Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM
HORSES TO WATCH
Week Ending Sunday, January 19
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)
SOCIAL SAUL - 2ND - PLACE $9.40 - Tough trip vs slow pace found rally fall a bit short at big price. Definitely deserves second chance...even in new barn after being claimed out of race by conditioner Diane Balsamo for $35K.
LUNAR SURGE - WON $4.80 - We had to wait two months for her to return but she blew out her MSW rivals in fine form and then returned on Monday (1/20) to run second in 67L first level allowance so we’ll keep her on the list (see next week’s HTW document.)
CHASING MOONLIGHT - 3RD - SHOW $2.70 - The veteran gelding broke off the pace in the 20K starter allowance and was fanned 5 wide entering the lane. He made a so-so try to cut into the lead but settled for the show late. Deserves another chance vs the same.
UPTOWN ANTHEM - 2ND - $9.20 Place - Checked in second for the third straight time and second time on the HTW list in mile 35K claimer after altering run to rail and back out 4 wide. Two and out is the usual rule but keep the 4-year old gelding on the list. See details in GP section below.
PARTY STARTER - WON $34.40 - After a good second vs the same 35K maiden claimers she faced in this win when caught in traffic in a race washed off the turf it was suggested she get bet back if she did run on turf vs the same for trainer Michael Matz. For some reason she went "up" from her 10-1 ML line.
LONGING FOR QUIET - OUT - Stepped up slightly following a sharp win but showed no interest whatsoever and should be dropped now.
No HTW Runners Last Week
Horses To Watch
DOWAGER - Made her first start since last March in mile MSW event in most recent and continued on well to get the place behind Lunar Surge, who followed up that win with good second vs entry level allowance rivals following 5-day turn around. Flattered by the company the Kieran McLaughlin trained filly should break through in next...especially with a bit more ground.
ISLAND SUNSET - Appeared to regain his best stride when he made his first start in his latest following a 12.5K claim by David Jacobson in his prior. The 7-year old gelding stepped up to 16K company for the 6 furlong dash, raced just off the pace before moving 3 wide into the lane and took a brief lead before being collared late and holding on for the place. They usually improve with this trainer. Bet him back vs the same.
MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC - Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in a entry level NYSB allowance sprint the Disco Rico colt didn’t disappoint as he broke sharply from the gate in the 5 Â½ furlong test, was aloud to run on his own to open up early then widened further when given his cue at the 5/16ths pole. Now 7-4-2-0 in his career he will capture the next restricted condition as well. Bet right back on the next step up or even in open company allowance/optional claimer.
MESASI - The David Donk trained filly ran into super-filly La Verdad, who won her 5th straight by open lengths in last but did well to grab place honors in the second level allowance sprint. She chased the winner through fast fractions throughout and still managed to check in 7 Â¾ lengths clear of the show runner. Now 2-2-0 in her last 4 she eclipses this level next time.
MUCH STRONGER - Goes back on the lsit after winning for HTW two back. The David Jacobson trained colt has been running much too well and consistently of late to abandon based on most recent try in entry level allowance sprint after she broke awkwardly from the gate, had trouble finding stride, was steadied approaching the quarter pole and attempted to lug in through the lane. Off the board finish is a toss for a colt that had 3 wins and 2 place finishes in prior 6 races. Makes amends in next. Stay with him.
SCHIVARELLI - Eddie Kenneally trained 3-year old son of Montbrook was most impressive in beating MSW rivals in his career debut in most recent. The colt was slammed from both sides breaking from the gate, ran greenly while appearing to climb soon after but once he got in stride he figured it out quickly, moved 4 wide aggressively into the lane and drew off in the 6 furlong event. Should be even better vs winners.
STREET LORD - The Charlton baker trained gelding turned in his second straight good place effort in last as he cut into the winning margin after a 4 wide rally in the mile second level allowance/optional claimer for restricted NYSB rivals. Now 7-2-3-0 over a fast main track he should soon eclipse the level under the same conditions.
TAPITATION - Started awkwardly in his debut last time out and was never going to catch impressive fast-time runaway MSW winner but began to figure it out on the turn in the 6 furlong test, moved willingly between rivals in the lane and got place honors. Won’t be a maiden long.
BOBCAYGEON - The Woodbine shipper was ignored at the windows and sent off at 13.5-1 in his first start out of Canada, and first start on a traditional dirt surface in the second level allowance test. He lost all chance when he broke badly and was shuffled back to last in the mile and a sixteenth test. His rider tried to get position down the back stretch but lost too much ground and wasn’t pushed as he checked in fifth. His breeding and synthetic track performances up north (17-5-5-3 in his career) and a decent effort in his lone turf try suggest a grass effort vs the same level could produce a win at a nice price. Worth taking a shot if he goes to the turf.
