Friday Night Australian Racing, 8/26/2016

Race 3A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, August 26, 2016.  ST MARY’S RSL (BM70) ($85K) 11:20pm EDT (10:20pm CDT, 8:20pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3A, 4A, 5A) 3yo BM70.  7 furlongs, apprentices can claim.  Picks 2-1

The lighter weights do not look that talented, so I am going to go with #2 Swear (7/1 ML), who is taking a nice class drop here.  He seems to be good value at the 7/1 ML quote.  #1 Hey Doc (8/1 ML) appears second best in here, and has run good speed figures.


Race 3B Australia (Doomben) Friday, August 26, 2016.  JIM BEAM HCP ($60K) 11:27pm EDT (10:27pm CDT, 8:27pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3B, 4B, 5B) OPEN.  6 3/4 furlongs, apprentices can claim.  Picks 2-5

#2 Flamboyer (9/2 ML) appears to be the class in here and I am going to roll with him.  #5 Angel Dancer (5/2 ML) has been on a tear and should make for a healthy exacta.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 8/27/2016

It’s Travers Day!  Home of the Midsummer Derby!

Saratoga R11 (post 5:44 pm Eastern), The Travers Stakes (Grade 1), 10 furlongs, 3yo.

Class:  Exaggerator has a great overall record on dirt, mostly on wet tracks, but he has earned over $771,000 in eight starts on fast dirt too.  Destin and Gun Runner also have excellent records on fast dirt.

Expected pace:  There is not a ton of speed lined up but Laoban, Connect and Gun Runner all could cut out a decent pace.

Form:  Gun Runner has never been out of the money on fast dirt (6-5-0-1).  Destin is 6 for 8 in the money on fast dirt, and Governor Malibu is 6 for 7 in the money on fast dirt. Connect is two wins in two starts going long.  Arrogate is three wins in three starts going long, all in maiden/allowance company. Selections:

1st – #2 American Freedom (6/1)   2nd – #7 Exaggerator (3/1)  

3rd – #8 Destin (10/1)

Without topping most metrics, I just have a gut feeling AMERICAN FREEDOM is going to move forward from the Haskell and land a big prize this weekend.  His Haskell was strong and he’s 3-2-0-1 going two turns.  Blinkers off may help.  EXAGGERATOR may not get the fast pace to set up his late run, but before his last race it was rumored 100% and he still fired.  The public communications the last few weeks have been very positive about him.  Always dangerous.  DESTIN is a tough runner that was caught out of position and had to chase Laoban after Mohaymen missed the break.  With a decent early pace he will be there in the finish.

Flintshire Looks to Torment North American Grass Horses Again in the Sword Dancer Stakes!

Saratoga R10 (post 4:49 pm) The Sword Dancer Stakes.  Grade 1, 12 furlongs (turf)

Class:  Flintshire has earned $8,247,000 on the grass in 20 starts, much more than the purse earning of the rest of the field.

Form: Flintshire has been first or second in 9 of his last 10 starts (10-4-5-1). Selections:

1st – #6 Flintshire (1/5)   2nd – #2 Money Multiplier (8/1)  

3rd – #1 Grand Tito (8/1)

FLINTSHIRE has everything in his corner, except that pesky uncoupled Chard Brown trainee, Money Multiplier, in the race.  On pure handicapping factors Flintshire is a dominant favorite.  MONEY MULTIPLIER is a hard hitting sort that has tangled with the likes of Grade 1 winners World Approval and Wake Forest.  This would be another step up.  GRAND TITO is ‘the speed’ but he probably wants a slightly shorter distance.

Excellent Sprinters “Throw Down” In The Forego!

Saratoga R9 (post 4:12) The Forego Stakes.  Grade 1, 7 furlongs

Class:  A.P. Indian appears to be the class, at least right now (13-8-4-0).  Marking pushed him to the limit on July 9th.

Expected Pace:  Chief Lion appears to be the quickest early in here, coming out of six-furlong races with large pace figures.  He’s a possible wire to wire threat.

