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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH

Week Ending Sunday, January 26
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

SIDEARM  - 3RD - SHOW $2.40 - As uncanny as it might seem this dead closer in sprints was once again compromised as he drew the rail for the 5th straight time and was circling the field and coming on late vs entry level allowance rivals. Just needs to get off the rail and possibly go two turns. Stay with him for a second try.

SAY MR. SANDMAN - WON $6.60 - Finally got away in good order and caught the right level of opponents to utilize his aggressive kick.
Gulfstream Park

DO NOT ENTER - 3RD - Raced 4 wide in another MSW sprint try but was well beaten in a very flat effort. But the first two finishers were first time starters and the race was run in very fast time so if the price is decent give him another chance. 

GHOST TO GHOST - 3RD - The Mike Maker grass filly settled for a piece again as she broke a bit rankly at the start and then had to rally into a very slow pace in a short grass field. Give her another chance vs 75-50K maiden turf claimers..

SHE’S SPOOKY - WON $16.80 - Shortened up a bit and after just failing to last in her first try on the list wired an allowance group at a great price despite dropping a bit in class and having run first or second against the same in her last three.

PARTY NOW - 2nd - PLACE $4.40 - Flashed solid turf speed vs allowance foes first off the MSW win and gave way in the last strides to drop a ½ length decision to the 9-5 winner. Bet her again. 

Tampa Bay

FAVORITE PATRIOT - WON $3.70 - Toyed with starter allowance foes but was odds-on in short field.

YOU’RE MY BUDDY - OUT - Got good position early in 6 ½ furlong starter allowance but failed to fire when asked and ran an even fourth. Drop from list.

LIL ESCAPE ARTIST - WON $8.20 - Already a winner once on the list he finished second in his first try earlier this month and finished his rally to beat 16K turf claimers in two turn battle.

ONE BUCK ROMA - 3RD - SHOW $6.00 - Following a win sprinting vs NW3L foes trainer Gerald Bennett sent the 4-year old out vs tougher in the Pelican Stakes and he did well to force the pace into deep stretch before giving way late. Drop back to allowance/optional claimer or starter types keeps him on the list.

DEFOE STREET - OUT - Never lifted a hoof when stepped up to face entry level allowance/optional claimers. Needs drop in class to 12.5K claiming sprinters or drop from list.

Oaklawn
No horses from HTW list ran last week...remember, we only began charting Oaklawn HTW inclusions last week.

Horses To Watch

AQUEDUCT
NOTE - Only 4 Days Of Racing Last Week.

BLOSSOM’S TRAIL - If her last is any indication it appears as though trainer Randi Persaud has found the right level for this 4-yerar old claiming filly at 12.5K. She had been running mostly on grass and at two turns and shortened up to 6 furlongs. Only a slow start from the gate prevented her from making her solid stretch run a winning one so bet her back sprinting vs the same next time.

BROTHER RALPHIE - The 3-year old Mr. Greely gelding made his career debut a winning one in his last an although ignored by the public he didn’t escape the attention of sharp trainer Linda Rice who haltered him out of the maiden claimer for the hefty 40K price. He stalked just off the pace of the leader until the quarter pole and when asked drew off. Rice will carefully place this one and get instant dividends so follow closely.

DAWLY - The veteran gelding loves the IDT and proved it again with an easy win when he ran his career mark over the surface to 9-3-4-1. He has also won at 4 different distances utilizing his solid tracking style. Should keep winning in conditioned allowances and upper level open claimers.

HENRY’S GAL - The NYSB Disco Rico filly followed up her maiden win by easily dispatching restricted entry level allowance sprinters in a widening wire-to-wire 7 length tally. Has the speed and fondness for the surface that should make it easy for her to eclipse the next condition as well. Bet her right back. 

INAFLASH - Nice try vs 12.5K starter allowance rivals in sprint in most recent. The filly attended just off the pace early while 4 wide, moved to the rail at the three-eighths pole and then moved back out three wide at the furlong marker to commence a rally that fell a length short as she gained place honors. A repeat of that effort with ground saving trip vs the same gets it done next time.

LEGALLY BAY - On a day when (1/25) when speed was almost unbeatable...7 out of 9 winners went virtually wire-to-wire this longshot 20K maiden claiming filly turned in a solid effort to get the show in a 6 furlong test. It was her first start since August at Finger Lakes and first away from restricted NYSB MSW opponents. If trainer Marialice Coffey runs her back under the same conditions on a fair track she is a play.

PROHIBITION - With both his conditions remaining the NYSB son of Lawyer Ron shipped in from PARX and easily bested restricted entry level allowance rivals for trainer Cathal Lynch. The race was more than impressive as he won by 15 lengths wrapped up in good time. He will be hard to handle at the next allowance level or even in a NYSB Stakes race or open company allowance. Stay with him.

