Sep 132019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race, and I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to predicting these 2yo races, I don’t know anything.  That race began when Practical Clown and Young Free Single got out of the gate quickly, and the two of them set the pace early.  And frankly, things didn’t get all that interesting most of the way around.  It wasn’t until the stretch that Buzzed Baseball made his run from midpack to take on the pacesetters.  But Practical Clown ($27.20) dug in gamely and held off the late charge, wiring the field and winning by ½ length with a 90 SP.  Buzzed Baseball closed for 2nd, also earning a 90 SP, while Young Free Single hung on for 3rd (88 SP), just narrowly staying ahead of Curly’s Ghost, who just ran out of room at the wire.

This week, the Future Stars Series stays in Kentucky but heads over to the grass, where 11 colts will do battle in a NW3L Allowance at 8 furlongs.  The field is:

#1 – Faulconbridge (Sepoy x Montjeu x Dynaformer) – Owned by 2019mmassatoga – 13/1

Race Record: 6:2-1-1; $70,875

Capsule: Faulconbridge made his racing debut on January 24 with a 3rd place finish, and it wasn’t until his 3rd career race that he would break his maiden.  In that 3rd race, a 6.5f-T MSW on April 12, Faulconbridge broke towards the back early, but made a nice move late and drew off to win by 1-3/4 lengths, earning a 73 SP as the 5/1 third choice.  He cut back to 5.5f-T for his first allowance try, a NW1x, but caught a 3 horse field (plus 1 CPU horse) and easily cruised to victory at 2/5.  From there, he made a big leap into stakes company, first trying a G2 at 5.5f-T but finishing 7th, and then most recently trying a 6.5f-T stakes where he sat midpack early and picked off tiring horses in finishing 4th.  This will be Faulconbridge’s first attempt at routing.  Faulconbridge is a scratch-bred son of Sepoy, out of a Montjeu mare.  Sepoy ($11,000), the #41 ranked Australian sire in 2019 and the #92 ranked European sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winning turf sprinter and champion 2yo and 3yo in Australia on the track.  In the sim, his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #50 overall, with 93 winners from 128 runners to date.  That crop is his first crop to not yet include a stakes winner, but what he lacked in 2018, he has made up for in 2019.  The 2019 crop, which only includes 40 winners from 90 runners to date, already has 5 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners, among them being Saucy Reign, the #3 ranked 2yo female turf sprinter thus far.  It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that his 2019 foals have been strong early, as his sim foals are largely turf sprinters (65% of earnings on turf, 62% in sprints), and his sim AWD of 6.82 is on par with his real world AWD of 7.29.  The Sepoy x Montjeu cross has been used 22 times in the past 5 years in the sim, with 18 winners and 3 stakes winners (2 graded) among them.  The horses have a heavy turf preference, and the Montjeu bloodlines seem to add some stamina to the usually sprint-heavy Sepoy (in fact, both graded stakes winners are turf routers).  Faulconbridge (DI: 0.92, CD: 0.04) will hope to get that distance as well as he gets some class relief today, but he’ll need to take a step forward to do it.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Secret Spirit (Awesome Again x Ophidian Sky [Danzig x Gone West]) – Owned by tigereyes – 9/1

Race Record: 3:2-1-0; $77,940

Capsule: Secret Spirit made his debut on January 16 on the dirt, where he ran 2nd in a slow race, so rather than move forward from that, he took some time off.  He came back to the track on June 2 in a 6.5f turf MSW and showed that the break was worthwhile.  After breaking midpack early, he made a move at the start of the turn, picking off horses one-by-one until he got to the front, where he went on to win by 1-1/2 lengths with a career-high 76 SP.  Secret Spirit took on NW2L company next time out, at 7.5f-T, and in the field of 5 he was left sitting just off the pace early, but after that pacesetter tired Secret Spirit took it over and then held off a late charge to win by a head, with a 75 SP.  But it’s not the race history of Secret Spirit that makes him the most promising colt in this field; it’s his pedigree.  Secret Spirit is by Awesome Again, and is the 15th foal from 19yo mare Ophidian Sky.  Awesome Again, the 1998 Breeders Cup Classic winner and Canadian Hall of Famer, was the #50 ranked US sire in 2018.  His sim foals, however, has been much better, as the 2018 class currently ranks #9 overall, with 141 winners from 180 runners to date, and the 2019 crop currently ranks #5 overall, with 69 winners from 161 runners to date.  Awesome Again is typically a dirt route sire, with 68% of earnings coming on dirt and 67% in routes, and his 7.86 sim AWD lines up with his real life 7.43f AWD.  The 2018 class includes 17 stakes winners to date, with 5 of those taking home graded honors, including My Awesome King, the Sim Eclipse Award 2yo Turf Colt of the Year.  Ophidian Sky won 4 of her 26 career races, and was a G2-placed turf miler.  But what she did on the track is nothing compared to what she’s done in the breeding shed.  Of her 14 previous foals, she has 2 G1-winning millionaires, a G3 winner, 2 more stakes winners, and 4 more stakes placed horses (so in total, 9 of her previous 14 foals are stakes-caliber horses).  The 3 graded winners are all turf runners of varying distances, as are the vast majority of her foals, though she has thrown a couple of dirt stakes-caliber horses as well.  The Awesome Again x Danzig cross has produced 20 foals over the past 5 years in the sim, with 17 of those earning wins (and 4 stakes winners in the group).  The foals are almost exclusively dirt runners with a preference for sprinting, and thus far Secret Spirit is really the only exception to that.  Based on that, it’s no surprise that Secret Spirit (DI: 2.67, CD: 0.61) debuted on dirt, but we’ll see whether his female bloodlines take over and push him to today’s distance.  If they do, he’s a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Street Kirby (Carpe Diem x Any Given Kirby [Any Given Saturday x Street Cry]) – Owned by bottlecollector – 13/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $45,420

Capsule: Street Kirby had the latest debut in the field, on July 22 in a 5.5f turf MSW.  In that race, Street Kirby sat midpack early, 3 lengths back, but made a big move late and got up for the win by ¾ length, earning a 72 SP.  He came back 2 weeks later and cut back to 5 furlongs against a field of 3 (plus 1 CPU horse) and led the entire way, ¼ length clear at the wire.  From there, Street Kirby came back after another 2 week break, this time mixing things up by stretching out to 8 furlongs and jumping to the dirt.  The race was a failed effort, finishing 7th, though he earned a career high SP, which suggests that he might take to the 8f distance once he gets back onto the turf.  Street Kirby is a son of Carpe Diem, and is the 8th foal from 12yo mare Any Given Kirby.  Carpe Diem ($25,000) was a multiple G1-winning dirt router (8.5-9f) on the track, and is currently the #9 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 7 winners out of 28 runners thus far.  In the sim, Carpe Diem’s 2018 crop currently ranks #43 overall, with 92 winners out of 123 runners (the 2019 crop is currently ranked #87, with 28 winners from 77 runners).  6 of those 2018 winners have found stakes success, but none as of yet are graded stakes winners.  Carpe Diem’s sim foals have a strong dirt preference (69% of earnings on dirt), while also showing a slight preference for sprinting (56% of earnings in sprints).  His sim AWD of 7.27 also suggests a slight sprinting preference, but a number of the foals also have the ability to route, and and all 4 of Carpe Diem’s sim graded stakes winners are routers.  Any Given Kirby won 6 of her 34 career races, mostly at the allowance level, and mixed up the types of races that she won, though most of those races were in turf routes.  Her foals, however, have not been all that impressive.  None of her previous 7 foals have won at the non-hot, non-local allowance level, meaning that Street Kirby is already the most successful of Any Given Kirby’s foals.  None of her foals have cracked the 100 SP barrier.  Most of the foals have earned their wins while sprinting, with a mix of turf sprinters and dirt sprinters.  The Carpe Diem x Any Given Saturday cross also has a sprinting preference.  There have been 7 foals with the Carpe Diem x Any Given Saturday cross in the sim, 6 of whom have won a race (4 allowance winners), and although none are stakes winners, 1 of those is a 3-time stakes placed dirt sprinter.  Most of the foals sharing that cross have been dirt runners (69 dirt races vs. 8 turf races).  Street Kirby (DI: 1.80, CD: 0.36) might be able to get today’s distance, but it will largely depend on whether he can use the turf to his advantage, and it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to do so or if he’ll need to stick with sprinting.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Rally Again (Awesome Again x Rally Cat [Storm Cat x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by shiekabner – 4/1 (f)

Race Record: 3:2-0-1; $72,940

Capsule: Rally Again made his debut on May 27 and popped a massive race.  Breaking in a bunch that was forwardly placed in a 6f-T MSW, he was finally able to settle and find some running room, allowing him to grab the lead in the far turn and then dig in gamely to win by ¼ length, earning a career-high 80 SP at 9/5 odds.  The race was strong enough for Rally Again to enter an ESR residency-restricted stakes race, and he held his own there, sitting midpack early and then moving up late, picking up a stakes placing by finishing 3rd in the 6.5f-T stakes, with a 79 SP.  He received some class relief last time out and went back down to the NW2L level as he stretched out to 7f-T, and there he sat midpack early before making a very late run and just getting up in time to win by a head with an 80 SP.  Rally Again will continue to stretch out here as he tries the mile for the first time.  Rally Again is a son of Awesome Again, and is the 14th foal from 18yo stakes-winning mare Rally Cat.  See Secret Spirit above for information about Awesome Again.  Rally Cat was a solid turf router who won 10 of her 32 career races, including a stakes win at 9.5f.  She has carried that ability into the breeding shed, as 7 of her first 13 foals are stakes winners, including 1 graded stakes winner and 1 graded stakes placed horse.  The graded stakes winner, 4yo Grannyibakeduacake (Pioneerof The Nile), did so in a dirt mile G3 in 2018.  The foals are a mishmash of turf runners, dirt runners, routers and sprinters, indicating that the sire may have a say in how the foals do.  And when it comes to the Awesome Again x Storm Cat cross in the sim, that preference looks like it may be dirt sprinting.  The cross has produced 55 runners over the past 5 years, of which 46 have won and 8 are stakes winners.  The bulk of the foals are dirt sprinters, but when it comes to quality, all 5 of the graded stakes winners have done so in dirt routers (one also won a graded stakes dirt sprint).  Rally Again (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.72) looks like he should be able to get this distance and surface, and he’s a strong contender today, but one has to wonder if he may be even better on the dirt in the future.

Watch Level: High

#5 – U S Navy Spirit (U S Navy Flag x Spirit of the Surf [Invincible Spirit (IRE) x Shirley Heights]) – Owned by secondchance – 9/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-1; $54,900

Capsule: U S Navy Spirit made his debut on April 12 in a 4.5f turf MSW and finished a close 3rd.  But he comes into this race off of 2 consecutive wins.  The first came in a 5f-T MSW in his second race, where he led the field of 10 the entire race and held on late to win by a head.  U S Navy Spirit came back about 2 months later in a field of 4 in a 5f-T NW1x allowance, and there he sat close to the lead before grabbing it late and drawing off to win by 1 length, with a career-high 76 SP.  He’ll take a huge leap in distance today and he leaves Iowa for the first time for this 8 furlong test.  U S Navy Spirit is the 2nd foal from 6yo mare Spirit of the Surf, and is by U S Navy Flag.  U S Navy Flag ($25,000) may have a US-based name, but he did his running in Europe, where he was a multiple G1-winning turf sprinter and European Champion 2yo before retiring and entering stud this year.   In the sim, his freshman 2019 crop currently ranks #22 overall, with 21 winners from 69 runners.  3 of those runners are already stakes winners, a great sign of things to come.  The foals are almost exclusively turf sprinters, but we’ll see if that changes at all as more foals are able to try routing or the dirt.  Spirit of the Surf was a stakes placed turf sprinter who won 5 of her 26 career races.  She specialized in short sprints, with her wins all coming in the 4.5-5.5f range.  Her first foal, however, has shown a lot of stamina, and picked up her only win thus far in a 10f turf MSW.  U S Navy Spirit (DI: 0.83, CD: -0.14) will hope that the same applies to him as he tries routing here today.

Watch Level: 9.78

#6 – Igneous Pinch (Falvelon (AUS) x Formanov [Dynaformer x Romanov (IRE)]) – Owned by nwo4life42 – 17/1

Race Record: 11:2-2-2; $63,940

Capsule: Igneous Pinch is the veteran of this field, having already raced 11 times since he debuted on January 8.  He broke his maiden in his 2nd start, at 4.5f on the turf (his first turf try), where he broke with a few others out front but outdueled them at 10/1, winning by ¼ length.  It would take another 7 starts, bouncing back and forth between turf and dirt, before he finally picked up his 2nd win, again at 4.5f on the turf, this time in a NW1x in a field of 6.  In that race, he had the lead the entire way, winning by ¾ length.  Igneous Pinch has been stretched out in his last 2 races, and comes into today’s race off of a well-beaten 5th at 8f-T, where he tired after dueling the pace early but earned a career high 77 SP.  Igneous Pinch is the 6th foal from 15yo mare Formanov, and is by Falvelon.  Falvelon, the #92 ranked Australian sire in 2019, was an excellent turf sprinter on the track and has produced similar runners in the breeding shed.  In the sim, he has not been used nearly as much as in real life, and his 2018 crop contains only 3 runners to date (1 winner), ranking #3,185 overall.  The 2019 crop thus far has 2 winners from 4 winners, and is Falvelon’s highest ranked crop at the moment, at #732.  Throughout sim history, he has only sired 2 stakes winners (and no graded winners), one from 2013 and one from 2009.  Falvelon’s sim horses are mostly sprinters (79% of earnings in sprints; sim AWD of 6.2), and only 1 of his 43 runners in the past 5 years have won in routes.  Surface wise, however, they are pretty evenly split between turf and dirt.  Formanov was never much of a runner, with 4 wins in 49 career starts, all at the claiming level.  She was a turf runner who did her best racing in turf routes.  Unfortunately, she hasn’t produced much in the breeding shed either; only one of her 5 previous foals is an allowance winner (which was in a dirt sprint, even though the horse spent most of his career in long distance turf races).  But to the extent that they do run, they are largely turf routers.  Igneous Pinch (DI: 1.00, CD: 0.00) will hope that he too can take to longer distances, but his pedigree and recent races both suggest that this race might be too far for him.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – It’s No Sin (Kodiac (GB) x Feel The Draft [More Than Ready x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by ashokfarms8 – 5/1

Race Record: 2:2-0-0; $59,580

Capsule: It’s No Sin comes in as the most lightly raced horse in the field, but that doesn’t mean he lacks talent.  He made his debut on June 11 in a 5f-T MSW facing off against a field of 8, and he dueled for the lead early before grabbing it and pulling away to win by 1 length, earning a 70 SP as the 4/5 favorite.  He was made a 4/5 favorite again in his 2nd race, a 5f-T NW1x in a field of 4, and none of his competition stood much of a chance against him.  It’s No Sin sat just off the pacesetter, but as they hit the stretch It’s No Sin took over, blowing out the competition with a 2-1/4 length win and earning a career-high 78 SP.  It’s No Sin is the 5th foal from 17yo mare Feel The Draft, and is out of the sire Kodiac.  Kodiac ($65,000), the #10 ranked European sire of 2018, is primarily a sprint sire in real life (which is also where he did his best racing).  In the sim, Kodiac is also a heavy turf sprint sire, with 65% of earnings coming in sprints and 69% on the turf and his sim AWD of 7.00 is close to his real world 6.75 AWD.  Kodiac’s 2 most recent crops are his best to date, as the 2018 crop ranks #87 thus far with 66 winners from 91 runners, and the 2019 crop ranks #73 overall with 20 winners from 55 runners.  The 2018 crop includes 8 stakes winners (2 graded), and the 2019 crop includes Street Kodiac, currently the #9 ranked 2yo male turf sprinter, who won The Future-G2 (7f-T) in his most recent start.  Feel The Draft won 5 of her 41 career races, but they were all at the claiming level.  She primarily raced in turf routes, and has passed down that turf ability to her foals.  Two of her first 4 foals have picked up allowance-level wins, and 3 of the 4 are turf sprinters (the fourth is a router who has done well on both turf and dirt).  The biggest question mark for It’s No Sin (DI: 2.56, CD: 0.75) here is the distance, as it’s a huge jump from 5 furlongs to 8, and the pedigree puts today’s distance in question.  But today will be the first real test that he has faced, and it will be good to see how It’s No Sin handles the race.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Genocide II (Muhaarar (GB) x Genocide [A.P. Indy x Fusaichi Pegasus]) – Owned by theranch – 12/1

