Wednesday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: American Tattoo deserves another chance on U.S. soil

Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Proven Reserves (#3) is expected to go off as a prohibitive favorite as he makes his 4-year-old debut. He showed great promise right from the start last year, recording a 114 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his debut while trouncing some talented rivals. It appeared as if he might be bound for the major 3-year-old stakes last summer before failing as the even-money favorite on Aug. 26 at Saraoga. Chad Brown generally wins at a high rate off layoffs going 11 for 40 with horses returning from breaks of 180 days or more in dirt routes over 5 years. Yet the ROI for that statistic is just $1.42. This horse owns some of the best speed figures in the field and he has a right to run faster now as an older horse. I’m just concerned that he’s not going to offer any value as the odds-on favorite.

American-Tattoo.png

Therefore, I’m trying to beat him with AMERICAN TATTOO (#4). This is the youngest member of the field, having yet to actually turn 4 in the Southern Hemisphere, where he was bred. He showed great promise in Argentina as a 3-year-old, dominating the Group 1 Polla de Potrillos (the first leg of the Argentine Triple Crown) off just a maiden win. He was reportedly working well prior to his U.S. debut on Derby weekend, but he lost all chance at the start when he broke slowly and the eventual winner swerved in front of him. He is surely better than that, and he figures to show more speed this time. As long as he breaks clearly, he could control the pace up front and he figures to be a square price.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 3,6
Trifecta: 4 with 3 with 1,2,6

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Wednesday, June 19

Race 3: Jazzy J (#4)

  • Is a little inconsistent, but her top speed figures stack up well against this group.
  • Gets some needed class relief after facing tougher company in recent starts.
  • There is plenty of rain in the forecast ahead of Wednesday, and she does best on sloppy tracks.

5-1 on ML

———

Race 6: Bon Raison (#3)

  • May have reacted negatively to such a rigorous schedule during the month of May.
  • Should appreciate the turnback to a sprint distance, where he has run his best speed figures.
  • His workout on June 9 indicates that he’s doing well with a month between starts.

2-1 on ML

———

Race 8: American Tattoo (#4)

  • Based on his Argentine form, he play out as the front-runner in a race that the Pace Projector indicates as having “No Speed.”
  • Never had a fair chance in his U.S. debut last time after getting eliminated at the start.
  • Was reportedly working well for Pletcher and deserves another chance at this level.

7-2 on ML

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Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Dr. Edgar’s pace advantage may be too much to overcome in the Poker

Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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There are many ways to go in this highly competitive Poker Stakes. While I usually search for a price in a spot like this, I’ve landed on morning-line favorite DR. EDGAR (#9). I don’t think any horse is going to be bet down too significantly in this spot, so I think we might get somewhere around that 3-1 price.

I just feel that Dr. Edgar is coming into this race in top form and is the most likely winner. He ran well to win the Appleton two back, holding off a strong late challenge from Hawkish after setting the pace while never letting that foe go by him on the gallop-out. He then stretched out to nine furlongs last time in the Fort Marcy. That’s just a bit too far for him, but he actually ran extremely well to be second. The pace of that race was fast – indicated by red color-coded pace figures in TimeformUS PPs – and Dr. Edgar gamely held on for second after dueling Robert Bruce into defeat. Now he’s turning back to a mile, and the Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. This is arguably the toughest spot he’s tried, but I just think he fits this race perfectly.

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I’m not trying to beat the favorite, but I will use some others. Clyde’s Image (#1) obviously must be respected off his pair of Grade 1 placings. He probably appreciated softer ground in those starts, but he’s obviously in top form. Krampus (#3) did not get an ideal ride behind Dr. Edgar at Gulfstream last time and deserves another shot at a price. I’d even use Breaking the Rules (#8), who was very wide in the Turf Classic last time and is overdue to start delivering on his potential.

THE PLAY

Win: 9
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,2,3,8
Trifecta: 9 with 1,3 with 1,2,3,4,6,8

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Sunday, June 16

Race 4: Seven Is Heaven (#5)

  • Ran deceptively well in his debut when shuffled back in traffic.
  • Disappointed as the second choice last time, but was coming off a layoff that day.
  • Should improve on the stretch-out given the stamina in his female family.

