08/08/2014 9:35AM

Tioga: Sunday 8/10 Analysis

Fred Brown

Best Bet: HE’S WATCHING (9th)

Race 1

(8) GINGER TREE LEXIE beat similar foes in her last two races, turning aside pressure in game fashion two back.  She figures to be involved from the outset yet again. (6) DREAMNWILLIE has established himself well in the stalker-closer role, rallying well for strong finishes against similar foes and slightly tougher.  Dependent on live cover, but capable enough. (9) CURRENT IMAGE labored late last week after a strong dispatch, but stalked along for minor shares in his two prior starts.  Shows better recent form than others who have competed at this level.

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Race 2

(6) CAN’T IT BE ME has been beaten by no worse than a nose in any of his Excelsior-B efforts, boasting two wins in four career starts already.  Strong pacesetting type has exhibited gritty resilience all season. (5) SPIRITINTHECLOUDS rallied from the pocket to win at Monticello two back, and his hit the board in all three of his Excelsior-B starts.  Capable presser-stalker. (7) INTERMIX rallied off a wide bid to just prevail at Yonkers last week.  Ignore the line from Monticello, as interference took him out of contention.

Race 3

(8) STARZNHEAVEN drops down to the Excelsior-B level after hitting the board in three Excelsior-A outings.  While the pace may be contested here, expect his class edge to carry him through. (7) MR FANTASY stayed on well for narrow second-place finishes in his last two.  Versatile presser-stalker can figure well late if the pace ends up to be hotly contested. (4) FALCON’S LUKE held sway for a pace-setting 1:58.2 win at Saratoga last week, stepping up off his maiden win.  Could potentially fuel a speed duel.

Race 4

(5) CARTOON DADDY kicked clear for a 1:53.4 pocket score against NYSS foes at Yonkers last week, keeping his sire stakes record intact at 2-for-2.  Burke trainee possesses a strong speed edge. (8) AZOREAN ART is better suited as a presser-stalker, rallying off cover to win at Yonkers last week at a healthy price.  Good finishing ability will suit him well if #2 or #6 presses the pace. (2) JD HE’S DA’ BOMB stayed on well for minor checks in all three of his NYSS events, coming up just short.  A cozier trip can well yield him a minor share, and the potential for decent value in exotics isn’t lacking.

Race 5

(4) ARTISTIC MAJOR has been a perfect 4-for-4 in Excelsior-A events, posing a constant threat from on or near the lead.  While the race shapes up with plenty of pace, it’s hard to go against this Art Major colt. (3) HOWDOILIVEWITHYOU hit the board in all four of his Excelsior-A efforts, employing closing, tracking, and pressing tactics for strong finishes.  He keeps Jim Morrill, and looks to continue his gradual improvement. (5) HAYDENS LITTLE MAN prevailed narrowly in both his Excelsior-A starts after struggling on the tougher Sire Stakes circuit, but will have to contend with a more pressured pace this week.  Minor consideration.

Race 6

(8) BET YOU won going away at Yonkers, and is Yannick Gingras’s selection in the race over Burke trainee Suchasenseofhumor.  Bettor’s Delight son has shown steady improvement. (7) K RYAN BLUE CHIP hit the board in his last three NYSS efforts, showing good late pace while passing horses.  Live cover puts him right into contention, as the race doesn’t seem to offer much pace pressure. (5) MY SPIRIT SOARS won off a pocket trip two back at Monticello, but was a victim of traffic issues at Yonkers last out against similar foes.  A clear stalking trip puts him in the hunt for a minor, as he’s not lacking for closing kick.

Race 7 - Empire Breeders Classic Final - 3YO Fillies

(2) MAJOR DANCER rallied strongly off cover to win her elimination last week, drawing clear while well in hand.  Lots to like off such an easy move to the fore. (3) PRECOCIOUS BEAUTY battled to a late lead in her elimination, digging in late to hold off Delightful Dragon in the final yards.  She’s returning to her old form, but could be outkicked by the other elim winner late. (9) IT WAS FASCINATION may be a live longshot in exotics, holding strongly for third in a pace-setting effort last week.  She’s not been prominent on the national scene, but another gutsy effort like last week’s can make her a case for tris and supers.

Race 8

(2) FREEDOMFORMYSOUL broke at the start at Yonkers last week, but scored back-to-back wins in past NYSS efforts.  He’s got a clear speed edge in this group, and could control the terms from at least midway on. (4) AMERICANPRIMETIME seeks his third straight win at the NYSS level, employing pacesetting and stalking tactics in his last two.  Likely to find himself in a chasing position behind a well contested early pace. (6) ONEISALONELYNUMBER earned a win and a second in three NYSS starts, and while past efforts show him involved from the outset, his best attribute may well be his closing kick.  Versatile enough.

Race 9 - Empire Breeders Classic Final - 3YO Colts

(4) HE’S WATCHING battled gamely to prevail in a stretch duel with JK Endofanera last week.  Meadowlands Pace winner is well defined as a presser-stalker, and shouldn’t have any trouble either making a strong middle move or kicking cover. (2A) JK ENDOFANERA battled gamely in defeat to He’s Watching in last week’s elimination, only beaten by half a length over the off going.  A less pressured trip can prove to his benefit, as he’s not lacking for late kick. (1) WINDS OF CHANGE held off steady pressure for a 1:50.2 elimination win, but will have to deal with the two classic winners in today’s final.  That said, he’s more than capable of stalking the pace and holding for a minor share.

Race 10

(5) SOUTHWIND MASIMO looks for his third NYSS win in as many career starts, sustaining a wide bid to prevail last week at Yonkers.  Versatility is a plus, no doubt. (4) PENJI HANOVER kicked clear in a Pocono win, and seems improved from past NYSS efforts.  Early involvement on the three-turn course puts him in contention, as he’s not lacking for late pace. (2) ULTIMATE G tired last week off a wide bid, staying on for second-place efforts in past NYSS outings.  Can stay on for a minor with a close dispatch.

Race 11

(2) JULERICA is reunited with Jim Morrill, and could repeat his performance from three back.  Inside draw should enable him to secure a tracking trip. (3) ARTZUMA finished third or better in all four of his career starts, showing good staying power off pressing-stalking efforts.  Late-mile fortitude is a definite plus. (7) SOTO makes his first career start off a pair of good Meadowlands qualifiers, turning in a chasing 1:55.1 effort most recently.  Could provide value in exotics.

Race 12

(1) SICILY drops down a level after a pair of decent NYSS efforts, fading late off a strong first-over bid at Yonkers last week.  Presser-stalker should handle the class drop well, but may be forced into action early with a lack of pace pressure. (2) KJ BRENT was shoved wide at Yonkers last week, laboring in the stretch after said interference.  Class edge should aid here. (5) THINK AGAIN is a first-time starter who comes off a 1:54.4 qualifier at the Meadowlands, showing decent late pace in a :28 LQ.  Value option in exotics.

Race 13

(6) B SEVENTEEN hit the board in a pair of NYSS events earlier in the season, but was collared late upon dropping to the Excelsior-A ranks last week at Yonkers.  He figures to be at or near the lead, and his class edge should aid. (4) POP ICON broke maiden at Monticello in his career debut, and battled gamely in a narrow defeat against similar foes as these in his only other career start.  Likely to be involved from the outset. (2) SOUTHWIND REX kicked clear off a wide bid for an Excelsior-A score two back, drawing off in a 1:58.4 win.  Past pressing-stalking efforts have yielded minor shares against similar foes.  In a race with minimal early speed, he seems to factor best at the bottom of exotic wagers.

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