Horses to Watch... Week Ending 6/15


Week Ending Sunday, June 15

By Jim Hurley

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: The Churchill Downs Meet comes to an end on 6/29 at which point the circuit switches to Ellis Park (7/4—9/2) after which the horses return to Churchill.

Last Week’s Horses To Watch Runners


SAUCON VALLEY—OUT—First try vs winners after debut win was good effort. Bumped, stumbled and carried out at the start of 6 furlong restricted NYSB allowance turf test the filly raced 3 wide on the turn, four wide into the lane and was still rallying to be beaten by just 2 lengths for it all. Deserves her second chance.

TIZALLHEART—2ND—PLACE $3.10—Was no match for drop down 4-5 Gulfstream shipper but did well enough to warrant another chance vs NW2L 40-50K turf claimers.

IMAGE OF NOON—W—$6.80—Completed the rally that fell just short in prior and got her NYSB entry allowance win.


CALBO—2nd—No Place Betting—In race reduced to 3 runners by scratches the colt was beaten a neck. Bet him back in representative field at the same 7.5K to 10K claiming level.

UNBRIDLED EXPLOISON—W $5.60—After tipping things two back the MSW filly easily dispatched her rivals.


LUCKY RAG DOLL—No Play—Trainer Patrick McBurney stretched the sprinter out to a mile in a second level allowance in last and she was away alertly and showed speed while trying to rate. Sprinting is her game. Play her when she goes 6 panels vs the same as originally recommended.

SPEIGHTFUL KISS—W $11.60—After just missing in off-the-turf sprint in his prior the veteran claimer got it done under the same situation this time.

INDEFINABLE HUMOR—2ND—PLACE $9.20—In the same sprint won by Speightful Kiss above this MTO entry shortened up and rallied well before running out of ground. It was his second try on the list and second runner up try but he is sitting on a win so use one more time sprinting on dirt vs 25K level platers.

KYLIE’S COZY KID—W $6.20—Took the lead early on in the restricted NJ bred entry level allowance and held it to the wire.

ELTHAM—3RD—SHOW—$4.60—Vied for the lead in the same NJ bred entry allowance sprint as winner KYLIE”S COZY KID and continued well to be beaten less than a length for it all. Deserves second chance.  

PADRE GRAZ—3RD—SHOW $2.80—In his first try beyond 6 furlongs the MSW colt was no match for IRISH YOU WELL who dropped in after running third in the Peter Pan behind Belmont Stakes 1-2 finishers Tonalist and Commissioner. The son of Posse was in the hunt early and late and definitely deserves his second chance when he obviously faces a more representative field.

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5 Racing Days

BUSTIN IT—There was no way this NYSB juvenile was going to catch the Repole/Pletcher 1-10 favorite in 5 furlong open MSW test in last but the Michael Mariena first time starter showed more than enough to indicate a future. The son of Bustin Stones chased the winner all the way around the sloppy sealed race track and was 4 lengths clear of the show horse at the finish. The colt gets his first career win in next whether against open company or restricted peers.

DOWSES BEACH—In his first start since last November in most recent the Christophe Clement trainee turned in a solid second place effort in NYSB MSW test. The son of Disco Rico broke within range while along the inside in the mile turf event, continued to move while between rivals on the far turn, had to wait for an opening and once clear went 3 wide, got a head in front briefly and tired to a beaten neck while 2 ¾ lengths clear of the show horse. Breaks his maiden vs same next time.

GLORY GAME—The Woodbine shipper made his first start since mid-December in a 20K starter allowance that was washed to the sloppy main track in last and came within ¾ of a length of pulling the 25-1 upset. The Yvon Belsoeur trainee is as consistent a runner as they come having won 10 of 26 lifetime with 5 seconds. He broke right to the lead in the 6 furlong test, put away two challengers early and dug in to hold the place when caught late by the winner. The 6-year old gelding will add to his win total soon on the main track or turf.

LADY LUCIANO—The NYSB filly got into a protracted speed duel with the even money favorite in her most recent and weakened late to settle for the close up show in the 7 furlong event. The daughter of Frost Giant faced the open NW2L runners in an open 25K claimer and was haltered for the 25K tag by trainer Juan Vasquez. She’ll probably like 6 panels and still has her restricted conditions open so the new connections have options. Bet her back.