Form:  A.P. Indian has been either first or second in 12 of his 13 starts. Selections:

1st – #11 A.P. Indian (5/2)   2nd – #12 Marking (3/1)   3rd – #2 Chief Lion (10/1)

A.P. INDIAN has been on a tear, winning the last two graded sprints in New York.  MARKING is fresh and maybe better for it.  He doesn’t have to improve much to take this race.  CHIEF LION is entered from post two and his best opportunity seems to be a wire to wire theft under noted speed jock Florent Geroux.  21% of Saratoga 7 furlong races (toughly 1 out of 5) have been won wire to wire this meet.

3 Year Olds ‘Throw Down’ in the King’s Bishop

Saratoga R8 (post 3:35), The King’s Bishop Stakes.  Grade 1, 7 furlongs.

Class:  Tom’s Ready and Drefong top the field on BRIS Current Class.

Expected Pace:  FAST!!  Many possible leaders.

Form:  Drefong appears to be the “now” horse off three huge sprinting wins in maiden/allowance company out West.  Mind Your Biscuits and Rated R Superstar are both two for two with blinkers added recently. Selections:

1st – #13 Drefong (4/1)   2nd – #7 Star Hill (20/1)   3rd – #12 Tom’s Ready (12/1)

DREFONG appears to be a beast off his West Coast races.  This horse can rate some and he has a really shocking turn of foot.  If the pace melts down (and Drefong with it), I like STAR HILL to be a factor with the rider switch to Florent Geroux.  TOM’S READY wasn’t quite Triple Crown material, but he fits with this crew.

Fillies and Mares ‘Throw Down’ in the Ballerina

Saratoga R7 (post 2:59), The Ballerina Stakes.  Grade 1, 7 furlongs.

Class:  Carina Mia has earned a lot of money running against her own age group, and she faces older horses today.  Of the older mares Sheer Drama is the class horse, and she is a Grade 1 winner at this distance too.

Expected Pace:  Moderate for a Grade 1.  No obvious leader(s).

Form:  New York bred Haveyougoneaway won her last race in fast time, and is (6-4-2-0) over her last six races.  This will be her first try at the 7 furlong distance.  Paula’ssilverlining is (5-3-2-0) over her last 5 races (including a neck loss to Haveyougoneaway). Selections:

1st – #3 Paulassilverlining (4/1)   2nd – #9 Carina Mia (7/2)  

3rd – #10 Haveyougoneaway (10/1)  4th – #4 Sheer Drama (5/1)

PAULASSILVERLINING finally gets off the rail (she drew the rail post four times in a row).  This is her chance to turn the tables.  CARINA MIA gets back to a comfortable sprint distance and I expect her to put in a big run.  HAVEYOUGONEAWAY, in my opinion, is one of the best female sprinters ever to run at Oaklawn Park.  That last win at Saratoga was not a fluke. Horses to Watch – 8/22/16

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

The summer is slipping way and Labor Day race cards are preparing to bring a last blast of incredible action. – But you’ll be hard pressed to find any better marquee action that took place this past weekend. – Who caught your eye ? – Was is the three-year-old sensation Songbird strutting her stuff in the (G-1) Alabama at Saratoga? – Or the Pacific Classic where the ‘fearsome three-some” did battle with California Chrome  cruising in hand with the greatest of ease ? – Either way, it was one heckuva’ weekend to enjoy the best the game has to offer. – Grab a pen and paper, and get ready to write down some names of runners who need a good look before heading to the windows next out.


8/17/16 – Race #5 – #3 – Kohlhase – 7f on the dirt

Son of Mineshaft making his 2nd start  dropping down a class level. Made a bold move along the rail and was in a bit tight. He was forced to back off and tossed in the towel this day. – He’ll fair much better next up for the Rudy Rodriguez barn.

Del Mar

8/18/16 – Race #7 – #2 – I’m Already There – 1 1/8 on the turf

Tiago Pereira chased the pace and made a strong rally along the rail at the top of the stretch. He was forced to hold up a few strides waiting for an opening, and picked up the pace to be bested by a 1/2 length by eventual winner Danas Best.


