08/22/2014 9:55AM

Tioga: Sunday 8/24 Analysis



Race 1 

(5) YANKEES IN SIX hit the board at this level in his last two races, rallying from well off the pace last week after being just nailed off a first-over trip the week prior.  Strong form at a competitive level leaves plenty to like. (4) MY BUDDY MASON wasn’t a threat against $12.5k foes last week, but finished in the money off close stalking trips in prior efforts.  He’s dropping down a level here, and isn’t lacking for a late kick. (9) BELLATOR earned checks in his last four against tougher foes, rallying well two back after being shuffled to last.  He’s not lacking for late pace either against tougher foes, but post 9 may prove an obstacle.

Race 2 

(5) TALK TO TONY dug in to just prevail at the $12.5k level last week, showing good results when able to get in contention before the halfway stage.  He moves up a level, and can strike again off a strong start or a middle move. (9) AHEAD OF THE CROWD steps up in company off two straight wins, having secured the pocket from post 9 in his most recent Tioga effort before pouncing late.  He earned checks against tough N4L and N6L groups at Yonkers, so he should be capable here too. (4) COOL LIKE FIRE was a winner two back against $7.5k foes, staying on well at the $12.5k level more recently.  He continues to rise, and is a capable presser-stalker in this group.

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Race 3 

(5) SPORTSMAN failed to get in contention in his last three races, but sustained a bid to beat the equivalent of second-level foes in his fourth start back at Batavia.  He finds major class relief here, and there’s some potential for a contested pace. (1) NIGHT TRAIN SHANE earned minor checks in his last three, staying close up for small shares at this level with consistency.  His inside draw should get him close to the pace once again. (3) PRINCE MARATHON was forced to chase a fast pace last week, laboring late after closing the pocket.  He’s not lacking for late kick, and probably can close best of any.

Race 4 

(5) WHEELS AH SMOKIN sustained a wide bid to take third in a hotly contested Tompkins division last week, and stayed on through a :27 4/5 final quarter in his Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands.  Strongest form of any in the group puts him atop the ticket. (3) LUCKY TEN K earned minor checks in four of five NYSS efforts, but the son of Lucky Chucky has yet to hit the board.  Inside draw should enable him to be closer to the pace today. (4) FALK ON HILL S broke at the Meadowlands earlier in the month, but showed a smooth qualifier at Pocono leading up to today’s race.  He’s demonstrated decent staying ability in prior starts.

Race 5 

(4) HURRICANE HOWARD has been ITM in his last 6 efforts at this level, left to chase A Place in History last week in a 1:52 3/5 mile.  Likely lone speed here; remains at the top of this class by virtue of the optional $15k tag. (5) ELECTROFIRE hasn’t missed the superfecta in three local starts, and he’s able to drop in class off an even 1:52 effort last week.  He held his own against tougher conditioned foes at Yonkers, and took his 1:51 3/5 seasonal mark here earlier in the meet. (2) RECKLESS RIC drops a level after an early pace battle did him in last week.  When not embroiled in battle from a post 9 start, he’s got enough staying capability.

Race 6 

(4) FRENCH LAUNDRY figures to be the horse to beat here, winning his Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands by a widening five lengths.  The $115,000 Lexington purchase should have an easier time controlling the terms here. (3) SS POSEIDON was a distant fifth in the Haughton on Hambletonian day, but chased Habitat stoutly in a Tompkins event last week.  The homebred Muscle Hill colt shows the strongest closing kick in the group, but can’t be left at the mercy of a blistering tempo. (7) PARTY ON THE RIVER took a two-move victory in an ONSS event at Mohawk two back, pulling clear in a 1:58 3/5 triumph.  Excuse his empty three-wide bid in the slop at Georgian last week; he’s got ample potential.

