Horse to Watch, Week Ending 2-16
HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, February 16
The horses listed below ran well enough in their most recent races to indicate that they are sitting on solid future performances. Bet them under the terms listed at least twice or until they win and then drop.
NOTE: Horses To Watch has now expanded and made one slight change as we will cover the winter’s meets on the Inner Dirt Track at Aqueduct, as well as Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay and the now open Oaklawn Park.
NOTE: During the week ending 2/16 Aqueduct lost all but one (Monday 2/10) of their racing days to either cold or inclement weather so there are only two inclusions this week.
(Last Week’s Horses To Watch Runners)
STREET LORD — WON $12.60 — We noted that after cutting into the winning margin with a 4 wide rally in a mile second level allowance/optional claimer for restricted NYSB rivals he was primed to get it done under the same conditions…which he did. Now 7-2-3-0 over a fast main track he should soon eclipse the level under the same conditions.
START UP — Out — The Jump Start gelding got back on turf at the right level in a 7 ½ furlong claimer but never got to utilize his speed as he was bumped and steadied at the start and then caught 4 wide while advancing on the turn before evening out in the lane. Deserves his second chance vs 35K grass claimers at 7 ½ - 8 furlongs.
HE’S GOT TALENT — Out — The speedy Talent Search gelding stepped caught a sloppy oval for the third straight time and this time showed only brief foot before packing it in. Would give him one more chance sprinting at the 25K claiming or starter allowance level, but only on a fast surface.
PURECRAZILUCK — 2ND — PLACE $3.40 — The Simon Pure filly stepped up from beating 12.5K maiden claimers to open 30K foes and did a good job to follow the more experienced pace setter all the way through the 6 furlongs over the drying out surface. Bet her vs the same or slightly less next time.
JOLENA JO — Out — Should remain on the list as her last was well outside the parameters of the HTW qualification. Instead of facing 25K-35K turf claimers she was sent out on the main track vs second level allowance/optional 62.5K claimers, which is well above the recommended level. Her 4th place performance might just make for better value when returned to turf.
IFFRAAJ PINK — 2ND — PLACE $3.40 — She settled off the pace early on in the entry level allowance/optional 35K claimer on grass and was making a winning move when steadied entering the final turn. She re-gathered, moved wide and got the place. Deserves another chance vs the same. -
WHO’S MARY’S DADDY — WON $5.80 — As suggested, all she needed was her prior, the first since October and a drop to 30K open claimers on grass after a series of tries at the second allowance level.
SLAMIT — WON $11.80 — Got to the front vs the same 12.5K starter allowance rivals that she had a troubled trip third vs two back and held on for a nose victory.
TOBE’S THE MAN — Out — He broke well enough to be in contact with the 7.5K claiming field early on, was in contention while 4 wide coming off the turn but flattened out without excuse in the lane. Drop now.
ANNUITY — 2ND — PLACE $4.00 — After finishing second to Sugar Shock (see HTW below) in her first OP MSW try two back she returned in last to stretch out to a mile and a sixteenth and pressed the pace throughout and repelling a pair of challengers before dropping a head decision. She gets it done next time.
MARSDEN — No Play — Finished an even fourth when the two turn race was washed from turf to a sloppy main oval. Stays on the list for entry level allowance/25K optional claimer type grass race.
RIDGE KITTEN — Out — After winning 3 straight trainer Dennis Ward jumped the claiming mare up to 12.5K rivals from 5K-6.25K level tries. She did flash her solid speed and took them into the stretch before tiring late and finishing fourth. Keep her on the list but only in her 8K-6.25K comfort zone as she was claimed by new conditioner Wayne Minnock.
FAVORITE PATRIOT — 3RD — SHOW $2.40 — Was no match for the huge drop down favorite in a time designated starter/optional 8K claimer. The gelding nonetheless cut out a :44 4/5 half mile before giving way and dropping a ½ length decision for the place. Bet back if in open 8K level sprint.
ROCK ALEX — 2ND — PLACE $5.40 — Solid effort on the front end almost got it done vs second level allowance/optional 32K claimers at mile and forty yards. Will beat these next time…especially at a mile.