8/20/16 – Race #3 – #6 – Nickle – 1 1/8 on the dirt

Javier Castellano was aboard the Ellis shipper and hit the starting gate briskly upon leaving at the start. She picked up her action and looked strong about half way into the race and finally gave way as the beaten favorite in the two path. – She should benefit greatly from a clean break.

NHC contest tournament cash is king

8/20/16 – Race #7 – #3 – Favorable Outcome – 6f on the dirt

First time starter from the Chad Brown barn won impressively at first asking. – This son of Flatter won impressively by 6 lengths going away. – This is a definite playback moving up the ladder next time out.

8/20/16 – Race #10 – #3 – Going For Broke – (G-1) Alabama – 1 1/4 on the main track

Irad Ortiz for Chad Brown just happened to run into a monster named Songbird on this day. She made a solid move finishing a solid second which may have been a winning trip against about any other runner. But when you face one of the best runners in the land, you may have to look to the next race using this as a gauge of ability.

Belterra Park

8/20/16 – Race #5 – #1 – Duval St. – 1 1/16 on the dirt (race came off the turf)

The red-hot barn of Larry Smith has a nice grass runner here and was the heavily beaten favorite showing brief speed and tossing in the towel early. When she gets back to the greensward she’ll be a real handful. – Bonus points if Ouzts stays aboard as they had three winners for the rider, and four winners for the trainer on Sunday. – They make a very good team going to post.

8/20/16 – Race #6 – #2 – Henderson Country – 5 1/2f on the dirt

Tim Glyshaw trainee who won impressively two races back, was bothered at the start this time to the races. The track was sloppy and played kindly to runners who were close to the pace. – He was in another zip code at the back of the pack, and came flying up the gooey rail to make a solid bid for 2nd money. Give him 6f and he’ll put out their lights !








Friday Night Australian Racing, 8/19/2016

Randwick racing conditions:  Soft 5, rail out 3m entire circuit (10 feet)

Race 1A Australia (Randwick) Friday, August 19, 2016.  MORAITIS COMMUNICATIONS (BM83) ($85K) 10:00pm EDT (9:00pm CDT, 7:00pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo+ BM83.  7 furlongs, Apprentices can claim.  Picks: 7-3  

#7 Conarchie (8/1 ML) looks the best of lower weighted runners and since the start of the 2016-17 Aussie season jockey Brenton Avdulla has won with 25% of his mounts, including on this guy on August 3rd.  #3 Super Tycoon (5/2 ML) has won three straight on soft tracks, and will get another soft track tonight.  On July 17th Super Tycoon beat Conarchie by 1 length while GETTING eight pounds.  Tonight Super Tycoon GIVES Conarchie eight pounds (that’s a 16 pound swing, almost unheard of in American racing).  Note #2 Jungle Edge is scratched.


Race 3A Australia (Randwick) Friday, August 19, 2016.  TAB HIGHWAY PLATE (C3) ($60K) 11:10pm EDT (10:10pm CDT, 8:10pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3A, 4A, 5A) 3yo+ CL3 SW 1 mile.  Apprentices can claim.  Picks 13-8

#13 Akiko Gold (3/1 ML) is the fastest runner in this slow group.  Tommy Berry really likes winning these lower class races and I expect a good effort from horse and rider.  #8 Grand Rouge (7/1 ML) appears to be the speed of the speed and will take them as long as he can.  He has had two new misses so it is hard to tell if he has turned the corner to challenge for the win, as he usually runs third (21-2-1-7).  Note #14 Epinician is scratched.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 8/20/2016

California Chrome Tries to Overcome the Rail Post and Eight Opponents in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic!

Del Mar R9 (post 9:15 PM Eastern), Pacific Classic, Grade 1, 10 Furlongs, 3 up

Class:  California Chrome has earned more money than any thoroughbred in history with a bankroll of $12,652,000, with an incredible $10,907,800 earned at this 10 furlong distance.

Expected Pace:  Beholder likes to sit a close second or third, so Dortmund should take this group as far as he can on the lead..  With only two starts at 10 furlongs it seems this distance may stretch his stamina.  Six furlongs in 1:11 seems about right.