Race Record: 4:2-0-0; $79,596

Capsule: Genocide II made a dull debut at 6f on the turf on February 16, where he never showed much interest and finished 9th.  However, he came back 2 months later at 6.5f-T and demonstrated that he just needed a race.  There, Genocide II lead from the first jump and saw his lead expand as the race went on.  He eventually crossed the finish line 2 lengths in front, earning a 73 SP.  He repeated that exact performance in a URC residency-restricted allowance next time out, winning by ¼ length, but comes into this race off of a bit of a down race at 7.5f-T, where Genocide dueled for the lead early but ran out of gas, finishing 5th (of 6), 8-1/4 lengths behind the winner.  The upshot is that even in defeat, he earned a career-high 74 SP, and the horse that won that race would go on to a G3 attempt next time out (though that horse was a well-beaten 9th).  Genocide II gets his name from his dam, 14yo mare Genocide, and he is the 9th foal from her (but first from sire Muhaarar).  Genocide (the mare) was bred to run all day, but ended up as a dirt sprinter, with 3 wins in 28 career starts.  It was a bit of a disappointing career, as she only broke the 100 SP barrier once, but what may be even more disappointing is that none of her foals have exceeded her exploits on the track.  Only 2 of her previous 8 foals have won at the non-local, non-hot allowance level, though both of those foals are stakes placed in short-field stakes races).  Almost all of those foals are dirt runners, and most have seen their fastest speeds come in routes, though most of the wins are sprinting.  Muhaarar ($30,000), a multiple G1-winning turf sprinter, has his first foals hitting the track in the real world this year, and he is currently the #14 ranked first crop European sire.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #71 overall, with 84 winners from 105 runners to date, and his 2019 crop is #52 with 28 winners from 78 runners.  The 2018 crop includes 9 stakes winners, one of which has found a graded stakes victory, and that horse is a turf miler.  However, most of Muhaarar’s sim foals have a strong preference for turf sprinting, with 79% of earnings on turf and 71% in sprints, and his sim AWD of 6.75 is pretty similar to his current real world AWD of 6.24.  Genocide II (DI: 2.33, CD: 0.55) will try to reverse the trend of his dam’s progeny, and the sire could help, but he’ll need to bounce back from his last race to get the job done today.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Personality Hack (Honor Code x Gone West x Broad Brush) – Owned by whitewalker – 7/1

Race Record: 5:2-1-1; $67,650

Capsule: Personality Hack made his debut on March 20 on the dirt where he set the pace at 6f and finished 3rd, but that was enough of a warmup to boost his stamina for his 2nd start, at 6.5f on the good dirt.  In that race, Personality Hack set the pace and opened up a 2 length lead, and that opening enabled him to coast to a 1 length victory, earning a 72 SP.  After a 2nd place finish at 6.5f, Personality Hack picked up his 2nd career win at 7f on the dirt in a field of 4.  The lone pace, he opened up almost 6 lengths on the field and no other horse had a chance to catch him, as he won by 2.  Most recently, he tried stakes company for the first time in his first routing attempt, at 8f on the dirt, and he changed up his running style in that one but was unsuccessful in doing so, earning a career high 81 SP but fading and finishing 4th, 5-1/2 lengths back.  Personality Hack is a scratch-bred son of Honor Code, out of a Gone West mare.  Honor Code ($40,000), winner of the 2015 Met Mile (8f) and Whitney Handicap (9f) is currently the #28 ranked first crop sire in the US, with 3 winners from 19 runners thus far.  In the sim, he has had some more experience, and his 2018 crop currently ranks #39, with 127 runners and 90 winners to date.  The 2019 crop is even better and currently ranks #6 overall, as 37 of the 99 runners have won and 3 are stakes winners.  The 2018 crop has 4 stakes winners to date, including 2 graded stakes winners in dirt routes.  Honor Code’s sim progeny have a strong preference for dirt, with 81% of earnings on the main track.  His foals thus far seem to slightly prefer routes (54% in routes) and get better with distance as they age, and his sim AWD of 7.66 is likely to grow as more of his foals are able to start routing.  The Honor Code x Gone West cross has been used 14 times in the sim, producing 12 winners, 7 of them at the allowance level (and 1 stakes winner).  That stakes winner came in a dirt route, although the foals appear to be primarily dirt sprinters (at least for now).  They do have a heavy dirt preference.  Personality Hack (DI: 3.22, CD: 0.71) will shift to the sod for the first time in today’s race, and his pedigree suggests he might be able to get today’s distance, but this is a lot of “new” so it’ll be interesting to see how Personality Hack handles today’s race.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – Terror In The Barn (Sepoy x Sea of Terror [Sea The Stars x Monsun]) – Owned by achmed – 6/1

Race Record: 3:2-1-0; $53,670

Capsule: Terror In The Barn began his career on April 27 in a 5.5f turf MSW.  In that race, he broke towards the back of the 10 horse field, but made a solid move at the top of the stretch and got up to win by ½ length as the 3/1 favorite.  From there, he tried 5.5f-T again, this time at the NW1x level, and followed the same strategy, but came up ½ length short, finishing 2nd (the winner would go on to run 9th in a G2 next time out, before taking an allowance with an 84 SP).  Since he ran out of running room in that race, Terror In The Barn was stretched out to 7.5f-T for his most recent race, a NW2L allowance, where he proved that distance won’t be a problem for him.  In that race, Terror In The Barn broke last of 11 but came flying late and crushed the field, winning by 1-3/4 lengths an earning a career-high (and field-high) 85 SP.  Terror In The Barn is by Sepoy, and is the lone foal from 6yo he-mare Sea of Terror.  See Faulconbridge above for a description of the sire, Sepoy.  Sea of Terror won 8 of his 33 career starts, with 5 of those at the allowance level and 1 WEC residency-restricted stakes win (in a field of 4).  That win came in a 10 furlong Polytrack race, but while Sea of Terror ran well on polytrack, he actually looked the best when on the turf.  He won races anywhere from 6f to 9.5f on the turf, though his strongest races came in the 8-8.5f range.  The Sepoy x Sea The Stars cross has been used 12 times over the past 5 years in the sim, with 10 winners (6 allowance) and 1 graded stakes winner among them.  That graded stakes winner is a turf sprinter, and most of the foals have been most successful sprinting, though a fair number have been dirt runners rather than turf runners.  Terror In The Barn (DI: 1.25, CD: 0.17) has been running like a terror in the barn recently, and today’s distance shouldn’t be a problem, so look for him to come on late and fast.

Watch Level: High

#11 – Egyptian Lynx (Cairo Prince x Bastet’s Tears [Street Cry x Storm Cat]) – Owned by giantputz2 – 5/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $50,400

Capsule: Egyptian Lynx looked like a monster out of the gate.  He debuted at 5.5f on the turf on May 6, where he went off as the 2/1 second choice and dueled for the lead early, sitting a half length back, but he was able to take over the lead at the top of the stretch and held on to win by ¼ length, with a 75 SP.  From there, he stretched out to 6.5f-T in a NW2L and walloped a field of 6, setting the pace the entire way and cruising to a 1-3/4 length victory, earning a career high 83 SP (2nd and 3rd came back to run 2nd and 1st in their own allowance races next time out, both earning 82-83 SPs).  Egyptian Lynx took the leap from there and opted for a 6f-T stakes race in his most recent run.  This time, he couldn’t quite get to the front early and stalked the pace, racing relatively evenly throughout and ultimately finishing 6th.  He stretches out here to try routes for the first time.  Egyptian Lynx is a son of Cairo Prince, and is the 4th foal from 7yo mare Bastet’s Tears.  Cairo Prince ($25,000), a multiple graded stakes winning miler, was the #3 ranked freshman US sire in 2018.  In the sim, Cairo Prince’s 2018 crop currently ranks a career high #57 overall (the 2019 crop is closer to his standard ranking, at #200).  The 2018 crop contains 107 runners, of which 78 have won, and the reason for the high ranking is his 8 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners (his only 2 graded stakes winners to date), including G1-winning Revitalization, who won the Los Vinegrette Stakes-G1 at 8f on dirt and was 2nd in the Chestnut Stakes-G1.  Cairo Prince’s sim foals are largely dirt sprinters (75% of earnings on dirt, 65% in sprints), and his sim AWD of 6.84 almost exactly matches his real world 6.81 AWD. Bastet’s Tears won 3 of her 18 career races, all on the turf, and was multiple stakes placed in her career.  Her best effort came in a 3rd place finish in The Hot Springs-G3 (8.5f-T) as a 3yo, a distance where she did her best running.  Her 3 previous foals are all allowance winners already, with 2 of the 3 being turf runners and 2 of the 3 being sprinters.  The Cairo Prince x Street Cry cross has produced 3 allowance winners out of 4 runners to date in the sim, with most of the starts and wins coming on the turf.  Egyptian Lynx (DI: 11.00, CD: 1.17) has the pedigree of an excellent sprinter, but we’ll see today if he can stretch beyond any distance limitations and get the job done today.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field for this NW3L allowance.  And like I said at the top…I’m terrible at predicting these races.  The pace looks like it’ll be hot, but I have no idea who’s gonna win.  So I’m gonna go with (1) Terror In The Barn, (2) Rally Again, and (3) It’s No Sin.  Good luck!

Other Races To Watch This Weekend:

1)      Virginia – Alw NW3L @ 8f-T (Fillies) (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Kentucky – Allowance @ 8f (Fillies)

3)      Florida – Alw NW3L @ 7f

4)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f-T

5)      California – Alw NW2L @ 6f

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Sep 062019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  As I expected, very few horses in the race wanted to set the pace, and therefore it wasn’t a particularly quick one.  A bunch of horses that are usually stalkers ended up a little closer than they expected, and it was only 2 lengths between 1st and 7thFlowery Flattery set the pace early, but horses were all bunched up in front.  It’s Been Nice ($9.90) hit the far turn and decided he had enough of waiting, turning on the jets and taking the lead.  From there, he never looked back.  He opened up on the field and by the time the wire came, he found himself 1-3/4 lengths ahead, earning an 89 SP in the victory.  Imbil Meetup, who was sitting about 1 length behind It’s Been Nice early, stayed that way the entire race, shadowing the eventual winner and running 2nd with an 87 SP.  Flowery Flattery pulled off a bit of an upset by staying on for 3rd, 2-1/4 lengths off the winner but another 3 lengths clear of 4th place.

This week, the Future Stars Series heads back to Kentucky for a stacked race.  12 colts have come together in the Bluegrass State to try their hooves at an 8 furlong NW2L allowance on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Young Free Single (Mineshaft x Deputy Minister x Forty Niner) – Owned by kiwirharfoex – 8/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $45,895

Capsule: Young Free Single was bred very early in the year, but stayed in the barn until June 1, when he made his debut in an ASR residency-restricted MSW at 6.5f.  In that race, he fought for the lead early and eventually took it, opening up on the field and cruising to a 1-1/2 length victory, earning a 73 SP at 9/1 (the 2nd place horse came back to break his maiden next time out with an 82 SP).  From there, Young Free Single stretched out to 7.5f and tried a NW2L allowance, where he set the pace early, opened up a big lead in the stretch, and then was narrowly cut down by one of the closers, resulting in a 2nd place finish with a career high 79 SP.  He’ll try 2 turns for the first time in today’s race.  Young Free Single is a scratch-bred son of Mineshaft, out of a Deputy Minister mare.  Mineshaft ($20,000) the #35 ranked US sire in 2018, was the 2003 US Horse of the Year when racing.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #63 overall, with 74 winners from 117 runners, including 3 stakes winners to date (but no graded stakes winners).  Two of those stakes winners have been in dirt sprints, while the third took home a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f on the dirt.  Historically, Mineshaft’s sim horses have been pretty evenly split between turf and dirt (55% of earnings on dirt), though his last few crops have strongly favored dirt (69% of winners on dirt). He has a slight preference for throwing routers (69% in routes, though only 58% of the wins are in routes; sim AWD of 8.06) which lines up with his real life average winning distance of 7.22f (which for a US sire equates to more of an 8-9f runner).  The Mineshaft x Deputy Minister cross specifically has been used 18 times over the past 5 years, producing 13 winners to date.  2 of those have been stakes winners (and 6 of the foals are stakes placed), with 1 multiple graded stakes winner on dirt among them.  The cross strongly prefers dirt, with a pretty even mix between sprinting and routing.  Young Free Single (DI: 3.73, CD: 0.92) is going to hope he leans towards the latter here, though his pedigree suggests a little more speed than stamina.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Yankee Pharaonem (American Pharoah x Seattle Slew x Deputy Minister) – Owned by broohar2 – 9/2 (f)

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Yankee Pharaonem made the latest debut in the field, beginning his racing career on August 3.  That race came in an ASR residency-restricted 7.5f dirt MSW where he took on a field of 15.  Stalking the pace early, he made his move in the far turn, inching closer to the lead until he finally got there and stayed there, hitting the wire ¾ lengths in front and earning an 83 SP as the 8/1 3rd choice.  This will be his first time facing winners, though he has experience in a crowded field.  Yankee Pharaonem is a scratch-bred son of American Pharoah, out of a Seattle Slew mare.  American Pharoah is currently the #1 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 12 winners (and 1 Graded Stakes winner) from 35 starts, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #3 overall, with 199 runners and 149 winners to date.  Of those, 19 have earned stakes victories (5 graded stakes winners) so far (both the fewest of any of his sim crops thus far).  Those stakes winners are primarily dirt routers.  His 2019 crop already includes 1 stakes winner as well, this time a dirt sprinter, though it’s only a matter of time before the number and the distances increase.  His sim foals tend to prefer the dirt (78% of earnings on dirt), with an ever growing preference towards routing (61% of earnings in routes, with a sim AWD of 7.83).  The American Pharoah x Seattle Slew cross has been used 21 times in the sim in the past 5 years.  Of those, 19 are winners to date (13 allowance winners). Only 1 of those is a stakes winner, but that horse is also a graded stakes winning dirt router who has excelled in longer distance races.  The cross has a strong preference for dirt, but they are pretty evenly split between sprinters, routers, and long distance runners.  Yankee Pharoanem (DI: 4.00, CD: 1.10) looks like he should be a very good horse, and should have no problem getting today’s distance.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Buzzed Baseball (Maybry’s Boy x Spring Training II [Fusaichi Pegasus x Theatrical]) – Owned by gipper4 – 18/1