THE TEA CUPS — 2ND — PLACE $4.20 — Did everything but win, dropping a neck decision in 16K turf route behind soft-paced wire-to wire winner. She broke slowly, had to loop the field from 8th, move 4 wide into the lane and missed by a nose while well clear of the show runner. Keep her on the list vs the same as she runs back for new trainer Joan Scott who haltered her out of the race.
BOND BARONESS — WON $8.00 — After a tough trip third first time on the list the bottom claiming level mare dropped one notch and easily looped an outclassed field on her way to a 4 ¼ length win.
WHO IS LADY — 2ND — PLACE $4.60 — Valiant effort in 9 furlong turf 16K starter handicap fell ¾ of a length short after she alternated pressing and setting the pace with the 9-5 favorite. She put that one away but couldn’t hold off the rallying winner while well clear of the show runner. Deserves her second chance.
PAIGE ME — 2ND — PLACE $14.80 — Another in a long string of HTW runners that fell just short of cashing last week. This longshot 6-year old turf gelding broke 9th of 10 in the 9 furlong 16K starter handicap, moved when urged while 3 wide on the far turn, moved out widest of all through the stretch and missed by a neck. You have to go back to him.
THE PINK WILDCAT — NO PLAY — Instead of running the speedy filly against mid-level claimers following her drop down to 25K maiden claiming score the connections sent her vs entry level allowance/optional 75K claimers and she used her speed to set the pace for a half mile but faded in the lane. Remains on the list but only at 5 ½-6 furlongs vs mid-level NW2L claimers.
HORSES TO WATCH
LITTLE WYATT — In his last the 5-year old Rockport Harbour horse made his second start for trainer Eddie Kenneally since changing barns and transferring here from Finger Lakes. Two back vs the same 12.5K claimers he sprinted against in his most recent he was caught behind a wall of runners and never got loose. In the last he broke right to the front from his rail post, dug in when challenged by a few rivals and weakened late while securing the place spot. Wins at the level soon.
MONEY ONLY — The addition of blinkers helped get this 16K claiming sprinter much more involved in the late stages in his most recent as he settled off the pace early, remained tracking just off the rail in 6th early on, swung 4 wide entering the stretch and while no match for the wire-to-wire winner was closing at that one as he passed a number of rivals inside the furlong marker. Gets it done vs the same next time.
BIG N PERFECT — Obviously the 4-year old Pleasantly Perfect colt has had his issues but when he’s gotten to the track has shown plenty of promise. The Christophe Clement trained 4-year old made just his second career start in his most recent and his first since a debut MSW win on the grass at Ellis Park when previously in the barn of Stephen Margolis in mid-August of last year. In the return race, an entry level allowance /optional 35K turf claimer the colt was up close from the start of the mile and a half event, moved when asked and missed by a half length while clear of the show finisher in the 9 horse field. It won’t be long until career win number two.
DANCE WITH GIO — Slight break in class from 25K claimers to 16K rivals was likely the right move by trainer Paul Kopaj. The veteran turf mare broke from the rail in the mile event, settled off the early pace until the turn and then began to move up while 5 wide. She was able to claim the show spot with a solid late drive and move her career turf mark to 15-3-1-4. She’ll win again soon if kept at the level.
HANALEI HAILEY — The 625K yearling purchase filly finally made it to the races last time out and manged to gain the place despite racing a bit greenly in the 7 furlong test. The Todd Pletcher trained 3-year old daughter of Malibu Moon was a step slow from the gate, raced up into contention while well off the rail and battle with the favored winner until she gave way in the final furlong. She definitely needed the experience but won’t be a maiden any longer.
I’M STAR STRUCK — The Fair Grounds shipper made his first start of 2014 vs 16K turf claimers in last and after pressing the pace in the one mile event gained a brief lead in deep stretch and dropped a neck decision while holding onto runner-up honors in the NW2L test. The lightly raced 4-year old drew the attention of trainer Norman Pointer, who haltered him from the race and should get career win number two if kept grassing at the level.
LUCKY FOR YOU — It would appear as though the well-bred Malibu Moon filly finally figured it out as she pressed the early pace of a two turn MSW event, and dispatched her rivals when asked to draw off by 5 lengths. It was the third start of the Todd Pletcher trainee’s career and by far her most impressive. It shouldn’t take her long to move through conditions.
