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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, May 11
Belmont-Churchill-Monmouth


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 HTW editions will pick up starting this week with Churchill (now open a few weeks), Belmont (now open two weeks) and Monmouth (began this week.) Starting next week we will add which horses if any ran back after being on the list and their results with further notes.

BELMONT PARK
5 Racing Days

AWESOME LUTE – The son of Midnight Lute made his career debut in a restricted NYSB 40K maiden claimer in most recent and despite a series of problems showed enough late interest to signal an upside. Sent out by non-percentage debut trainer Rich Schosberg (0-33 first time starters…0-12 debut maiden claimers) the 3-year old was brushed by an opponent and stuck in tight from the rail in the 6 furlong test, was checked out of contention at the quarter pole yet still made a mild late run. The clincher was being claimed by leading trainer David Jacobson. He’ll move forward off the race and should handle more ground. Beats NYSB foes soon. 

MCILLROY – The Chad Brown Turf gelding made it three straight lawn wins with a daylight victory in mile 50K NW3L open claimer in last. The son of Modigliani is in fine form right now and is still eligible for entry level allowance or starter allowance races since he broke his maiden at 35K. He is now a consistent 8-3-1-3 on grass and his running style indicates he’ll travel another furlong if necessary. Bet him back.

MULHEB – The lightly raced 5-year old Bernardini gelding was making just his 10th career start and first off a 25K claim by David Jacobson in his prior. He stayed in on the sloppy oval despite having faltered badly in his lone off track career start yet still showed early speed and pressed the pace before losing his action over the going in the mile 40K affair. He is a play on a fast track, especially going 6-7 furlongs for a conditioner who usually gets results from his claims.

OFF MY CLOUD – The Belong To Me filly was stretched beyond her comfort zone in last when asked to carry her speed a mile vs 25K turf claimers. It was also only her second career turf start from 19 races and she did well to press the speed early while 3 wide, made a move when urged at the 5/16ths pole while still 3 wide and carried well until weakening at the furlong marker. She was haltered out of the race by Steve Klesaris and would be a play if sent 6-7 furlongs vs the same or slightly better on the main track.

PRAIRIE STONE – After hitting the board in her first three career starts and then breaking through in a mile NYSB MSW test over a fast track two back the daughter of Stonesider wheeled right back vs restricted entry level allowance foes and duplicated the stalk and pounce daylight victory tactics over a sloppy track at a mile and a sixteenth. The Bruce Brown trainee is in fine form and should move right through the restricted state bred second allowance level soon.

ROCK FALL – In career start number two last out the Speightstown colt was entered for a MSW turf sprint by trainer Todd Pletcher but left in when the race was moved to the main track. The colt reversed his green debut when he assumed the lead shortly after the start and continued to widen throughout to win off by 10 lengths in 1:10 flat. He looks like a good one so bet him right back as he moves through conditions.

SAUCON VALLEY – The Chad Brown trained MSW filly was well-touted in her debut in most recently and didn’t disappoint as she drew clear at 3-2 in the 6 furlong test moved from the turf to the sloppy main oval.  The NYSB 3-year old daughter of City Zip was tested on the turn by a pair of stet bred peers but shook them off and increased her margin through the lane. She should quickly move through restricted conditions. 

SPECIAL SKILLS – The Alan Goldberg gelding showed good form sprinting on the turf last year and his most recent, his first start since last August, gave every indication that he is ready to find his way to the winner’s circle. The 4-year old son of Bernstein worked forwardly for his return in the 6 furlong second level allowance/optional 62.5K claimer, bobbled and was bumped between rivals at the break, angled out to the four path approaching the quarter pole and continued on for the place. Surpasses this level next time.

STABLEFORD – While no match for the 6-5 favorite in a mile and a sixteenth entry level allowance turf test in his last the English bred son of Smart Strike showed plenty of promise in his first start since last August and first in NA. The Robert Ribaudo trained colt was off a step slowly, raced out in the course down the back side, edged in on the turn and got within a head of the winner in deep stretch before giving way grudgingly but finishing 4 clear of the show horse. Wins one of these soon. 

