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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, February 2, 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.

(Last Week’s Horses To Watch Runners)

Aqueduct

GRAND RAPPORT - 2nd - PLACE $4.40 - Was jostled around at the break when stepped up from 12.5K to two turn 20K claimer, fought for position throughout and made a good run once clear and missed by a ½ length. Deserves another chance.

SOKITUMI SAMURAI - 3rd - Tested good allowance foes in last and was no match for the runaway odds-on winner but still showed enough interest to bet back if dropped into a reasonable mid-level (25K) claimer.

THREE FOR ME - Out - Got spun wide in starter allowance sprint facing winners for the first time since maiden breaker. Showed good kick to win only other race so stay with him vs the same starter allowance foes in next try.

GLORIA VICTORIA - WON $8.20 - As suggested, the inform NYSB filly easily eclipsed the second level restricted allowance hurdle with an in command two turn triumph.

MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC - WON $2.60 - Not quite what we had in mind as we thought the connections would either face good open company or stakes foes off her prior. But one more pay check isn’t to be passed. Will keep winning so keep on the list.

BELLAMY - 2ND - PLACE $6.90 - Crossed under the wire first vs his 25K claiming rivals but was DQ’d for drifting outward and alternating bumps with the second place finisher, who was put up. Dubious DQ notwithstanding, this guy definitely deserves another chance vs the same.

MR. PALMER - WON $5.20 - Was well in hand as he dispatched $50K allowance optional claimers.

Gulfstream Park

START UP - 3RD - SHOW $2.40 - Not a play once the race was taken off the turf. Never took to the sloppy sealed surface in last but still battled on for minor money in the 30K claimer. Stay with him when back on grass.

GAMBLER’S GHOST - Out - Trainer Eddie Kenneally obviously got a bit too confident as he sent this son of Ghostzapper above the recommended level in the Hutcheson Stakes straight off a MSW tally 4 weeks earlier. The colt set the pace through a wicked half in :44 4/5 before giving way in mid-stretch in the 7 furlong test. Go back to him when he returns to sprint vs entry level allowance rivals.

Oaklawn

BROKEN BLUES - WON $3.20 - Wasted little time in moving from a NW2L triumph two weeks back that put her on the list to stepping up and easily dispatching NW3L opponents and was bet off the board in the process.

CARD - Out - No match for tough group of second level allowance runners when he checked in an even fourth. Would only keep on list if given a bit of class relief.

Tampa Bay

FREEBIE’S SISTER - 2ND - PLACE $4.40 - Was no match for runaway 6-5 winner but she never threatened either and this was her second time at the level so drop.

SUPER CHUNKY - OUT - A non-play as he stepped up into a Grade III Stakes following an effort vs allowance optional claimers that put him on the list. Can be played again but only in optional claiming ranks or open upper level claiming company .

Horses To Watch

AQUEDUCT

D D RENEGADE - The lightly raced mare made her first start since June at Pimlico in her last and showed more than enough promise vs 20K starter allowance foes to indicate she’ll quickly return to the form that has seen her post a 6-2-1-2 career mark. She saved ground throughout the 5 ½ furlong test, moved with the leaders and just failed to hold the place. Will beat this level of starter allowance rivals or open 25K-35K claimers soon.

DECEIVED - It looks as though trainer Leah Gyarmati has a good one on her hands with this 3-year old Broken Vow colt. After getting beaten a neck vs NYSB MSW foes three back he broke his maiden vs his peers three back and then lost all chance when he lunged at the start in the Damon Runyon Stakes two back. Dropped back in vs restricted entry level allowance rivals in his last he followed close up to the pace setter, got put down on the far turn and opened up by daylight through the lane. Wins right back in the second allowance level.

FAMILYOFROSES - The 4-year old NYSB Raffie’s Majesty filly has done nothing wrong since switching from turf to dirt in September. In her most recent she hit the board for the fifth straight time from as many dirt tries when she raced three wide into the short first turn in a second level restricted allowance try, continued wide from her outside post throughout and was well clear of the show horse while dropping a length decision to HTW winner Gloria Victoria. She passes this condition in next.

