Horses To Watch 12/12 to 12/16

HORSES TO WATCH – Week Of 12/12 – 12/16

The following horses should be followed carefully and bet when they race back under the conditions designated in the WATCH REPORT. Bet these horses at least twice or until they win.


Absolute Beauty – The NYSB juvenile daughter of Big Brown looks as though she has a promising future. After being tried at a mile on grass in her debut and showing good speed to mid stretch trainer Rudy Rodriguez moved her to the dirt and a 6 furlong sprint. Sent off as the 7-5 favorite she vied for the lead between rivals. Took to the front on the turn and gradually pulled away through the lane. She has good sprinter and mile speed and is bred for grass or dirt so look for her as she goes through restricted conditions here before they get back to grass in the spring or check Florida entries if Rodriguez decides she’s good enough to ship south.

Bobby Zapper – The lightly raced daughter of Ghostzapper finally broke through in career start number four and vanquished MSW rivals in last. The Rudy Rodriguez trained 3-year old began her career this summer on the west coast and after a layoff had a bit of traffic trouble in her return on 11/10. This time she vied for the lead while between rivals and three wide down the backstretch before shaking loose off the urn and then digging in to hold the lead once she gained a margin in the lane. Wins in conditions soon of kept sprinting.

Ghostly Vision – The juvenile daughter of Ghostzapper turned in an encouraging debut in her most recent as she claimed the show spot behind a pair of experience and favored MSW rivals. The NYSB filly broke with the pace from her outside post in the restricted to peers test, stayed in contention while 4 wide in the 6 furlong race and showed a mild late kick. Any improvement off the effort and she visits the winner’s circle soon.

Madam Prosecutor – The 3-year old Closing Argument filly made her first try around two turns and first beyond6 furlongs in her sixth career start in her most recent and almost pulled off the upset before settling for the place at 16-1. The filly did not rush up, as many sprinters would over the IDT but settled just off the pace-setter in the mile and seventy yard NYSB entry level allowance/optional 14K claimer. She bid between rivals in the lane, stayed on while pressed form both sides and just failed to hold off the winner. Beats this kind soon.

Madre Ditutticapi – Trainer Michael Hushion added the hood in her most recent and the juvenile Street Boss filly showed marked improvement. The youngster broke sharply from the rail in the 6 furlong MSW event, continued to dig in when challenged by the two favorites and was beaten less than two lengths while well clear of the 4th place finisher. Hushion gets them good in a hurry so expect the maiden breaker in next.

Obviously Tuesday – The 4-year old Lake gelding made his first start since early May in most recent and dug in well despite moving three wide on the turn and getting carried out through the lane in the 15K 6 furlong claiming race. He continued on to the wire, beaten just a nose and a neck for it all and was haltered out of the race by highly successful first-out trainer David Jacobson. He now has a 4-2-0-1 mark on the IDT and will pay instant dividends even if bumped up a notch.

Omega Star – The debuting son of Candy Ride was not able to match strides late with the winning 1-5 favorite in the 6 furlong MSW sprint but showed plenty of promise as he checked in second in 1:10 4/5 and 10 lengths clear of the show horse. Trainer James Jerkens usually races them into shape (only 9% with debut runners) so this one was ignored at the windows (sent off at 22-1.) Won’t be ignored next time, but also won’t be winless much longer. His breeding also suggests he’ll handle two turns. 

Palace – The Linda Rice trained sprinter made it 4 straight from 7 career races as he ran away from entry level allowance starter/optional 50K claimers in his last. The son of City Zip was making his first start away from restricted NYSB foes and gave every indication that he can handle the next step up in class. Play him back vs starters or open allowance/optional claimers or high level claimers as he could run off a string of victories over the IDT.

Percussion – The Bob Dunham trained son of Bluegrass Cat had been failing to engage second level allowance/optional 50K claimers while sprinting of late, but might have found a better niche going two turns on the IDT if his last is any indication. The gelding broke his maiden last winter over the surface and following a sharp workout on 12/6 gave indications with his strong rally for the place despite being steadied at the 5 furlong marker and having to switch to the rail in the mile event that he is ready to move forward. Won’t be 24-1 next time but should still be a decent price based on the resume. Follow closely.  