LITTLE GABBY GIRL—Despite losing ground when she switched lanes in the stretch in her last the Desert Warrior filly did well to continue for the place. The Richard Schosberg filly tracked the pace along the inside in the 6 furlong NW3L 6 furlong sprint and looking for room moved out 4 wide in the lane and was out finished by the favored winner while 3 lengths the good of the show horse. Gets career win number three soon vs 16K-20K rivals.

MATCHING SKIES—The veteran claiming mare was no match for the 6-5 wire-to-wire winner in last but chased that one all the way in 20K 6 furlong test and just got nosed for the place at the wire. The daughter of Henny Hughes has won 7 of 34 in her career and was making her first start for trainer Mitchell Friedman after being haltered for 25K in her prior. She’ll beat this kind soon…stay with her.

PEP THE CHAMP—A short break and a drop in class did the trick as the Anthony Dutrow colt got career win number one vs 40K maiden claimers in last. The son of Wildcat Heir dropped from MSW company and went from a mile to 6 furlongs in the turf test and left little to doubt with a sweeping off the pace run to a 5 length margin in 1:09 2/5. A repeat of that race and he beats this same level in an NW1L turf sprint in next.

RACE AND SHINE—The John Toscano maiden filly made her first start since January 1, went dirt to turf and stepped up a level to face 40K maiden claimers in most recent. The daughter of Stonesider broke a bit awkwardly in the mile and a sixteenth test, raced well off the pace along the inside, switched off the rail on the turn, altered further out in mid-stretch and went between rivals to grab show honors less than a length off the winner. She should build off the return and break her maiden vs the same soon.

REQUEST A PUCK—The Evangeline Downs shipper stayed in when the open 40K claimer was moved from the turf to the fast main track in last and was up to the task as he ran down the pace setter in the 6 furlong test. The Danny Gargan trained son of Puck has now built a strong 17-5-4-3 fast track record yet because many of the wins were in restricted Louisiana bred stakes and allowance races he is still eligible for second level allowance company. The connections have many options so follow this guy closely.

VICKI’S DANCER—The sharp NYSB mare made it 5-for-5 on the board in turf tries in a conditioned starter allowance in most recent. The 5-year old broke last of 8 in the 7 furlong test, saved ground on the turn as she began to advance a bit, had to swing 6 wide through the lane and rallied strongly down the center of the course to fall a half length short as she out-gunned the show horse. The daughter of Disco Rico is sitting on career win number 6 and should get it soon vs conditioned allowance state bred foes and is still eligible for second level open allowance runners. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has many options, especially at 7-8 furlongs on grass.  


4 Racing Days

ALERT AND PERKY—Trainer Michelle Lovell continues to have a solid meet and the effort by this Purge gelding in most recent is a prime example. The 4-year old faced 4)K NW2L claimers fresh off beating 30K maiden claimers in his prior and after trailing the field early in the 7 furlong dash made a long standing rail rally to get the place behind the 9-5 winner. This guy gets career win number two soon.

CALL STAR—The Bill Mott trained MSW filly was no match for HTW winner Unbridled Explosion in most recent but turned in a solid effort in her first start since late March at GP and looks primed to break through in next. The 3-year old stalked the early pace in the mile trial, made a strong 4 wide bid and moved past all but the winner as she finished 8½ lengths in front of the show filly. She needed the race and should break through either on dirt again or on turf and would appreciate more ground. Bet her back.

COURTMASTER – The 4-year old claiming gelding showed marked improvement in last as he succumbed late while holding the place well clear of the show finisher. The Kellyn Gorder trainee tracked the early pace in the 15K 7 furlong affair, moved 4 wide on the far turn, took the lead in mid-stretch and fell a length short inside the sixteenth pole. Surpasses the NW3L level vs the same soon. 

HAVLICEK—The son of Majestic Warrior made his first start since last August at Ellis in most recent and almost wired 50K turf maiden claimers in two turn test. The William Denzik trainee went straight out to open a clear lead from his outside post in the mile and a sixteenth event, continued to dictate the pace well into the lane and just gave it up in the final strides while 2 ½ lengths clear of the show finisher in the 9 horse field. Breaks maiden soon vs the same.