MY CHARMING CLYDE — The Jamie Ness trained veteran claimer shipped in from Tampa Bay and turned his 59th career start into his 15th winning one as he easily distanced himself from his 25K rivals in the 6 furlong test. He is in good form right now, has won twice from four starts on the surface and should keep winning if kept vs the same or slightly better.
TALONS OF TUSCANY — Sent off as the 9-10 MSW favorite in his career debut last time the son of Arch settled just off the pace setter early on in the 5 ½ furlong test moved alongside in mid-stretch and managed to win a hard fought ¾ lengthy decision. The well bred colt worked well for the debut, was backed heavily off the 4-1 ML and should improve and move quickly through conditions for trainer Dale Romans.
THE CARELESS CAT — In just her second career start last time out and first since her debut at Saratoga in July the Graham Motion filly showed good tracking speed and was just outgunned for the win by an in form rival. The daughter of Tale Of The Cat was finding her best stride late in the 5 furlong turf event and only needed the race to break through vs MSW foes in her next. The greeding also suggests she’ll handle more ground.
TIZ LIBERTY — in his most recent the 6-year old claiming gelding stepped up from a 12.5K claim two back to face a solid group of drop down optional starters of 16K or less. The Aubrey Maragh trainee chased the speed through a very quick 1:21 2/5 seven furlong dash and did well to finish evenly for the show. He has now posted a 21-7-3-1 career mark and will get win number 8 soon if he runs back vs straight 12.5K-16k claimers.
WIN FOR KITTEN — the 4-year old Kitten’s Joy filly continued to show improvement as she moved up from a conditioned beaten 30K claimer two back to an entry level allowance/optional 35K claimer at 1 7/16ths miles on turf in last. The Gary Contessa trainee prompted the pace through the first 6 furlongs, was shuffled back a bit while looking for position rounding the final turn and rallied well to get the show. Will win one of these travelling two turns on grass.
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CALL PAT — After winning past the entry allowance level here two back the 4-year old Lawyer Ron filly just missed eclipsing the second allowance level in her most recent. The Phillip Sims trainee broke just off the pace setter, took over from that one entering the lane in the 8 ½ furlong test, continued to inside the sixteenth pole and just gave way in the final jump to drop a nose decision. Beats this kind next time.
CAPTAIN GENIUS — The Brad Cox trained 5-year old stepped up fro the second straight time in last after winning off the claim two back. In this most recent he went from an open 30K claiming win to face second level allowance/optional 40K claimers for the price and after waiting for room turning for home in the 6 furlong dash fell a half length short of catching repeat HTW winner Ammaroo. Gets another win soon.
FRANZ — Remington Park shippers continue to be mostly ignored upon shipping here but this guy spent his prior 5 races sprinting on turf so was let go at 20-1 in the 6 furlong 12.5K claimer…even though he had a win, second and third vs NW2L and entry level allowance foes. His first Oaklawn try last time was also his first since mid-November but he still was forwardly placed from the outside early, continued to advance as they approached the lane and rallied for the place while unable to impact the winner. He needed the race and will win at the level next time.
PRETTY SUSPECT — This Arkansas bred Primary Suspect filly made it two in a row as she not only went straight from a restricted 25K maiden claimer to an entry level restricted allowance win but in the process beat the 3-10 favorite that was dropping in from the open company 100K Dixie Belle Stakes in her prior. The 3-year old held on gamely after outgunning the pace setter and then holding off a pair of late challengers. She has won 2 of 4 in her brief career and may be better. Bet her back.
SAIL MAKER — Sharp debut in last by this Malibu Moon MSW colt was only surpassed by his also debuting coupled stable mate. The Gorder Kellyn trainee was off slowly after being bothered at the break in the 6 furlong dash and was 10th of 11 down the back stretch. He began to make contact into the turn angled out 4 wide in the straight away and found his past stride late to gain the show just ¾ off the place finisher. Only needs a clean start to break his maiden next time.