Princess Sylmar – The rich get richer. Not only will Todd Pletcher have his usual star arsenal down at Gulfstream, but will be well-represented by a “B” string up north. That string was strengthened by an impressive entry level allowance win by this Pa. bred juvenile filly when she eclipsed rivals in a mile-seventy yard test. She closed willingly at 5 ½ furlongs in her debut, won at a mile when stretched out vs MSW foes in her second career start (both at Penn National) before dominating in her most recent. Appears good enough to move through conditions or even handle minor stakes foes as the season unfolds. Stay with her.  

What’s The Record – NYSB gelding showed improved tracking speed in second level restricted allowance/optional 25K claimer in most recent and fell just short of catching the favored winner in the 6 furlong event. The Linda Rice trained son of El Corredor likes the IDT (4-1-2-0) and if the sprint is any indication of improving quickness (had been further back in rallies at 7 ½ and 8 panels in prior two) he should be able to surpass this restricted second level soon.


Chairman Garey – After a pair of sprint starts over the synthetic surface at Keeneland the juvenile son of Unbridled’s Song found two turns and the grass much to his liking as he rallied smartly to break his maiden vs special weights in most recent. The Timothy Hamm trained colt is well bred for the distance and surface and should have little trouble moving through conditions as he continues to improve. You won’t get 10-1 again but first time vs winners should produce value. Bet him right back in a two turn grass allowance.

Forward March – Trainer Shug McGaughey finally got the 3-year old Distorted Humor colt on the grass and with a little bit of racing luck might have won the whole thing at 18-1. He broke just off the pace along the inside in the mile event and saved ground to the turn. He had to wait for room and then angled out to be going well at the end for the show, beaten less than two lengths. Look for him to get his second level allowance win soon if kept on grass and especially if given a bit more ground.

Majestic Hussar – The Majestic Warrior colt showed plenty of promise as he won his debut handily at Saratoga and then was probably a bit ambitiously placed in the Grade II Hopeful right off that tally. Given a 14 week break trainer Eddie Kenneally returned him vas NW1 allowance foes in his most recent and the juvenile broke close to the pace, raced three wide on the turn in the 6 ½ furlong event and after engaging the leader got a bit tired in the final strides and settled for the clear place spot. Needed the race and should eclipse the level next time.

On The Kisser – Combination of a layoff since 10/6 and a tough trip from post 12 compromised the chances of this 5 year old turf mare in her 30K claiming try in most recent. The Michael Mariena trained daughter of Pleasant Tap was away slowly in the mile and a sixteenth test, moved up a bit down the backstretch and was forced to go 5 wide through the turn. She finished with interest and was beaten just 2 ½ lengths for it all so with the race in hand and a better post next time should handle this level.  

Orient Moon – Looks as though trainer Todd Pletcher has gotten this lightly raced well bred Malibu Moon filly back on track. The 3-year old broke her maiden over this surface in early April and then came up short vs entry allowance foes in June at Belmont and July at Monmouth. Taken off the track following the Jersey try she came back in her most recent and easily vanquished the same entry level allowance rivals in the 6 furlong dash. She might be a horse for the course, but in any case when Pletcher moves them forward they usually stay on course so expect her to topple the second level just as quickly.

Stormy Rocit – Following a pair of erratic sprint tries at Woodbine over the summer trainer Brian Lynch gave the well-bred juvenile daughter of Stormy Atlantic some time off and she responded with a solid MSW breaker in a 5 furlong turf sprint in most recent. She went right out to battle for the lead, took over on the turn and drew clear when asked. It was an in-hand win and she should move through conditions as well as be able to stretch out on grass if asked. Stay with her.

Sure Route – The English bred filly was no match for the favored winner last out but ran on well enough for the place to indicate she should surpass the second allowance level soon if kept at two turns on grass. The Bobby Ribaudo trainee had been competitive against third level foes on both the turf and grass in New York and was on the pace early in this first try since mid-October. She fought her way through traffic on the turn, secured a lead in mid-stretch and just failed to last while 4 clear of the show horse in the mile event. Wins next vs the same. 

