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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM


Thru Thurs. Jul. 3

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 Churchill Downs Meet came to an end on 6/29 at which point the circuit switches to Ellis Park (7/4—9/2) AND as is the case every year, many will ship to Saratoga and run there so check the entries at both tracks. Heading into racing 7/3 there are two more weeks of the Belmont meet and then on to the Spa.

Recent Horses To Watch Runners


HORVAT CLAN (June 18)—WIN—$16.00—Second race following 10 month layoff was the charm as the 5-year old turf gelding duplicated the speed shown in return and went wire-to-wire in turf route first off the David Cannizzo claim.

CHASING PARADISE (June 27) —2ND—PLACE $3.30—Second off the layoff and third of career saw the two turn turf MSW filly continuing to improve. She ran into a well meant rival and dropped the decision to that one while edging out two rivals for the place in a hard fought stretch duel. Her turn next time.

INDIAN RAIN DANCE (June 28) —OUT—Didn’t come close to duplicating previous speed despite getting into the pocket early. Had nothing when asked. Drop now.

CABO CAT (June 28) —WON $18.40—After getting solid prep in 7 furlong Paradise Creek 6 weeks earlier trainer Mark Henning gave the Kitten’s Joy colt a brief break, continued to work forwardly and as suggested the colt just needed the extra ground as he rallied to take the Manila Stakes.

WHY NOT WHISKEY (June 28) —OUT—Got bottled up down along the rail and never got to use tactical speed in second off layoff. Deserves second chance in two turn turf test.

ZIPTRONIC (June 26) —WIN $12.40—As suggested, the consistent NYSB turf sprinter only need his return race in prior to get to the winner’s circle for the 5th time in 15 career turf tries as he conquered second level restricted allowance/optional 40K claimers.


JUDY JUDY JUDY (June 26) —OUT—The filly failed to duplicate her maiden breaking from her previous as she moved into entry level allowance company and popped and stopped in mile test. Running style says sprint suits so give her second chance only if she shortens up vs the same in next.

FINDING CANDY (June 27) —3RD—SHOW $2.80—The Candy Ride took a big jump up from 25K to 50K claimers for this one and was prominent enough from the start before giving way in the 7 furlong test. Not sure what to do with him being claimed away from solid Chris Richard barn by unknown conditioner Stephen Lyster so let’s drop from list for now.

VICTORY COUNTS (June 27) —WIN $3.00—Soft spot (15K claimers) and short field (5 runners) took away all the value as the veteran claiming gelding won as he pleased.

ALERT AND PERKY (June 28) —OUT—The claiming gelding was pulled up and vanned off in last so drop from list now.

FOR GOODNESS SAKE (June 28) —WIN $10.40—As was suggested, the MSWE win was so impressive that this lightly raced colt figured to be a play early in his condition tries.

BITTY KITTY (June 29) —WIN $11.40
—Another impressive MSW winner that wasted little time duplicating the form in first try vs entry level allowance foes.


INDEFINABLE HUMOR (June 28) —WIN $3.00—Easily dispatched 10K claimers after sharp second in prior but was part of imposing entry in short filed which killed price.

SUBPEONA (June 28) —OUT—Rallied belatedly for fourth after a slow start in 9 furlong entry level allowance turf test and showed enough to warrant second chance vs same.


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BELMONT (5 Racing Days)

ANGELA RENEE—No surprise that a first time starting juvenile from the Pletcher barn would win at first asking but what was surprising was that this Siena farms home bred was sent off as the third choice. Nonetheless she easily conquered her rivals in the 5 furlong MSW test, battling from the break, putting away two rivals and drawing off to a comfortable margin in :57 4/5. Her racing style and breeding (Bernardini) suggest that distance is not a problem so she should be live in allowance and/or baby stakes races at Saratoga.

ELECTRIC CURRENCY—The Linda Rice trained NYSB gelding is knocking on the door in restricted 40K maiden claiming tries and just needs clean trip to break through in next. In most recent at the elevl the 3-year old son of Exchange Rate was caught 4 wide early, waited to move inside to save ground and then had to swing wide turning for home in the mile and a sixteenth test and continued on for the show, neaten less than 2 lengths for it all. Has hit the board in 3 of 4 career starts and will break through vs same soon. 

FROGMAN MEL—As a three-year old making his first start as a sophomore and doing so against a good group of 40K turf claimers in most recent the son of Stormy Atlantic gave every indication facing his elders in most recent that he is sitting on career win number two. Claimed out of the race by new conditioner James Klesaris the gelding went right out of the gate to take the lead in the mile and a sixteenth affair, kept n edge into the lane and dug in to hold the show spot after a head-to-head battle with two rivals. Gets to the winner’s circle soon.

HEAVEN’S RUNWAY—In his first career start on turf, first in the Jimmy Toner barn and first since March 21 the 4-year old was as game as could be from start to finish in the third allowance level/optional 50K claimer 6 furlong test. The Run Away And Hide colt tracked in mid-pack down the backstretch while 3 wide, continued to move up on the turn, was fanned 6 wide into the lane and though he settled for 4th he was beaten only 3 lengths for it all in a determined effort. He is good enough to beat this kind or open upper level claimers off the return and introduction to grass. Stay with him.

