Horses To Watch at Belmont & Churchill
HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, September 7
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: Now that the Saratoga meet and the Del Mar meet are finished and Fall racing settles back into regular rotation on the New York and Kentucky circuits, to be followed in Southern California beginning the last week of the month we are back with the weekly Horses To watch segment. This first edition features the three days of racing that opened the meets at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
BLUE CHIPS ONLY – Blinkers off and the 40K maiden claiming company did the trick as this Jeremiah Englehart trained gelding jumped out to the lead and held a comfortable margin gate-to-wire in the mile and a sixteenth turf test in last. These 40K maiden claimers are often stepping stones to starter allowances at the same level so based on the last there is every reason to expect a second career win at that level. Follow closely.
DOBRA HISTORIA – In what was his first try since last November, first in New York and first on grass this 3-year old Unbridled’s Song colt turned in a solid effort to get the place spot in an entry level allowance at a mile and a sixteenth. The Bill Mott trainee pressed the early pace, put that one away and stayed on doggedly when passed in the final furlong by the 7-10 favorite. Needed the race and looks to have a future on the grass. Breaks through this level soon.
ISLAND CANDY – While no match for the odds-on winner in NW3L 20K claiming sprint in most recent this daughter of Candy Ride hit the board for the 7th time in 0 lifetime tries (9-2-2-3) when she pressed the pace early and held the place from gate-to-wire. She was claimed out of the race by Linda Rice and based on that one’s quick turn-around acumen it would not be a surprise to see her get career win number three soon…either on dirt or in a turf sprint (in lone turf try she held the lead until deep stretch in a mile 40K starter allowance) for which the new conditioner is well accomplished.
LUCKY LEROY BROWN – For the second time in his two career starts the juvenile son of Big Brown broke a bit sluggishly and showed interest late going two turns on the grass. The Linda Rice trainee waited a bit on the backstretch in his most recent, moved out 3 wide entering the far turn and then had to fan 5 wide too make his move. He closed for the show, beaten 3 lengths and should be more prepared with a sharper start on his way to breaking his maiden soon.
OVERSPENDING – The MSW juvenile filly did all the heavy lifting from her difficult outside post in the 6 furlong dash in most recent and after dueling through quick fractions and putting the pace setter away was unable to withstand the closing winner while holding on the place. The Todd Pletcher trained daughter of Harlan’s Holiday has shown strong speed twice over the fast surface and should be able to dictate the outcome again and break through soon.
PULLING G’S – It took the connections a while to get this 4-year old gelded son of Curlin to the races but based on the initial performance he should make up for lost time in a hurry. The John Shirreffs trainee was no match for the well-meant 3-5 winner but dogged that one all the way to the wire in a head-to-head battle that was settled by less than a length in 1:08 4/5. It was 10 ¾ lengths back to the show runner. You won’t get 9-1 next time but this guy breaks maiden then and is worth following further on.
STAY IN FRONT – Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey have long made money on the track and at the windows and the claim of this last out 40K maiden claiming winner is a prime example why. The 3-year old daughter of War Front was making just her second career start and first in over a year in the 6 furlong turf test and settled just off the early pace before rallying for a decisive victory as the 6-5 chalk. She is bred to run longer but the key is that she is now eligible to run in those lucrative starter allowances that keep her protected first off the claim if that is where the connections go. Either way she gets career win number two soon so stay with her.
TOUT – As we’ve mentioned on these pages numerous times, trainer Bill Mott seldom has his horses fully primed at first asking and often takes two or three races to get them to their peak. That is the case with this well-bred son of Medaglia D’Oro who raced once as a 2-year old, returned two back following a 7 month layoff to run a good second in a MSW dirt route at Monmouth and in most recent moved to the turf at the Spa and broke through with a determined late rally. The 3-year old colt will only move forward. Bet him right back in conditions if kept on the grass.
BIRDATTHEWIRE – The juvenile MSW filly was unprepared at the start of her debut in last and ran out of ground in the 6 furlong dash. The Dale Romans trained daughter of Summer Bird hopped and was bumped at the break and shuffled back to 10th of 12 before greenly rushing up between horses as they approached the turn. She was then angled to the inside and held steady to the wire to get the show. She should move forward off the learning experience and a bit more ground would suit her breeding. Wins soon.
HAUNTED HEROINE – The 3-year old Bret Calhoun filly made her first start since mid-January at Fair Grounds in most recent an showed enough late interest to warrant attention. She was allowed to settle unhurried early in the 7 furlong entry level allowance, moved 5 wide coming off the turn and continued with good energy through the lane to make up ground and grab show honors. A similar effort with the return under her belt gets her the condition win soon.
HOLY BOSS – The juvenile son of Street Boss was well backed in his debut and certainly ran to the backing as he was sent off at 3-2 and won off by 10 ½ widening lengths in the 6 furlong MSW test. The colt was never a question as he set the pace without urging, held a slight margin to the turn and then opened up on the turn and through the lane when asked. To put his performance in perspective he ran the race 7 lengths faster than the winner of another division of MSW males in the nightcap. The Steve Asmussen trainee figures to get better with more distance and right now looks like any kind. Bet him right back.
KNIGHTS NATION – After a pair of good enough efforts at Saratoga against slightly better this Dallas Stewart trained gelding ran into all sorts of traffic problems vs 50K claiming two-turn turf rivals in most recent. The Indygo Shiner was with the pace and about to move towards the leaders entering the stretch when the eventual third place finisher came in and blocked him. He found a seam and was steadied again before finishing just 2 lengths off the winner and was put up to third. Just needs a clean trip to beat the same next time.
THIRTYSILVERPIECES – The juvenile son of Badge Of Silver made it two straight as trainer Wesley ward shipped down from a Saratoga triumph in early August to take top honors in a conditional NW2L or 75K claiming two turn turf test. The gelding has good tactical speed and should be able to move through conditions if the connections continue to spot him judiciously. Stay with him on grass.
VICTORIA BLU – The 6-year old race mare hit the board for the fifth time in six races and won her second over the time span as she shipped in first off the claim from Indiana Downs and beat low level 5K starter allowance claimers. The daughter of Alluvial fits perfectly in these run at the level in the last two years races that are predominant at CD and made it 28-6-6-7 for her career. If she continues under the same conditions she keeps winning. Stay with her.
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