Tale Of The Dance – Solid off the pace effort in turf sprint in most recent bodes well for the stretch out for this Ralph Nicks trainee. The son of Tale Of The Cat was making his first start since March and after getting bumped slightly at the break settled near the back of the pack in the 5 furlong dash. He moved up on the turn while 3 wide and made up plenty of ground in the lane before running out of real estate and settling for the place in the MSW affair. Now 7 seconds in 9 career starts but around two turns finally gets him over the hump next time.  

Tanzpiel – Solid debut by the juvenile daughter of Singspiel. The Roger Attfield trained missed was parked out in the 11 post in the one mile turf MSW test yet stalked the leaders while off the rail, made a strong 4 wide move off the urn and continued on well to get a clear show behind a pair of more experienced grass runners. Any kind of improvement and a better post and she breaks her maiden soon.

Tapit Express – The Tapit gelding took all the worst of it in a 50K NW2L turf claimer last out. The Jonathan Sheppard trainee wound up on the inside as they hit the backstretch in the mile and a sixteenth test, stayed in contention while looking for an opening while caught in tight in a crowded pack and ran virtually the entire stretch with nowhere to run before finally angling out in the final yards and closing with intent. Just needs a clean trip to beat this kind if kept on grass around two turns.

Won Kool Kid – It appeared as though the Lemon Drop Kid 3-year old was a little keyed up for his first start since July at Saratoga as he faced NW2L 30K claiming foes in his most recent. The Michael Mariena trained colt broke just off the pace, was held a bit to save ground along the inside and flattened out in the final stages of the 6 ½ furlong event. He worked well over the surface prior to the return and that should bode well for new conditioner Jane Cibelli, who took the colt for the 30K. Wins a NW2L sprint soon so bet him back.

(TAMPA BAY) – 3 Days Of Racing – 12/12, 12/14 & 12/15

Big Apple Lady – Interesting change of production by this 10 time maiden who had been struggling mightily in New York dirt tries at Finger Lakes and Belmont in her previous 5 races.  Yet returned to the grass (where she had finished twice in four tries to begin her career) in this one mile 25K maiden claiming turf test she made a strong middle move at the 5 furlong marker and continued to pass all but the runaway 1-2 favorite. She looks to have rediscovered her niche and may finally leave the winless if kept on the turf at the level.   

Bond Baroness – The veteran mare turned in a positive “next out” effort when she came on again vs 8K starter/optional claimers. The 5-year old daughter of Closing Argument has hit the board in 23 of 46 career starts with 7 wins and 7 place finishes and in her most recent she dropped back after pressing the early pace then rallied again to get the show, beaten just a little over a half length for it all while well clear of the fourth finisher. Look for her to hold form and grab another win at this level soon.  

Learn The Lingo – The lower level claiming filly has handled this surface in the past and in her return from spending the spring and summer in Kentucky and New Jersey did well to get the show following a 7 week break. The daughter of Alphabet Soup went right out to set the pace in the mile and forty yard event and just hung late in the 6.25K event while 5 ¾ lengths clear of the show horse. She was haltered out of the race by Barbara McBride and should pay quick dividends as she has also shown ability around one turn. 

Queen Of Mambo – The 3-year old Elusive Quality filly made just her second career start and first since last February at PARX and didn’t disappoint when sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the MSW sprint. The John Terranova trainee had turned in a solid effort in her debut and then went to the sidelines before returning in style with an easy early press-late draw away effort to win by 5 lengths. It looks as though the filly is back in form and should handle conditions. Also check entries at Gulfstream should the connections decide to ship.

The Waco Kid – The Kathleen O’Connell trained turf gelding has shown plenty of ability on the grass and at Tampa but lost all chance vs second level allowance/optional 32K claimers in his last. The son of Mass Media entered the gate 2 for 2 over the course and 5 for 14 in his turf career but was steadied sharply on the second turn and taken out of the race. He is good form right now and should be considered vs these or even vs 25K-40K open claimers on the grass. Stay with him.

Vertical Lift – The 4-year old turf filly went up to press the early pace of this mile and a sixteenth entry level allowance test. She was in position early but had to wait for room and once clear began to move before flattening out following some quick early fractions. The daughter of Roar Of The Tiger held for 4th, beaten 3 lengths for it all and has a pair of wins and a pair of place finishes from 8 tries on the Tampa sod so certainly deserves another chance vs the same.   


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