7-2 on ML

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Race 5: Sentry (#5)

  • Was improving during the second half of 2018, actually winning at this distance in November.
  • Got the wrong trip in a Grade 3 event over the winter when making a premature move.
  • Looked good in his final workout for this race, going well in company with Breaking the Rules.

5-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Dr. Edgar (#9)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
  • Defeated a good horse, Hawkish, when he won the Grade 3 Appleton two back.
  • Ran better than it seems in the Fort Marcy last time after setting a fast pace going a distance that is too far for him.

3-1 on ML

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Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Archumybaby is ready step forward second off the claim

Belmont | Race 2 | Post Time 2:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
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The Drawing Away Stables entry figures to be favored in this spot. The stronger half of the pair appears to be Fair Regis (#1A), who has been a presence at or around this level for the past eight months. Save an ambitious placement against stakes company last fall and a poor effort Feb. 9 when compromised by a rail bias, she’s run well in almost all of her recent starts. She could not catch the returning Sue’s Fortune last time, but that filly flattered the effort when she returned to finish a strong second in the Jersey Girl last weekend. She has tactical speed and is drawn well outside of her main pace rivals.

Archumybaby.png

My top pick is ARCHUMYBABY (#5). This mare exploded with a surprising win in the Videogenic back in March, earning a career-best 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Her subsequent performances don’t quite measure up to that standard, but she’s had excuses. She got the wrong trip April 19 as she was repeatedly shuffled back on the turn, and then she was forced to chase wide against a strong rail bias on May 18. She gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz in her second start off the claim for Linda Rice. She has the tactical speed to sit closer to the pace this time and figures to be a square price.

I would also include the two Charlton Baker-trained runners, Forever Changed(#2) and Our Super Nova (#6). The former is harder to trust as she returns from a lengthy layoff, but she showed some potential as a 2-year-old and has a right to step forward. Our Super Nova benefited from a fast early pace last time when she closed for second behind Carrera Cat, but she’s clearly in solid form right now.

THE PLAY

Win: 5
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,6
Trifecta: 5 with 1,6 with ALL

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Saturday, June 15

Race 2: Archumybaby (#5)

  • Was compromised by an uncomfortable trip 3 back when continually shuffled back on the turn.
  • Raced very wide against a gold rail in his first start off the claim for Linda Rice last time.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 6: Passporttovictory (#5)

  • Does not handle wet tracks anymore, and should appreciate getting back on fast going here.
  • Was shuffled back on the turn two back and was running on well through the lane in a race dominated by front-runners.
  • Her best dirt performances make her faster than all of her rivals in this spot.

2-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Midnight Disguise (#5)

  • Has won both of her prior starts sprinting, and may appreciate the cutback in distance.
  • Showed improved speed and form when chasing home the talented Kathryn the Wise last time.
  • Has run well in both of her fast track starts in 2019 and deserves a pass for her two poor efforts over wet going.

5-2 on ML

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Elektronic can take another step forward on the class rise

Belmont | Race 2 | Post Time 2:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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I don’t usually strongly endorse favorites, but I believe ELEKTRONIC (#4) will be very tough to beat. This lightly raced 3-year-old is hardly a standout in terms of speed figures, but you get the feeling that the best is yet to come. Linda Rice’s runners almost always need a start first out, and he showed improvement, which is typical of this barn, in his second start. Elektronic stepped up to handle winners last time, and the manner in which he won belies the final margin. He was always in control of that race, flicking his ears back and forth as he brushed off Veteran’s Beach in deep stretch. This colt is bred to be special as a son of the 13-time turf winner Karakorum Elektra, and he has the tactical speed to work out a favorable trip. Notably, Jose Lezcano rode all three of this race’s top choices in their prior starts yet sticks with this colt.

Elektronic.png

The main alternative is Rice’s other runner, Fast Getaway (#7). He dominated an overmatched group upon his return at Aqueduct, but he was supposed to win as the favorite last time. He is honest and reliable, but I get the sense that we’ve already seen his best, whereas Elektronic is clearly on the rise.

The other horse to consider is Mango M (#1). This 4-year-old gelding finally broke through his N1X allowance condition last time after failing at short prices on a number of occasions last year. That was a relatively soft race for the level, and this one is considerably tougher due to the presence of the two Rice entrants. Turning back to seven furlongs should not pose a problem considering how well he ran going six furlongs last June. I find the other two to be more appealing though.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,2,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,7 with 1,2,3,7

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