CUMMINGS ROAD - The Mark Casse trained turf horse wrapped up his 2013 campaign by winning at Woodbine on November 30 and returned to the races in his most recent with a sharp triumph over open 50K claiming rivals in a mile and a sixteenth turf test. The son of Speightstown broke within striking distance from his outside post moved clearly into the 3 path at the halfway mark and wore down his rivals while continuing three wide through the lane. He should only benefit from the race and win right back.
HARTFORD - Looks like trainer Todd Pletcher has another nice 3-year old. The son of Tapit made his career debut in his most recent did so at the tough 7 furlong distance and ran away and hid as the odds on favorite. He’s bred to go longer and is well worth following in conditions and as far up the class ladder he indicates he’ll go. Stay with him.
NIFTY SHINDIG - The 5-year old mare went to the sidelines last June 5th after her third straight win and a Mike Maker 15K claim. She returned in her most recent and was sent off the even money favorite vs 20K rivals at 6 furlongs. She tracked the front end duelers while in fourth, angled out 4 wide off the trun and continued on to get the place. She was claimed out of the race by Jason Servics and should take the next step into the winner’s circle.
PURECRAZILUCK - Trainer Kirk Ziade tried to put over this 4-year old filly as she was sent out vs 12.5K maiden claimers in her career debut last time out. No one was fooled as the public sent the daughter of Simon Pure off at 8-5 and she won by 15 lengths in upper level winning claimer time in the 6 furlong dash. Trainer Herman Wilensky won the toss and haltered her out of the race. Will now face much better but should win again soon.
READY PLAYER ONE - The 3-year old More Than Ready filly ran out of ground as she rallied for the show at a big price in a 7 Â½ furlong MSW turf test in most recent. It was her third career start and first since early November at CD. The George Arnold trainee pulled a bit early while under restraint waited a bit behind rivals and then picked up ground late while travelling 5 wide through the lane. Breaks through soon...especially if given two turns.
RING WEEKEND - Solid effort in last and first on turf suggests the maiden breaker arrives soon. The Graham Motion trained Tapit gelding was making his first start since 10/20 and first on grass after a pair of on-the-board efforts vs MSW foes last fall. In the return the 3-year old pressed early, settled just off the pace on the backstretch and moved up outside a trio of rivals to gain a brief lead in te 7 Â½ furlong test and gave way late while holding the place spot. Gets his initial career win soon if kept on the turf.
STREET TRICK - The 4-year old MSW turf filly is still a maiden after 5 tries after checking in second in 5 furlong sprint in most recent. But that was the first try since early June at Belmont Park and the daughter of Street Sense faced 5 next out winners in her 4 races prior to the return and has hit the board three times in the process. She won’t be a maiden much longer and rallied through the lane in her last as though she’d appreciate more ground.
UPTOWN ANTHEM - Checked in second for the third straight time and second time on the HTW list in mile 35K claimer after altering run to rail and back out 4 wide. Two and out is the usual rule but keep the 4-year old gelding on the list for one more try under the same conditions...especially since he drew the interest of new trainer Bobby Dibona, who haltered him for the 35K.
ALMOST A LADY - The Laurel shipper made her first start since mid-November in her last and did well to get the place behind the odds-on wire-to-wire winner in a 12.5K sprint. The Tim Ritchey trained mare broke close to the pace, moved within striking distance into the lane and while no match for the winner was 6 Â¼ lengths clear of the show horse and was claimed out of the race by red hot conditioner Cody Autrey for local car dealer and in-the-game big time owner Steve Landers. Will win soon.
BROKEN BLUES - Trainer Chris Richard has a number of horses here from his Kentucky base and this 4-year old filly easily grabbed entry level allowance honors in last as she made her first start since mid-November at CD a winning one. Despite being shuffled back early in the 6 furlong test she settled off the pace, moved up 4 wide into the lane and drew clear. She should keep winning in conditions or allowance/optional claimer.
CARD - Not only did this entry level allowance gelding return from a May layoff in good form in his last but the Scott Becker trained son of Spring At Last obliterated entry level allowance rivals in a 6 furlong sprint in wire-to-wire fashion by 6 Â¼ l3engths in 1:10 flat. He obviously likes the surface and is bred to go longer if the connections desire. Gets his second allowance level triumph soon. Stay with him.
CHISMOSA - Most impressive effort on a number of accounts by the 3-year old maiden claiming filly in her debut last out. The daughter of Exclusive Quality faced older rivals in the early in the season 3 & up test, was sent off as the favorite and won easily. The only thing that did not go well for the connections was that she was claimed from Cody Autrey by new conditioner Lynn Whiting and should win right back.
