09/03/2009 11:00PM

Spa Babies for 9/5

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Welcome to Spa Babies! I'll break down the statistics for every juvenile contest at the meet.  Hopefully, we'll end up with a tidy profit.

Friday's results:
Race 3:  Strike the Tiger scratched; second choice Jung Man Scott finished second
Race 4:  On the Beat finished eighth
Race 6:  Bretton Woods finished third

***DETAILED STATISTICAL ANALYSIS WILL RETURN FOR SUNDAY'S CARD***

Race 2
7 Furlongs
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds
Purse $55,000

Analysis:
Trainer James Baker has yet to saddle a winner at the Spa meet, but his three-year-old filly Pretty Prolific ran a solid second in the Test, and he has an interesting longshot in first-time starter WESTSHORE.  The homebred is a half-brother to Gresham, the third-place finisher of the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile last year at two, and the second dam, Pike Place Dancer, won the Kentucky Oaks.  The August 20 workout matches up with Baker's three-year-old, Cassoulet, the runnerup to Forego morning line favorite Kodiak Kowboy in the $200,000 LeVine Memorial at Philly Park in June with at 93 Beyer. 
DEVONSHIRE fell far behind at huge odds in career debut on Opening Day, but showed some late life, finishing ahead of a pair of next-out winners.  He earned a solid 70 Beyer Speed Figure that day, and can certainly move forward with a pair of recent bullet workouts on the tab. 
IN JUST WE TRUST did not have an easy journey in his career debut, but he showed some late life that was very encouraging.  The runner-up that day, Fayoum, returned to run a game second once again. 
EL PRIMERO raced evenly in his career debut behind a very impressive Bob Baffert-trained first-time starter in Bulldogger.  The Contessa-trainee took some money for that heat, and the barn has sent out several live juveniles at the meeting.  This one is scheduled to wheel back in one week, and that has been a successful move for Contessa in the past. 
KEENELAND BREEZE cost $1,500,000 as a yearling, and has been working right along for Kiaran McLaughlin.  He's by the great A.P. Indy out of a dam that won on the grass, but Keeneland Breeze is a half-sister to Classic Elegance, the winner of the Grade 2 Schuylerville here at two in 2004 with a 79 Beyer.  This one wouldn't be a surprise, but the McLaughlin babies have mostly underwhelmed at the meet.  VOLITION, a $200,000 yearling by A.P. Indy out of Alcibiades (Grade 2 for juvenile fillies at 1 1/16 miles) winner Westerly Breeze. shows some good works for a barn thats's been cold at the meeting.  CALLIDE VALLEY showed speed in his debut before faltering behind a well-meant debut runner.  Expect this son of Indian Charlie to be up and on the pace once again under Julien Leparoux.  CAPTAIN STONE adds blinkers after an even performance over a speed-favoring track.  The inside post can be intimidating for young horses, especially at seven furlongs.  ICE BOX's dam won the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap with a 99 Beyer, but that race was at 1 1/2 miles on turf, and Ice Box may simply need two turns and a surface switch before he struts his best stuff.  NORTHER GIANT was dull in his debut when behind an impressive winner, but is another that seems destined for grass.  GRAVITAS is a half to the quick sprinter Taqarub, the winner of the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct in January with a 103 Beyer.  The dam preferred grass, however, and this barn usually gives their runners a start or two before they hit their best stride.