Race Record: 5:1-2-0; $56,767

Capsule: Buzzed Baseball debuted in a 4 horse local NW2L allowance on March 4, but he was only able to  run 2nd in back-to-back races, so he wouldn’t break his maiden until his 3rd career start.  In that race, an MSW at 6.5f on the dirt, Buzzed Baseball sat midpack early, just 2 lengths off of the leads, but steadily moved up and finally got the job done, taking the MSW by 1-1/4 lengths at 22/1, earning a 77 SP in the win.  In his 2 most recent races, at the NW2L level, Buzzed Baseball has failed to hit the board, finishing 4th both times, but he has changed his running style up slightly as he stretches out, staying further back early but showing a stronger closing move late, and for that effort he comes into today’s dirt mile off of a career high 80 SP at 7.5f.  Buzzed Baseball is the son of Maybry’s Boy, and is the 14th foal from 18yo mare Spring Training II.  Maybry’s Boy, a G3-winning sprinter on the track, was the #8-ranked Arizona-based sire in 2018.  In the sim, Maybry’s Boy produced 16 runners in 2018, 10 of which have won, resulting in a current ranking of #972.  None of those horses have earned a stakes victory, and in fact, only 4 of Maybry’s Boy’s 139 total sim foals have won stakes races.  His sim foals are largely dirt runners (73% of earnings on dirt), but are evenly split between sprinters and routers (52% of earnings in routes, 55% of wins in routes, sim AWD of 7.74).  Spring Training II was a 2-time stakes placed filly on the track, both coming in turf sprints, but only won twice in her 16 race career, once in a turf sprint and once on the dirt.  However, while she may not have been much on the track, she’s been far better in the breeding shed.  Among her 13 previous foals are 3 graded stakes winners, including G1 winners Backcountry (Mineshaft), a long-distance turfer, and Candy Pegasus (Candy Ride), a dirt miler, and G2-winner Rio Secco (Sky Mesa), a dirt sprinter.  In fact, her foals generally have a wide mix of preferred surfaces and distances, suggesting that the sire may play a bigger role in the surface and distance preferences.  Buzzed Baseball (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.75) doesn’t have the flashiest pedigree in the field, but he comes from a strong mare line and has been improving with added distance, so he might be a value play today.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Rebuked (Blame x A.P. Indy x Forty Niner) – Owned by desertdog11 – 7/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770

Capsule: Rebuked waited for the races to get a little longer and made his racing debut on July 3 in a 7.5f dirt MSW.  Going off as the 2/1 second choice in a 6 horse field, Rebuked broke sharply and dueled for the lead the entire way, before tiring slightly at the end and finishing 2nd by 1 length, earning a 77 SP.  He came back at the end of July in a local MSW and this time settled a little bit  up front, stalking the pace in the 7.5f race.  That first race did wonders for him, as he assumed the lead in the stretch and then drew off, blowing away the field to win by 2-1/2 lengths and earning a career high 78 SP.  He’ll add an extra half furlong for today’s race.  Rebuked is a scratch-bred son of Blame, out of an A.P. Indy mare.  Blame ($30,000), the 2010 Eclipse Award Older Male of the Year, was the #21 ranked US sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #126 overall, with 53 winners from 85 runners.  His sim foals are primarily dirt routers (69% of earnings on dirt, 65% in routes, sim AWD of 7.98), which aligns pretty well with his real world 7.35 AWD.  The top horse in his 3yo crop is multiple graded stakes winner Unbiased Question, who unlike most of the other Blame foals is 5 for 7 in dirt sprints, including two graded stakes wins at 7f.  The Blame x A.P. Indy cross specifically has been used 24 times in the past 5 years, with 21 of those having earned a win.  The numbers get even better on the high end, as 6 of the foals have earned stakes victories and 3 have won graded stakes events.  A significant percentage of those wins come in dirt routes or long distance races, as the bloodlines seem to prove a decent amount of stamina to the foals, and Rebuked’s full brother, Mutabaruka, is a multiple graded stakes winning gelding at 9f on the dirt.  That means that Rebuked (DI: 2.20, CD: 0.54) should have no problem getting today’s distance, and his past races seem to back that up, so look for a strong performance from this 2yo today.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Alumine (Graydar x La Madame [Storm Cat x Forty Niner]) – Owned by hipica  – 13/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-3; $48,590

Capsule: Alumine has had a case of thirditis thus far in his career.  He debuted on March 23 in a 6f dirt MSW and broke midpack, advancing steadily throughout and settling for 3rd.  He broke his maiden in his second start, this time at 6.5f, where he broke midpack again and came running a little faster in the stretch, winning by 1-1/4 length with a 75 SP.  From there, he’s had 2 3rd place finishes at today’s NW2L level.  The first, at 7f, saw him run pretty evenly throughout, and the second, at 6f, saw him break towards the back and weave through the field, finishing 2-1/2 lengths back and earning a 77 SP.  Alumine is the 5th foal from 16yo mare La Madame, and is by sire Graydar.  Graydar ($7,500), a G1 winner at 9f, was ranked the #10 second-crop US sire of 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #108, with 97 runners and 65 winners to date.  His sim foals strongly prefer dirt, with 79% of earnings on dirt, and have shown a preference towards sprinting (56% of earnings in sprints, 66% of wins in sprints; sim AWD of 7.00), though his real life progeny have a stronger sprint preference with a 6.73 AWD.  Graydar’s 2018 crop includes 3 stakes winners to date, with 2 of those succeeding in sprints (and the third in a residency-restricted stakes).  La Madame had as good of a pedigree as you can have, but never lived up to it on the track, winning just 2 of her 45 career races (spent entirely at the allowance level, though that’s likely because of her bloodlines as much as anything else).  Her wins came in a turf mile and a dirt sprint, though her fastest races came in turf sprints.  Her first 4 foals are all allowance winners, but 3 of those 4 only have 1 such win.  The foals are all primarily dirt runners, with a mix of sprinters and routers.  The Graydar x Storm Cat cross has been used 10 times in the past 5 years, and all 10 have won, including 4 stakes winners and 1 graded stakes winner.  The stakes wins are mostly in routes, but the bulk of those foals are dirt sprinters.  Alumine (DI: 4.33, CD: 0.94) also looks like he might be more of a sprinting type, though he’ll try to show here that he can sustain his run a little longer and prove his mile bonafides.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Curly’s Ghost (Curlin x Urban Ghost Story [Ghostzapper x Storm Cat]) – Owned by roosters75 – 7/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $49,456

Capsule: Curly’s Ghost made his debut in a 6f dirt MSW back on April 27.  In that race, he stalked the pace early and moved up slightly at the end, but could finish no better than 4th, 1-1/2 lengths back.  For his second race, he stretched out to 7 furlongs and again stalked the pace, sitting 4th early but passing most of his competitors in the stretch; however, he was no match for the winner that day and had to settle for 2nd, with a 77 SP.  Curly’s Ghost’s most recent race, at 7.5f, was a solid step forward, as he dueled on the front end early and assumed the lead in the stretch, cruising to a 1-1/2 length victory and earning a career high 82 SP.  Curly’s Ghost is the 2nd foal from 13yo mare Urban Ghost Story, and is by Curlin.  Urban Ghost Story didn’t do too much in her racing career, winning just 3 of her 24 career races, though she spent that entire career at the allowance level, racing in dirt routes.  Her first foal, Urban Major (Daiwa Major), has looked a bit better ranging anywhere from 6-9f on the dirt and has tried stakes competitions, though he has not been successful at that level yet.  Curlin ($175,000), the 2-time US Horse of the Year, was the #6 ranked US sire of 2018.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #29 overall, with 117 winners from 164 runners.  That crop includes 9 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  The stakes numbers improve as more horses reach routing distances, which is in line with Curlin more generally in the sim. Curlin tends to throw dirt routers (68% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.56f AWD (sim AWD of 8.15). The Curlin x Ghostzapper cross has produced 11 sim foals over the past 5 years, with 10 of those having earned wins.  Most of those runners have been dirt sprinters, though the cross has produced 1 stakes placed horse, a dirt router.  Like the cross suggests, Curly’s Ghost (DI: 3.44, CD: 0.80) looks like he might be more of a sprinter based on pedigree, but his racing history suggests that today’s race may be right up his alley.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – Practical Clown (Practical Joke x Bring Inthe Clowns [Strike The Gold x Forty Niner]) – Owned by rrl2 – 12/1

Race Record: 4:1-2-0; $42,091

Capsule: Practical Clown made a splash in his debut back on April 12.  In that race, a 5.5f dirt MSW, he battled for the lead early, overtook the pace in the turn, and pulled away to win by 1 length.  Unfortunately, he’s been unsuccessful in 3 attempts at the NW2L level since that debut.  He set the pace in his 2nd race and opened a huge lead early, but just barely got nipped at the wire, missing by ¼ length.  He stretched out to 7.5f for his last 2 races, and 2 back he earned his career high 82 SP when he ran 2nd the entire way around the course.  The last race was a bit of a clunker, as Practical Clown ran 4th the entire way, but he’ll try to rebound here as he stretches out to 8f for the first time.  Practical Clown is the son of Practical Joke and is the 7th foal from 11yo mare Bring Inthe Clowns.  Practical Joke ($30,000), who entered stud in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 7-8 furlongs in his racing career.  In the sim, his first crop of 2018 currently ranks #135 overall, with 60 winners from 87 runners to date.  One of those foals, Practical Dance, is a 3-time stakes winning dirt sprinter, and his 2019 crop already includes 1 stakes winner, Love Potions, also a dirt sprinter.  Based on that, it should not surprise you to learn that Practical Joke’s sim foals are largely dirt sprinters thus far in their careers (80% of earnings on dirt, 75% in sprints, sim AWD of 6.65), though with him entering stud just last year, we will see over time if those numbers stretch out to longer distances.  Bring inthe Clowns was a horse with a number of near misses in her career.  She won 8 of her 41 career races, and although none of them were stakes wins, she was a 6-time stakes placed and 2-time graded placed dirt sprinter.  Most of her foals have also been predominantly dirt sprinters, though few of them have inherited any of her racing talent (Practical Clown’s 3 most recent siblings are a combined 0 for 34 thus far).  Practical Clown (DI: 2.33, CD: 0.70) looks like today’s distance might be pushing his limits, but it will be a good test for him to see where to go next.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – OG Zen Squall (Zensational x Summer Squall x Ghostzapper) – Owned by baffie1 – 8/1

Race Record: 3:1-2-0; $51,680

Capsule: OG Zen Squall, like a few others in today’s race, made his debut in an ASR residency-restricted MSW, this one on April 27.  In that 6.5f dirt race, OG Zen Squall broke towards the back of the pack, but made a strong closing move and got up for second at 15/1, just 1 length off the winner (who has gone on to be multiple graded stakes placed) and earning a 79 SP.  OG Zen Squall stretched out to 7f for his next race and ran a carbon copy of his first race, coming up 1-1/4 lengths short and finishing 2nd again.  He finally broke through in his most recent race, where he cut back to 6f but caught a weaker field, and he again sat last early but this time he moved quickly enough to grab the lead and take the win by 1 length, earning a 79 SP.  He’ll stretch out to 8f here and try to bring his closing speed along.  OG Zen Squall is a scratch-bred son of Zensational, out of a Summer Squall mare.  Zensational was a multiple G1-winning sprinter on the racetrack, and he currently stands in Argentina.  In the sim, Zensational’s 2018 crop currently ranks #60 overall, with 69 winners from 94 runners to date.  Among those, 4 are stakes winners and 2 have picked up graded stakes victories.  Much like his on-track career, Zensational’s sim foals have a strong preference for dirt sprinting (81% of earnings on dirt, 67% in sprints, sim AWD of 6.65).  The Zensational x Summer Squall cross has been used 10 times in the past 5 years, and although 9 of those 10 have found the winner’s circle, only one has earned an allowance win to date.  The cross has produced nothing but dirt runners, and a significant portion of those foals are sprinters.  That’s no surprise, as on paper OG Zen Squall (DI: 4.60, CD: 0.86) looks bred to sprint, but his past races suggest he may be an outlier here and he’s got a solid chance in today’s race.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Boise I Dunno (Boisterous x Sadaharu [Danehill Dancer x Kingmambo]) – Owned by hitops – 12/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $41,194

Capsule: Boise I Dunno struggled in his first couple of starts.  In his debut on March 24, at 6f on the dirt, he broke towards the back and came with a  late charge but came up 1-1/4 lengths short, finishing 4th, and repeated that effort in his second race at 6.5f.  But as he added distance, he kept getting closer.  In his 3rd race, Boise I Dunno tried a 7f dirt MSW and broke last in the field, but put together a bit of a mid-race move and finished 3rd, 2 lengths back and earning a career high 81 SP.  In his most recent race, Boise I Dunno stretched out to a 7.5f MSW and finally got the job done, sitting midpack early and making a big late move, getting up and drawing off to win by 1-3/4 lengths and earning an 80 SP.  The slow progression in stretching him out may help give him needed experience here today.  Boise I Dunno is the 4th foal from 13yo mare Sadaharu, and is by Boisterous.  Boisterous ($5,000), the #28 ranked first crop US sire in 2018, was a multiple G1-winning turf runner in the 9-11 furlong range.  In the sim, Boisterous currently has the #395 ranked crop of 2018, with 29 runners and 20 winners to date.  One of those runners, Kymarc Fun, is a stakes winning dirt sprinter.  In a bit of a surprise, given his racing career, Boisterous’s sim foals have shown a slight preference for dirt (60% of earnings on dirt), while being pretty evenly split between sprinting and routing (52% of earnings and 58% of wins in sprints, sim AWD of 7.42).  Sadaharu was a very solid racehorse, and she won 19 of her 46 career races, including 16 at the allowance level, and picked up 1 stakes placing at 8.5f on the dirt, a distance in which she did her best running.  Her first foal, Jurojim (Shamardal), was also a solid racehorse, having won 12 of her 21 career races, also in the dirt route category, and she managed to pick up the stakes win (among 4 placings) that her dam never did.  Her 2nd foal, Of Raoul (Victoire Pisa), may also be on his way to a stakes victory, though his career was put on hold while the owner took a few years off.  The Boisterous x Danehill Dancer cross isn’t super common, with only 4 runners in the sim, but 2 of those 4 are already stakes winners in routers and long distance races.  Boise I Dunno (DI: 1.46, CD: 0.38) is certainly bred for this distance, and probably even longer, so he’ll look to capitalize on that today.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – Sacred Moon (Malibu Moon x Sacred Secret [Cape Cross x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by farm304 – 13/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $39,340

Capsule: Sacred Moon made his debut in a 6f dirt MSW on May 3.  On that day, Sacred Moon sat about 4 lengths off the pace but started gaining in the stretch, getting up to finish 3rd, 1-1/2 lengths back with a 70 SP.  He broke his maiden next time out, this time at 7f, as he ran a similar race but had a little extra time to catch the leaders, and he got up to win by ¼ length with a career high 73 SP.  From there, Sacred Moon made the jump to the NW2L level, but tried the turf for the first time and struggled mightily with that surface.  He returns to his preferred surface today and will try routing for the first time.  Sacred Moon is by Malibu Moon, and is the 6th foal from 11yo mare Sacred Secret.  Malibu Moon ($75,000), the #11 ranked US sire in 2018, has long been one of the top US sires.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #20 overall, with 122 winners from 168 runners to date.  Of those, only 8 are stakes winners and only 1 has a graded stakes win, which is well off of Malibu Moon’s other recent crops, but those numbers may improve as more of his foals run longer distances.  His foals are predominantly dirt routers (67% of earnings on dirt, 66% in sprints, sim AWD of 8.05), which is in line with his 7.24 real world AWD.  Sacret Secret put together a strong racing career, winning 13 of her 40 career races, including a 1-0-1 record in her 2 non-graded stakes attempts.  She was strictly a dirt sprinter, doing her best running in the 6f range.  Her foals, however, have not been quite as good, and only 1 is an allowance winner, with most of the foals preferring dirt sprinting.  The Malibu Moon x Cape Cross lineage has been used 4 times over the past 5 years, and all 4 of those foals are winners but only 1 has an allowance win, with the majority of those foals being turf routers.  Sacred Moon (DI: 2.62, CD: 0.71) might be reaching his distance limitation here and hasn’t quite run to the ability of some of the best in this field, but a nice turf-to-dirt boost could be big for him here.

