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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, February 9, 2014

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: Horses To Watch has now expanded and made one slight change as we will cover the winter’s meets on the Inner Dirt Track at Aqueduct, as well as Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay and the now open Oaklawn Park.

NOTE: During the week ending 2/9 Oaklawn Park lost all their racing days to either cold or inclement weather so there are no HTW Oaklawn Park inclusions this week.

(Last Week’s Horses To Watch Runners)

Aqueduct

MERRY MEADOW - WON $4.80 - After winning an entry level allowance and getting on the list she ran second in a Stakes Test and then in last dropped back to second level and easily triumphed.

GRAND RAPPORT - WON $4.40 - After finishing second in a row while moving up the claiming ladder for David Jacobson the veteran claiming gelding moved from 20K-$25K and added the necessary suggested ground that got the win.

TAPITATION - WON $5.80 - As the breeding and running style suggested, the NYSB Tapit colt only needed two turns following his good close for the place in his debut in his debut.


Gulfstream Park

TOURIST - WON $11.60 - Originally on the list in New York when a good second vs MSW foes on the main track it was suggested he be given a chance if trainer Bill Mott shipped him to GP and tried turf. After an even small excuse 4th on the IDT at Aqueduct first tike on the HTW list he finally got on grass here in last and broke through vs MSW rivals.
COOL FAITH - Out - The Paul Attard allowance filly had more than enough excuses in her first try on grass here vs entry level allowance runners and that got her on the list. But in her first try she had every opportunity to move up vs the same entry level allowance foes when she got clear sailing in the lane but flattened out. Take her off the list.
RING WEEKEND - WON $20.00 - Two races back it was noted that the first try on Grass for the Tapit filly (a solid pressing second off a 3 month layoff) was the indication that she belonged on turf and only needed that race. She ran to that promise and for some reason drifted up from her 6-1 ML. We gladly took it.


Oaklawn

No Racing Last Week


Tampa Bay

TSUNAMI WAVE - 2ND - PLACE $2.60 - Got caught 3 wide in pace less sprint while trying to catch wire-to-wire winner in short field. Deserves second chance vs 25K level claimers.
KATIE IT’S FINE - WON $5.20 - After coming up just short in a solid effort vs starter allowance foes in her prior the Speightstown filly broke just off the pace setter, took the lead when asked and held her margin to the wire.
MELODY LIN - WON $6.20 - As noted when this 16K turf claiming filly finished third for Jamie Ness after shipping down from Aqueduct and running into a troubled trip all she needed was that race under her belt and a clean trip. She got the trip and won clear.
CHINA HOLIDAY - Out - NO PLAY - Not sure why the connections kept this 4-year old allowance colt in the race when it washed off the preferred turf but he did show speed before losing his action and definitely remains on the list for his next entry level allowance test when on turf.

Horses To Watch

AQUEDUCT: NOTE: Only three days of racing last week...Friday-Sunday

DOUBLEDOWN AGAIN - The Bruce Levine trained gelding stepped up from starter allowance to second level allowance/50K optional claimers in most recent in second start for the barn and continued to show improvement with a solid rally for the show in the 5 ½ furlong test despite stumbling at the start, moving 3 and then 4 wide through the lane. Beaten only 3 lengths for it all the 4-year old should love the extra half furlong and is still eligible for Starter Company. Wins soon.

INDY SEA - After a series of two turn turf races that failed to get the job done trainer Patrick Quick sent this 5-year old gelding to a sprint on the IDT three races back. He ran a good second that day and two back went back to two turns on the IDT to no avail and in most recent went back to sprinting vs NW2L 12.5K claimers and finished second behind a drop down favored winner. Sprinting at the level is his game...wins next time.

JOE ALAN - In his last two starts the Hook And Ladder gelding has fought hard to get the lead and weakened late in sprints here. He has only had 6 career starts and has shown enough early on to indicate that being claimed out of his most recent by good off the halter conditioner Chris Englehart might prove to be the tonic. Bet him first off the claim sprinting vs 12.5K - 16K rivals in next.

MISSED COUNT - The 4-year old Grand Slam filly has been popular at the claim box as she was haltered for the second straight time for 35K out of a good NW2L sprint. Now in the barn of Mike Miceli the filly pressed the early leader from the inside, took over briefly while under restraint and when let loose drifted out and bumped with the eventual winner and dropped a ¾ length decision while 6 lengths clear of the show runner. Has hit the board in 5 of 6 career races and gets win number two in next.