Selections: 
1.  Westshore  2.  Devonshire  3.  In Just We Trust

The Play:
Westshore to Win and Place at 10-1 odds or greater

***

Race 5
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds
Purse $51,000

Analysis:
BWANA BRAVE ships up from Calder after chasing runaway 94 Beyer winner Hear Ye Hear Ye and next-out 84 Beyer maiden graduate Thank U Philippe.  The dam won her debut at two at Remington Park, was stakes-placed sprinting in her third start that season, and ended up successfully stretching her speed to one mile.  The young sire, Bwana Charlie, already has a turf winner, and he put up a 106 Beyer in winning the Amsterdam going 6 1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga main track.  This distance may be pushing it a bit, but the September 1 workout matches up with David Donk's recent turf maiden winner Freedom Rings, and the price should be right. 
Expect KING KITTEN to improve switching to turf.  Julien Leparoux's second call is by the promising young stallion Kitten's Joy, a sire that has enjoyed success with turf routers from his first crop.  This colt showed speed in both starts on the main track, and the last two workouts match up with stablemate Strike the Tiger, one of trainer Wesley Ward's contingent of juveniles that successfully shipped to Royal Ascot earlier this year.  King Kitten should be prominent from the opening bell. 
CHAIRMAN NOW didn't break very well in his turf debut, but he was only beaten a length, and can move forward for excellent barn if able to break in from deep on the also-eligible list. 
TRIPPO is Leparoux's first call, but he is stuck on the also-eligible list, and is unlikely to start.  The dam was a multiple stakes-winner going long on the main track at the old Detroit track, and Trippo didn't have an easy trip in his turf and route debut on August 16. 
BILLIONS BOY is Rajiv Maragh's first call, and the also-eligible is hoping to make the two sprints to a route move in his third lifetime start.  The $250,000 yearling finished pretty well in both lifetime starts, but this barn has struggled at the meet.  STATELY VICTOR is regally-bred as his young sire, Ghostzapper, was a top-flight racehorse, and the dam, Collect the Cash, won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II over a grassy nine furlongs with a 95 Beyer.  He draws a cozy inside post, and ran pretty well in his debut over the main track.  This one would be no surprise.  DIXIE SUMMER'S only sold for $3,200 earlier this year, but his dam was a turf winner, and there is plenty of grass blood in the pedigree.  BUFFALO RUNNER is a half to a couple of blacktype performers, and he closed a bit of ground in his debut.  He goes second off the layoff, and is another that can do better in a very contentious heat.  GRAND PIANO MAN made up some late ground in his debut, but must avoid a wide trip if able to break into the body of the race.  MESA VISTA  improved in turf debut for Mr. Lukas, but the $500,000 purchase may need another Beyer jump forward.  MINT MAKER's dam was a Grade 2 winner on the main track so it's interesting that Gary Contessa has tried this career path (exclusively turf) thus far.  CRYSTAL MOMENT's dam was a Group 1 winner at two in England, and it's possible the $1.7M yearling buy found the 5 1/2 furlong distance a bit too short in his debut.  WORRIED MAN's dam earned four triple-digit Beyers going long on the main track, but the graded winner was also proficient on the turf.  The workouts fail to excite, and the post is a tough one.  HYBRID is Mike Luzzi's first call, and the dam earned a pair of triple-digit Beyers routing in graded turf races (including a third-place finish in the 2003 Diana at Saratoga).  EXTRAEXTRAORDINARY shows a 16-day gap between the last two published workouts, but Kent Desormeaux's second call is bred for long distance racing.  His sire, Giant's Causeway, was a terror on the turf in Europe, and the dam was a Grade 3 winner going 1 1/16 miles in the slop.  Extraextraordinary is a half-brother to multiple stakes-winner Coolwind (283K in earnings).  CYPRESS POINT showed good speed in his debut on the main track, but faltered badly when the real running began.  He looms a forward factor once again stretching out in distance. 

Selections:
1.  Bwana Brave  2.  King Kitten  3.  Chairman Now

The Play:
Bwana Brave to Win and Place at 5-1 odds or greater

***

Race 7
7 Furlongs
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds
Purse $55,000

Analysis:
CITRUS KID took some money for his career debut on the lawn, but was simply too far back after a quarter of a mile to make much impact.  He adds blinkers for barn that has done well with young horses at the meet, and the August 17 workout on the Oklahoma Training Track looks pretty good.  He's a half to Solo Practitioner, a stakes-placed sprinter at two at the Fair Grounds as well as Harry's Halo, a juvenile debut winner at Laurel that put up a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Private Terms stakes going nine furlongs on dirt at Pimlico.  The price potential is here off that dull turf line. 
HOCKLEY exits a fast race.  The $500,000 yearling is bred to be any kind as a son of Horse of the Year A.P. Indy out of multiple stakes-winner Penny's Fortune (Storm Cat mare was a multiple stakes-winner on grass).  He may have been aided slightly by a closers bias last time at Saratoga, but looks like the horse to beat for Eoin Harty. 
RULE tried to rally into a teeth of a speed-favoring track in his career debut at Belmont, and the son of promising young stallion Roman Ruler certainly wasn't disgraced when finishing directly behind a next-out winner.  These connections are always hard to beat in juvenile races. 
GUN ROCK took lots of money for his career debut, and the $500,000 purchase ran on to be second behind a sharp Todd Pletcher-trained firster.  Expect improvement with three interim workouts on the tab. 
MAGIC BULLET, a $70,000 yearling buyback, is a son of Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex, and it looks like he's been picking up the pace in his recent workouts for Mr. Lukas.  He caught a good group here, however.  SOLID STEEL didn't break well in debut, and failed to threaten when well behind Gun Rock.  He needs to do more.  HERO'S EMPIRE may want more ground as a half-brother to Grade 3 route winner Andromeda's Hero and stakes-winning router Superfly by Belmont Stakes hero Empire Maker.  KRYPTON didn't take much money despite top connections, and floundered in his debut.  Now, he draws a tough inside post position.  LONDON TOWN goes out for barn that has had success with juvenile runners at the meet, and the dam won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita going 1 1/16 miles as a two-year-old.  The workouts don't look that strong, however.  Many eyes will be on CITY WOLF, a half-brother to Breeders' Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper, and Hopeful winner City Zip.  It wouldn't be a surprise if this Stronach homebred can run just a little bit.  ED'S BIG BET is a half to multiple stakes-placed sprinter Allude (98 Beyer when finishing second in the Weekend Surprise Stakes here at the Spa in 2007).  By Thunder Gulch out of a half-sister to Holy Bull, Ed's Big Bet may need one.  ALEX LE GREAT's dam won the Bourbonette Breeders' Cup Stakes by over ten lengths with an 88 Beyer at one mile, but this colt doesn't show a published work in the last 18 days.

Selections:
1.  Citrus Kid  2.  Hockley  3.  Rule

The Play:
Citrus Kid to Win and Place at 10-1 odds or greater

Meet record based on starts, wins, top pick (after scratches) in the money, and profit/loss of that day's play ($2 wager): 70-14-36 (- $15.20)