Watch Level: Low

#11 – Abijah (Dubawi (IRE) x Indra [Medaglia D’Oro x Street Cry]) – Owned by chloedawg7 – 5/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Abijah comes into this race off of a winning debut on August 1.  In that race, a 7f dirt MSW in Kentucky, Abijah took on a field of 11 and was sent off as the 5/2 favorite.  He broke midpack and stayed there for a while, and looked to be letting the pacesetters get away a bit, but he kicked into another gear in the stretch and suddenly the gap between him and the leaders was dwindling, and ultimately Abijah got up just in time to win by ¼ length, earning an 80 SP in the victory.  He gets an extra furlong here in hopes that he’ll be even more clear of his opponents at the end today.  Abijah is the first foal from 5yo mare Indra, and is by sire Dubawi (IRE).  Dubawi ($250,000), a G1-winning turf sprinter, was the #1 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop isn’t quite as strong, but isn’t slouching as it currently ranks #13 overall, with 125 winners from 168 runners. The crop tends to get better as the distances get longer.  Thus far, two of those horses have found graded stakes victories, both in turf miles, and he has 8 other stakes winners in the crop to date.  Dubawi’s sim foals are primarily turf routers, with 72% of earnings on turf and 78% in routes, and a sim AWD of 8.93, which is in line with his real life AWD of 8.79.  Indra ended her career with 4 wins in 21 career starts, all at the allowance (or local) level, and was putting up very solid speed figures in her last few races, all coming in the 8-9f distance, which is where she did her best running.  The Dubawi x Street Cry cross has produced 17 runners over the past 5 years, 16 of which have earned a victory, but only 1 is a stakes winner to date.  That one is a graded stakes winner in the long distance turf division, as that aligns with most of the other 16 foals, who have shown a preference for turf routing.  Abijah (DI: 2.00, CD: 0.50) should therefore have no trouble with the distance, and he looks to be a solid bet today, but it might be interesting to see if he turns into more of a turf runner in the future or if the dirt remains his preferred surface.

Watch Level: Medium

#12 – Imbil Cadmium (Justify x Outback Cadmium [Awesome Again x Storm Cat]) – Owned by cuprunners – 8/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $35,230

Capsule: Imbil Cadmium, the sponsor of today’s race, made his sparkling debut back on April 14 in a 6.5f dirt MSW.  Facing a field of 8, he broke towards the middle of the pack early and was hustled along, gaining ground around the turn and then catching up to the leader and taking over, winning by ¾ lengths with a 71 SP.  The 2nd and 3rd place horses from that race would each go on to break their maidens next time out.  Imbil Cadmium, meanwhile, hit the barn for a 3 month rest and came back in a 7.5f NW2L allowance in July.  Catching a field of just 4, Imbil Cadmium may have been up against it, and after a bad break that almost immediately put him 6 lengths back, he didn’t stand much of a chance.  He made a strong closing move late, but could only get up for 3rd, 2-1/2 lengths off of the winner (who came back to run 5th in a G3 next time out).  Imbil Cadmium earned an 80 SP in the losing effort.  Imbil Cadmium is the son of freshman sire Justify, and is the 5th foal out of 8yo mare Outback Cadmium.  Justify ($150,000), the 2018 Triple Crown Winner and Eclipse Award Horse of the Year, entered stud this year, so we have no real world data to look at yet.  His 2yo sim crop currently ranks #1 overall, with 79 winners from 187 runners to date.  Almost all of the runs have come on dirt, with two stakes winners (one in a 6.5f dirt stakes, one in a Blazing Saddles residency-restricted stakes win) who have both come close in graded stakes efforts recently.  It’s way too early to get a sense of his foals’ best distances or surfaces.  Outback Cadmium won 8 of her 24 career starts, with her top prize being the First State Distaff – G2 at 10f on the dirt, the distance/surface combo where she most excelled.  Outback Cadmium passed down that talent to her first foal, Eucla Cadmium (Smart Strike), a multiple graded stakes winning gelding who took home a 7f G2 and an 8f G3 in 2018.  None of the other foals have been quite as successful to date, and the only consistency in the others is that they seem to have a decent amount of stamina.  The Justify x Awesome Again cross has produced 6 runners so far this year, 4 of which have won, but only 1 of whom has won more than 1 race.  Imbil Cadmium (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.63) seems well bred for today’s race, though he might actually prefer even longer distances going forward.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field for this week’s race.  I seem to be really terrible at picking these races, but this is a race with a bunch of closers and only one pace horse: Young Free Single.  That gives the inside colt a good chance here.  My concern with him is the distance, and so I’m gonna instead go with…one of the closers?  Sure, why not.  I’ll take (1) Abijah, (2) Yankee Pharaonem, and (3) Boise I Dunno.  Because Boise… I dunno.  Good luck everyone!

Other Races to Watch This Weekend:

1)      New Mexico – Alw NW3L @ 8f

2)      Texas – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f (Fillies)

3)      Iowa – Alw NW2L @ 8f

4)      Michigan – Alw NW3L @ 6f (Fillies)

5)      Ireland – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (Fillies)

Views (67)

Aug 302019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  And if you were to ask me, that race saw the crowning of a legitimate future star.  The race began with a solid, but not blistering, pace set by Sholver Sky, who was dueling with Lever Capriati and Crimson Surprise for that lead.  The 3 of them lead the race for the first half, but soon they were joined by Take An Axe, who had been sitting 5th early before making her move.  Take An Axe grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch, but a couple of closers were coming.  And on Saturday, no one was going to be able to stop My Mistress Chris ($6.60).  My Mistress Chris flew from last early and made it look like everyone else was running in place.  She grabbed the lead and drew off to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 91 SP in the victory.  Take An Axe put in a good effort and earned an 89 SP in her 2nd place finish, and Kanchenjunga made a move late to get up for 3rd, 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner.  Those 3 appear to have been the class of the field, as it was another 4 lengths back to 4th.

This week, the Future Stars Series is headed to California.  There, 8 colts have been entered in an 8.5 furlong open allowance on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – D. Wilson ABC (Midnight Storm x Slew O’ Gold x Grey Dawn 2nd) – Owned by massatoga19 – 6/1

Race Record: 5:2-2-0; $66,015

Capsule: D. Wilson ABC comes into this race as the most experienced colt in the field, with 5 races under his belt.  His debut came back on March 5 in a 6f MSW, where he went off at 13/1 in a field of 13 but showed he deserved better, as he stalked the pace early and finished 2nd with a 71 SP.  From there, he cut back to 5.5f to break his maiden, and then ran 2nd at the NW2L level at 6.5f in his 3rd race.  His owner then said “why not?  I guess” to a stakes race and entered D. Wilson ABC in The Why Not I Guess stakes at 6.5f on the dirt, where he broke midpack and couldn’t quite keep up with the leaders, finishing 6th.  But he made a huge rebound in his most recent race, at 7.5f at the NW2L level, where he dueled for the lead early, opened up a huge lead at the top of the stretch, and then dug in gamely to hold off a late charge and win by ¼ length, earning a career-high 81 SP.  He’ll stretch things out a bit further today.  D. Wilson ABC is a scratch-bred son of Midnight Storm, out of a Slew O’ Gold mare.  Midnight Storm ($10,000), a son of Pioneerof The Nile, was an excellent runner on the track with 7 graded stakes wins at 8-9f on the turf, before retiring and entering stud in 2018 (so no real foals have reached the track yet).  His freshman sire crop in the sim currently ranks #112 overall, with 49 wins from 73 runners to date.  4 of those runners are stakes winners, including Credit Call, a G3 winner at 8.5f on the dirt, and Vadyrus, a 5-time stakes winning dirt sprinter.  Thus far, Midnight Storm’s foals have favored the dirt, with 62% of earnings on dirt, and the numbers favor sprinting so far (sim AWD of 6.24), but with so few sim foals having tried routing, it’s still too early to tell whether he does better with sprinters or routers.  But the pedigree of D. Wilson ABC (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.86) suggests that he might be a sprinter, so he’ll try to prove the bloodlines wrong and take another step forward today.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – It’s Been Nice (Flower Alley x Baba Booie [Candy Ride x Danehill]) – Owned by driver4000 – 7/2

Race Record: 4:3-0-0; $67,380

Capsule: It’s Been Nice started his career like a horse on fire, winning his first 3 career starts.  His debut came at 5.5f in a $100K maiden claimer, in which he cruised to win by 1-1/4 lengths on March 9.  Unclaimed, he then moved to the allowance level and ripped off back-to-back wins at 6.5f on dirt, the first by a neck in a field of 5, then a dominant win by 2-3/4, where he earned a 78 SP after setting the pace the entire way.  It’s Been Nice cut back to 5f in his most recent race and tried stakes company for the first time, but found himself much further back early than he was used to, and although he closed late, he could only manage to get up for 4th.  But he’ll make a big leap in distance here, as he tries routing for the first time.  It’s Been Nice is by Flower Alley, and is the 9th foal out of 16yo mare Baba Booie.  Baba Booie spent most of her career in the claiming ranks, but earned 12 wins in 35 career starts, all in the dirt 8-10f range.  About half of her foals have been allowance-level wins, with almost all of those foals running best in routes (mostly on the turf, with a few turf runners sprinkled among them).  Flower Alley ($80,000 SAF), the 2005 Travers winner, was the #113 ranked US sire in 2018 (he was transferred to South Africa in 2015).  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #186 overall, with 37 winners from 53 runners.  One of those, Tightnit is a multiple stakes winning turf sprinter.  That’s a bit of a surprise, as although Flower Alley’s sim foals are mainly sprinters (60% of earnings in routes, sim AWD of 6.94), they largely prefer the dirt (66% of earnings on dirt).  It’s Been Nice (DI: 1.86, CD: 0.50) looks to buck that preference a little bit, and between the DI/CD and his racing experience, he looks like a solid bet to succeed at today’s distance.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Makayla Long (Daddy Long Legs x Seeking A Battle [War Front x Seeking The Gold]) – Owned by pigeon23 – 6/1

Race Record: 4:2-1-0; $61,370

Capsule: Makayla Long wasn’t too highly touted in his debut, where he tried a Hot MSW at 5f on March 3.  In the field of 5, he ran 2nd the entire way and finished ¼ lengths back, earning a 58 SP.  The bettors were hesitant because of that race, which led to him being dismissed in his 2nd race, a 6.5f MSW in April.  But he pulled off the surprise, sitting just off the pace early and then getting up late to win by ½ length, with an SP jump up to a 72.  Makayla Long cut back to 5.5f for his 3rd race, a NW2L allowance, and he again went on the victory, earning a 78 SP for the 1 length win.  Based on that effort, he made the big leap up to the Montana Futurity-G3 (5.5f) last time out, and although he finished 5th,  he was only beaten 3-1/4 lengths, and the top 3 finishers from that race came back to run 1st, 6th, and 2nd in a G2 next time out.  Makayla Long will get a big class relief here today, but he also takes a big jump in distance.  Makayla Long is the 1st foal from 7yo mare Seeking A Battle, and is by Daddy Long Legs.  Daddy Long Legs ($10,000), winner of the 2012 UAE Derby, spent several seasons standing in Chile, where he was a leading sire, before moving to Kentucky in 2019.  In the sim, his 2018 crop is currently ranked #569 overall, with 11 winners from 19 runners to date.  None of those have achieved anything higher than an allowance win, and in fact, Daddy Long Legs has only sired 2 stakes winners thus far in the sim, both from his 2016 class (one of whom was a multiple G1-winning dirt router).  Outside of that 1 G1 winner, which skews the numbers, Daddy Long Legs’ sim foals heavily favor sprinting (66% of wins come in sprints, and he has a sim AWD of 6.75), but the foals are pretty evenly split between turf and dirt preferences.  Makayla Long’s dam, Seeking A Battle, won 3 of her 15 career races, all on dirt and all at the maiden or claiming levels.  Her best speed figure, by far, came in a $75K NW3L claimer at 6.5f on the dirt.  Makayla Long (DI: 3.80, CD: 1.00) therefore has a pedigree that suggests that he is a sprinter through-and-through, but in this game, you never know what will happen at different distances and surfaces until you try them.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Curls For A Reason (Curlin x Bulbwithoutacause [Giant’s Causeway x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by aawirekiller – 9/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $5,920

Capsule: What do you do with a horse like Curls For A Reason?  Somewhat surprisingly, given his high-end bloodlines, he made his debut on May 19 in a hot MSW against 3 CPU horses, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that he won by 2 lengths at 1/9 odds.  But he came back 1 month later again at 6.5f, this time in a NW2L in a field of 6, and laid an absolute egg.  He broke towards the back early and stayed there, losing ground and finishing last at 7/2, with a 65 SP.  To fix the situation, Curls For A Reason was then sent to the turf, where he faced a field of 4 in a 5f-T NW1x.  But after setting the pace early, he tired and finished 3rd, beaten 3 lengths with a 59 SP.  He’ll stretch out today and head back to the dirt for this race.  Curls For A Reason is by Curlin out of the 6yo he-mare Bulbwithoutacause.  Bulbwithoutacause was a solid, but unspectacular, race horse.  He won just 3 of his 23 career races, with the allowance wins coming in 9f dirt races (his maiden win was in a turf sprint), but he broke the 100 SP barrier in 12 of his 25 career starts, flashing some potential that he could never quite capitalize on.  Curlin ($175,000), the 2-time US Horse of the Year, was the #6 ranked US sire of 2018.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #29 overall, with 114 winners from 164 runners.  That crop includes 9 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  The stakes numbers improve as more horses reach routing distances, which is in line with Curlin more generally in the sim. Curlin tends to throw dirt routers (68% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.56f AWD (sim AWD of 8.15).  The Curlin x Giant’s Causeway cross is popular and has been used 52 times in the sim in the past 5 years.  Of those, 42 are winners, and a remarkably high 10 are stakes winners (with 3 graded stakes winners among them).  The bulk of those high-level wins come in dirt routes (though there are a couple of successful turf runners in the bunch).  Curls For A Reason (DI: 1.95, CD: 0.54) is hoping for a turf-to-dirt boost today, but he’ll need a massive one if he expects to compete against this field.

Watch Level: Low

#5 – Bej (Uncle Mo x Danzig x Halo) – Owned by ric804 – 3/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $28,450

Capsule: Bej made his highly anticipated debut on April 27 in a field of 8 taking on a 5.5f MSW.  In that race, he went off as the 9/5 favorite and proved why, as he broke last but came flying late, winning by 1 length and earning a 72 SP.  He made a big stretch out in his most recent race, jumping to 7.5f in a NW2L allowance.  This time the 2nd choice at 5/2, Bej again broke last and looked way out of it early, falling as far as 10 lengths back.  He made another move late and got up for 3rd, earning a career high 77 SP, but he was no match for the unbearably slow pace and he finished 5 lengths behind the pacesetter.  He’ll hope for a quicker pace today, but it’s not guaranteed that he’ll get it.  Bej is a scratch-bred son of Uncle Mo, out of a Danzig mare. Uncle Mo ($125,000), the #13 ranked US sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 8-8.5f and has been a top real world sire for years.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #10 overall, with 138 winners from 185 runners to date.  8 of those have won stakes races, but only 1 thus far has earned a graded stakes victory.  His sim foals strongly prefer the dirt (75% of earnings on dirt), though there is a pretty even split between sprints and routes (52% of earnings in routes). His sim AWD of 7.4 almost exactly matches his real world AWD of 7.37, though that actually suggests that his sim horses prefer sprinting slightly more than the real foals do, as US AWDs tend to be biased towards sprinting.  The Uncle Mo x Danzig cross has been used 6 times in the sim in the past 5 years, producing 5 winners, but only 1 of those is an allowance winner (and stakes placed), and that horse has done so in dirt sprints.  Bej’s pedigree (DI: 2.60, CD: 0.67) suggests that he might be able to get this distance, and his last 2 races give a good indication for today; the only question is whether he can get the right pace.  If he can, watch out.