Form:  California Chrome and Dortmund ran near career-top races in the San Diego and it will be interesting to see if either can duplicate that form in this race.  Beholder ran a nice race in defeat to Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch.  Dalmore loves routing at Santa Anita against three year olds.  He needs to step it up here but he drew well outside of horses and seems to be one of the few in here on the improve.

Track Bias:  In Del Mar 2016 dirt routes, the rail is only 3% winners from 15% of all starters for the meet, which is causing many of the “wise guys” to say California Chrome is beatable here after drawing post 1.  That may be true, but this start is way back into a chute and is 3/16ths (330 yards) of a mile farther away from the 8.5 furlong start.  My belief is Victor Espinoza and Team Chrome know this and will alter their game plan as needed. Selections:

1st – #1 California Chrome (8/5)   2nd – #7 Beholder (3/1)   3rd – Dortmund (5/2)

I think the San Diego Handicap showed CALIFORNIA CHOME is the best dirt horse in the world and he will easily handle this bunch.  BEHOLDER will get a great trip in this race but her numbers were better last year.  Hard to believe she can handle razor sharp males for the win.  Dortmund just doesn’t look like a Classic horse to me and it will be “put up or shut up time.”  I look for him to fade late.

Turf Marathoners go 11 Furlongs in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap!

Del Mar R8 (8:43 Eastern) Del Mar Handicap, 11 furlongs (turf), Grade 2

Class:  Ashleylivssugar has a strong record on turf and all-weather and has two wins at 12 furlongs (a mile and a half).  Flamboyant has faced some real toughies lately and earned $707,000 over 19 turf starts.  Neither has a win at the 11 furlongs on turf distance.  Finnegans Wake is a Grade 1 winner with $1,508,000 in earnings from 30 turf starts but his best wins were last year.

Expected Pace:  El Huerfano has a better record on dirt and with his dirt speed he figures to lead what should be a below average to slow pace.  I would expect Metaboss to be much closer to the pace in this race than in his recent mile allowance win, as that race was very fast early for the level.

Form:  Flamboyant has been right there in several Grade 2 races in a row.  If he can handle the longer 11 furlongs distance he is a major threat.  Metaboss‘ return to California was really strong but I always considered him a miler, not a long distance turf horse.  I think the logic here is his connections are trying to determine if he can run well going longer.  Finnegans Wake has put in three sharp works in row and he is due to run a big race.  An exotics threat for sure. Selections:

1st – #8 Ashleyluvssuger (3/1)   2nd – #7 Flamboyant (7/2)  

3rd – #4 Metaboss (4/1)  4th – #9 Finnegan’s Wake (8/1)

ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR has a sneaky-good distance pedigree and as noted above, is a proven distance horse on the grass, while most of these are not.  FLAMBOYANT is in top form and deserves to win a race like this.  Second off the Dubai carnival layoff helps chances.  METABOSS has the most raw talent in this field, but can he perform at the 11 furlong distance while the early pace will be slow?  FINNEGANS WAKE is a proven veteran that has put in three sharp works coming into this race.  Worth including in your exotics at the 8/1 quote.

Three Year Old Fillies go Nine Furlongs on turf in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks!

Del Mar R6 (post 7:43 Eastern), The Del Mar Oaks, 9 furlongs (turf), Grade 1

Class:  Mokat romped while winning the local prep for this race 4 weeks ago and she has a great Del Mar turf record (3-2-1-0) and a very high earnings per turf start of nearly $45,000.

Expected Pace:  Lady Valeur, Mines and Magic and Stays In Vegas all have pressing speed.  Stays in Vegas can grab the lead if she wants it.  Pace should be moderate for a Grade 1.

Form:  Mokat is the hot horse off her Del Mar races.  Barleysugar is one for one wins in the USA and has been in the money in six of her seven career races.  Stays in Vegas has been in the money in all five of her turf starts and eight of nine overall (in the race she missed the board she ran against Songbird). Selections:

1st – #3 Mokat (7/2)   2nd – #11 Stays in Vegas (5/1)   3rd – #5 Barleysugar (5/1)

MOKAT is a huge threat to hit the top two.  Her last race was a stunner and it implies she is ahead of schedule, as this race was the target race for her.  STAYS IN VEGAS was very poorly ridden last time and she gets a “jock upgrade” from Alex Solis to Flavien Prat.  We will see if this was the right move for a very talented and game filly.  BARLEYSUGAR exceeded expectations in her first US race, and often imported horses that win in their first race are for real.  Consider her for horizontal wagers.