SUPER NICKY - The Jeremiah Englehart trained NYSB gelding showed significant talent in his debut last time out. The son of Utopia ran third in the restricted MSW sprint over a surface that still played to the more experienced wire-to-wire winner after breaking in mid-pack, moving up a bit early while 3 wide into the lane and running evenly late. This guy should be more professional next time vs restricted peers and won’t be a maiden long.


GULFSTREAM

BRANDED HAND - As the saying goes..."if it weren’t for bad luck..." This Bill Mott trained grass colt suffered his third straight rough trip in most recent yet still regrouped after clipping heels entering the final turn. He angled off the rail, rushed into position and just weakened late and settled for the place in the entry level 75K starter. All the son of Hard Spun needs is the good two turn trip. Wins soon.

DUTY BLUES - The veteran allowance/optional claiming horse shipped in from Tampa Bay following a 7 week break and turned in a solid effort vs second level allowance/optional 35K claimers in last. The horse went first out for new trainer Michael McDonald and caught all but the 3-5 favorite in the 5 ½ furlong test. The 6-year old was haltered by sharp conditioner Kirk Ziade so should find the right spot, especially if given a bit more ground.

EDISON - The light clicked on brightly last time when the son of Bernardini made his second career start and easily wired MSW turf rivals in the 9 furlong test. The Todd Pletcher trainee was flat in his debut at 18-1 and didn’t get much support in his latest but left little doubt that he’s got some talent as he drew off in 1:49 flat. He could be a good one and should be backed going through conditions.

SURFING U S A - The Roman Ruler colt made just his third career start and first since late November at Aqueduct and did a good job to get the place in a tough two turn entry level allowance try. The Pletcher trainee set the pace while under pressure, took the lead into upper stretch and gave way to the even money favorite while holding onto the place spot, well clear of the show horse. His turn next time.

SWEET SHIRLEY MAE - The 4-year old Broken Vow filly returned to the races for the first time since July at Saratoga in last and did a good job to rally for the show in an entry level allowance/optional 25K claimer at 7 ½ furlongs. The Wesley ward trainee settled between rivals at the back early on, waited a bit for room and then picked up ground belatedly. The same level at a mile or mile and a sixteenth gets it done.

TARPY’S GOAL - Switch from turf back to dirt and slight drop in class was the perfect remedy for this lightly raced 5-year old horse. Trainer Dale Romans put him back on the main fast track at the 20K level and he won for the 4th time in 8 tries under those conditions as he tracked early in the 7 furlong test, took over at the quarter pole and drew off under pressure. No one claimed him so there is no reason to think he won’t win again soon for the connections at the level or slightly above. 

UNITED STATES ONE - The Mike Trombetta trained grass gelding flashed good speed for the second race in a row last time out and weakened late in the lane before digging in to hold the show in the mile and a sixteenth entry level allowance/optional 25K claimer. After coming close at a mile two back and stretching out in his most recent a return to the same conditions at 7 ½ to 8 panels should do the trick.

WHO’S IN TOWN - The 3-year old Michael Matz filly made her first start since mid-November in last and the Stakes placed daughter of Speightstown rallied in hand to miss by a nose in the 6 furlong entry level allowance/optional 75K claimer. The filly had a good juvenile campaign that saw her win her career debut, win the Grade II Adirondack at Saratoga before being DQ’s and finish 4th in the seminal Alcibiades at Keeneland before wrapping up with a third in a 100K stakes at Laurel. This was the perfect come back tune-up so look for her going longer vs better and bet her back.

WHO’S MARY’S DADDY - It would appear as though trainer Dale Romans has found the right level for this 4-year old daughter of Scat Daddy. After a number of tries in second level allowance and allowance starters he dropped her into an open two turn 30K turf claimer in her last, her first since late October at Keeneland and she went up early to engage the leaders from between rivals, moved just off the leader on the far turn and weakened a bit late but still held on for a close up show finish in the 10 horse field. Wins at this level soon.


TAMPA BAY

BANNER BILL - The claiming gelding is in good form right now and turned in a solid effort to beat 12.5K rivals in mile and 40 yards in last. He was sent up 4 wide into the first turn in order to keep contact with the field. Continued wide down the back side, went 5 wide into the far turn yet continued on to grab command in mid-stretch. Beats the same or better again...stay with him.

BE BRIEF - The 4-year old claiming gelding moved in against NW3L 8K claimers following a sharp win at the second level two back and tried to extend his speed for 7 panels on the front end. He gave up the lead early, switched out to try and regain it in the upper stretch, moved back inside through the lane, grabbed a brief advantage but gave way late and settled for the show. Just needs to go back to 5 ½ or 6 furlongs vs the same to grab career win number three.

CHINA HOLIDAY - The 4-year old Harlan’s Holiday filly appeared to appreciate the return to the Tampa Turf where she has turned in the three best races of her career after moving between rivals entering the second turn moving out three wide into the lane and a bit wider as they battled through the lane in the NW2L claimer. Beaten just a length and a half as she secured the show spot 2 ¾ clear of the next runner. Should win vs 25K level platers soon. 