Watch Level: High

#6 – Imbil Meerup (Pioneerof The Nile x Outback Meetup [War Front x Carson City]) – Owned by cuprunners – 3/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770

Capsule: Imbil Meerup, the sponsor of this race, has been a solid runner on the track thus far in his career.  In his debut on April 12, at 6f in a dirt MSW in California, he broke towards the back in the field of 11 and came on late, but fell just short and finished 2nd, 1-1/4 lengths back with a 75 SP.  The winner of that race came back to run 2nd in an ESR residency-restricted stakes race next time out.  Imbil Meerup got a bit of a breather after that race, and came back on July 5 at 7.5f, where he sat much closer to the pace in the field of 8, assumed the lead in the far turn, and then held off a late charge to win by ¼ length, earning a career-high 77 SP.  Imbil Meerup is by Pioneerof the Nile, and is the 4th foal from 7yo dam Outback Meerup.  Outback Meerup spent very little time on the track, racing only 4 times and having a single 3rd place finish to show for it.  But what she lacked on the track, she made up for in the breeding shed.  Her first foal, Bugle Meetup (Flower Alley), has won half of her 22 career starts to date, and among those 11 wins are 4 stakes victories.  Her biggest of those was in The Quote The Raven-G2 (7f), but even more impressive is that she was 3rd (by 2 lengths) in the 2017 Breeders’ Bowl F and M Sprint-G1 (7f), and then improved to 2nd (by a head) in that race in 2018.  The other foals have not been as successful, but both are allowance winners in dirt routes.  Pioneerof The Nile, the #36 ranked US sire in 2018 and sire of 2015 Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, sadly passed away in March 2019 from a heart attack, so this will be his final 2yo sim crop. His 2018 sim crop is currently the #25 ranked crop in the sim thus far.  That crop includes 137 runners, of which 110 have earned a victory.  Of those winners, 7 are stakes winners and 2 have found graded stakes success, the leader of which is Voyage of Charon, who took home the Clerk of Scales Stakes-G1 (9.5f) two races back.  Also of note, Pioneerof the Nile’s 2019 crop already has 1 stakes winner among the 25 winners (and 95 runners) thus far.  Pioneerof The Nile’s sim foals are largely dirt routers, with 75% of earnings on dirt and 61% in routes, though his foals can be successful in sprints as well (56% of his winners have won in sprints), and that aligns with his real world AWD of 7.49 and sim AWD of 7.94.  The Pioneerof The Nile x War Front cross has been used 6 times in the last 5 years, producing 5 winners thus far (but only 2 allowance winners), mostly on the dirt.  Imbil Meerup (DI: 5.67, CD: 1.00) will look to become allowance winner #3 from the group, and while his racing history suggests a promising result, there’s a little concern that he might be a better one turn runner.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Flowery Flattery (Flower Alley x Evergreen Forest [Flatter x War Chant]) – Owned by didilaika – 12/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $20,220

Capsule: Flowery Flattery began his career at 6f on the dirt on February 27, but struggled with his stamina and faded to 7th after stalking the pace early.  His second race didn’t go much better, as he raced evenly but again finished 7th, this time at 5f.  He was given a couple of months off after that, however, and came back looking like a new horse.  Trying a 7f MSW in a field of 7, Flowery Flattery sat 2nd early and then assumed the lead in the far turn, keeping his opposition at bay and earning 73 SP in a 1-1/4 length victory.  His owner will try to duplicate that strategy again today, by entering the horse off of another 2 month layoff and stretching him out again.  Flowery Flattery is the only foal from he-mare Evergreen Forest, and is by Flower Alley.  Evergreen Forest was the winner of 9 of his 44 career races, all coming while routing.  Most of those wins came on the dirt, and his crowning achievement came when he earned a stakes victory at 8.5f on the dirt back in 2015.  For information on Flower Alley, see It’s Been Nice above.  Flowery Flattery will try to duplicate his he-mare’s racing career, but his pedigree (DI: 2.33; CD: 0.60), Flower Alley’s sprinting tendency, and his stamina issues early on make me a little more skeptical about his chances today.

Watch Level: Low

#8 – Rowdy Pal Helene (My Pal Charlie x Helene [Hard Spun x Fappiano]) – Owned by simhorse58 – 8/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $10,920

Capsule: Rowdy Pal Helene may not have been that highly thought of as a newbie, as he debuted on June 6 in a $16,800 MSW at 4.5f on the dirt.  That race saw him go off as the 4th choice in the field of 10, but after sitting midpack early, he moved with the eventual winner and came up just ½ length short.  He stretched out to 5.5f for his second start, and that time there was no tandem move – he sat 2 lengths back early but pounced in the far turn and was widening the lead to ½ length when the finish line was reached, where he earned a career-high 77 SP (the 3rd place horse came back to break his maiden next time out with a 74 SP).  But this will be a big distance jump for Rowdy Pal Helene from what he’s used to.  Rowdy Pal Helene is the 6th foal from Helene, and is by My Pal Charlie.  My Pal Charlie ($2,500), the #14 ranked Louisiana sire in 2018, was a dirt router on the track and won the G2 Super Derby in 2008.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #1,579 overall.  The crop includes 16 runners, 12 of which have won thus far – though only 1 has won at the allowance level.  He has sired 5 stakes winners in the sim, 3 of which were local stakes winners.  Overall, his foals are mostly dirt runners (63% on dirt), and tend to prefer sprinting (57% of earnings in sprints, sim AWD of 7.35), though the stakes winners have done so while routing.  Rowdy Pal Helene’s dam, Helene, won 4 of her 18 career races, but most were at the claiming level.  She was a dirt router in her racing career, and she has likewise tended to sire dirt routers; however, none of her previous 5 foals have won an open-class (non-local, non-hot) allowance.  Rowdy Pal Helene (DI: 2.60, CD: 0.67) will look to buck that trend today, and it’s not a stretch to think that he’s got a shot in here today.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field for this 8.5f allowance race.  The race sets up interestingly; most of the field typically likes to sit just off the pace, or stalk the leader, but few if any have shown real interest in trying to wire the field.  But as some of these horses stretch out from short sprints to today’s 8.5f distance, such as It’s Been Nice, D. Wilson ABC, and Makayla Long, they might be more apt to go for the lead.  If that happens, then this race sets up beautifully for deep closer Bej. I’m usually wrong about these things, but I see it happening today.  So, my picks are: (1) Bej, (2) Makayla Long, (3) D. Wilson ABC.  Good luck to everyone!

 

Other Races to Watch This Weekend:

1)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Will Be 2 Divisions)

3)      California – Alw NW2L @ 6f-T

4)      Ireland – Alw NW2L @ 6f-T

5)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8f (Fillies)

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Aug 232019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  This recap will be quicker than the pace in last week’s race, which was set initially by Rain Rover, who crawled to the lead with several others sitting 1 length or less off of that pace.  That spelled doom for anyone trying to come from well off the pace.  Luckily, Aces Over Fours wasn’t that far back.  The filly showed that she will be force to be reckoned with through the rest of the 2yo season, as after sitting 5th early, she moved forward and blew the doors off of her previous efforts.  Aces Over Fours ($24.60) cruised to a 1-1/2 length victory, her 3rd win in a row, but more impressively put up a blistering 89 SP, a 22 point jump over her previous career high, as she tries to join her full brother Kennedy Camelot at the top of her class.  Putting up a solid effort in defeat was Sadlerdini, who sat midpack early and came running late, but was no match for the winner, earning an 87 SP.  Rain Rovers, the pacesetter, was able to hold on and take a three-way photo for 3rd, 2-1/4 lengths back (just narrowly edging out Unremembered Rooms and Holy Crap).

This week, the Future Stars Series heads back to the type of race most commonly found at the top of the future stars lists: a longer distance race for 2yo fillies!  It remains baffling to me why the filly races are always at the top of the list, but this week we head to Kentucky, where 11 fillies will find their way into the gate of an 8 furlong NW2L dirt allowance.  The field is:

#1 – Failing Grayde (Baltimore Gray x Rim Rock [Phoentics x Java Gold]) – Owned by roys – 28/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-2; $45,580

Capsule: Failing Grayde isn’t the most well-bred horse out there, but what she lacks in pedigree, she makes up for with a great trainer.  Failing Grayde debuted back on March 2 in a 6f turf owner-restricted allowance, and set the early pace, opening up a sizeable lead on the field and then hanging on to win by a head.  She tried a 5.5f turf stakes next, giving a commendable effort for a 5th place finish (of 11) at 42/1.  A switch to dirt seemed to do the trick, and she’s run in back-to-back dirt stakes at 5.5f and 6.5f and has finished an upset 3rd after stalking the pace each time, first at 18/1 and then at 30/1, with her most recent effort earning her a career high 78 SP.  Failing Grayde is the daughter of Baltimore Gray, and is the first (and possibly only) foal from 19yo mare Rim Rock.  Baltimore Gray won 9 of his 36 career races, never higher than an allowance, but it’s very tough to find any information about his stud career.  That’s not too much of a surprise, given that in his 17 year sim stud career, he has only sired 24 horses.  Of those, 12 have won races.  Failing Grayde is already the best sim foal that Baltimore Gray has ever had, and her multiple stakes places have given Baltimore Gray’s 2019 crop of 2 runners his highest ranking to date, at #1,343.  There aren’t really enough runners to get a good sense of running preferences, but of the 5 winners that he has had over the past 5 years, 4 of those have won turf races, versus only 1 on dirt, and he has a sim AWD of 6.05.  Rim Rock barely had a career on the track, with only 2 career starts and no better than a 6th place finish.  Failing Grayde (DI: 3.00, CD: 1.00) is once again the highest price today, but don’t let the oddsmakers or her pedigree fool you – this filly has talent, and the only question now is whether she can handle today’s 8f distance.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Veto It T (Vittorio D’Oro x Night Spirit [Ghostzapper x Storm Cat]) – Owned by performanc – 17/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-1; $49,470

Capsule: Veto It T made her debut at 5 furlongs on the dirt back on January 18 and bolted for the lead, but couldn’t quite hang on and settled for 2nd.  She came back the next month at 6f and again rushed for the lead, tiring late and finishing 3rd.  After that, Veto It T was given 5 months off, and most recently stretched out to 6.5f where she finally got the job done, again setting the pace but this time narrowly hanging on, to win by a neck with a career-high 74 SP.  Veto It T is by Vittorio D’Oro, and is the 9th foal out of 14yo mare Night Spirit, including the 2nd of her foals by that sire.  Night Spirit was a bust in her career, a pricey scratch-bred who won just 1 of 26 career races.  A few of her foals have been solid allowance runners, mostly in dirt races with a mix of sprinting and routing (technically 1 is stakes-placed, but it was a 3rd of 4 in a 5f dirt stakes where she was beating by almost 17 lengths).  But her fastest foal to date, and the most relevant to Vito It T, is 4yo Marlboro Ghost T, a full sister to Veto It T.  That filly has earned over $200K to date in 20 career races, with her fastest races coming at today’s 8f dirt distance.  Vittorio D’Oro’s (42MM Yen) first real world crop reached the track in 2018 and he was the #8 ranked first-crop sire in Japan in 2018.  In the sim, his 2018 crop hasn’t quite faired as well as his others, and they currently rank 1,288 overall, with only 12 winners from 22 runners to date.  Although none of those horses have won beyond the allowance level, two of his 4yo foals have earned stakes victories (one as a dirt sprinter, one as a turf sprinter).  Overall, Vittorio D’Oro’s sim horses have a strong bias toward sprinting (73% of earnings in sprints; sim AWD of 6.29), with a pretty even split between turf and dirt racing (56% of earnings on dirt, but winning percentage is 51-46 in favor of turf).  Today’s 8f distance will be a sizeable jump, but Veto It T showed marked improvement in her last and her pedigree (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.71) puts this race just at the outer edge of what she may be able to handle.

Watch Level: Medium

#3 – Sholver Sky (Distorted Humor x Sholver Sunshine [Awesome Again x Wild Again]) – Owned by sein2912 – 10/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $60,000

Capsule: Sholver Sky enters this race as the most accomplished filly in the field, as she has a stakes win to her name.  That came in her debut, the 6f Running with Redhill Juvenile Filly Stakes, a 5-horse owner restricted dirt stakes on May 4.  In that race, Sholver Sky went off as the 3/1 3rd choice, but set an easy pace and then held on late to win by ¼ length.  From there, she tried open stakes company, taking on a field of 7 in a 7f dirt stakes on June 23, but after dueling for the lead early, she tired badly and faded to 6th, earning a 70 SP.  She makes a class drop here to try and recover from her last.  Sholver Sky is a daughter of Distorted Humor, and is the 7th foal out of 14yo mare Sholver Sunshine.  Distorted Humor ($50,000), a multiple graded stakes winner at 7-7.5f, was the #26-ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, his crops have always been towards the top, though his 2018 crop is actually somewhat lowly rated as it is only #18 overall, with 127 winners from 175 runners to date.  That crop includes 13 stakes winners and 4 graded stakes winners to date, and it’s interesting to note that his 2yo crop in 2019 already has 5 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners.  His sim foals are primarily dirt routers, with 69% of earnings on dirt and 61% in routes.  That break down is in line with Distorted Humor’s real world AWD of 7.20 and sim AWD of 7.69.  Sholver Sunshine was a talented runner, winning 14 of her 54 career races, including 6 stakes victories and a G2-placing at 7f on the dirt.  Most of her damage was done in the 6-7f dirt range, and she’s mostly passed that down to her foals.  The best of those is 7yo When We Were Young (El Padrino), a G1 winner at 7f as a 2yo and an EOY category leader (I assume it’s 2yo Dirt Filly Sprinter in 2014, though I can’t confirm).  The Distorted Humor x Awesome Again cross has been used 88 times over the past 5 years, resulting in 8 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners, with a cross that heavily favors dirt but is somewhat split between sprinting and routing.  Sholver Sky (DI: 2.73, CD: 0.68) looks to be one of many on the lead today and might have the pedigree to get 8 furlongs (though it’s a stretch), but she’ll need to show that she can carry her early speed better than she did in her last race in order to win today.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Lady Zapper (Ghostzapper x Quality Lady [Quality Road x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by stockswami3 – 7/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770

Capsule: Lady Zapper made her debut on April 8 in a 6.5f dirt MSW, where she went off as the 4/5 favorite in a field of 6 and sat a length back early, making up ground late but coming up just short and finishing 2nd.  She spent a few months recuperating from the race and came back stronger than ever in early July, as she stretched out to 7.5f.  That added distance was all she needed, as after stalking the pace early, she came charging late and got up just in time to win by ¼ length, earning a career high 77 SP.  Lady Zapper is the 2nd foal from 5yo dam Quality Lady, who was never much on the track.  She won just 1 of her 21 career races, breaking her maiden in a 6.5f local turf MSW, and her first foal hasn’t done much either, with just 1 win in 10 career starts to date (though she has 5 second place finishes in those 10 starts).  Lady Zapper is by Ghostzapper, the 2004 US Horse of the Year and a graded stakes winner from 6f-10f (and on a personal note, my all-time favorite horse).  Ghostzapper ($85,000) was the #14 ranked US sire in 2018, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #13 overall, with 124 winners from 164 runners to date.  11 of those have earned stakes victories, with 3 graded stakes winners among them, including 2019 Arkansas Juvenile-G1 (9f) winner Awesomely Saintly.  Ghostzapper’s sim foals are typically dirt runners (66% of earnings on dirt), with a pretty even balance between routing and sprinting (57% of earnings in routes, but a 51-49 split in wins), and his sim AWD of 7.65 is in line with his real world AWD of 7.22.  Lady Zapper is the first Ghostzapper x Quality Road horse to be bred in the sim in the past 5 years.  Lady Zapper’s pedigree (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.75) suggests that she might be approaching her distance limit today, but her career on the track thus far bodes well for today’s effort.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Lever Capriati (Curlin x Storm Cat x Unbridled) – Owned by 02cencallmoney – 9/2

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770

Capsule: Lever Capriati made her debut on May 3, going off as the 5/2 favorite in a 6f dirt MSW against a field of 9.  There, she sat 1-2 lengths off the pacesetter the entire way around the track, finishing 2nd with a 73 SP.  She made a lead forward in her second race though, this time at 7.5f, where she dueled for the pace early and put away her competition in the backstretch, enabling Level Capriati to draw off and win by a solid 2-1/2 lengths.  She earned a career-high 80 SP in the win, and she’ll look to repeat that performance again here.  Lever Capriati is a scratch-bred daughter of Curlin, out of a Storm Cat mare.  Curlin ($175,000), the 2-time US Horse of the Year, was the #6 ranked US sire of 2018.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #29 overall, with 114 winners from 164 runners.  That crop includes 9 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  The stakes numbers are improving as more horses reach routing distances, which is in line with Curlin more generally in the sim, as he tends to throw dirt routers (68% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.56f AWD (sim AWD of 8.16). The Curlin x Storm Cat cross has been used in the sim 108 times over the past 5 years.  It has been very successful, with 88 winners among the group, 21 of which have earned stakes victories and 11 of which have won graded stakes.  Today’s 8f distance looks promising for this cross, as the combo has produced a pretty even mix of sprinters and routers (a sim AWD of 7.63), though the large majority of stakes and graded stakes winners in the group are all dirt routers (including 3 of the 5 Curlin x Storm Cat x Unbridled horses).  Purely on dosage, Lever Capriati (DI: 4.33, CD: 0.92) may be better suited for sprinting than today’s distance, but based on sim pedigree, Lever Capriati has a great chance in today’s race.