LOST IN SUCCESS - The 4-year old Rudy Rodriguez trained filly got started late as she raced twice vs MSW foes last fall (a third at Parx in her debut and a second at Laurel 11/2.) Back off the break in her last the daughter of Successful Appeal was sent off as the 4-5 choice and ran away with the MSW sprint by a 5 ¾ length margin in faster time than veteran older claiming males in the next race. She looks as though she’ll make up for lost time quickly...stay with her.

MISTER WOOLMAN - It appears as though the Stephen Got even colt is sitting on his best race in the cycle. After a good third vs 35K beaten claimers three back and a toss race on the mud two back he returned to a fast IDT at one mile and showed strong speed while racing three wide on both turns, put his head in front at the sixteenth pole and weakened late, beaten just 1 ¼ lengths for it all vs 20K foes. Wins soon vs this kind.

NIGHT MANUEVER - It looks as though the NYSB gelding has rediscovered his bets form after a close up third vs restricted stakes foes two back and a hard fought nose victory vs open 50K claimers in a sprint in most recent. Sharp claiming trainer David Jacobson must think he is ready to keep winning as well as he grabbed him for the price. Wins right back.

RED MINX - The well-bred son of Wildcat Heir made his debut a winning one in most recent as he took the lead shortly after the break in the 6 furlong event, moved to the inside to save ground and responded to urging to remain clear to the wire. It looks like more riches for the Pletcher barn so follow this guy as he moves through conditions.

RUTHLESS ALLEY - After a long series of turf races the son of Flower Alley went to the Aqueduct main track two back and virtually wired a 35K beaten claimer field at a mile. In his most recent he faced 50K starter allowance foes and finished a good third (beaten a length) despite being strung out 4 wide into the first turn, remained well out in the track down the backstretch and on the far turn but continued to press the issue and got a brief lead before retreating. Wins vs the same next time.

SWEET ABANDON - The Parx shipper showed she belonged on this circuit at the NW2L 20K-35K claiming level with a sharp second in her most recent. The Gregory Sacco trainee went right out to battle with the eventual winning 6-5 favorite, held the lead until inside the sixteenth pole in the 6 furlong dash and dropped a neck decision while 3 ½ clear of the show finisher. Gets her second career win next time.

GULFSTREAM PARK

ANA LUISA - Oddly, trainer Todd Pletcher entered this 4-year old Elusive Quality filly on dirt in her second stateside try after she had run a bang up second vs stakes foes in the grassy $100K South Beach Stakes in her NA debut on 12/15. The dirt try went over a sloppy sealed race track and she tried to push through rivals early on but never got traction over the going. The poor performance might lead to value if returned to the green so it is well worth the investment given her South Beach effort.

COIN BROKER - After finishing a rallying third at 6 furlongs in a MSW sprint two back, his first race in a year and second of his career the son of Tapit was lengthened out to a much more preferable mile in his most recent by trainer Dale Romans and after tracking in third easily drew clear through the lane. He appears to have a bright future at two turns so bet him back as he moves through conditions and don’t be hesitant if he is sent to the grass for which he is also well bred.

DAME DOROTHY - In her last the Todd Pletcher trained filly made just her second career start and first since breaking her maiden vs special weights at Aqueduct on November 30. Entered as an MTO runner she went to the post when the race was washed to the main track and easily dispatched her rivals in the mile and a sixteenth entry level allowance race. She has now dominated on fast and sloppy surfaces and should have little trouble eclipsing the next condition.

GOT LUCKY - There was no luck needed by this 3-year old Pletcher trained MSW filly in most recent as she got her initial career win by a wide margin over the sloppy main track. The daughter of A.P. Indy had finished second in her debut in a mile MSW at Belmont on 10/27 and then was beaten a neck (as a maiden) in the Grade II Demoiselle at Aqueduct on November 30 before given a short break until returning for her last. She’s a good one and should get played wherever she shows up in next. It wouldn’t be surprised if she eventually gets to the Kentucky Oaks.