INDIAN ALLEY - Nice effort in her last by the Stanley Roberts trained 30K claimer for NW3L distaffers as she made her first start since July at LAD. The filly tracked in the second flight in the 6 furlong dash, moved out 5 wide coming off the turn and continued on through the lane to grab place honors well clear of the favored show finisher. Just needed the return race and will beat this kind next out.
SILVER ANTELOPE - In his most recent the CD shipper was making his first start since November in the NW2L 30K claimer and lost all chance when bothered at the start in the 6 furlong race and getting shuffled to the back. The 4-year old colt began to move on the turn, was fanned out widest of all in the lane and ran out of ground as he rallied for the show beaten 2 Â¼ lengths. Gets his second career win soon.
SLEW SLAM - Making his first start since a third sprinting vs 40K claimers at Remington in early November the Grand Slam horse was away slowly in his last, circled up wide on the turn, made up some ground in the upper stretch and showed a bit of interest late while settling for fourth. The 5-year old has only raced 7 times in his career and has hinted he might appreciate more ground. Follow closely at the 30-40K level and especially at a mile.
SOUTHERN SYMPHONY - It appears that trainer Ron Moquett has found the right level for this 4-year old filly. After a pair of failed efforts vs 40K rivals this past fall in Kentucky the daughter of Latent Heat was given time off and returned to face 16K rivals at 6 furlongs here. She broke sharply and just off the pace, moved up 4 wide into the lane and continued on to gain the place spot well clear of the show runner. Beats this kind next time.
TOBES THE MAN - In a quickly run 6 furlong 7.5K time restricted claimer this Martin Rouck trained layoff gelding might have been best. In his first start since 11/6 at CD he went right to the lead, continued to set the pace through a :45 flat half and though he wilted late was only beaten less than a length while digging in to hold show honors. With the race under his belt similar effort vs the same gets him to the winner’s circle.
KATIE IT’S FINE - The ultra consistent mare (27-6-3-6) turned in another solid effort in her most recent when she overcame a tough trip to rally for the place in an entry level allowance/optional 16K claimer. She was bumped at the start in the mile and 40 yard test, raced 3 wide down the backstretch. Moved 4 wide to get a short lead and then dug in late to hold the place spot. Gets creer win number 7 soon.
MAGNIFICENT WRECK - The veteran claiming gelding stepped up off a 6.25K claim two back by Benny Feliciano and promptly paid dividends with a 4 Â¾ length win in a 7 furlong 8K claimer for his 9th career win from 27 tries (also 4 seconds and 6 thirds) and was promptly claimed yet again...this time by Dale Bennett. No reason to think he won’t keep running well, even if bumped up one more notch. Stay with him.
MELODY LIN - The Jamie Ness trained Aqueduct shipper lost her chance at the break when bumped at the start of the two turn 16K turf claimer but managed to find her stride while outside of rivals moved wider still into the lane and finished well to get the show, beaten less than 2 lengths. Needed the try over the new course and just needs a clean trip to beat this kind next time.
PLIME BLANK - The lower level claiming gelding made it two straight in dominant fashion as he settled off the pace early in a mile and 40 yard 8K claimer in his last, moved up when asked and circled 3 wide on the far turn before drawing off to an 11 length triumph in very good time for the level. He is very sharp now and should move up the claiming ladder and win again.
PORTOFAPPEAL - It looks as though this 4-year old claiming filly likes Tampa and the 8K level. After a good third three back vs 16K rivals trainer/owner James Mccullough dropped her to the 8K level two back and got the place before getting the win vs the same level in most recent. The daughter of Tempered Appeal is now 8-3-1-3 over the surface and is in good enough form right now to handle a bump up to 12.5K levels. Either way, bet her back if kept sprinting.
ROCK DIAMOND - Trainer Ralph Ziade had this 25K maiden claiming colt ready to go for his debut in last and he blitzed 4 rivals by 8 plus lengths in a 7 furlong test. Sent off at even money the son of Rock Hampton didn’t disappoint as he vied for the lead from the inside for the first half mile and then gradually drew away when urged. It was a solid effort that promises well for career win number two vs allowance runners or high claimers.
VERY FEW DETAILS - The Laurel shipper made her first start since mid-November in last and made it two wins and two seconds from four turf tries with a solid second vs entry level allowance foes. The Dane Kobiskie trainee was bumped and pinched back at the start of the mile test, moved up 3 wide down the backstretch, continued a strong rally 3 wide on the turn and put a head in front in the lane before tiring from the early efforts and settling for runner up honors. Just needs a good start to eclipse the level next time