Watch Level: High

#6 – Awe Shocks (Take Charge Indy x Miswaki x Storm Cat) – Owned by massatogain6 – 20/1

Race Record: 4:1-1-0; $10,136

Capsule: Awe Shocks made her debut back on March 9, as the 7/2 favorite in a 6f dirt MSW.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t quite up to race, and she finished a dull 8th of 12.  So her trainer brought her back 2.5 weeks later in a hot allowance against 3 CPU horses, and she easily won, breaking her maiden.  Her first try at the allowance NW2L level went decently, as she saw improvement in her performance at 6.5f and finished 2nd.  She comes into this race off of a career-best 73 SP, but that was in a 5th place effort in a 7f NW3L allowance, where she raced towards the back early and stayed there throughout, never showing any closing speed.  Awe Shocks is a scratch-bred daughter of Take Charge Indy, out of a Miswaki mare.  That cross has been used 6 times in the sim, producing 3 non-hot race winners, only one of whom has won more than 1 race, and none of whom have done so at the allowance level.  Take Charge Indy, winner of the 9f Florida Derby who currently stands in South Korea, was the #63-ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #55 overall, with 75 wins from 104 runners to date.  6 of those winners have scored at the stakes level, with 3 picking up graded stakes wins (1 is a G1 winner at 8.5f and 1 is a G1 winner at 7f).  Overall, his sim foals have a strong dirt preference, with 73% of earnings on dirt, and while the earnings are evenly split between sprinting and routing, the win percentage slightly favors sprinting (56% of wins have come in sprints) and his sim AWD is 7.47.  The pedigree of Awe Shocks (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.77) puts today’s distance in question, and she’ll need to show some added stamina from her prior races if she wants to compete today.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – Take An Axe (Violence x Lizzy [Bernardini x Gone West]) – Owned by allenkane – 8/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $38,590

Capsule: Take An Axe debuted back on May 27, where she took an axe to her competition, a field of 12 in a 6.5f dirt MSW.  There, she stalked the pace early and pounced in the stretch, grabbing the lead and opening up to win by 1-1/4 lengths, earning a 71 SP.  She came back at the NW2L allowance level, stretching out to 7.5f, and saw her SP jump up to a career-high 76 SP, although she wasn’t able to do much against the top 2 in that race and had to settle for 3rd, 4-1/2 lengths back.  Of note, the 2nd place horse from that race came back to run 3rd in her next allowance race with an 83 SP, and the 4th place horse (who Take An Axe beat) came back to win an allowance next time out with an 84 SP.  Those runs give some promise to Take An Axe’s chances today.  Take An Axe is the daughter of Violence, and is the 3rd foal out of 7yo mare Lizzy.  Lizzy won 8 of her 30 career races, including a stakes win and a G3 2nd, both at today’s 8f distance.  8 furlongs was her specialty, and she spent a large majority of her career at that distance.  Her first foal, 4yo Reef Gold (Medaglia D’Oro), is a stakes winner herself, having won 8 of 17 career races, also primarily in the 8-9f range.  The Violence x Bernardini cross has been used 10 times over the past 5 years in the sim, producing 8 winners, 1 of whom is a stakes winning turf sprinter. Violence ($40,000), the #45 overall (and #1 second-crop) US sire in 2018, was a G1 winner at 8.5f in his racing career.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #154 overall, and consists of 89 runners with 50 winners.  Among those runners are 3 stakes winners, including Got Them All, winner of the Wooden Indian-G1 and 17th in the Bluegrass Derby-G1.  Violence’s sim foals have shown a preference for dirt (69% of earnings on dirt), and although his foals’ earnings have been pretty evenly split between distances (53% in sprints), the quantity of foals has preferred sprinting (61% of wins in sprints) and his sim AWD of 7.09 and real world AWD of 6.68 further support that preference. Take An Axe (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.73) has the lineage to like today’s distance, and if she can learn some lessons from her most recent race, she should have a chance today.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Imbil Baillif (Distorted Humor x Outback Baillif [Awesome Again x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by nomadic- 7/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $38,590

Capsule: Imbil Baillif, the sponsor of today’s race, easily broke her maiden at first asking back on April 1, debuting in a 5f dirt MSW as the even money favorite and stalking the pace early, before coming on late and drawing off to win by 1-1/2 lengths.  After a couple of months to gain some strength, she came back out on June 23 at 7f in a NW2L dirt allowance and changed things up a bit, this time trailing the field early on.  She put a bit of a move together late, but could only get up for 3rd, 4 lengths behind the winner.  She earned a career high 76 SP in that effort, however, and she’ll look to take another step forward as she stretches out to 8f here.  Imbil Baillif is the daughter of he-mare Outback Baillif, and is by Distorted Humor.  4yo Outback Baillif only raced 14 times in his career before being retired back in March, but it was quite the 14 races, as he ended up as a G2 winner by taking the Pea Shooters Handicap-G2 (6f) as a 3yo.  He was a 2-time stakes winner, and 4-time stakes placed, dirt sprinter, though his fastest career race actually came in a 3rd place finish in a 9f dirt stakes, where he closed strong late.  I’m a little surprised to see him retired, as he looked to just be maturing into his own, but it’ll be interesting to see if he has passed his talent on to Imbil Baillif.  For information about Distorted Humor and the Distorted Humor x Awesome Again cross, see Sholver Sky above.  Imbil Baillif (DI: 2.76, CD: 0.69) looks like she should get today’s distance, but it would be nice to see a bit more of her he-mare’s closing kick if she wants to take today’s race.

Watch Level: High

#9 – My Mistress Chris (American Pharoah x Storm Goddess [Storm Cat x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by dundey8 – 2/1 (f)

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: There were high hopes for My Mistress Chris, a royally bred filly, and she did not disappoint in her debut.  Entered in a local MSW in Kentucky at 7.5f on July 31, My Mistress Chris had to endure a major rainstorm that left the dirt track listed as sloppy.  But sloppy or not, this filly was undeterred, and after breaking 4th as the 2/1 favorite, she pounced in the backstretch, taking over the lead and opening up to lead by over a length, gearing down late and still running off to win by 2-1/4 lengths.  The effort earned her a field-best 84 SP, and now the only question is whether she can repeat that performance on a fast dirt track.  My Mistress Chris is by American Pharoah, and is the 14th foal out of 18yo mare Storm Goddess.  American Pharoah is currently the #1 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 9 winners (and 1 Graded Stakes winner) from 31 starts, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #4 overall, with 199 runners and 146 winners to date.  Of those, 17 have earned stakes victories (5 graded stakes winners) so far (both the fewest of any of his sim crops thus far).  While the 2018 crop may not be his best, it does include American Dane, who was 2nd in the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1, and My American Lady, winner of the Players Club National Oaks-G1 and the Birmingham Stakes-G1 (10f) in her last 2 races.  His sim foals tend to prefer the dirt (78% of earnings on dirt), with an ever growing preference towards routing (61% of earnings in routes, with a sim AWD of 7.81). The American Pharoah x Storm Cat cross has been used 20 times in the sim, with 18 of those horses having earned a victory and 3 stakes winners (1 graded stakes winner) among them.  The cross produces primarily sprinters.  Storm Goddess was a 4-time stakes winning dirt sprinter in her career (just narrowly missing a G3, finishing 2nd), and overall she won 11 of her 41 career races.  All of those wins came in dirt sprints, primarily in the 6f range.  But not only was Storm Goddess a solid runner, she’s also been an excellent broodmare and has passed her abilities down to her foals.  The large majority of those foals have also been dirt sprinters, and 4 of her previous 13 foals are graded stakes winners (with 2 more stakes winners and 3 more stakes placed horses).  Interestingly, while the quantity of Storm Goddess’s foals favor dirt sprinting, the quality is actually a little different; her best foal, 7yo Traped Again (Curlin), was a multiple G1-winning turf sprinter as a 2yo and went on to win the 2014 Sim Eclipse Award for 2yo Turf Male.  My Mistress Chris (DI: 4.60, CD: 1.07) has a pedigree that heavily favors sprinting and leaves an open question as to whether she can get today’s distance, but this is an exceptionally talented filly from a very strong female line, and there’s no reason she can’t run to her overall quality today.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Crimson Surprise (Forty Tales x Locked In Again [Dialed In x El Gran Senor]) – Owned by fabman54 – 17/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $48,613

Capsule: Crimson Surpirse, a NY-bred filly, has taken advantage of that status thus far in her career, as this will be her first race outside the local circuit.  She debuted back on April 22 in a 6f local dirt MSW, where she went off at 13/1 and set the pace early, before tiring to finish 4th.  With her sealegs under her, she came back a month later and set the pace again, this time staying on late and just getting edged out at the wire, finishing 2nd.  But the third time’s the charm, as they say, and for her third race she stretched out to 7f, dueled on the lead again, and then decided that she was done messing around, as she pulled away to win by 2-1/4 lengths, earning a career-high 78 SP (beating a horse that would come back to break her own maiden next time out).  Crimson Surprise is by Forty Tales, and is the 2nd foal out of 8yo mare Locked In Again.  Forty Tales ($3,000), a multiple G2-winning dirt sprinter, was the #17 ranked New York sire in 2018.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #826 overall (his worst ranking to date), with 12 winners from 23 runners.  Only 2 of those have even won at the allowance level, but Forty Tales has been a little better as a sire in the past, with 2 G3 winners among his first 2 sim crops (both in dirt 8-9f races).  Forty Tales’ sim foals have strongly preferred dirt sprinting overall, with 77% of earnings on dirt and 73% in sprints, and his sim AWD of 6.57 is slightly shorter than his real world AWD of 6.93.  Locked In Again was a 2-time stakes winner in her 32 race career, picking up 9 total wins, primarily in dirt sprints.  Her ideal distance was 7.5f, where she earned both of her stakes victories.  Her first foal, 3yo Still Locked In (Graydar), is looking to be a solid gelding himself, as he recently picked up a stakes win at 6.5f on the turf to bring his record to 6 for 11 lifetime (including 5 of 6 on the turf).  Crimson Surprise (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.88) made a statement in her last race at 7f, but her pedigree suggests that might be her limit, so we’ll see whether she can break through that cap today or whether she’ll take after her mother and find the 7-7.5f range more appealing.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – Kanchenjunga (Violence x Seeking The Gold x Secretariat) – Owned by plano8 – 7/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $20,804

Capsule: Kanchenjunga’s debut on May 9 was an excellent start to this filly’s career.  Debuting at 6f on the dirt, she faced a field of 11 and sat midpack early, before moving forward late and drawing off to win by 1-1/2 as the 2/1 favorite, earning a career high 74 SP.  Her most recent race saw her jump to the NW2L level, where she tried a 6.5f dirt allowance, but the effort was a bit of a step backwards from her debut, as she sat midpack but never really got into the race, passing only tiring horses and finishing 5th with a 70 SP.  Kanchenjunga will try to reverse course in today’s race as she stretches out to routes.  Kanchenjunga is a scratch-bred daughter of Violence, out of a Seeking The Gold mare.  For information about Violence, see Take An Axe above.  The Violence x Seeking The Gold cross hasn’t been prolific in the sim, but it has been used 5 times thus far, with 4 winners (but no allowance-level winners) among the group.  Those wins have all come on the dirt, with most in dirt sprints.  That aligns with Kanchenjunga’s DI/CD (DI: 3.33, CD: 0.85), and it suggests that today’s 8f distance might be a little too long for this filly, but you never know until you see her in action on the track.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s the field for today’s NW2L.  It looks like this one should have a pretty hot pace, with Veto It T, Sholver Sky, Crimson Surprise and Lever Capriati all vying for the early lead.  But that will set this race up well for those coming from the back.  I’m not sure exactly who will win, and it’s hard to pick against My Mistress Chris, a horse with a top pedigree who comes from a female line of multiple graded stakes winners and enters with a field-high SP in her only career start.  But she’s 2/1.  And this is likely the last time you’ll see 28/1 odds on Failing Grayde.  Frankly, I’m not sure that she’s the best horse in the race, but she’s got experience and gets a class drop reprieve here, so I can’t pass up those odds.  Therefore, I’m going with (1) Falling Grayde, (2) My Mistress Chris, and (3) Lever Capriati.  Good luck everyone!