HE’S GOT TALENT - The Wesley Ward gelding appears to still be a little green after 4 career starts but still has a pair of wins and the second he garnered in a 25K sloppy oval claiming sprint in most recent. He broke awkwardly from the gate and bumped with a rival, rushed up to engage the pace over the sloppy oval and battled to the wire before settling for second. He has won on fast and off surfaces and should get another win soon for new conditioner Tino Attard, who haltered him out of the race.

HURRICANE ELVIS - With any racing luck this Mark Casse trained allowance/optional 25K claimer could have easily entered the winner’s circle in his first race since Woodbine in mid-November. The veteran gelding was bumped at the start of the mile and an eight test, forced into another rival and settled back to last in the early going. He shifted off the inside and went between rivals while three wide as he steadily advanced on the leaders before being carried out by the eventual winner inside the sixteenth pole. He was beaten just a half length so given the effort and the layoff he is a definite next out play vs the same or slightly better.

JOLENA JOE - First off a 25K claim by trainer Patricia Farro this 5-year old mare got a lot out of her last. She was kept in when the race was washed off the turf and not only did well to get the place behind the 3-10 favorite in the strung out field but also handled the mile and a sixteenth distance, which has to be considered a plus given that most of her grass races had been competitive (11-2-3-3) but recently at 5 furlongs. Take a stand when she is returned to grass at the level.

STRONG STIPULATION - The Graham Motion trained colt got a slow start vs MSW rivals in his debut last time but made up a ton of ground in the stretch to grab place honors as a disregarded 19-1 longshot. The colt settled at the back of the field in the 6 furlong event, angled out 5 wide when asked and continued to progress as he passed the three rivals that finished within a nose of each other in third through fifth. By Lemon Drop Kid this guy should relish more ground and will graduate soon.

SUMMER COVE - The Kieran McLaughlin MSW turf gelding appeared a lot more relaxed in career start number three in most recent and might be ready to graduate in next. The son of Street Boss had raced headstrong in his first two tries and flattened out in the lane. Sent 7 ½ furlongs in the last he settled off the pace in the early going, saved ground on the far turn and moved between rivals and then 3 wide for a steady move forward for the show. It was an improved effort and they don’t remain maidens long for this conditioner.

TREASURED - The lightly raced 4-year old MSW filly made it to the races for just the fourth time in her career and first since August at Saratoga. Prepped for the return in the 7 ½ furlong turf test by trainer James Bond she broke from a tough outside post yet still willingly went forward to track the leaders while 3 wide down the backstretch, continued under reserve until mid-stretch, gained a slight lead between rivals approaching the finish but dropped a neck decision while out finishing the show filly. Gets her initial career win if kept on grass at 7 ½ to 8 ½ furlongs.

OAKLAWN

DEBIT CARD - The Steve Asmussen trained veteran claiming gelding did everything but win the race in his most recent. Facing 7.5K claiming sprinters and looking for career win number 9 the son of Concerto broke outward from the rail and brushed with the eventual winner and settled just off the pace setters until looking for room between rivals in mid-stretch. He moved outward and then back to the inside but had to settle for the place after losing too much ground. With clean trip he handles this kind or slightly better in next.

DISCIPLINE - After being brushed and steadied at the start in his career debut here on 1/11 the Chris Richard trained son of Sky Mesa ran into no difficulties vs MSW foes in career start number two and sprinted to a dominant victory. He broke in second off a blistering pace, moved up when that one tired and collared him at the furlong marker before drawing clear by 10 lengths. It won’t take long for him to get career win number two.

LATENT RUSH - The 5-year old sprinter stepped up vs second level allowance rivals in most recent following a 18K claim in his prior. The son of Latent Heat had won three straight climbing up the ladder at Hawthorne and against allowance foes here he was topped only by the inform 3-2 repeat winer Boji Moon. The horse broke on top, set quick fractions and when caught by the winner continued on to beat the show finisher by 5 ¾ lengths. Passes this level next time.

