First, a quick recap of last week’s race. It turns out that class prevailed overall, as the horse with graded stakes experience, Seize The Knight ($14.40) lorded over all. Settling towards the back of the pack early, nearly 10 lengths off the pace duel between Life To Come and Popest of Maori, Seize The Knight came flying late and was dominant in a 3-1/2 length victory, earning a 99 SP. Only 1 length separated 2nd from 6th, but it was Quality Ending that followed Seize The Knight into 2nd. Ratavari, who had sat 2 lengths off of Life to Come early, caught up to that filly and took the photo for 3rd.
This week, the Future Stars Series missed its flight! So we’re staying in New York, and just bumping up the class. This week we’ll look at a NW4L Allowance for 3yo fillies, running 8 furlongs on the dirt. The field of 8 is:
#1 – American Belle (American Pharoah x Belle of Broadway [A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by farm304 – 4/1 (f-t)
Race Record: 6:3-0-1; $150,181
Race History: The bluest of bloods, American Belle is not only well bred; she is also the most accomplished in the field, with a residency-restricted (ESR) stakes victory to her name. That win came in career race #2, at 6f on the dirt, where she dueled for the lead early with today’s rival Giant Rebourbon and then put away that rival, defeating her by 1-1/2 lengths. From there, American Belle tried G1 company in the Getaway Stakes, but finished 6th. She comes into this race off of a 3rd place finish in another residency-restricted (ESR) stakes race at 7f on the dirt, where she tried her usual stalking style and ran out of room late, finishing 1-1/4 lengths back. American Belle earned a career high 95 SP in that effort, her first of 2019, and will try to improve upon that run here while stretching out to a route distance for the first time.
Pedigree: American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown Winner, has a private stud fee and his real foals have not yet hit the track, but his 2018 yearlings sold for an average of $453,273. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranked #3 overall, with 198 runners to date, including 122 winners finding success at a ridiculous 21.7% rate. Among the 122 winners are 11 stakes winners, one of which, Yankee Pharoah, just took home the Fountain of Ute-G2 at 9f on the dirt. The sim progeny of American Pharoah, much like their sire, have found most of their success on the dirt (79% of earnings on dirt) in routes (59% in routes). American Belle is the 11th of 12 foals out of G2-winning 17yo mare Belle of Broadway. Belle of Broadway was quite the belle of the ball in her day, winning 12 of 30 career races, including 3 straight stakes wins ending in the Scary Carrie The Blueberry-G2 back in 2006. All 3 of those wins were at 6f on the dirt, as were 10 of her 12 career races. But it wasn’t just on the track where she found success. American Belle is a half sister to G1-winning Belladonte (Sea The Stars (IRE)), winner of The Humane Distaff-G1 at 7f on the dirt, G2-winning Star of Broadway (Smarty Jones), winner of the Crooklyn Handicap-G2 at 12f on the dirt, and 5 other stakes winners. Those half-siblings have all been dirt runners, though the ideal distances have varied. A.P. Indy mares have been sent to American Pharoah 54 times in the past 4 years. 7 of those (6 plus American Belle) are stakes winners, including 2 graded stakes winners, and most of the progeny excel at the 8-10f dirt distances. Of the 7 others that are the full American Pharoah x A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector cross, all 7 have broken their maidens and 3 have at least 1 allowance win (5 of the 7 are still 3yos with 3-6 starts).
Expectations: American Belle began her career trying to set the pace, but in her last few races she’s learned to take back a bit, which could help her here. The last race was particularly impressive, as she made up solid ground in the stretch from her early stalking position before running out of track. She’ll get an extra furlong here, which might just be enough to put her ahead. A strong contender.