Other Races to Watch this Weekend:

1)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Fillies)

2)      New York – Alw NW3L @ 8f (Fillies)

3)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Fillies)

4)      Kentucky – Local Alw NW3L @ 7.5f

5)      Surrey (England) – Alw NW3L @ 7f-T

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Aug 162019
 

Welcome back to the Future Stars Series!  It’s been a while since we’ve been at this, but after a summer break, we’re back in the 2yo division.  This week, we’re heading to Germany, where 12 colts and fillies have gathered to compete in an 8 furlong open allowance on the turf.  The field is:

#1 – Wasted Kingdom (Paco Boy (IRE) x Time B Wasted [Animal Kingdom x Seeking The Gold]) – Owned by mattyice2019a – 18/1

Race Record: 4:1-1-0; $35,530

Capsule: It took a while for Wasted Kingdom to ever feel firm turf under his hooves, and while the forecaster was calling for rain, it looks like the turf will stay firm for today’s race.  He debuted on March 22 in a 5.5f-T local MSW that ended up on yielding turf, and ran 4th the entire way, then followed that up with a solid 2nd on yet another yielding turf at 4.5f-T in April.  He got an upgrade to good turf for his 3rd career race and reveled in that fact, dueling on the front-end early in the 6f-T MSW, sitting 3rd before taking it to the pacesetters in the stretch and just getting up at the wire to win by a head.  He earned a career high 69 SP in that effort.  In his most recent race, Wasted Kingdom cut back to 5f-T and finally caught a firm turf course in a NW1x local allowance, but raced evenly throughout and finished 5th.  He’ll stretch out here for the first time and see if that is more to his liking.  Wasted Kingdom is by Paco Boy, a multiple G1-winning turfer who currently stands in Turkey after being sold there in 2017.  In the sim, Paco Boy’s 2018 crop has struggled far more than his earlier crops, and currently ranks #1,789 with 10 winners from 21 runners to date.  None of those horses have had any success at the stakes level, though he does have 3 graded stakes winners in his overall sim stud career.  Paco Boy’s sim foals are mainly turf sprinters, with 68% of earnings on turf and 66% in sprints (with a sim AWD of 7.21). Wasted Kingdom is the first foal from 5yo mare Time B Wasted, who wasn’t much on the track, winning just 2 of her 13 career races, one in a 4.5f dirt local MSW, and one in a 9.5f dirt $25K NW3L claimer.  Wasted Kingdom’s bloodlines (DI: 1.67, CD: 0.38) suggest that the longer distances will work for him, but he’ll need to take a step forward from his last race if he wants to really prove himself at this level.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Almunchen (Al Maher (AUS) x Munich [Monsun x Awesome Again]) – Owned by nwo4life26 – 29/1

Race Record: 5:2-1-0; $12,640

Capsule: Almunchen hasn’t had the most glamorous of careers thus far.  After debuting in a 4.5f-T Hot MSW on February 27 and finishing 2nd, he dropped down to a $20K MCL for his second start, at 5f-T.  In that race, he sat midpack early and stayed steady, moving up a little and getting up before the wire to win by ¾ lengths, earning a career-high 63 SP.  He came back in a $17,500 NW2L claimer next time out, but was claimed after finishing 9th.  His new owner sent him to the dirt, where he first finished last in a 4.5 Local NW1x allowance, but enters this race off a win in a $2500 NW2L claimer at 5.5f on the dirt.  This will be a significant jump in both class and distance for Almunchen as he heads back to the turf for the first time with his current owner.  Almunchen is the 9th foal from 13yo mare Munich, who won 4 of her 27 career races, all on turf (and primarily sprinting).  Almost all of her foals have also been turf horses, with a mix of sprinting and routing success, though only 3 of her 8 foals have won at the allowance level.  Almunchen is the son of Al Maher ($8,800), a G1 winner and #70-ranked Australian sire in 2019. In the sim, Al Maher has not been a particularly prodigious sire, and his 2018 crop currently ranks #1,864 overall, with 7 winners from 12 runners to date.  He has only had 2 stakes winners during his entire sim stud career, with the most recent coming from his 2015 crop.  He foals have mainly been turf sprinters (60% of earnings on turf, 61% in sprints), including the most recent stakes winner, and Al Maher has a sim AWD of 7.26.  Almunchen’s pedigree (DI: 1.00, CD: 0.08) suggests he may take to routing, but his past races leave something to be desired, so we’ll see if he can make a jump here as he steps up to open allowance company for the first time.

Watch Level: Low

#3 – Rip and Wolf (Rip Van Winkle (IRE) x Nureyev x Shirley Heights) – Owned by massatogain1- 9/1

Race Record: 4:2-0-0; $52,758

Capsule: Rip And Wolf has the most experience against other horses in today’s field, and unfortunately for him they have come in his worse efforts.  He debuted on February 23 in a 6f-T local MSW, where he sat towards the back early but came on strong late, finishing 4th and besting today’s rival Holybunionsbatman (7th).  He faired much better in his next race, at 6.5f-T, where het sat back early but came flying late and won by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 73 SP.  He followed that up with a cakewalk victory in a 5.5f-T NW1x allowance, but enters today’s race off of a poor effort in a 7f-T open allowance, where he earned a career high 74 SP but sat in the back and never picked up any ground, finishing 9th behind today’s rivals Sadlerdini (5th) and Holy Crap (6th).  Rip and Wolf is a scratch-bred son of Rip Van Winkle, out of a Nureyev mare.  Rip Van Winkle, a multiple G1-winning turf runner from 8-10f, was the #8 ranked New Zealand sire in 2019.  In the sim, Rip Van Winkle’s 2018 crop currently ranks #726 overall, with 10 winners from 20 runners to date.  None of those horses have achieved a stakes victory as of yet, and in his sim stud career, only 5 of his foals have been graded stakes winners.  But those that have have done so in turf routes, where most of his sim foals do their best running (74% of earnings on turf, 61% in routes, sim AWD of 7.82).  The Rip Van Winkle x Nureyev cross has only been used twice in the sim, and Rip and Wolf is the only one who is a winner.  Rip and Wolf’s bloodlines (DI: 0.71, CD: -0.14) suggest that he could run for days, but he’ll need to show that he has the stamina necessary to get this distance after the last race put that in question.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Rain Rover (Manhattan Rain (AUS) x Tom Keetley [Doncaster Rover x God’s Own (AUS)]) – Owned by munson – 9/1

Race Record: 9:3-3-2; $178,630

Capsule: Race Rover enters today’s race as the most experienced, consistent, and accomplished horse in the field.  He debuted in a $50K MCL at 5f on the dirt on January 8 and broke his maiden on the dirt in his second career race, but from there he switched to the turf and hasn’t looked back.  He picked up a couple of wins at 6-6.5f in open turf allowances before making the leap up to stakes company.  His best race to date came in career race #6, a 6f-T stakes race, where Rain Rover dueled the pace early and outlasted the other frontrunners, but was caught in the stretch by a deep closer, finishing 2nd by 1-1/4 lengths and earning a career high 77 SP.  Rain Rover enters this race off of a 3rd place effort in a 5f-T stakes race, but this will be his first time running beyond 6.5f.  Rain Rover is the 2nd foal from 7yo mare Tom Keetley, who won 13 of her 32 races, all in dirt sprints, and all at the claiming or local allowance level.  Her first foal has won 3 of his 16 career races thus far, also all in dirt sprints, but those have all been in low-level claimers (or starter allowances).  Rain Rover’s sire, Manhattan Rain ($16,500) – a half brother to Redoute’s Choice and a G1-winning turf sprinter himself – was the #73 ranked Australian sire in 2019.  In the sim, his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #338 overall, with a whopping 19 winners from just 22 runners.  One of those winners has hit the jackpot at the stakes level, taking a 6f turf stakes as a 2yo.  Manhattan Rain’s sim foals, much like his own racing style, have primarily been turf sprints, with 60% of earnings on turf and 67% in sprints (sim AWD of 6.71).  All of that pedigree information seems like today’s race might be a little far for Rain Rover, but his DI of 1.40/CD of 0.33 make the distance seem possible.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Holybunionsbatman (National Defense x Emperor Meztli [Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) x Mineshaft]) – Owned by mschweitzer2 – 22/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $30,360

Capsule: Holybunionsbatman didn’t seem to have any issues with his feet when he hit the track, as after getting his legs under him in his 6f-T local MSW debut on Feburary 23 (finishing 7th, behind today’s rival Rip And Wind (4th)), he came back 2nd time out at the same distance and earned his maiden victory.  In that race, he sat 9th of 12, just 2 lengths off the pace, and dueled down the entire stretch run but was able to pull out the victory, earning a career high 73 SP in the process.  He made a failed effort on the dirt last time out, finishing up the track, but he’ll look to rebound today as he gets back on the turf.  Holybunionsbatman is by National Defense, and is the 4th foal from 7yo mare Emperor Meztli.  National Defense ($8,000), a G1 winner in France at 8f-T as a 2yo, entered stud in 2018 and so there we don’t have any real world foals to consider.  In the sim, however, his freshman 2018 crop currently ranks #228 overall, with 30 winners from 64 runners to date.  The numbers may not be high, but two of those are already stakes winners, with one G3-winning turf router among though.  National Defense’s sim foals have shown a turf preference thus far (74% of earnings on turf), and although they have preferred sprinting thus far (62% of earnings in sprints; sim AWD of 6.34), that might change as more of his foals stretch out to routing.  Emperor Metzli was a winner of 6 of her 21 career races, all on the turf, with 2 of those wins coming at the allowance level (she also picked up a stakes placing at 7f-T in a 5 horse field).  Her 3 prior foals, however, have yet to earn an allowance win, and the 2 winners have only found the winner’s circle on the dirt.  National Defense has been bred to a Holy Roman Emperor mare 4 times in the sim, and although only 2 (including Holybunionsbatman) are winners (the 4 collectively have combined to race 8 times), the other winner is already a stakes winning dirt sprinter.  Holybunionsbatman (DI: 1.67, CD: 0.31) has the pedigree to get today’s 8f-T distance, but he’ll need to bounce back after that poor dirt effort last time out.

Watch Level: Low

#6 – Clean King (Clean Ecology (JPN) x Affirmed x Nijinsky 2nd) – Owned by alaskacat9 – 12/1

Race Record: 4:2-0-0; $59,640

Capsule: Clean King struck gold in his debut on March 13, as he dueled for the lead throughout the 6f turf local MSW and then stuck his neck out in front at the finish line, winning with a 71 SP.  From there he cut back to 5.5f-T and tried stakes company, where he set the pace early but tired to finish 4th.  Coming back at the local NW2L level, he scored a front running victory with a career high 72 SP.  Most recently, Clean King took a shot at The Norfellow Stakes-G2 (5f-T), but struggled against the stronger competition and finished 9th.  He makes a big jump in distance today and will likely be on the front end again.  Clean King is a scratch-bred son of Clean Ecology, out of an Affirmed mare.  Clean Ecology, a son of King Kamehameha, earned over 40 million yen in his 40 race career and entered stud in 2019, so we have no real world information to go on.  His 2019 sim freshman crop ranks #99 overall thus far, with 10 winners from 37 runners to date.  The ranking was boosted by the fact that one of those 10 winners did so in a stakes race, as Clean Khani took a 5f turf stakes and has run 4th in a turf G2.  Thus far, his sim foals have been turfers, with 81% of earnings on turf, though we’ll see what happens as more foals are bred and raced.  The Clean Ecology x Affirmed x Nijinsky 2nd was used twice this year, both by the same owner, and the other filly is already stakes placed in her 3 race career.  Clean King (DI: 1.22, CD: 0.35) may have the pedigree to get 8 furlongs, and he might be the lone speed here, but his previous races give pause as to whether he can carry that speed the full distance.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – Arthurs Realm (Camelot (GB) x Minxawi [Dubawi (IRE) x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by heathy – 6/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $37,470

Capsule: Arthurs Realm, one of three fillies in the field, actually began her career in open allowance company and held her own, breaking last of 9 in the 5.5f turf race on February 4 but closing to finish 2nd.  That run was enough to bump her up to a 6.5f turf stakes, this time against fillies, where she again broke last in the field but came fast late, finishing 6th, just 3-1/4 lengths off the winner (the top 2 went on to run 3rd and 1st, respectively, in the Canada Day-G3 (6.5f-T)).  So it was no surprise last time out when Arthurs Realm dropped down into maiden company for the first time and absolutely blitzed the open field in a 7f-T MSW, sitting well back early but flying late to win by 2-1/2 lengths, earning a career high 78 SP.  Arthurs Realm is the 10th foal from 15yo mare Minxawi, and is the first of those by Camelot.  Minxawi wasn’t much of a runner in her day, earning just 4 wins in 35 career starts, with all but her maiden win coming in 8f dirt claimers.  But she has proved to be a solid broodmare, with 2 stakes winners (1 graded placed as well) among her crop.  Those stakes wins are all in routes, with 1 on the dirt and 1 on the turf.  For a description of the sire, Camelot, see Aces Over Fours below.  The Camelot x Dubawi cross has been used 12 times in the sim, but only 7 of those have won to date and only 2 have achieved an allowance victory thus far.  That may change soon though, as it looks like this particular cross likes longer distances.  Arthurs Realm (DI: 0.79, CD: 0.08) should be another one of those and has huge late speed, so don’t rule out her chances here just because she’s a filly against the boys.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Plenty of Muscles (Brazen Beau (AUS) x The Fijian [Zabeel x Elusive Quality]) – Owned by whoami – 14/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $26,280

Capsule: Plenty of muscles, one of three fillies in this race, had the latest debut of the field, waiting until May 9 to make her first on-track appearance.  Catching a field of 5 in a NW1x allowance, she had no problem handling her opponents, cruising to win by 1 length with a 58 SP.  She took a big step up in class for her 2nd race, trying a 5.5f turf stakes race against the boys, and she didn’t make a fool of herself.  Sitting midpack early, she couldn’t quite keep up with the leaders but held her own late, finishing 6th, just 3 lengths back, with a 70 SP.  Plenty of Muscles is the 5th foal from 10yo mare The Fijian and is by Brazen Beau.  The Fijian was a multiple graded stakes winner on the track, with 4 races in 24 career starts but a monster 2yo campaign that saw her win a G3 against the boys at 5f on the dirt in her 2nd career start, and then a G2 against the fillies at 5f on the turf.  Her first foal was almost as successful, as he was a stakes winner at 8-8.5f on both the turf and the dirt (and G2-placed on the turf), but her more recent foals have not had much success on the track, going a combined 2 for 53 thus far in their careers.  Brazen Beau, a multiple G1-winning turf sprinter in Australia, was the #155 ranked Australian sire in his freshman season Down Under.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #722 overall, with 11 winners from 20 runners, but no stakes winners to date.  In his 5 years at sim stud, he has only had 1 stakes winner, who won multiple 7f dirt stakes.  Like that winner, most of Brazen Beau’s sim foals have been sprinters (80% of earnings in sprints, sim AWD of 6.24), but unlike that winner, most of his foals have preferred the turf (68% of earnings on turf), The Brazen Beau x Zabeel cross has been used one other time thus far, but that horse is winless in 8 career starts to date.  Plenty of Muscles gets some class relief here and shouldn’t mind the distance, but she’ll need to take a step forward to compete with the best of today’s horses.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Sadlerdini (Bernardini x Sadler’s Wells x Giant’s Causeway) – Owned by stockswami23 – 3/1 (f)

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $35,220

Capsule: One of the least experienced horses in the field, Sadlerdini made his debut at 6.5f on the turf in Germany on April 4.  In that race, he stalked the pace in a field of 10 and overwhelmed the competition, winning by 1 length and earning a 78 SP as the 9/5 favorite.  He stretched out to 7f-T for start number 2 but didn’t break quite as well, sitting towards the back early and then only passing tiring horses late.   He earned an 80 SP for his 5th place finish and defeated today’s rivals Holy Crap (6th) and Rip and Wolf (9th), but Sadlerdini will look to take a step forward today.  Sadlerdini is a scratch-bred son of Bernardini, out of a Sadler’s Wells mare.  Bernardini ($50,000), the #33 ranked US sire in 2018 and winner of the 2005 Preakness Stakes, currently stands in Kentucky.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #19, with 126 winners from 170 runners to date, and the ranking has been improving as of late.  The class includes 7 stakes winners but only 1 graded winner as of yet, with that filly taking a G2 at 9f on the dirt.  Overall, Bernardini foals find dirt routes preferable, with 70% of earnings in routes and 67% on dirt, and he has a sim AWD of 8.19, not far off from his real world AWD of 7.46.  The Bernardini x Sadler’s Wells cross has been used 38 times in the sim over the past 5 years, with 7 of those going on to stakes success and 2 graded stakes winners among the group.  The crop is largely comprised of route or long distance runners, with a somewhat surprising preference for turf (60% of wins come on turf), given Bernardini’s racing career and pedigree.  That pedigree suggests that Sadlerdini (DI: 1.46, CD: 0.31) will appreciate routing, but he’ll need to prove that his last race wasn’t a sign of things to come as he stretches out in distance.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Unremembered Rooms (Shamardal x Montauk Highway [Street Cry x Unbridled’s Song]) – Owned by tribeca – 4/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $40,860

Capsule: Unremembered Rooms began his career back on March 11 in a 6f-T local MSW, where he went off as the 9/5 favorite in a field of 9 and showed why.  In that race, he broke midpack, but methodically moved closer to the lead and then easily dispatched of his competition, winning by 1-1/2 lengths with a 70 SP.  From there he tried open allowance company at 6.5f-T and tried the same running style, but could only finish 3rd.  That was enough to warrant a stakes attempt last time out, again at 6.5f-T, where he sat midpack and made a belated move finishing a respectable 4th and earning a career high 78 SP.  Unremembered Rooms will try to take things a step further as he stretches out today.  Unremembered Rooms is the 6th foal from 10yo mare Montauk Highway, and is by Shamardal.  Shamardal was the 2004 Cartier Champion 2yo Colt (and Breeders Cup Juvenile winner) and was the #5 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His sim foals follow his real world lead in their turf prowess (72% of earnings on turf), though they tend to go slightly longer than their real life counterparts (62% of earnings in routes and sim AWD of 8.02, vs. a real world 7.92 AWD).  The 2018 crop currently ranks #25 overall, with 105 winners from 152 runners, including 15 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes-winning turf routes (one at 8f-T, one at 10f-T). Montauk Highway won 7 of her 27 career races, including 3 stakes wins, and she was G3-placed, with the vast majority of those coming in turf routes.  Her foals thus far have been hit-or-miss, however.  2 of the previous 5 foals are stakes winners (one G2-placed), one in dirt routes and one in turf sprints, but the other 3 have not won at the non-local allowance level.  The Shamardal x Street Cry cross (which is pretty inbred, as Shamardal’s dam and Street Cry, the DS, are full siblings) has been used 6 times in the past 5 years, producing 4 winners and 1 graded stakes winner (a long-distance dirt runner who finished 3rd in the Breeders Bowl’ Dirt Marathon-G1 (14f) in 2017).  It wouldn’t be surprising if Unremembered Rooms (DI: 1.80, CD: 0.50) appreciates the route distance of today’s race, and he looks like a top contender here.