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CHURCHILL DOWNS
4 Racing Days

AFLEET MOSS – Trainer Michael Maker sent this son of Northern Afleet out for his debut in a tough mile turf MSW test last time out (the race was run faster than a second level allowance mile turf later on the card) and the gelding turned in a solid pace setting effort that just fell short. Off a series of sharp drills the 3-year old laid down the gauntlet and made the pace until inside the sixteenth pole and was beaten just 2 lengths while 2 clear of the 4th place finisher in the 12 horse field. He needed the race and won’t be a maiden long.

CHA MONO – While no match for the winner in his most recent the Fair Grounds MSW shipper continued to show improvement as he rallied for the place in career start number 3. The First Samurai gelding was bumped at the start in the 6½furlong test, moved 5 wide on the turn and after a bid in the lane weakened late while holding off the show horse. Good trip sprinting next time gets him his first career win.

CLEAR THE CLOVER – The lightly raced 6-year old E Dubai mare returned to the CD surface, where she had won her only career race, was dropped from 20K to 15K and under a comfortable pace assumed the early lead in the mile and a sixteenth NW2L test and wired the field. She was haltered out of the race by high percentage trainer Brad Cox and likely pays instant dividends in a starter allowance or vs NW3L rivals.

FAR RIGHT – No one was going to best the well-meant 3-2 firster Cinco Charlie in the 4 ½furlong juvenile MSW dash in last but Far Right did a good job of using his tactical speed to best the rest by 5 ½lengths in solid race time. It was the second career start and second place finish for the son of Notional who just needs to duplicate the last to break his maiden in next.

INCOMPATIBLE – The 3-year old MSW filly was well backed in her debut last time out and after getting away a step slow had to move 5 wide on the turn in the 6 ½furlong event. The Steve Asmussen trainee gained on the leaders into the lane but was bothered by a rival and faded late. The daughter of Broken Vow just needs a sharp break and clean trip to break her maiden soon.

UNBRIDLEDEXPLOSION – For the second time in as many career starts the MSW daughter of Eddington was away slowly in a one turn test. The Ian Wilkes trainee was away slowly in the 6 ½ furlong test, was unhurried by jockey Brian Hernandez, willingly split rivals entering the lane and missed by a half length while 11¾ lengths clear of the show filly. Just needs a bit better start and she gets career win number one.

VUITTON – The lower level claiming mare made her second start off a November layoff and switched gears to show speed rather than her usual closing style. The 5-year old daughter of Smart Strike tracked the early pace in second, made a bid between rivals, was stalled a bit and then after re-rallying weakened late while holding on to the place, beaten  a neck by the favorite in the 7 furlong dash. Beats this kind in next.

MONMOUTH
2 Racing Days

INDEFINABLE HUMOR – The bottom claiming level Penn shipper was no match for the big drop down 4-5 David Jacobson NY shipper in 5K mile and seventy yard test in most recent but did well as he went right to the front and took the field to deep stretch before giving way. A 5time winner the 4-year old was haltered by sharp off-the-claim conditioner Ramon Moya. Bet him back vs the same or slightly better.

KYLIE’S COZY KID – The Jersey bred gelding shipped in from Laurel to try state bred entry allowance sprinters in most recent. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee, as is his style, raced off the pace early on, was stalled a bit at the quarter pole and once clear began to pick of rivals while 3 wide through the lane. He closed for the place against the speed bias and has now hit the board in 6 of his last 8. Just needs a quicker start and clean trip to surpass the level.

SOKITUMI SAMURAI – The veteran gelding utilized his good speed to wire a field of entry level allowance/optional 20K claiming sprinters in last after shipping in from Aqueduct. The 5-year old was protected in the race and made it 3 straight in the 6 furlong dash. Trainer Marcus Vitali had haltered him two back for 35K in New York and the horse should like the speed favoring Monmouth circuit. Bet him back at the next allowance/optional level or vs open mid-level claimers.

TRIPLE PLAY – Sent off as the 8-5 favorite vs MSW sprinters in his career debut in last the Todd Pletcher trained Dixie Union colt stalked the pace in the 6 furlong affair, took over when asked at the quarter pole and drew clear to complete the race under a hand ride in 1:10 3/5. When they win early for Pletcher they usually move up quickly. Bet him right back in conditions,

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