SORTA SASSY - The veteran bottom level claiming mare moved up from the 5K ranks two back to face 7.5K rivals in her most recent and once again took place money in the mile and a sixteenth test. She was beaten each time by the same rival so now has the time beaten condition to herself and should find her way to the winner’s circle in next.

SPICY LADY - The low level 7.5K claiming mare was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in her most recent and didn’t disappoint as she won off by 15 lengths in the 6 furlong test in a time usually reserved for 30K claimers and better. It was only the sixth career start for the 5-year old daughter of Safe In The U.S.A. and if the light has finally gone on and she stays healthy she could keep winning and do so against better. Follow closely.

TAPIT’S WORLD - The 4-year old filly shipped in from Fair Grounds and in first try over the surface in last did a good job to finish willingly for the place in the second level two turn allowance. The Bret Calhoun trainee has amassed a solid 7-2-3-1 career resume after she overcome traffic on the first turn and came on between horse after shifting out into the lane. She eclipses the second level soon...stay with her.

TAMPA BAY

JOE TESS - Trainer Derek Ryan found the perfect spot for this quick son of Macho Uno as he sent him out to destroy an overmatched entry level allowance/optional 16K claimers in most recent. The lightly raced 4-year old broke his maiden here two back on 12/26 in his first race since his career debut at Santa Anita back in March of 2013. Whatever it was that slowed the development appears to be in the past as the gelding set the early pace, turned back his only challenge and drew off by 11 ¼ lengths in 1:10 3/5. Could be any kind so bet him right back as Ryan continues to find good spots. Also check GP entries as he might be that good.

KIWI NOTION - The maiden gelding made just his second career start and first since October of 2012 in a 25K 7 furlong sprint in last. The Darrin Miller trainee was bumped at the start, remained on the rail before moving through as the field entered the stretch and continued on doggedly to get the place as he missed by a head and was 2 ½ clear of te show finisher. Makes up for lost time in a hurry and breaks through in his next.

MR THUNDER BOY - The Dale Bennett trained 3-year old made his career debut in last when he faced MSW rivals in a 6 furlong test. The son of First Defense broke a bit behind the front tier but was clear of the chasers and began his rally from seventh as he rallied along the rail entering the stretch. He moved out a bit and was beaten only ¾ of a length for it all while well clear of the rest. He won’t be a maiden long.

REAL GOOD TIME - The 4-year old claiming filly got washed off the turf for the second straight time in last and for the second straight time grabbed place money in a two turn 25K claimer. The daughter of Hard Spun is equally at home on an off or fast main track and after she dug in gamely and chased the winner all the way around the course to finish 5 ¾ lengths clear of the show filly, new trainer Wesley ward, who claimed her out of the race might keep her on the main track. Gets career win number three soon.

ROCK ALEX - The veteran claiming gelding shipped in from Calder off a 6 week break and a 16K claim by Herman Wilensky in his prior and placed in a 4 horse blanket finish vs 25K rivals in his last. The son of closing argument was shortened up to 7 furlongs from a series of mile races at Calder and utilized his speed to good advantage as he pressed from the outside, battled with the winner through the lane and held off the two closers after giving way slightly in the final strides. Gets career win number seven if kept sprinting at the level.

SIERRA ALPHA - The 7 year old turf gelding has had plenty of issues and interruptions in his 19 race career but it appears as though the connections have finally decided to give him some class relief. In his most recent, his first in 7 weeks and only his second since June of 2012 he shipped over from Gulfstream and dropped from 25K to 16K claimers for the mile and a sixteenth trip. He raced off the rail in the early going made a 4 wide run on the second turn and continued to rally for the place, a head back of the winner and 1 ¾ lengths clear of the show horse. Has enough left to beat this kind soon.

THE PINK WILDCAT - After a pair of juvenile MSW sprints at Gulfstream last fall the Wildcat Heir filly found a surface and class level she liked as she sprinted past 25K maiden claimers in her 2014 debut in most recent. Bred to have good sprinting speed she broke alertly in the 6 furlong event, set the pace on a clear lead and when she came off the fence opened up through the lane. She’ll win again soon if the connections run her back in NW2L mid-level claiming sprints.

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