October 7th, 2017
By: Andrew Calvano. (Twitter: @SJHorseReport)
Selections: 7 – 3 – 2
.50C Pick 5: 2,3,7 / 1,3,4 / 5 / 3,6,7 / 4,5,6,7,8,9 = $81
.50C Pick 5: 2,3,7 / 4 / ALL / 3,6,7 / 5,8,9 = $67.50
.50C Pick 5: 2,3,7 / 4 / 4,5 / 3,6,7 / 5,8,9 = $27
#7 Reality Queen (4-1) Mike Maker has been firing this meet, and he will continue with this one who will go wire to wire. The two short sprints at Churchill to begin her career have some excuses, but this one has clearly grown on the turf. Two back, going longer this one led until halfway down the stretch before being passed late. Connections shipped this one for the opening weekend at Kentucky Downs where this one showed early speed but flattened out late. Was stuck on the way-outside that day, and was against the open male company. Ran a very good fourth, but being wide throughout and never getting an uncontested lead was an issue. Today, this one gets Carmouche and will go all the way out to the front and clear. Has to hold off the Chad Brown’s running late. Mike Maker is 9 for 21, 15 for 21 ITM in the past two years with turf maidens going route to sprint. 7 for his last 13 with that angle. #3 Night Time Lady (6-1) Makes her debut for Chad Brown and Wise Racing after going for 10x the stud fee at the Fasig Tipton sale last summer. This one has been working out with some very sharp Chad Brown horses and fired a very nice drill upstate on the Oklahoma Turf before coming down here. This is the first foal to race out of the Inspired Mare, but there is some pedigree here. Mom Inspired is a FULL to Silver City, winner at 2yo, and Graded Stakes Placed at 2. Dam is also half to Initiation, a debut winner at 2, Stakes winner at 2. Also, half to Elope, a debut winner at 3. G2 Placed, Stakes winner. Chad Brown is 24%, 32% ITM with 2yo fillies making their first start on the lawn at Belmont Park. 3 for his last 8 with this angle. Better price than the stablemate who will be eighty cents on the dollar come post time. #2 Brattata (6/5) Is the one to beat for Chad Brown and Jose Ortiz, but I think this one truly benefited from being on the best part of the track on debut and will be a short price based on the stretch-out this one is making today. One to beat, but will look to beat.
Selections: 4 – 3 – 1 –
#4 Pattern recognition (6/5) – Chalk fest in the second race here, but we’ll take what they give us. This horse has just been flat out unlucky. Broke his maiden in impressive fashion, then went on to burn money against horses that would be 1/5 in this group. Three back chased Coal Front, two back chased Takaful, last out chased Mr. Crow. Jose will have this one closer today on the stretch-out and will make one run late. Due for a big performance, and this one is clearly the one to beat, but I’m a bit wary of taking a stand here as I don’t want to be knocked out early. #3 Copper Town (7/5) Another logical here coming off the maiden win for Pletcher. Was game in debut going 5 ½ down south, but freaked after some rest and some added ground during opening weekend for this meet. The speed of the speed here may find pressure from the Rudy Rod horse off the layoff. #1 Hookup (6/1) Lone win came when going a one-turn mile back in debut, and this one gets back to that today. No match in the Remsen twenty days off a debut win, and needed that last one off a long layoff. Had excuses last out actually as he slammed hard out of the gate, and had to make up a lot of ground late. Did finish a good third. Will save ground today and run late to round things out, needs pace though and may not get it.
Race 3: Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational
Selections: 5 – 4 – 1 –
#5 Disco Partner (3/5) Hasn’t done much wrong since transferring to the Clement barn this year and gets back to her favorite track today and best-suited distance. Didn’t care for the yielding turf course upstate in the over-competitive G1 FourstarDave. Irad back aboard. #4 Bold Thunder (15/1) Ran a VERY good race last time out in the Turf Monster at Parx, a day in which front end on the lawn was not the best spot. This one set some good fractions and was nipped late by much tougher (Pure Sensation, Mongolian Saturday). That 5th place effort is much better than it appears, and Carmouche will be aggressive early on with this one. #1 Snowday (10/1) Improving 7yo ships to Belmont today from the Mid-Atlantic and attracts Jose Ortiz. Nice running line with this one, and will sit a nice trip.