HORATIO—The NYSB gelding seems to have found new life since moving to the Jimmy toner barn three back. In his most recent the 4-year old backed up his first start vs NYSB entry level allowance sprinters in which he moved a bit late in the slop. This time,  while under restraint early he forced his way to the leaders before drawing off in the lane to win off by 6 ½ lengths in a solid 1:15 3/5 for the 6 ½ furlong test. He won’t be long getting his second level win.

KEEN’S CUPLA—Considering that this NYSB MSW colt was making his first career start in last, was down on the rail in an 11 horse field in the 6 furlong sprint and prepped by an otherwise solid conditioner in Gary Contessa, who seldom has them fully cranked at first asking, the son of Repent did well to get the place behind the wire-to-wire favorite. The colt tracked early from near the rear, moved up 3 wide on the turn and 6 wide into the stretch to pass all but the winner and finish clear of the show horse. Breeding suggests more ground and turf so Contessa has options for a next out win.  

MACAGONE—In a drop back from open turf MSW rivals to restricted NYSB peers and addition of blinkers in last out 9 furlong test the public sent the Michael Wilson (26%) trainee off as an overwhelming favorite and he didn’t disappoint, wiring the field and winning by 4 lengths ($4.30.) He still has all the restricted conditions remaining so bet him back as he moves in vs entry level allowance foes next.

OFF MY CLOUD—Surprisingly this Belong To Me filly has only been tried on turf 3 times in 21 race career. In most recent trainer Steve Klesaris put the 4-year old back on the lawn and bumped her up from 32K to 4oK claimers and shortened her up to 6 furlongs. She lunged anxiously at the start, stayed three wide down the backstretch and into the lane, refused to give way in deep stretch and continued between rivals to secure the show spot, beaten a total of a half length in a 4 horse blanket finish. Belongs on the grass at the level and wins there soon.

RED CONSTITUTION—In her most recent the 3-year old claiming filly made her first start in 7 weeks vs open 20K claimers and after a ground saving trip along the rail lost her action coming off the turn. Despite being out in the 5 path in the 7 furlong test the filly managed to regroup and just lost out for the show. She was claimed by trainer Abigail Adgit as owner/trainer and while still relatively unknown the conditioner has done well at the meet with her 7th winner from 34 starters (21%) when she stepped up Flamingo Lane from 25K to 40K. Look for this one to improve and win back soon.

TAPIDAR—After showing promise on the grass last summer vs mid-level claimers the veteran gelding went bad in late summer and early fall and was sent to the sidelines. Brought back off only one published work in 40 days the James Bond trainee stalked the pace early in the 25K mile claimer, moved off the rail when asked and in the lane got a brief lead before tiring a bit late and settling for the place. He obviously needed the race and has back form to work towards so should beat these same rivals soon.

WEAVE—In her first race since last November and the first time in her brief 4 race career she went around one turn the Graham Motion trained daughter of Arch did everything right except she ran out of race track in the 7 furlong entry level grass test. She broke inward down the backstretch after trying to move across from her far outside post, was moving well when a spill caused her to steady and then she continued her rally for the show when clear. Just needed the race and at two turns on the lawn she eclipses the entry level in next.

CHURCHILL (4 Racing Days)

CARY STREET—Trainer Brendan Walsh had a good CD meet with over 30% winners and 70% on the board finishes and this Smarty Jones gelding contributed with two good on the board efforts with a rallying third two back and a just miss second in his last as he tried to eclipse the second allowance level. In his most recent the 5-year old was still last of 12 at the 9/16ths pole, saved ground along the rail and rallied sharply to get second place money 2 ½ lengths clear of the show finisher. Will surpass this level or beat upper level claimers soon.

CONQUEST ECLIPSE—The Mark Casse trained juvenile filly was most impressive in wire-to-wire MSW win in career debut in most recent. The well-bred daughter of productive sire Malibu Moon battled for the pace while on the inside, shook clear of her opposition entering the lane and held a solid margin through the lane. She was well respected as the post time favorite, is bred to carry her speed further and will likely show up in an allowance or better at Saratoga. Stay with her.

GET REAL—The Michelle Nevin trained race mare continues to move forward and is knocking on the door in the 40K—32K claiming level. The 5-year old finished third with a solid rally two back and in her most recent settled off the pace after a slow break moved up approaching the second turn in the mile and a sixteenth turf test and inside the furlong marker made strides as she closed in to outgun the favorite for the place. Wins one of these soon so stay with her.

GRACEFUL RAGE—It was a nice effort by the Tiznow filly in last as she returned to Churchill Downs following a 4 race stint at Oaklawn and Prairie Meadows to begin 2014. The Ron Moquett trainee went directly to the front in the entry level allowance mile test, cut out sharp fractions and just wilted in the final jumps when the 4-5 favorite took over but held on for the place. She belongs with these and will eclipse the level soon.

LOUISIANA BROWN—The Big Brown juvenile colt set the pace in 6 furlong MSW test and when overtaken by the winner dug in and held the place well clear of the show finisher. Merrill Scherer trainees are seldom fully cranked at first asking so the strong speed and determination exhibited by this colt bodes well for a quick exit from the maiden ranks. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the SPA and breeding suggests he’ll handle grass and distance.