SHADY CREEK — The 4-year old Arkansas bred returned to Oaklawn where he had shown some talent over a year ago and in his most recent made his first start since May of last year at Prairie Meadows. The colt had worked repeatedly over the surface since mid-December and had placed twice from four starts here early in his 3-year old career as he went out in the entry level allowance sprint. He broke on the lead, was headed by the eventual winner and then battled back to just miss while 5 ¾ lengths clear of the show horse. Just needs to repeat to eclipse restricted entry level allowance foes.
SUGAR SHOCK — Following a two month break after a pair of MSW tries at CD to begin her career the daughter of Candy Ride returned to break her maiden vs special weight sprinters two back and was even more impressive winning her second straight when she vanquished entry level allowance rivals in her most recent. She broke alertly, raced 4 wide while just off the leaders, made her move at the furlong pole and drew off by 3 ¾ lengths. She should be able to eclipse the second level just as quickly.
TOP GATO — The 3-year old Bernstein colt made his first career start a winning one when he beat 45K maiden claimers in a 6 furlong test last time out. He broke in mi-pack, ran into a bit of traffic on the turn but managed to get position for the stretch run and just held off a late run by another first time starter. It was a solid effort and the fact that he was haltered out of the race for the 45k tab by sharp off-the-claim trainer Cody Autry makes him worth following closely in start number two.
BLENDING — The 4-yaer old turf filly had all sorts of problems in 16K turf route in last. She broke inward at the start after being unsettled and not ready when they sprung the gates. She pulled towards the front while rank, bid three wide into the lane to gain second and then bore out and started to climb in the final stages. The Gary Jackson trainee belongs at the level and will beat these with a clean trip.
FIRST GLANCE — The 3-year old First Defense filly was all business as she made her debut a dominant winning one when she ran away from 50K maiden claimers in her last. She broke within good contact of the field in the 5 ½ furlong test, moved 4 wide on the turn into contention, 5 wide into the lane and continued to draw off the a 4 ¼ length triumph. She should handle more ground and repeat vs winners next time.
GIANCARLO — The 3-year old Tapit colt shipped in from Calder and was all business as the 6-5 favorite vs an age group entry level allowance/optional 75K field at 7 furlongs. The Efron Loza, Jr. trainee stalked the pace just outside the leader, moved to the front entering the lane and drew clear under a drive. Looks good enough to move through next condition. Bet him back.
GOLDEN BEACH BOY — After breaking his maiden three back and following up with a win vs NW2L 8K claimers two back the Gary Jackson trained Sky Mesa gelding continued to hold good form as he battled his way to the lead in deep stretch against 8K NW3L foes and just failed to hold off the closing winner while grabbing runner up honors by 3 ¾ lengths. His consistent tracking and closing sprint style gets him that third career win soon.
NATIVE WAVE — The veteran turf claimer had the roughest of trips in a 16K starter handicap in mile and an eighth test last time out. Coming off a win vs the same the David Nunn trainee tracked the pace from just off the rail in the early going, found himself boxed in and steadied for a good 3 furlongs off the backstretch, through the turn and into the lane and after waiting a bit finally angled out and ran even to finish fourth, beaten less than 3 lengths for it all. Might have been best and should get this kind again with a clean trip.
NEARLY IRISH — Low level maiden claimer improved dramatically with blinkers in his second career race last time. The Dale Bennett trainer broke back a bit on the rail, moved around a backing up runner and moved back to the rail to rally and just miss while well clear of the show finisher in the 8K event. Breaks maiden vs these soon.
RAY’S BACK — Nice effort in last by the lightly raced Ricky Griffith trainee bodes well for a big effort in next. The son of War Pass got his initial career win here two back when he wired 12.5K maiden claimers. In his most recent he stepped in vs open 16K claimers at 7 furlongs and once again showed good early speed to sprint to a clear lead, carried them deep into the stretch and weakened in the late going while holding the show spot. Will get career win soon…especially if back at 6 panels.
SEVENTH SON — The 6-year old gelding was a little over the top as he faced entry level allowance/optional 16K claiming sprinters following a short 6 week break. He lunged forward at the start after being fractious during the loading process, pulled jockey Perez to the front approaching the 5/16ths pole and drifted out while 3 wide in the stretch to be beaten a half length while 2 clear of the show horse. Just needs a settled start to beat this allowance/optional claiming level .
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