Songbird Tries to Get the 10 Furlong Distance in the Grade 1 Alabama!

Saratoga R10 (6:18 PM Eastern), The Alabama Stakes, Grade 1, 10 furlongs 3yo Fillies

Class:  Songbird (undefeated)

Expected Pace:  Family Tree can run, but if they want a big chunk of the purse I would think they would let Songbird set her own pace and take her on in the last quarter mile.

Form:  Songbird has never lost.  Family Tree is 8 for 9 in the money (and 7 for 7 in the money on dirt). Selections:

1st – #6 Songbird (1/5)   2nd – #5 Family Tree (10/1)   3rd – #1 Dark Nile (20/1)

SONGBIRD just keeps on winning.  We will see what happens this weekend but she seems to be going well in her training.  FAMILY TREE has the pedigree to be a two mile runner to go with her natural route speed.  Upset special.  DARK NILE comes from a noted long shot barn.  Potential for the trifecta.

Turf Milers “Throw Down” in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap!

Saratoga Race 9 (Post 5:40 Eastern):  The Fourstardave Stakes (Grade 1).  8 Furlongs (turf), 3up

Class:  There are many good horses in this race, but Force the Pass has earned $1,227,000 on the lawn in only 11 grass starts.

Pace:  On paper King Kreesa will lead from post 1 but many can run early and the pace should be fast.

Form:  Force the Pass has never been out of the money at the one mile distance (8-3-4-1).  Tourist has a very good record at the mile also (8-3-1-2) and comes out of multiple Grade 1 races.  Grand Arch has won over $1.4 million at the mile distance, and reunites with trainer Brian Lynch. Selections:

1st – #4 Force The Pass (8/1)   2nd – #8 Tourist (5/2)   3rd – #2 Grand Arch (6/1)

FORCE THE PASS may not win this weekend, but the morning line odds are fantastic for a horse that is very competitive at this distance.  TOURIST is in top form, looks to rebound after mildly disappointing run at Santa Anita.  GRAND ARCH won this race last year over budding 2016 star Ironicus.  Certainly fits with the top two.

NHC Feeder Resumes Travers’ Day, August 27th

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Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

Mother Nature continued her summer time wrath and made most of the country pretty soggy. – For the majority of the season, it has been wet, sticky, and humid. I know the season can bring  unpredictable weather, but am I alone wishing for the cool crisp air of autumn ? – There is still some incredible racing to come, and before we know it the summer will all but fade away into  Labor Day. – In the meantime, my focus has been on The Spa and horses to follow back their next start. Just keep your eyes peeled and your bankroll handy. Here are some runners who deserve a good look when they take to the track next out.



Race #2 – #5 – Minsky Moment – 6f

Two-year-old son of Flatter from the barn of Chad Brown. Bumped soundly at the start and was fanned four wide into the stretch finishing a strong 3rd place effort. Not bad for a first timer and Chad Brown will help his benefit from this outing.

Race #4 – #1 – Trade Zone – 6f

First time starter for the red-hot Kiaran McLaughlin barn (33%). – Steadied early and settled out nicely to win impressively. The good news is he’ll climb the ladder next out and should be a major danger at the windows.

Race #8 – #4 – Western Reserve – 7f

Jose Lezcano for Bill Mott, and he lost his whip as soon as the gates opened. It was his 2nd effort off a brief layoff, and owned a sharp work coming into the race. After fanning four wide into the lane he finished up a solid 3rd place on this day. – He should be more prepared next out.



Race #3 – #3 – Ventry Bay – 5 1/2f on the turf

David Flores for Wesley Ward as he came away from the gate in an awkward fashion. He swung wide at the 3/16th’s pole and finished a game 2nd place. – He is bred to relish the grass and with a little racing luck may score at a solid price next out.

Race #5 – #4 – Munchkin Monkey – 1 1/16 on the turf

Javier Castellano in the irons and was bottled up along the rail. This son of Scat Daddy has the breeding to relish the greensward next time out.