MIO D’ORO—The 4-year old Medaglia D’Oro colt looks to be rounding into his best career form as he easily dispatched entry level allowance sprinters in most recent after just missing two back. The George Arnold trainee broke right to a clear lead and moved to the rail from his outside post and was never threatened as he opened a 4 ½ length margin at the finish in 1:10 flat under a steady drive. Repeat of that effort will fare him well at the next level so bet him right back.

OCEAN BERTIE—The consistent race mare made it 12 for 24 first or second in her career in last when she just missed in second level allowance/option 62.5K claimer. It was her first try following a 50K Mike maker claim and the daughter of Posse battled head-to-head with the pace setter from the start, got to the lead in mid-stretch and was caught in the final strides by a beaten head while 5 lengths clear of the show horse. She went to a third barn in as many races as she was in turn haltered by sharp conditioner Bret Calhoun. Lots of options and talent so look for her to get career win number 5 soon.

SHAUN’S BLESSING—This Tiz Wonderful colt had won a two-turn turf MSW test in his first and only career start in his prior and stepped right in vs entry level allowance foes in most recent. The Charlie LoPresti trainee was slow to break, moved quickly into stalking position by the time they hit the backstretch in the 9 furlong turf test and actually rushed to the lead at the top of the lane before weakening in the late stages and dropping the place by a neck and a head in a race won by the favorite. Just needs a clean getaway to get career win number two.

TRUE BLUE JULIE—The Michael Lauer trainee made her first start since 3/20 at Oaklawn and did well to secure the place vs 25K claimers in last. The Bluegrass Cat mare not only returned off a layoff but stepped up from 16K rivals and despite breaking last of five in a relatively soft pace made up a ton of ground to get second money in the mile test. She has now won 5 and finished second 8 times in 26 career starts so has every right to win again soon going two turns at this level.

MONMOUTH (3 Racing Days)

CHO TIME—The Burning Roma starter allowance gelding was no match for the even money New York shipper in most recent but dug down to stalk and continue on for the place. The consistent 4-year old (10-3-1-3) was making his second start following a 16K claim by Claudio Gonzalez and was stepping up a bit to the 20K level. He saved ground, moved willingly on the rail and easily cleared the show horse with his rally in the mile test. He won’t take long beating these 20K starter types and getting career win number 4.

HARLAN’S HONOR—The juvenile MSW filly was all business in her career debut in last. The Cathal Lynch trainee chased the pace just off and outside the leader, was asked for her move entering the lane in the 5 furlong dash and responded in experienced manner to draw clear through the lane. She has talent and is bred to go longer and/or on turf. Goes through conditions quickly.

IMPERIAL RULE—Trainer Greg Sacco stepped the maiden claiming gelding up from a good second vs 20K rivals two back and almost got the win vs 35K turf maidens. The son of Imperialism showed improved tactical speed in the mile test as he stalked the pace setters, got the lead briefly in deep stretch and just failed to last. He’ll get his first career soon under the same conditions.

LOVE YOU LOADS—It took the well-bred Todd Pletcher filly 5 races and a few breaks in racing to figure it out but her impressive blowout win in last had to mean the light bulb is on. The 3-year old daughter of Giant’s Causeway went back to 6 furlongs after flashing speed and tiring in a mile test three weeks back and wasted little time taking command right out of the gate. She kept widening on the turn under  mild urging and was hand ridden through the lane to win off by 7 ½ lengths in 1:10 3/5. When these well bred Pletcher fillies figure it out they get better…wins in conditions in next.

MY MEMORIES—In her only previous career start the In Summation filly easily dispatched 20K maiden claimers in a 6 ½ furlong test in late April at Tampa. In her last she made her first start since that race for trainer Kathleen O’Connell, moved up to 35K open claimers and stretched out to a mile and a sixteenth on grass. She tracked along the inside, rallied into contention along the rail and was just out gunned for the place in a solid effort. It must have been expected because sharp conditioner Hugh McMahon claimed her. She’ll likely pay quick dividends.

ROCK HARD BODY—After a pair of sluggish efforts to begin her career trainer Greg Sacco switched up in the most recent. The conditioner dropped the daughter of Rock Hard Ten from MSW ranks to 35K maiden claimers, moved her to the turf and stretched her out to a mile and a sixteenth. He obviously found the right conditions as she woke up and rallied smartly through the lane to just get outrun by a half length by the winner after running down and out-gaming the pace setters as she secured the place. Breaks her maiden in her next…stay with her.

SUMBA SUNSET—The 3-year old MSW filly made her third career start and first since January in her most recent and gave every indication she is ready to get her first career win soon. The Michael Matz trained daughter of Street Cry had flashed good speed before she went to the sidelines and returned in a strong mile turf test off solid works at Fair Hill. She pressed the pace setter from just outside that one, battled with her for the lead throughout, poked a head in front briefly in the lane and dropped a hard fought neck decision while holding onto the place spot. Needed the race and breaks through next time.

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