Race 7 

(7) GRITTY MILLIE BOY just missed to $12.5k foes two back, and was collared late under heavy pressure at this level more recently.  Can strike here if able to track the pace rather than face steady pressure. (5) JONES BEACH just missed at this level three back, staying on well for a stalking third against tougher foes the week after.  Capable enough; finds some relief. (4) MAJOR WAY drops down to this level last well after toiling from post 8 in mid-level claiming ranks at Saratoga.  The inside draw should aid, as past lines at the $12.5k level show good staying power.

Race 8 

(2) BEE THE QUEEN flattened after a wide journey at Pocono in a PASS event last out, but demonstrated good potential in past lines at Vernon and the Meadowlands.  A clean start is the key for this $40,000 Lexington purchase. (1) UF LINDSAY LOU WHO is winless in two career starts, but was left to chase from far back on both occasions.  The inside draw should get her close to the pace here, and she’s not lacking for staying power. (3) FASHION GAB ALOT sustained a mild late bid to take third in her Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands earlier in the month, re-rallying after traffic trouble on the far turn.  Can repeat that effort for a minor share.

Race 9 

(8) SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP showed sub-:26 last quarters in his three most recent Meadowlands starts, left well behind top open pacer Sweet Lou on two occasions.  He’s since won twice on the New York half-mile tracks, and looks to be the class of this group by a comfortable margin. (7) HILLBILLY HANOVER was an even sixth behind Heston Blue Chip at the Meadowlands two back, and stayed evenly in a 1:50 3/5 effort at Pocono after traffic trouble on the backstretch.  Invader seems best of the rest. (4) FIREYOURGUNS isn’t lacking for form, hitting the board in all but one of his 2014 starts.  Strong Open contender returns from Batavia after a narrow win last week, but finds a much stouter field today than he’s beaten in past efforts.

Race 10 

(6) MISSION BRIEF is no doubt the filly to beat after a string of four dominant performances, including an 8-1/2 length win in the Merrie Annabelle.  The $150,000 Lexington purchase figures to control the terms from the outset. (2) ALLERAGE STAR faces a stouter foe in Mission Brief, but does so off a solid Tompkins win last week.  She’s making her second start back off a good Vernon qualifier, and has demonstrated a preference toward being involved from the outset as well. (4) JOSIE’S JOY won her Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands two back, but failed in her first-over bid against Allerage Star last week.  A more conservative journey can prove beneficial.

Race 11 

(5) JK PANACHE drops to the top condition after chasing Golden Gun for a third-place Open effort last week.  He’s at his best when involved from the start, and the class relief figures to aid. (7) ASHLEY’S HUSBAND rallied steadily for a 1:52 win at this level in his most recent outing, but the stalker-closer may be lacking for pace pressure into which to close.  With limited options for cover, he may need to be closer initially. (2) MOONLIGHT RANSOM steps up off two pillar-to-post wins at Vernon, kicking clear against easier foes for a 1:51 2/5 score two back.  While he moves up, he’s got strong enough form in recent outings.

Race 12 

(2) PRINCE PALANI missed the board in his last four races at Pocono and Yonkers after beating N2L foes at Pocono off a steady wide bid in June.  Class relief should aid, and his inside draw should put him closer to the pace. (7) ROCK N JOE stayed on well off close tracking trips at Saratoga, but he faces a stouter group here.  He’s been ITM in 6 of 11 career starts, and isn’t lacking for staying power. (6) ON THE BIG SWING sustained a bid to just miss in a 1:53 2/5 effort against similar foes last week, having toiled against extremely fast N4L groups at Pocono in prior outings.  He’s a better fit here, and makes sense in exotics.

Race 13 

(5) APP HEAVEN stayed on for second in a Buffalo NYSS event in July, but hasn’t shown much since his career debut.  He finds a much easier group here, and should garner much respect off the class drop. (7) CLASSIC AMERICAN hit the board in a pair of Excelsior-B events, but has been winless as a 3-year-old.  He’s proven he can remain in contention off pressing and stalking trips. (9) EXPERT HANOVER stayed on for third after making the fore early, finding this level much easier than N1L rivals at Pocono.  Capable for a minor share given his staying power.