Watch Level: High
#2 – Barbara Tap Out (Candy Ride x Woodman x Tapit) – Owned by heffbarn – 9/2
Race Record: 7:3-2-2; $82,905
Race History: Never worse than 3rd in her career, Barbara Tap Out comes into this race off of a career best effort last time out. Stretching out to 9 furlongs in that NW3L effort against 7 others, she stalked the pace early before moving with a vengeance late, pulling away to win by 2-1/4 lengths and earning a career high 97 SP. That race was her first off of a 2.5 month layoff. In her prior race, Barbara Tap Out tried routing for the first time at today’s 8f distance and came on strong late, but finished 3rd beaten 1-1/2 lengths. Barbara Tap Out does have one previous race against one of today’s foes, as she battled Ten Souls in a 5.5f NW1x allowance back in July 2018, but Ten Souls came out on top in the 4 horse field, ½ length in front of Barbara Tap Out. Barbara Tap Out will try to repeat what she did last time out in the 9f race while cutting back in distance here.
Pedigree: Candy Ride, who stands in Kentucky for $80,000, was the #2 ranked US sire of 2018, largely on the back of 2018 Pegasus World Cup winner Gun Runner. In the sim, Candy Ride isn’t quite as successful but is still a solid sire, as his 2018 crop currently ranks #49 overall. That 3yo crop includes 133 runners to date, from which 73 have won races at a 17.5% rate. 3 of those winners have pulled off the feat at the stakes level, all at 8.5f on dirt (one also a stakes win at 7.5f). Candy Ride’s sim progeny typically prefer the dirt (66% of earnings on dirt) and have shown a slight preference for routes (58% routes), which lines up with his real life average winning distance of 7.07f (about average for a US sire). The Candy Ride x Woodman cross has been used one other time in the past 4 years, and it was by the same owner, also last year. That horse, Bonsai Barbara, also showed improvement in her first race as a 3yo, but thus far only has her maiden win to show in 4 career races.
Expectations: Barbara Tap Out likes to stalk the pace, sitting 3-4 lengths back, and then pounce from there. She’s been able to show a late kick in her past few races, but it wasn’t until her most recent run that she kicked it up another notch. The downside was that the last race was farther than today’s, and she may need that extra distance to really find her best gear. The upside is that the last race was also her first of 2019, and the huge run last time out may have just been Barbara Tap Out showing her maturity as a 3yo. Which side will win out here? It’s anyone’s guess. But you can’t discount her.
Watch Level: High
#3 – Demostolos (Bodemeister x Fusaichi Pegasus x Dynaformer) – Owned by champions9 – 6/1
Race Record: 6:3-1-1; $107,805
Race History: Demostolos began her career with 3 races at 5-5.5f on the dirt, where she went 2 for 3. She then moved over to the turf for 3 races, where she saw an immediate SP spike, first in the initial 6f race (going from a 71 SP to an 82 SP) and then against when she stretched out to 8f (going from 82 SP to a career high 90 SP). After winning her first turf route in a NW2x, she tried her had at an 8f turf stakes in her first 2019 start, but after setting the pace early she tired and finished 4th, 6-1/2 lengths back. Demostolos’s SP regressed slightly (to an 88 SP), and so she switches back to the dirt here to try a dirt route for the first time.
Pedigree: Bodemeister, second in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, currently stands for $25,000 in Kentucky and was the #49 ranked US sire of 2018. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #115, with 52 winners from 121 runners to date, winning at a 12% rate (below his average 16%). Only one of those has picked up a stakes win thus far, Bodement, who did so in his most recent race at 8.5f on the dirt. Interestingly, no Bodemeister sim foal has ever won a G1. Bodemeister’s sim foals strongly prefer dirt (76% of earnings on dirt) and are pretty evenly split between routes and sprints (55% in routes), though in real life his foals are successful at slightly longer distances, with an AWD of 7.23. Bodemeister has been crossed with Fusaichi Pegasus 3 times over the last 4 years. Unfortunately, the other two have not yet won at the allowance level and are a combined 4 for 45 overall. One has done his best racing in turf sprints, while the other has preferred dirt routes, but both have spent most of their careers at the claiming level.