Selections: 3 – 6 – 7 –
#3 Blockade (7/2) Debuted for a barn that rarely cranks them first time out, and ran a very good third. This one is out of a War Front sire who has been very sharp with his 2yos as of late, and a Hit It Rich dam who was 4 for 11 on the grass, and a multiple graded stakes winner. This colt is also FULL to stakes-placed turfer Profiteer. Johnny V had options in here (Casse and Pletcher) but lands on this one for the second start. Shug is amazing with these types, 6 for 13, 8 for 13 ITM with his turf routing maidens who finished in the money in debut, coming back for their second career start. #6 Freedom Warrior (5-1) $225k son of Violence makes his debut after connections went big at the training sales in April. Has some solid pedigree, the dam being a big winner, and kin to some stakes winners. Chad Brown is 9 for 29 (31%) Last five years with 2yo turfers making their debut going long with Irad Ortiz up. Sits a good trip, rallies into it. #7 Witch Doctor (12-1) goes out for Maker and gets a big rider upgrade to Luis Saez who won for these connections yesterday at Keeneland on the lawn. Troubled trip in debut, was left at the gate and was rallying wide late. Blinkers on today is a VERY profitable move for Maker. Must include.
Selections: 9 – 8 – 5 –
#9 California Swing (6-1) Another try against this company after he got stuck in traffic last time out. Draws the outside, will be able to get clear, stalk and fire late. 6-1 is great value on this one who is going to get a perfect pace set up, and roll late. #8 Patriot Drive (4-1) Horse has a lot of heart and is due today. Back to back third-place efforts, both beaten by a neck, Has the speed and draws the comfortable outside draw. #5 Bartleby (20-1) Coming off a state-bred maiden win in which he won in impressive fashion, this is a BIG lightbulb angle for me here. Has tremendous pedigree for the turf, and has not finished worse than fourth on the lawn. Protected here, and this barn has been firing as of late. Closed well into soft fractions last time out, and will improve here.
Selections: 8 – 2 – 4 –
#8 St. Augustine (6-1) Jerkens can have them ready second time out, and this one was visually impressive last time out during the gallop out and showed what I love out of first-timers. This one was green, but locked in past the finish line. Young horses need to mature, and this one is on that path. Nice workout back on 9/27. Not thrilled about Maragh, but this trainer puts a lot of trust in him. #2 Montauk (3-1) The workouts just blow you away here, and maybe I’m getting too cute with my top selection here, but this one is just simply the horse to beat on paper. This one will take money though, and I do want some value in a loaded baby race like this. Workouts are top notch, and this one is a half to Lewis Vale. They lucked out with the outside draw. Stablemate has to get in through the AE, but that one is also #4 Label (10-1) Trainer doesn’t fire first time that much, but this one’s pedigree is there, and I love the workout pattern, and rumor has it, connections are very high on this one. Alvarado will pilot this son of Tapit who is half to Lady Pamela.
Selections: 8 – 3 – 2 –
#8 Tale of E Dubai (5-1) Has been racing better than these and has been facing much tougher. They sent this one to Parx and bumped up in class looking to pick up a bigger check ON 4 DAYS REST! Now gets some time off, back to a comfortable level, and runs away with this group. A lot of switches in surfaces for this one, but dirt races just stand out against these foes. #3 Saratoga Wildcat (15-1) First off the claim for Jacobson who is firing on all cylinders as of late, and gets Dylan Davis up. This one is frequent at the claim box, and had some excuses to back. Hard to knock this one’s form since, as he has been consistent. Can’t ignore the price here. WIll sit a very close trip and rally late. #2 Power Nap (10-1) Out-ran his odds last time out, closing in hot between my top pick here. No chance three back on the turf when stuck in traffic with nowhere to go. Two back was all over the track during the stretch out, and ran even. Last out with Fergal Lynch up, had to steady very hard and re-rallied. Want to take him out of that race, but the price has to go up honestly. I see 15-1 come post time.