Belterra Park


Race #4 – #6 – Olympic Smoke – 5f on the turf

Bobbled at the start under Antioco Murgia and was fanned wide showing a very string late kick running out of ground. – Maybe 5 1/2f is a better fit, or maybe just a little cleaner beginning should do the trick.

Race #5 – #3 – Altissimo – 6f

He brought his perfect record of 4/4 at BtP to the table, but was a three-year-old facing older. – He loves 6f, and when he drops back in with his age group it will be lights out next time to the races.

Race #6 – #10 – Barbad Bernie – 1 mile on the turf

Unprepared at the start coming from the #10 post can be a tough row to hoe. He chased the pace and dove over to the rail at the 3/16th’s pole and put on a game showing to be bested by a nose at the wire. – Hopefully they will draw a better post and break more alertly. If this all goes accordingly, you can bet early and often.

Friday Night Australian Racing, August 12, 2016

Race 1A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, August 12, 2016 FAIRFIELD RSL CLUB (BM81) ($85K) 10:00pm EDT (9:00pm CDT, 7:00pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo+ FM BM81.  7 furlongs, Apprentices can claim.  Picks: 6-3

#6 Extensible (3/1 ML) takes a slight drop in class and gets weight from many in here.  #3 Frill Seeking (4/1 ML) is a decent animal that can win the race if Extensible falters.


Race 2A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, August 12, 2016 2A C. MCALPINE TRIBUTE HIGHWAY-C2 ($60K) 10:35pm EDT (9:35pm CDT, 7:35pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo+ CL2.  5 1/2 furlongs, Apprentices can claim.  Picks 12-13

#12 Beside You (7/1 ML) looks to be a very progressive type and I will put her on top even after drawing post 14.  #13 No When To Hold Em (7/1 ML) doesn’t win very often, but gets a great draw in post 2 and has speed figures that are better than the top pick’s.



Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 8/13/2016

It’s Arlington Million Day at Arlington Park!

AP Race 9 (Post 6:09 Eastern):  34th running of the Arlington Million (Grade 1).  10 Furlongs (turf)

A quick check of the weather report says there will be significant rain on Friday in the Arlington Heights area, but the city was dry on Wednesday and Thursday and the weather is expected to be dry on Saturday, so the course will probably be rated “Good” (containing some moisture).

Class:  World Approval has raced very well, winning a Grade 1 race last out at Monmouth over Wake Forest.  Decorated Knight and Mondiaiste have the best European form.

Expected Pace:  Take the Stand and Dubai Sky both have been showing early speed, but they have the same trainer in Bill Mott, so it would be a surprise if both horses would send early.  The other “speed types” in this race would rather sit off the early pace.  I would anticipate a  furlong split around 1:13.

Form:  World Approval has been in the money in seven of his last nine races.  Long shot Dubai Sky has never been out of the money in six starts.  Decorated Knight has two wins and a second in his last three starts, all at different tracks. Selections:

1st – #8 Decorated Knight (10/1)   2nd – #11 World Approval (4/1)   3rd – #9 Mondialiste (8/1)

DECORATED KNIGHT is in great form and I expect he will really like the 10 furlong distance, being a son of Galileo.  WORLD APPROVAL is in top form and has the speed to place himself anywhere Florent Geroux thinks he needs to be.  Logical and deserving favorite.  MONDIALISTE is a proven Grade 1 performer in North America and that last race at York was very strong against European middle distance performer Time Test.

The Girls Get To Run for Grade 1 Glory in the Beverly D.!

AP Race 8 (Post 5:21 Eastern):  The Beverly D. (Grade 1).  9.5 Furlongs (turf)

Class:  Sea Calisi has run well in European Group 1 races without winning and earned $439,000 in nine turf starts.

Expected Pace:  Slower than in the Arlington Million.  I estimate 1:14 for the six furlong split.

Form:  Sea Calisi has been in the money in eight of her nine turf starts.