Expectations: Although she has six races under her belt, Demostolos is a bit of an unknown here. Her two route efforts have seen her set the pace early, so she may try that again here, but she tired in her last try at the distance. It’s possible, however, that she just needed the race, as it was her first as a 3yo. Her initial dirt tries are promising for this effort, but even though she won on the dirt, the races themselves weren’t all that impressive. So the big question is whether she does like the dirt. I like the move by the owner to run her here, because it answers the question of where to go next, but I can’t back her here until I know that she likes the dirt.
Watch Level: Medium
#4 – Loyola Ramblers (Adlerflug (GER) x You See LA [Special Week x Storm Cat]) – Owned by barkerblack – 6/1
Race Record: 8:3-1-0; $89,511
Race History: Somebody must have called Sister Jean, because Loyola Ramblers looks like she may have gotten some divine help recently. After winning her first 2 starts in early 2018, Loyola Ramblers struggled a bit in the middle part of the year in short sprints. But when she finally got a chance to run, she saw significant improvement. That first came on the turf, where she finished 4th in a NW3L at 8f. But from there she moved back to dirt and saw a big pop. In her first 8f dirt race, Loyola Ramblers stalked the pace early, sitting 3-4 lengths back, and inched closer from there, timing her move perfectly and taking the photo by a head. Loyola Rambles comes into this one off of a solid 4th place effort in an 8.5f dirt stakes for her first race of 2019, where she and most of the field bunched up close behind the leads and she outlasted the tiring horses, finishing 4th and earning a career high 94 SP (the winner in that one came back to take a G2 next time out). She drops back in class and cuts back slightly in distance here.
Pedigree: Adlerflug, a 2-time winner at 12f in his racing career, currently stands in Germany for $15,000 and has passed that distance onto his foals, as his real AWD is 10.79. His 2018 sim crop is Adlerflug’s best to date, and it currently ranks #60 overall. The class consists of 96 runners and 54 winners, scoring at a 19.5% rate. Only one of those horses, Storm Sirens, is a stakes winner, and he did so at 9.5f on the turf. Through 5 sim crops, Adlerflug has only produced 1 graded stakes winner, 4yo Idle Dancer, who picked up the victory in a 5f turf sprint. Unsurprisingly, most of Adlerflug’s sim foals prefer the turf (75% earnings on turf), and they show a slight preference for routes (57% in routes), though the route percentage may be held down slightly by that G2-winning sprinter. Based on speed figures, his sim progeny seem to be best at long distance races. Loyola Ramblers is the daughter of Sim royalty, as she is the 6th foal from 2010 Sim Eclipse 3yo Dirt Filly of the Year You See LA. You See LA was a monster on the track and was arguably (give-or-take a Final Exit) the best 3yo dirt filly the sim has ever seen. After defeating the boys in the Derby Lock Prep Chicago Derby-G2, she went on to the Bluegrass Derby-G1 and finished 2nd (by 2 lengths) before moving on to win the Middle Jewel Stakes-G1, one of only 3 fillies to ever win that race. She finished the Sim Triple Crown campaign with a 3rd place finish in The New Yorker-G1, in addition to walloping the boys in the Clerk of Scales Stakes-G1 (winning by 4-1/2!) and then running 3rd in the Travelers Stakes-G1. Her sim foals have not been as successful, but they do include 2 stakes winners and 2 more stakes placed horses. However, none have taken after her dirt routing abilities; they have found success in either dirt sprints or turf routes. Of particular note, Loyola Ramblers is a full sister to 4yo filly U S C Trojan, who is stakes placed at 8f and 9.5f on the dirt in addition to being a multiple stakes winner at 7.5f. Outside of the two siblings, Adlerflug has been bred with a Special Week mare one other time in the last 4 years, with that horse’s best races coming in dirt sprints.