LUREGO—The Charlie LoPresti trainee is rounding into form after good rally for the show in most recent. The 4-year old colt is best suited to turf and in the mile test vs entry level allowance test he settled off the early pace while along the inside, had to wait briefly for a seam and when it opened he rallied between rivals to get within a length of the winner at the wire. Will get over this level hurdle soon and would definitely appreciate a bit more ground.

MARINE PATROL—The 4-year old allowance colt showed solid improvement in digging down to beat second level allowance rivals in most recent. The Wayne Catalano trained son of Tapit was well back early in the mile and a sixteenth turf test, had to move 6 wide through the far turn, continued to rally through the stretch and finally edged in front approaching the wire. It was a solid effort in the second level allowance/optional 65K claimer and the fact that Dale Romans reached in at the 65K tag and haltered the colt speaks volumes for future prospects. He’ll win again soon so stay with him.

SAGITTARS STARS—The John Good trained filly was well prepared for her career debut in most recent and fell ¾ of a length short of getting a first out win. The 3-year old settled off the pace early in the mile and a sixteenth turf 50K maiden claimer, swept past her rivals when asked on the second turn and gained the lead in the lane before giving way late and holding onto runner up honors 2 ¼ lengths clear of the show finisher in the 8 filly field. Look for her to get out of the winless ranks quickly.

TAPITSPHERE—The juvenile son of Tapit was ready at first asking in MSW test in last and turned in a gritty effort to get the win. The Steve Asmussen trainee broke a step slowly from the rail in the 5 ½ furlong sprint, moved out 4 wide in the early going and continued 4 wide on the turn and through the stretch and put his head in front late. Bred to win often and at a distance the colt should move through conditions quickly. 


3 Racing Days

AUNT ELIPSIS—The 3-year old Successful Appeal filly shipped in from PARX in last and easily dispatched a group of NW3L 40K claimers. The Keith LeBarron trainee has now hit the board in all 8 career starts (3-3-2) and has the kind of tactical speed that is playing well at Monmouth right now. Look for a repeat soon vs the same level of open claimers or even in an open entry level allowance for which she is still eligible. Follow closely.

CHUBLICIOUS—Solid debut by this 3-year old restricted NJ bred 40K maiden claiming colt in most recent bodes well for a quick visit to the winner’s circle. The Daniel Lopez trainee made a serious 4 wide move on the turn in the 6 furlong dash, moved aggressively in the lane and took the lead before falling to the winner while finishing 2 ½ lengths clear of the show runner in the 10 horse field. Won’t be a maiden long.

EL OH EL—Trainer David Jacobson shipped the 4-year old claimer into Monmouth from NY off a March 10 layoff and dropped him from the 12.5K to 10K level in most recent. The gelding was a step slow from the gate and steadied but quickly moved into contention while 3 wide in the 6 furlong dash. He got on even terms with the winner and dropped a nose decision while clear of the show horse. He was haltered by new conditioner Jorge Navarro and should pay quick dividends vs the same or slightly better.

GLOBAL SHOWDOWN—In his belated career debut last time this 3-year old MSW colt showed a strong effort as he rallied for the show. Originally scheduled for the turf the son of Dynaformer was off the front runners early in the mile and a sixteenth test, made his move on the far turn and drew into contention while 4 wide before continuing on through the lane to be beaten less than 2 lengths for it all. Breaks his maiden soon on grass or dirt.

JAY EYE SEE—The Jorge Navarro trained son of Curlin turned in a good effort racing up in class in last. The son of Curlin was haltered for 30K 5 weeks back and returned to face 50K sellers at a mile and seventy yards. The colt pressed the early pace, went between horses on the backstretch and assumed the lead at the quarter pole and battled to the wire before giving way grudgingly in the final strides while clear of the show horse. Slight drop in class gets it done in next.

SUNSET DISTRICT—The son of Curlin was making just his second career start in a MSW test in last and did well to track and finish second behind the ultimate class dropper. The Derek Ryan trainee stayed forwardly placed throughout the mile and seventy yard event and took place honors behind Irish You Well who just happened to be returning to the winless ranks after checking in third in the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in his prior behind a couple of opponents named Tonalist and Commissioner. Breaks his maiden next time.

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