Bet Selections:

1st – #9 Zipessa (15/1)   2nd – #5 Tuttapaesi (20/1)   3rd – #12 Sea Calisi (7/5)

I really like trainer Mike Stidham taking a shot with locally-trained horse ZIPESSA.  This horse has won on the lead and also sitting third and fourth early.  Should get a great trip under the incredibly hot Job Bravo and be a factor early and late.  TUTTAPAESI has a lot of talent but as you can see in her multiple layoff lines she probably is not the soundest mare around.  She has been in the money in her last 5 races and I expect another big run Saturday.  SEA CALISI is the horse to beat on paper, and Florent Geroux rides this mare instead of Zipessa.

The 3yo Runners Are Set For the Grade 1 Secretariat!

AP Race 7 (Post 4:43 Eastern):  The Secretariat Stakes (Grade 1).  10 Furlongs (turf), 3yo

Class: No outstanding runner(s)

Expected Pace:  Scissors and Tape will try to take this group as far as he can.  When the real running starts American Patriot and/or Beach Patrol will get the jump on the many closers in this race.

Form:  American Patriot is a nice two wins in two starts while wearing blinkers.  Beach Patrol gets his eighth jockey in his last eight starts. Selections:

1st – #2 American Patriot (5/1)   2nd – #9 Beach Patrol (2/1)  

3rd – #8 Long Island Sound (5/2)

AMERICAN PATRIOT was really impressive at Delaware Park against animals very similar to this group.  He has definitely improved with the blinkers on and gets top British jockey William Buick.  BEACH PATROL has been a hard-luck horse.  In the Belmont Derby he just received a terrible ride where he lost many lengths on the turns.  When this horse puts it all together he could become a star.  LONG ISLAND SOUND was the favorite in the Belmont Derby, had a tough trip, and off his European races he figures with the top two.

The Marathoners Line Up For the Grade 3 American St. Leger!

AP Race 6 (Post 4:03 Eastern):  The American St. Leger (Grade 3).  13.5 Furlongs (turf), 3up

Class:  Da Big Hoss has won $983,000 on the turf, mostly in races at a mile and a half or longer

Expected Pace:  Former sprinter Rocket Professor will probably set the pace for Da Big Hoss.  Mike Maker trains both horses.

Form:  Da Big Hoss has won three of his last four starts.  Mystery horse Billabong has been in the money in 18 of his 21 career starts – over several surfaces. Selections:

1st – #5 Da Big Hoss (9/5)   2nd – #9 Billabong (10/1)   3rd – #1 Generous Kitten (6/1)

DA BIG HOSS is the obvious class and is well spotted with top jock Florent Geroux.  No reason to go against him here.  BILLABONG’s Bris class numbers are the only numbers in this field comparable to Da Big Hoss.  He’s in my pick 4. GENEROUS KITTEN will be able to save the ground and conspiracy theorists take note – Mike Maker not only trains this horse, he trains Da Big Hoss and Rocket Professor.

The Fillies Close Out the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes!

AP Race 10 (Post 6:52 Eastern):  The Pucker Up Stakes (Grade 3).  9 Furlongs (turf), 3yo Fillies

Class:  Auntie Joy has lost to super filly Catch a Glimpse three times.  The other four races on turf she has won three of them.

Expected Pace:  Auntie Joy will probably set the pace if no one wants it.  It won’t be a very fast pace.

Form:  Try Your Luck has been in the money in six of her seven turf starts.  Nawlins Kitty finished first in both her races but was DQ’ed in her last start and placed 8th. Selections:

1st – #7 Nawlins Kitty (12/1)   2nd – #3 Try Your Luck (9/2)   3rd – #9 Auntie Joy (7/2)

NAWLINS KITTY appears to have the most upside in this group and the 12/1 morning line odds are very playable.  TRY YOUR LUCK has finished third in her last two attempts in stakes company.  Slight improvement needed.  AUNTIE JOY  has the career record to take this race.

Turf Milers “Throw Down” in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap!

Saratoga Race 10 (Post 6:32 Eastern):  The Fourstardave Stakes (Grade 1).  8 Furlongs (turf), 3up

Class:  There are many good horses in this race, but Force the Pass has earned $1,227,000 on the lawn in only 11 grass starts.

Pace:  On paper King Kreesa will lead, but any horses could press the pace, leading to very hot fractions.

Form:  Force the Pass has never been out of the money at the one mile distance (8-3-4-1).  Tourist has a very good record at the mile also (8-3-1-2) and comes out of multiple Grade 1 races.  Grand Arch has won over $1.4 million at the mile distance, and reunites with trainer Brian Lynch. Selections:

1st – #9 Force The Pass (8/1)   2nd – #6 Tourist (5/2)   3rd – #5 Grand Arch (8/1)

FORCE THE PASS may not win this weekend, but the morning line odds are fantastic for a horse that is very competitive at this distance.  TOURIST is in top form, looks to rebound after mildly disappointing run at Santa Anita.  GRAND ARCH won this race last year over budding 2016 star Ironicus.  Certainly fits with the top two.

 Horses to Watch – 8/8/16

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

Mother Nature is still blazing away in parts of the country, but on occasion still shows us a glimpse of all the beauty summer has to showcase. – Saratoga was the main focus this past weekend as Frosted put on a show that has us thinking bigger and bigger races down the road. By all accounts, Frosted returned from a hand-ride in the (G-1) Whitney in good order. He is the second runner in a row to sweep the Met Mile and The Whitney following Honor Code last year. – Here are some runners who had a bad day at the office, or deserve an immediate playback. Just keep your eyes peeled and your bankrolls handy. – Best of luck from your friends at !



Race #1 – #1 – Brooklyn Bobby – 1 1/16 on the turf

This son of Frankel shied inward at the start and was checked up sharply. Good works and great connections with Joel Rosario and Brian Lynch have us looking forward. – This two-year-old has the makings of something very good as his sire wins 64% with his first time turfers. We’ll toss this one and file it under being a youngster. – This guy has something special and needs to be followed right back.

Race #5 – #5 – Sport – 1 1/16 on the turf

Irad Ortiz in the irons with a freshened son of Hard Spun. He had been away from the races for 55 days and has solid works to signal his readiness. – He bumped around leaving the gate and stuck behind a wall of horses under a hammer-lock waiting for room. He was full of run and had no place to go. He has the look of a runner who may wheel right back and score.

Race #10 – #2 – Comfort – (G-1) Whitney – 1 1/8

Johnny V and Pletcher brought this son of Indian Charlie to the paddock. He was facing a monster in Frosted but what he showed gives me great hope moving forward. He checked leaving the starting gate and while in the two path he showed great late acceleration. Maybe facing anyone but Frosted would be a blessing or could he be that upset runner in the wings ? – Time will tell and he’ll give em’ fits next with a clean trip.



Race  #1 – #8 Moonshine Promise – 6f on the main track

DeShawn Parker had the Cleveland invader in the catbird seat and rated well. He fanned out six wide making a late bid and his late turn of foot is what caught my eye. – He may pop up at Thistledown, or right back Mountaineer. I’m looking for a mid-range stake that will have him in the right place ready to roll.

Belterra Park


Race #3 – #2B Include Love – 6f on the main

Ricardo Mejias in town and he was aboard a very fast filly who deserves respect. His mount was for the red-hot Shane Meyers barn and they won by a widening 9 3/4 going away easily. – This gal is a playback who will do well moving up the ladder.

Race #4 – #1 – Pepite – 1 1/16 on the turf

Fresh off the claim for “Chip” Brownfield, and for a turf course that plays kind to speed. This son of Pulpit was fanned eight wide at the top of the short stretch and got up in the shadow of the wire. They haven’t gotten to the bottom of this guy yet, and he looks like a turf runner that has the ability to move up in class. – For what its worth. The same winning connections claimed Aesop from the race who had a bad day and turned in a lackluster performance. His barn is on a mission and after talking with him last night there might be some more claims to come.

Race #7 – #6 – Hope’s Frog Song – 1 1/16 on the turf

This mare took a big step forward and grabbed the lead a jump or two as they entered the stretch. She looked as game as they come and was gunned down in a four horse blanket photo  by School Board Prez facing older for the first time and is a perfect 4/4 at BtP. – She is getting better with every effort, and is one to follow right back to the windows.