Expectations: Loyola Ramblers has no problem letting other horses go early and will likely sit a few lengths back (at least) here. She may have some distance limitations, so the real question here is whether 8f is gettable, or if she would prefer something in the 7-7.5f range like her full sister. But she does have a win at this distance, and has been impressive in her last 2 races. If her dam passed down even half of her abilities on the track, Loyola Ramblers is gonna be a good one for a long time. Respect.
Watch Level: High
#5 – Giant Rebourbon (Giant’s Causeway x Redoute’s Bourbon [Redoute’s Choice x Gone West]) – Owned by bathred – 4/1 (f-t)
Race Record: 7:3-3-0; $141,510
Race History: The sponsor of this race, Giant Rebourbon is one of three stakes placed horses in this field. That stakes placing came in career race #3, a 6f residency-restricted (ESR) dirt stakes race where Giant Rebourbon battled today’s rival American Belle for the early lead and won that battle, but ultimately lost the war by finishing 2nd, 1-1/2 lengths behind her rival. Giant Rebourbon rebounded nicely, taking home a 7f NW2L allowance, but then struggled when jumping to open stakes company. She comes into this race off of 2 solid allowance efforts, both at 7.5f on the dirt. The first, in a NW3L to end 2018, saw her battle for the pace and then pull away, winning by 1-3/4 lengths with a career high 92 SP. Her most recent race, her 2019 debut, was a 4 horse field where the jockey made a tactical miscue, letting a competitor set an easy pace, giving Giant Rebourbon no chance to catch her and settling for 2nd with a 90 SP. Giant Rebourbon adds an extra half furlong and tries routing for the first time today.
Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, passed away in 2018, making Giant Rebourbon a member of his massive final sim crop. That sim crop is currently the top ranked class with 381 runners to date. Of those, 227 have won at a 20% rate. Among the winners are 18 stakes winners and 6 graded winners. His sim foals are typically routers, aligning with his real world 8.09 AWD, and his sim foals are evenly split among dirt and turf, though the 2018 crop is favoring dirt thus far, with 61% of earnings on dirt. Giant Rebourbon is the sole foal from he-mare Redoute’s Bourbon, a winner of 6 races in his 25 race career. That career included three G2/G3 placings as a 3yo at the 8.5-9f dirt range, and 2 stakes wins, one at 8f and one at 7.5f (both on the dirt). Giant Rebourbon’s granddam was also a multiple graded stakes winner in dirt sprints, making this a family line with a lot of potential. Redoute’s Choice mares have been sent to Giant’s Causeway 8 times in the past 4 years, with one, Titanom, a graded stakes winner at 8f on the dirt. The others, to the extent that they’ve had success, have done their best work on the grass.
Expectations: Giant Rebourbon will likely try to sit close to the pace early, but may be willing to concede it to another one or two in this field. From there, it’s all about outlasting her competitors. This is the longest race she has ever tried, but she’s certainly shown potential in her prior races. There’s a bit of a question mark about whether she can carry her speed for the full distance of today’s race. If her jockey can dial in properly that she’s got a chance here. Don’t sleep on her.
Watch Level: High
#6 – Ten Souls (Rock Hard Ten x Lost Soul x Medaglia D’Oro) – Owned by fallridge – 5/1
Race Record: 9:3-3-1; $82,258
Race History: Ten Souls started out her career hot, winning 3 of her first 5 races and really breaking through when she tried routing for the first time. Among those 3 wins was an effort in a 4 horse 5.5f NW1x allowance, where she battled for the lead early and then held off today’s rival Barbara Tap Out, who finished 2nd. In Ten Souls’ most recent 4 races, however, she hasn’t quite achieved the same level of success. She comes into today’s race off of a career best 94 SP, when she stalked the pace early in a 9f dirt NW2s allowance but was no match for the winner, finishing 2-1/4 lengths back in 2nd. That fits a pattern from her last 3 races, where she’s been unable to pick off horses late and hasn’t had the speed to catch up to the leaders. Ten Souls will cut back in distance here to try and regain some of her early magic.