MY GIRL MADISON - Trainer Yvon Belsoeur has had a slow start to the current meet but is an overall 20% trainer so should pick up the numbers. In the meantime the conditioner appears to have a good one in this NYSB filly who crushed MSW peers in her debut last time out, wresting the lead shortly after the start and drawing away s6tedaily through the lane in the 5 ½ furlong test. She’ll go longer and should pass through conditions quickly. Bet her back.

SANCTIFY - In his career debut last time out, despite trainer Bill Mott’s tendency to not have them fully cranked first time out the Pulpit colt took serious early money before drifting up to 7-2 at post time. In the 5 ½ furlong MSW test he went out to press the more experienced eventual wire-to-wire winner, raced a bit greenly and drifted out in the lane and in the final strides began to figure it out and closed doggedly to miss by a nose while 5 clear of the show runner. Needed the race and will handle more ground. Breaks his maiden next time.

SUSTAINABLE - Following a win vs MSW rivals in her third career start 12/31 trainer Kiaran McLaughlin sent this 3-year old filly into the deep water in the $100,000 Dearly Precious Stakes. Although beaten 10 lengths in the 6 furlong test she did check in second behind the freakishly good Gracer and was 4 ¾ lengths clear of the show runner. If sent out vs allowance rivals next time the same performance gets her career win number two.

 

GULFSTREAM

GOODBOYCHARLIE - After he began his career with 3 failed tries at breaking his maiden over a 22 day period trainer Donna Green came back off a 46 day break with a gelded 3-year old that blistered the race track in 1:09 3/5 to destroy 50K maiden claimers. The In Summation 3-year old looks ready to move forward vs better so follow him through conditions.

KITCHEN POLICE - At odds-on the 3-year old Badge Of Silver colt easily dispatched open 50K claiming rivals in a 6 furlong main track test in last. He was just as promptly claimed away from Wesley Ward by new trainer Linda Rice who is adept at finding developing youngsters and has the option of going longer on either dirt or turf so this one is well worth following.

LIL HONEY BADGER - Trainer Dale Romans finally gave the 3-year old Flatter filly a bit of class relief in last as he dropped her from recent Stakes races and allowance/optional 75K claimers into an open 50K claiming sprint. She tracked off the leaders early on while 5 wide, continued 3 wide on the turn and in the lane, bumped with the winner and settled for the place beaten less than 2 lengths. Beats this kind soon.

LUCK SEEKER - The 4-year old turf colt made his first start since June at Woodbine and just missed getting his initial career win as he checked in second vs 40K maiden claimers at a mile. He tracked off the second flight near the rear along the inside early on, waited for room around the far turn and once he found an opening ran on strong while still on the inside and missed by ¾ of a length while gaining runner up honors. Just needs to repeat with the race under his belt in order to get that first win.

NO PLAY - It appears as though trainer Elizabeth Gray has finally found the right level for this 5-year old turf gelding as she dropped him to the 16K level in his last and he rallied well vs a pair of in-from rivals and settled for the show spot. The son of City Zip saved ground along the inside down the backstretch in the mile and a sixteenth test, was shuffled back approaching the stretch and when he got out showed plenty of late interest. Worth a play vs the same in next.

PRINCESS MARIAH - The 4-year old Giant’s Causeway filly made her first start since December of 2012, her first start around two turns and her first start on turf in just her third career start in two turn MSW grass test in last and showed plenty of interest in almost taking them wire-to-wire before weakening and getting beaten a total of a length and a half in most recent. The filly has obviously had her problems but if the return is any indication she’ll make up for lost time shortly.

NIGHT SONG - This first time starter from the Amy Tarrant barn ran in the same race as SUCCESSFUL LUCK when she made her career debut in last and had to make an early move off the rail in the 6 furlong MSW affair. She moved up to take over briefly from the lead but couldn’t withstand the winner’s rally while beaten a length and 3 lengths clear of the show runner. Moves out of the maiden ranks in next.

SEA QUEEN - IN her first start in July at Saratoga, a MSW win in the only other race of her career the Lemon Drop Kid filly broke right on to the lead vs entry level allowance/75K optional claimers in a mile and a sixteenth turf test, continued to make the pace to deep inside the sixteenth marker and just failed to last in a neck loss to the favorite while well clear of the show filly. Eclipses this level soon.