Race 8: Champagne G1
Selections: 12 – 8 – 9 –
.50C Pick 4: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12 / 4,5,6,8,9 / 5 / 1,3,7,12 = $70
.50C Pick 4: 6,8,9,12 / 8,9 / ALL / 12 = $28
#12 Firenze Fire (10-1) I was big on this one when he won the Hopeful coming out of a maiden win at Monmouth, and I’m going back to the well. This one draws nice outside post and will have an abundance of pace to run into. Was on the wrong part of a wet track last time out in the hopeful, and was drifting in and out of kick-back. This one can come wide and really like that race two back and is built to go long. Servis numbers Sprint to Route in spots like these are sharp. In addition to this one, I think the #10 for Servis is VERY live as well. #8 Aveenu Malcainu (6-1) Scratched out of the Breeders Stakes at Finger Lakes where he was 3/5 on the morning line and should have won by 8, but he scratched. Scratched for this spot just screams a lot of confidence for me from Englehart who has done great work this one. Beat a very competitive field in the Funny Cide on a day that was very friendly to speed. He came from about four lengths off the pace and rallied home. Now stretches out, and enters off a very nice workout. This one beat a VERY good Pletcher horse in What A Catch last time out as well. #9 Honorable Treasure (6-1) I remember this horse very vividly from the debut which was SO impressive. Was 15-1 on the morning line, drawn in from the AE list, was 9/5 with about 6 minutes to post, and went off around 3-1. Won EASYYYYY. Second place horse came back to win that day, flattering this son of To Honor And Serve. Ignore the first turf start. MCPEEK ALWAYS DOES THIS. He isn’t concerned about the surface…HE’S CONCERNED ABOUT THE DISTANCE. Dirt pedigree is much better, AND he will take to the distance today. MUST MUST MUST USE. Another opinion here that I must touch on, #7 Bahamian, shipping across the country as a maiden, stretching out for the first time against G1 company. Confidence. Maiden in a spot like this. Confidence. Shipping across the country. Confidence. Do NOT leave off tickets.
Race 9: Hill Prince G3
Selections: 8 – 9 – 5 –
#8 Ticonderoga (10-1) Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s the story with this one. Now comes back with some rest where he runs his best races. Broke his maiden over this course, and now returns to a spot where he’s very live at an insane price. Stuck on the inside last time out with nowhere to go, but wasn’t beating Oscar Performance there, nor was he doing so two back. The Huge price here. #9 Rocketry (8-1) Bounced last time out in the Saranac, where let’s be honest wasn’t beating Voodoo Song. The other two horses that finished in front of him that day also wind up here, but at shorter prices. I’ll stay here, love this one. This one is going to win some big races soon, and this is only the start. Like Juarez getting aboard this one. Nice workout coming in. Needs pace, but should get it. #5 Lucullan (8-1) Has greatly improved on the turf and is improving with each start. Big step up here, but I trust that Carmouche is aggressive with this one, and presses the early leaders here. Last out, the brutal break from the rail, and got caught in way too much traffic. Closed like a rocket behind some very good horses in Black Tide, and Pletcher’s J S Choice. Value here.
Race 10: Jockey Club Gold Cup G1
Selections: 5 – 4 – 1 –
#5 Rally Cry (6-1) Took a good amount of money in the Woodward last out and was second best behind Gun Runner. Gets back to a track he loves and is one of three Pletcher’s who all have shots. Big step up here, but has been working out very sharp for this spot. Will get a good trip and roll late. #4 Pavel (5/2) This one is very, VERY talented, and is the most likely winner here. Crushed debut at Santa Anita and connections saw fit to rush this one into the G2 Jim Dandy 28 days later stretching out for the first time. Was on the track, and simply facing tougher. Crushed the G3 Smarty Jones at Parx last out, and now comes here. Connections are very high on this one and have been working out sharp. O’Neill is no stranger to coming to NYRA and picking up big wins. #1 Diversify (7/2) Price will go up on this one, believe me. Rattled off two state-bred wins in a row, and now enters for the biggest test of his career. May get loose on the lead here, and that could be problematic.
Selections: 12 – 3 – 1 –
#12 Jupiter Rising (6-1) Will improve here, the second start for Pletcher after leaving the Hushion barn. Actually ran a very good race last time out, just made the move a little too late. Improving numbers for this one who will sit a perfect trip from the far outside. Was the best horse to back on 7/16 if it wasn’t for the BRUTAL break. #3 Mission Leader (6-1) Will be aggressive early on, and that’s all you can ask for in these types of turf races in NY. Second off the bench, a very profitable angle for this barn, and chased down a very tough horse last time out. Two starts on the lawn, two seconds. Can scoop up the win today. #1 Storm Prophet (5-1) Can’t guarantee we get the best ride, but this one’s form speaks for itself. Will be very tough here if this one can run back to any of his last three races.