Pedigree: Rock Hard Ten, winner of the 2005 Big Cap and 2nd in the 2004 Preakness, currently stands in South Korea and was the #20 ranked South Korean sire of 2018. In the sim, his #160-ranked 2018 crop currently includes 49 runners with 20 winners finding success at a 14% rate. One of those 20 winners, Moon Rock Magic, is a stakes winning (and G1-placed) turf sprinter. Rock Hard Ten’s sim progeny are predominately routers, with 70% of earnings in routes, while they split pretty evenly between dirt and turf (55% on turf). It’s the longer the better for his sim foals, as the best speed figures relative to others come in long distance races. Ten Souls is, not surprisingly, the only sim horse with the Rock Hard Ten x Lost Soul cross (in fact, he’s the only sim horse that can claim Lost Soul as a damsire!). Lost Soul’s sire, Officer, has been the damsire to one Rock Hard Ten sim foal in the past 4 years, but that horse has done nothing of note in 20 career races (with his “best” races at 8-9f on the turf).
Expectations: Ten Souls is one of many here that are content to sit just off of the pace. In her past few races, that has been a little problematic as she hasn’t had the late movement of some of the others here. Her last race was her most impressive, but there’s a bit of a red flag; she finished 2-1/4 lengths back, and it was another 5-1/2 lengths back to 3rd. That indicates that the race, and the 94 SP, may have been a bit of an illusion as the winner may have dragged her further forward that she otherwise would have. The cutback in distance should help, but it might not be enough. Prefer others.
Watch Level: Medium
#7 – Tap Into My Heart (Tapit x Heart of Wire [Giant’s Causeway x Medaglia D’Oro]) – Owned by atw14 – 9/2
Race Record: 10:3-1-0; $101,826
Race History: The veteran of the field, Tap Into My Heart also has arguably the most class in this field. After winning 3 of her first 4 career starts at 5-6.5f on the dirt, Tap Into My Heart made the leap to G2 company and didn’t make a fool of herself, as she finished a narrowing 4th in the 7f The Motherly Love-G2. From there she stretched out to today’s 8f distance and dropped down to stakes company, but she was unable to do much and finished 7th. Since that race, she has tried stakes company in dirt sprints 4 more times, including another G2 effort to kick off 2019. Her best effort in those came 3 starts back in a 7.5f stakes, where she stalked the pace early and briefly grabbed the lead in the stretch, before being overtaken and settling for 2nd, earning a career high 90 SP. Tap Into My Heart comes into this race off of a 7th place finish in a 7f dirt stakes, so she’ll drop in class here and stretch back out to 8f for a second try.
Pedigree: Tapit currently stands for a $225,000 stud fee as the #5 ranked US sire in 2018. His 2018 sim class that currently numbers 276 runners is the #2 ranked sim class of 2018 thus far. Among those 276 runners are 179 winners (winning at a 21% rate) and 14 stakes winners. Only one of those 14, however, has achieved Graded Stakes glory, and it took until Legacy of Evil’s most recent race in an 8f dirt G3, to finally break that 0-fer. Tapit’s sim foals are mainly dirt routers (71% of earnings on dirt, 60% in routes), though in terms of speed figures, Tapit throws horses that are equally adept in sprints, routes, and longer races, so distance may be passed down more from the dam’s side. Tap Into My Heart is the lone foal from 6yo he-mare Heart of Wire. Heart of Wire was an OK runner on the track, with 3 wins in 22 career starts. All three of those victories came in 8f dirt races. He did most of his running at that distance and surface, but showed some ability on other surfaces as well. The Tapit x Giant’s Causeway cross has been used a ridiculous 73 times in the past 4 years. 2 of those are G1 winners (one in turf sprints, one in a Bluegrass Derby prep), and 10 of the 73 have earned a stakes level victory.
Expectations: Tap Into My Heart is another one in this field that’s likely to try and stalk the pace, sitting a few lengths off of the leaders. It has been a while since she’s visited the winner’s circle – not since August of 2018 – but she’s 2 for 3 lifetime at the allowance level and the class drop here should help. She’s been struggling a bit against better company, but should appreciate the field today. But have those performances gotten into her head? Another with a shot.
