the score and maybe he's got some confidence in him now, but the pace scenario today doesn't look to flatter his run; have to side against the repeat.
 
Freedom Child
Forced the pace in the Belmont last month but paid the price for it and quickly retreated in that 12 panel heat; his 2 back G2 Peter Pan front end trip score was one of the better efforts set forth by a sophomore this year, but it came over a wet track and given his other performances we'd have to question if he's really close to that good; barn took this heat's 2006 renewal with Bernardini; expecting they'll look to sit a stalking trip from this draw and he does own a 2 turn, 9 panel score, but he's got something to prove in this spot.
 
Mylute
Earned a big number in the G1 Preakness behind a winner who returned to hold second behind Palace Malice in the Belmont last month; he's been right there with the better runners of his generation this year, but his running style could leave him with a lot to do in the lane given the way the heat's pace scenario shapes up and he hasn't been working as if he'll look to get more involved early this time; best makes him an obvious threat, but he may be better next time.
 
Looking Cool
Earned a career best number in taking the Iowa Derby through a moderate final fraction and now he'll start from an outside slot; barn did win this race in 2007 with Street Sense; don't think he's going to get the pace he's looking for in here and that's when he seems to run his best; siding with others.
 
Vyjack
Gelding is stuck in a wide slot for his first start since the Belmont; he's been working rather well of late for this and he's run well off drills in the past; he ran well behind Verrazano while trying 9 panels in the 2 turn G1 Wood Memorial and in the past he has shown the ability to sit close to the pacesetters which could benefit from here; with Velazquez taking the call he may be worth a look at a price.-Steve Grabowski
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Look for Centre to get back to the top today as the best Turf female in the country. $$$$$$$