FAMILY FOUNDATION - The veteran turf claimer was away in a bit of a jam and wound up moving inside, outside and then tried to rally between rivals in two turn 16K claimer in last. The Jamie Ness trainee stayed on for third and now has a consistent 26-8-3-4 career turf resume. Still has plenty left and should be able to grab another grass win soon if kept at the 16K level.

FIVE STAR PRINCE - The veteran bottom level claimer lost all the ground in most recent when he waited on rivals early then had to move 4 wide into the lane in a 5 ½ furlong 5K sellers in most recent. While losing ground he continued to gain on the winner, got on even terms and then dropped a nose decision while clear of the show finisher. Gets another career win at this level soon.

MARSDEN - The 5-year old turf gelding gave up the most ground of any in his show finish vs 25K turf claimers in a mile and a sixteenth test in most recent. Coming off a win vs lesser he was tucked behind rivals along the inside until the far turn, moved between rivals entering the stretch, angled out 5 wide once clear but was to far back to impact the top two. He can handle this group but slight drop gives him an even better shot.

WHO IS LADY - The veteran turf claiming mare checked in right behind HTW winner Lil Escape Artist when she fought her way to the lead out of the gate in the mile and a sixteenth 16K turf claimer, fought off two challengers and gave way late while well clear of the rallying show mare. Has enough left to get another win or two vs this kind so stay with her. 

WORLD TOUR - In his first start in 11 months the 5-year old gelding did everything but beat his 8K claiming rivals as he ran out of race track in the 5 ½ furlong dash. The Ken Wirth trainee was just off the leaders while 5 wide entering the turn, continued 4 wide around the bend and grabbed place honors in the final strides. Just needed the race and will beat this kind next time...especially at 6 furlongs.


OAKLAWN

ALL CALL - The Chris Richard trained MSW gelding was all business as he easily handled 8 rivals to win his career debut in last. The son of Cowboy Cal entered off solid drills for a trainer who usually has them ready early and once in the lead the winner shook off a couple of challenges before drawing off late. He ran like a horse that will win again soon so stay with him.

AMMAROO - The 6-year old claiming horse has found a comfortable home in the starter allowance ranks. Trainer Federico Villafranco found a soft spot vs 12.5K allowances in the most recent after the horse had beaten 30K NW3L rivals two back. The runner easily dispatched his outclassed rivals and should continue to win sprinting in the 12.5K to 20K protected starter range. 

ANNUITY - The Ron Moquett trained son of Flatter almost paid instant dividends in his last as he stalked the early pace in the 6 furlong MSW dash, moved up 3 wide on the turn and continued to close before weakening a bit and settling for the place spot, 6 lengths clear of the show horse. It was just his third career start and first since October at CD so look for him to break his maiden next time.

A.P. INDIAN - In his most recent the lightly raced George Arnold trainee made his first start since Thanksgiving and just the fifth of his career in a second level allowance/optional 40K claimer. The son of Indian Charlie pressed the wire-to-wire winner throughout the mile and a sixteenth test and continued on to get place honors while well clear of the show runner. Just needed the return effort and will win soon...especially if cut back to a flat mile.

CARLOT COWBOY - The 4-year old son of Silver Train has taken well to the Oaklawn surface. After a solid second vs 12.K claimers two back trainer Anthony Rini bumped him up to the 16K level at the same 6 furlongs in his most recent and the colt broke in good contact with the field, easily moved up 4 wide on the turn and continued his momentum through the stretch as he drew clear. Solid career mark of 17-5-3-2 suggests he’ll keep winning.

CINDY SAYS - In her last the 4-year old filly made her first start since September at Kentucky Downs and went turf to dirt in a 6 furlong 30K claimer. She broke last from the gate, moved into striking position on the turn and swung 4 wide for a rally that fell a ½ length short when she got tired a bit late. Needed the race, took to the surface and beats this kind soon.

DUBAI BLESSING - Sent off as the 9-5 favorite vs NW2L 7.5K sprinters in her first start since September at Remington Park the Lynn Chleborad trainee went right to the lead form her inside post, dug in to battle the winner when challenged and did well to continue on for the place, She needed the race and will be tough at this or the 10K level in next.

MOUNT EAGLE - The 3-year old Giacomo filly dropped from a pair of MSW tries back in late summer to a 45K maiden claimer for her first in 7 months in last and after a slow start began to get in stride a bit late but closed well and willingly to get the show. Both her breeding an running style suggest longer than the 6 furlongs of her return try but either way she gets her first career win soon.

STANDPOINT - Slight drop from MSW to 50K maiden claimer and change of barn to Brad Cox got it done in career start number 4 last time. The 3-year old Yes It’s True colt turned in by far the fastest race of the day as he broke behind a wall of rivals, waited between horses until he broke out 3 wide at the top of the lane and sprinted off to a decisive 4 ¼ length victory. The strong performance indicates he won’t take long to get career win number two.

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