SUCCESSFUL LUCK - The Successful Appeal MSW filly made her belated debut in last but the way she dug in and rallied off the pace in the 6 furlong test indicates the 4-year old filly should be ready to make up for lost time. She willingly tracked off the second flight while in hand, swung 5 wide into the lane and drew off in the final strides. Should follow through with a conditioned allowance or upper level claiming win soon.

SUNS OUT GUNS OUT - The Dale Romans trained horse made his first start since late November at Hawthorne and dropped out of the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup to face third level allowance runners in the mile and a sixteenth affair. The son of Empire Maker was under light pressure and moved into striking position on his own, advanced with the favored winner through the lane and dropped a neck decision while 2 lengths clear of the second-favored show runner. This is a good level so back him to eclipse this level or beat upper level claimers soon.


TAMPA BAY

AMBITIOUS DANCER - The bottom level claiming filly was left with a little too much to do from her extreme outside post in a 6 furlong 8K test last out but did well to get the place as she was wide down the backstretch, 3 wide on the turn, 4 wide in the lane yet rallied to be beaten just a half length as the favorite while well clear of the show filly in the 11 horse race. She has a win and two seconds vs these in her last three and wouldn’t be troubled by another furlong. Wins again soon.

ANALOGY - After a troubled trip two races back in which the turf claiming filly clipped heels in the early going the daughter of Street Boss just missed getting her 4th career grass victory from eleven tries. She tracked the early pace in the 16K mile event, continued to chase the eventual winning favorite and gained the place along the inside with a solid effort. Wins career turf race number four vs this kind soon...

FALSELY ALARMED - The 4 year old 16K claiming gelding has hit the board in 5 of his last 6 and was only kept from his third career win in his last by the exploits of the big drop down favorite. The son of Put It Back broke a step slow in the 6 furlong test and was last of seven early on. While no match for the winner he moved up and angled inside as they approached the stretch and then willingly altered course to swing wide and rally for the place. He was haltered by new conditioner Herman Wilensky and wins another soon.

FOREVER LOYAL - After beginning her career with a failed try vs MSW foes on the grass at GP two back the Malibu Moon filly shipped here in her most recent, moved to the main track and left little doubt as to her superiority as she tracked close early in the mile and 40 yard MSW test, took over on the turn and drew clear by 7 ¼ lengths. She should have little trouble going through conditions and should even be backed if trainer Clement ships back to Gulfstream’s main track.

FRONTIER WARRIOR - In his most recent the veteran claiming gelding dropped back to his proper 6.25K level after trying 10K rivals in his prior. The 7-year old is as consistent as they come with a 30-8-7-5 career mark after finishing second in the 6 furlong dash when he broke off the pace early, moved up between rivals off the backstretch and on the turn and bid between opponents in the lane and got up for the place while drifting out a bit. Will win another soon if kept sprinting at the 5K-6.5K level.

LAWYER CHARLES - It took the 4-year old gelding a while to make it to the starting gate but his debut in last in a one mile 25K maiden claiming turf battle bodes well for his belated future. The Michael Passero trainee was well placed in the early going, dropped back a bit on the second turn and then gained momentum when moved inside and between rivals through the lane. Breaks through vs the same soon. 

ONLY IN AMERICA - After beginning his career at Oaklawn last winter and spring the Tiznow gelding was taken out of training in April and returned two back to break his maiden in dominant fashion in a two turn MSW test. In his most recent he faced entry level allowance foes and repeated with 2 ½ length wire-to-wire tally. He might not be done yet. Bet him back at the next level.

SPOOKY VISION - All in all the 3-year old gelding turned in a solid effort in a grassy 32K starter allowance in most recent. The James Divito trainee was making only his fourth career start, his first outside of Illinois, his first on turf, his first around two turns and his first since mid-November. Given the hurdles his third place rally from dead last has to be considered a buy sign if he runs against the same or vs open 25K level NW2L claimers. Follow closely.

THAT’S ALLIE’S BABY - Made his second start off the layoff in most recent vs the same 25K claiming sprinters he faced in first try. It was a much improved effort as he was no match for the 305 wire-to-wire winner but tracked along the inside, rallied between rivals when asked and gained runner up honors 3 lengths clear of the show horse. Third off the layoff often the best...bet him vs these in next.

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