Watch Level: Medium
#8 – VT Mansion (Frankel (GB) x Smelling Into Cat [Storm Cat x Housebuster]) – Owned by kallor – 12/1
Race Record: 8:3-1-1; $55,010
Race History: VT Mansion has struggled to find her place in the sim through her first 8 races, but she’s hoping that her first route effort will strike a chord. She has bounced between turf and dirt thus far in her career, with 2 wins coming at 5f on the dirt (in 5 horse fields) and one at 6.5f on the turf (in a 4 horse field). VT Mansion comes into this race off of back-to-back turf efforts, one being the 6.5f win where she earned a career high 84 SP. In her most recent race, at the NW3x level at 6f-T, she set the early pace before tiring late and finishing 5th. VT Mansion’s closest race to today’s came 3 starts back, in December 2018, at 7f on the dirt against the boys, where she battled for the lead early but couldn’t keep up with the other sex and tired to finish 8th. This will be her longest race to date as she hopes for a turf-to-dirt bump.
Pedigree: Frankel, the best racehorse ever assessed by the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, currently stands in England for $175,000 as was the #3 ranked EU sire of 2018, with an AWD of 8.47. His 2018 sim crop is equally impressive, as it currently ranks #4 overall with 122 winners from 198 runners to date (winning at a 19% rate). Among those are 10 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners, both in turf sprints. All but 1 of the stakes winners have done so on the turf, so it’s not surprising that Frankel’s sim progeny have a strong preference for turf (75% of earnings on turf) and routing (67% in routes). VT Mansion is the 13th and final foal from 21yo mare Smelling Into Cat. Smelling Into Cat was a 2-time stakes placed horse, both in super sprints on the dirt as a 2yo (4.5f and 5.5f) back in 2000. She earned 3 career wins in 28 races, all coming (like those stakes placings) in dirt sprints. She only tried routing once, but the race did not end well and she finished a well-beaten 9th. But while her track exploits didn’t amount to much, she’s much more known for her efforts in the breeding shed. Among her offspring is 2009 Sim Eclipse 2yo Dirt Male of the Year Curling (Curlin), who, much like most of Smelling Into Cat’s other foals, was primarily a dirt sprinter (his only on-the-board finish in a route being his Eclipse-sealing victory in the 2009 Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile-G1). Smelling Into Cat also has 2 other stakes winning foals, both also in sprints but on the turf. Unsurprisingly, Frankel has been bred to a Storm Cat mare 22 times in the last 4 years – two are stakes winners, one in a residency-restricted dirt route and one in a turf sprint.
Expectations: VT Mansion doesn’t like having dirt kicked in her face, so expect to see her battling for the lead here. Unfortunately, even if she does get that lead, it doesn’t look like she’ll be there for too long. Her mother was a sprinter, 9 of her 12 siblings were primarily sprinters, and 2 of her last 3 races have had her running out of gas well before the wire in a race shorter than today’s 8f distance. The pedigree is there, but today doesn’t look like it will be the day for VT Mansion.
Watch Level: Low
That’s the field for this week’s NW4L Allowance. Unlike a couple of the most recent races, where there has been minimal pace and a number of deep closers, the horses in this race are likely to be bunched up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if first to last early on was only about 4-5 lengths. The pacesetter will probably be VT Mansion…if she has the speed to outrun her opponents from the outside post. Battling her for the lead will likely be Demostolos, with Giant Rebourbon hot on their heels. Everyone else in the field should be sitting anywhere from 2-5 lengths off of that pace. But from there, it’s anyone’s guess, as this field of 8 looks wide open. But since I am anyone, I’ll take a guess! I’m gonna side with (1) American Belle, (2) Loyola Ramblers, and (3) Giant Rebourbon. Good luck!
Other Races to Watch This Weekend: