Race 1 1A-2-3
Rock Me Again finished second at this distance last time she was on the turf – she’s 3 for 3 in the money at the distance – and her figure for that race dominates the field. She’s a front running sort in a race that doesn’t have an abundance of speed. Yesterday’s turf races were a mix, although the track seemed fair. Theresas Candyrose ran one of the early races on the turf at AQU and turned in a top performance. She’s 2 of 3 with a second at the distance, and has a third on the BEL turf. The figure almost matches that of the top choice. Dea has some decent 2016 form and figures to be coming at the front runners in the stretch. Not out of the question.
Race 2 1-4-8
The entry of Bad Hombre and the Nevada Kid looks tough in this sport. The former is racing for his lowest price in a very long while and at his best he could dominate the field. The latter has plenty of early foot and may go out uncontested. Strong entry here. Stay Tuned ran decently in one of the late races at AQU. Last year he was a very useful horse, finishing first or second seven of ten times. If he runs to his potential he’s a contender. Aleander hasn’t been worse than fourth in his last ten. He might be a little more interested in finishing second or third than winning, but he’s been solid in the verticals.
Race 3 3-9-7-6
Undertherain has consistent figures on the turf. His race at GP six weeks ago was a good conditioner for his race at BEL today. Seems to like the BEL turf. Sweet Corina ran well at AQU two weeks ago and seems to have improved as a four year old. I like that Casse wheels her right back. Aussie Prayer and Hatta’s Appeal both have some good turf races in their PP’s and they look like live longshots.
Race 4 9-5-4
True Charm ran a new top last out and that race would dominate these. If she adapts to BEL she’s the solid pick. Super Allison takes the blinkers off today. Her last two on the inner showed improvement and if she likes the BEL surface she looks competitive. Cat’s Halo dropped into a MCL event last out and ran an improved race. She’s not particularly well bred for the turf, so continuing on the dirt is a good move.
Race 5 6-7-2-3
Wicked Freud has seemed to enjoy the distance and the BEL turf. He’s one of the few that has been exclusively a turf runner and he seemed to be on the improve before taking a vacation over the winter. If he comes back fully developed he’ll be tough to beat. Black Tide seemed comfortable on the BEL and SAR turf last year, but wasn’t the same horse on the AQU inner. He’s back on his preferred surface and ran well last year his first time on the turf. Gran the Man ran a new top on the GP turf last out, although that was a decidedly shorter distance than this one. Looks like one of the horses that will battle at the front, so the pace will be critical. Bajan Summer may be the hidden horse. Two of his three wins are on the BEL turf and he’s good at the distance. His turf figures are competitive, and he should be up front from the get-go.
Race 6 2-1-10
Porch Pounder almost wired a field last out and drops from MSW to this claiming affair. Has the field topping figure and looks like he’ll have things his own way up front. Vandalize ran well first time out at GP and then took 14 months off. Pletcher is superb with horses coming in off a layoff and if he runs to the ability he showed first time out he could hit the wire in front. Our Karma moves up in price today. Last start he was bumped at the start but still ran a good one. At 10-1 ML worth a look.
Race 7 2-4-6
Bellamy Way hasn’t been out of the money in his last nine, and his last two figures are better than anything any other horse has. Likes BEL and is undefeated at the distance. Rally Cry goes for Pletcher/Velasquez. He was well enough thought of that he went in the Gotham, being up with the pace early and not finishing that badly. Could have the pace much more his way today. Sea Raven only has two starts in 2016, losing to top choice Bellamy Road. I went with him over Waymond Road because he looks like he might be closer early and that may be an advantage here.
Race 8 2-5-12-4
This renewable of the Elusive Quality is a very tough race. First only one horse has any recency, and we’ll get to that in a moment. King Kreesa has most of his wins at BEL and is 13 of 15 in the money. He’s decent at the distance, he likes to do his running up close to the leaders. The one down side – last year he debuted in this race and lost to Mosler. Green Mask may be the class of this group having run G1’s in Hong Kong and Dubai. He’s got a win over the BEL turf and should run well at the distance. At his best he’s got the top numbers. Aztec Brave has been running a steady diet of stakes races, although none graded. Still, he hasn’t finished worse than a length off the winner in his last six. Figures say he’s got plenty of outs. The longshot play may be Bye Bye Bernie. He’s got a start in 2016, and is the only one that does. He’s won a Grade 2 and actually has shown well at BEL. We’ll see if his recency gives him an edge.
Race 9 12-2-11-3
Silent Mission ran a route at FG, leading to the top of the stretch. He then went in a race with winners where he didn’t disgrace himself. At 8-1 he’s worth a look. Gee Pea Ess has been knocking around for five starts at this level, and while he’s been very competitive, he’ll have to show more interest in passing horses in the stretch. Mr. Neetie gets first time Lasix and stretches out a furlong off his debut run. Conquest See Ya puts the blinkers on after running a better than looked race on the synthetic at Woodbine. Should enjoy the stretch out to six furlongs.