Watch Level: High

#11 – Holy Crap (Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) x Nureyev x Dynaformer) – Owned by 2019fmassatoga – 8/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-0; $37,530

Capsule: Holy Crap made his career debut at 5f on the turf back on January 30, where he flew from the back of the pack and got up to win by ¾ lengths.  He came back to run 2nd in a 6f-T NW2L next time out, but has struggled in 3 races since then.  He enters this race off of a key race last time out, a 7f turf allowance, where Holy Crap sat midpack but had to settle for 6th, earning a career best 78 SP and finishing ahead of today’s competitor Rip and Wind (9th) but behind today’s rival Sadlerdini (5th).  Holy Crap is a scratch-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor ($15,000), the #14 ranked European sire of 2018.  In the sim, Holy Roman Emperor’s 2018 crop currently ranks #210 with 24 winners from 42 runners, with 2 of those 24 winners having earned stakes victories.  One, Holy Hello, is a stakes winner at 8.5f on the turf and G1-placed at 10f-T, and the other, Royal Mate, is a stakes winner at 7f-T.  The Holy Roman Emperor x Nureyev cross has only been used 1 other time in the past 5 years, producing an allowance-level turf sprinter.  Holy Roman Emperor’s sim horses are largely turf runners (68% on turf), and while the best of his foals tend to be routers (60% of earnings in routes), the volume of runners slightly prefers sprinting (sim AWD of 7.81), which is in line with his real world AWD of 7.71.  Holy Crap (DI: 1.91, CD: 0.47) should enjoy his first routing attempt based on pedigree, and if he sits towards the back, rather than midpack like he did in his first 4 starts, he may have an extra kick in the stretch.

Watch Level: Medium

#12 – Aces Over Fours (Camelot (GB) x Ace of Sparks [Forty Niner x Northern Dancer]) – Owned by westburnmagic – 11/1

Race Record: 4:2-1-0; $74,336

Capsule: Aces Over Fours, one of three fillies in this open allowance, comes from a successful female line, but it took her a little time to find the winner’s circle.  After a 2nd place finish in her debut against boys on January 13 in a 4.5f-T local MSW, followed by a 4th place finish at 6f-T against fillies, she finally broke through in start #3.  In that 4.5f-T MSW, Aces Over Fours took on 6 other fillies and sat towards the back early, but was never out of it and drew off to win by 1 length, earning a career high 67 SP.  She followed up on that with another win in a 4-horse 5f-T NW1x allowance last time out.  She’ll try to make it 3 in a row as she takes on the boys again here.  Aces Over Fours is the 16th foal from 19yo mare Ace of Sparks, and is the 2nd of those foals to be produced by Camelot.  Camelot ($40,000), the #20 ranked EU sire in 2018, was a multiple G1-winning colt from 8-12f on the turf and has sired longer distance runners in real life (real world AWD of 9.50), and his sim horses follow that pattern, with 85% of earnings on turf and 80% in routes (sim AWD of 9.27).  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #73 overall, with 72 winners from 111 runners to date, including 5 stakes winners (3 graded stakes winners).  In addition to Kennedy Camelot (see below), 3yo Derby Fever Club has won back-to-back 12f-T Grade 1s and is currently the #3-ranked 3yo turf long distance runner.  Aces Over Fours was a G3 winning mare over 7f on the turf and earned 4 other graded stakes placings, plus 5 other stakes wins, in her 42 race career.  Of her 15 previous foals, 7 are stakes placed and 5 are stakes winners, including 2 graded stakes winners.  3 of the 5 stakes winners (including a G2 winner) were dirt horses. But the crème-de-la-crème is 3yo Kennedy Camelot, a full brother to Aces Over Fours, who has been a turf monster, having won over $2.7 million thus far in his career (all on the turf), with a win the The 2000 Guineas-G1 (8f-T) back on May 4 being the highlight of his career to date.  Kennedy Camelot is currently the #3 ranked 3yo turf router, and is only 1 of 3 of the 13 sim foals to date from the Camelot x Forty Niner cross to earn a graded stakes badge, all 3 coming on the turf (all 3 having turf route success).  Aces Over Fours is trying to emulate that success, but as of yet hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, but the pedigree suggests she’ll like today’s distance, and this will be a good chance to see what she can do.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field for today’s race.  It looks to me like Clean King and Rain Rover are the speed of this field, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they can sustain that speed for the full 8 furlongs.  I’m not so sure they can, so I’m going with (1) Arthur’s Realm; (2) Unremembered Rooms; and (3) Rain Rover.  Good luck to everyone!

Other Races to Watch this Weekend:

1)      Texas – Alw NW3L @ 6f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Kentucky – Alw NW3L @ 8f

3)      New York – Alw NW3L @ 8f (Fillies)

4)      Wyoming – Allowance @ 5f

5)      Tasmania (AUS) – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T

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Jul 122019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  Though “race” is a generous term for what we witnessed last week.  Then again, when 8 of the 9 horses in that race prefer to come from midpack or further back, even rocket-powered horses wouldn’t have been able to catch the lone speed.  That lone speed was Yankee Storm King ($8.20), who set a ridiculously slow pace for the 7f race and wasn’t even slightly challenged.  He quickly found himself 4 lengths in front, and opened up as far as 6-1/2 lengths.  Entering the stretch, he was still 6 lengths in front, and he easily cruised to a geared down 1-1/2 length victory, earning a 79 SP.  Intoishe, Data Kiss, and the remainder of the closers never stood a chance in this race.  But Intoishe showed some talent as well, closing well late and finishing 2nd, just 1-1/2 behind the lone speed.  Data Kiss moved with Intoishe but was the slightly slower horse and finished 3rd, 2-1/4 lengths back.  On the plus side, the lone speed angle makes handicapping that type of race easier, and I hit the top 2.

This week, the Future Stars Series heads to the Windy City where 12 2yo colts will try their luck at their longest distance to date; 7.5 furlongs on the dirt.  The field for the Illinois race is:

#1 – First Picked (Schoolyard Dreams x Stony Creek Freak [Shamardal x Beat Hollow (GB)]) – Owned by hawkes – 16/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $38,100

Capsule: First Picked made his debut back on April 13 in a 6f MSW in Kentucky, and he pulled off a bit of a shocker.  Going off at 24/1, First Picked looked like he had no interest early, ahead of only 1 horse, but he began to get a little more focused as the race went on and as he did, he continued to pick off horses, eventually getting up to the front and taking the victory by ½ length with a 68 SP (beating a field that has seen 3 others go on to win races).  His second start wasn’t quite as good, as he stretched out to 6.5f when trying NW2L company for the first time and he again broke last, but could only get as close as 3rd, earning a 63 SP for the effort.  First Picked is the 5th foal from 12yo mare Stony Creek Freak, and is by Schoolyard Dreams.  Stony Creek Freak only won 2 of her 28 career races, both in dirt routes, but earned a Stakes Placed badge thanks to a perfect placement by her owner, as her only stakes attempt was an 8.5f dirt run in start number 5, where she finished 12 lengths behind the winner but because it was only a 4 horse field, she was able to run 3rd.  Most of her foals have taken after her, with just 2 wins (1 allowance win) and mostly coming in dirt routes, but one, Gippsland Goddess (Zann) is stakes placed at 9.5f on the turf (though most of her races came in dirt routes).  Schoolyard Dreams ($2,000) was a multiple graded stakes winning dirt miler in his racing career.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #1,112 overall, with 11 winners from 21 runners.  He has not had any stakes winners yet in the sim, though he does have one G3-placed horse at 8.5f on the dirt.  Most of his sim foals, however, are dirt sprinters (78% of earnings on dirt, 74% in sprints), with a sim AWD of 6.44.  First Picked (DI: 0.89, CD: 0.06) will hope to be the first horse picked today and should like the extra distance today, but this ground may still be too short for him.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Mo Pyjamas (Uncle Mo x Fur Pyjamas [Elusive Quality x Ghostzapper]) – Owned by tc1 – 4/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $38,780

Capsule: Mo Pyjamas may be spelled the British way, but his first two impressive races both came in North America.  In his debut on March 31 in British Columbia, Mo Pyjamas went off as the 4/1 second choice in a 6f MSW and dueled on the front end early but ended up about 1 length off the pacesetters, and then fought gamely to the wire but was ultimately passed and finished 3rd, ½ length back and earning a 73 SP.  But he learned a lot from that race, and came back in Kentucky in May in a 6f MSW and walloped the competition, getting out to the lead and never looking back, opening up 2 lengths before gearing down and settling for a 1-1/4 length victory, earning a 72 SP.  Mo Pyjamas is the first foal from stakes winning 6yo mare Fur Pyjamas, who was sent to Uncle Mo to produce this colt.  Fur Pyjamas won 7 of her 32 career races, all on the turf, with the big victory coming in a 9f stakes where she battled for the lead early, opened up big late, and then held on at the wire, which is something that Mo Pyjamas will look to do here.  While Fur Pyjamas may have been a turfer, Mo Pyjamas has gotten some dirt abilities from his sire, Uncle Mo.  Uncle Mo ($125,000), the #13 ranked US sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 8-8.5f and has been a top real world sire for years.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #10 overall, with 129 winners from 185 runners to date.  7 of those have won stakes races, but only 1 thus far has earned a graded stakes victory.  His sim foals strongly prefer the dirt (75% of earnings on dirt), though there is a pretty even split between sprints and routes (51% of earnings in routes, with a 7.37 sim AWD), which is a little surprising given Uncle Mo’s real world preference for routers (7.38 AWD; note that US AWDs are typically lower because of the prevalence of sprints).  The Uncle Mo x Elusive Quality combo has not produced any stakes winners in the past 5 years, but of the 9 runners, 7 are winners (5 allowance winners) and 2 are stakes-placed thus far.Mo  Pyjamas (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.63) will stretch out a decent amount here, and there’s a bit of a concern that based on his previous races he might tire at this distance, but the bloodlines are there to carry him this far and he’s got a solid chance here.

Watch Level: High

#3 – I’ll Bet First (First Samurai x I’ll Bet That [Machiavellian x Blushing Flame]) – Owned by okieslew – 19/1

Race Record: 9:1-2-3; $57,745

Capsule: The most experienced, and possibly the most overworked, horse in this field, I’ll Bet First has been running roughly every 2 weeks since his maiden victory at 4.5f on the dirt in career race #5.  There, he sat midpack early in the field of 7 but put together a move late and got up by ½ length, earning a 67 SP.  Since then, he has tried various distances ranging from 4.5-6.5f on the dirt at the NW1x and NW2L level, never embarrassing himself but having the benefit of short fields to put together a record of 4:0-2-1.  The fastest of those races was the longest, at 6.5f, where he sat last early but started moving late, finishing 3rd of 4 and earning a 70 SP.  I’ll Bet First is the son of First Samurai ($15,000), the #69 ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, First Samurai’s 2018 crop currently ranks #335 overall (his lowest ranking in a long time), with 30 winners from 41 runners.  None of those have yet achieved stakes success.  His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters, with 66% of earnings on dirt and 64% in sprints and a 7.34 sim AWD, which also lines up with his real world AWD of 6.86.  I’ll Be First is the 13th foal from 19yo mare I’ll Bet That, a winner of 7 of her 37 career races.  She was primarily a dirt sprinter in her career, and picked up a 3rd place run in a 7.5f dirt stakes effort among her races.  She has passed down some quality to her foals as well, as 3 of her foals are stakes winners, including G2-winning Ultra Fantasy (Gio Ponti), winner of The Stanford-G2 at 6f in 2018 (one other stakes winner was a turf sprinter, while the other was a dirt miler).  In general, her foals have been sprinters, though it’s a mix of turf and dirt for them.  I’ll Bet First (DI: 2.14; CD: 0.68) may like stretching out to this distance, but he has raced a lot this year and he might need a breather before he’s able to show a jump from his previous runs.

Watch Level: Low

#4 – And He Rested (Creator x Iwillbevindicated [Bernardini x Broken Vow]) – Owned by wfstables3 – 7/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $30,360

Capsule: And He Rested put together a very strong debut back on April 5.  In that race, a 6.5f dirt MSW in Texas, he took on a field of 11 and stalked the pace early before assuming the lead late and pulling away to win by 1-1/4 lengths, earning a strong 77 SP as the 5/1 second choice.  Unfortunately, And He Rested saw a major regression in his second and most recent race, where he broke towards the back and stayed there, finishing 10th of 11 and earning a much lower 63 SP.  There has to be some worry that And He Rested (DI: 4.33; CD: 0.81) was a first race fluke, but we’ll see after this race which of his first two runs was more representative of where this horse will end up.  And He Rested is the son of Creator, and is the first foal from 10yo mare Iwillbevindicated.  Creator (2MM Yen), winner of the 2016 Belmont Stakes, entered stud in Japan in 2017, so he has not had any real foals hit the track yet.  In the sim, Creator’s 2018 crop currently ranks #167 overall, with 50 winners out of 89 runners to date.  Among those is 1 residency stakes winner at 8.5f on the dirt as well as a multiple G1-placed filly, Bode Girl, who was 3rd in the Bluegrass Oaks-G1 (9f) and 2nd in the Sister Hen Stakes-G1 (9f).  Creator’s sim foals have taken after him thus far as dirt routers, with 84% of earnings coming on the dirt and 58% on routes (the route number is likely to increase as a larger percentage of his sim foals run in routes).  And He Rested is the only one of the 3 foals by Creator out of a Bernardini mare that has won a race thus far (though collectively, the 3 foals only have 7 starts).  Iwillbevindicated was never much of a runner, winning only 1 of her 10 career races (that win coming in an 8.5f dirt route), so she is hoping to be vindicated by And He Rested here.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – Satellite of Hate (More Smoke x Seattle Break [Sunday Break x Seattle Sleet]) – Owned by guru13 – 48/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $31,372

Capsule: It’s interesting to see Satellite of Hate as the longshot in this field, because his 2 races to date were decent runs, and it seems like he has a better shot than some of the other competitors in this field.  In his debut on May 2, he clearly showed he wanted more than the 4.5f of that race, as he broke last in the field of 12 early but passed a number of horses late, finishing 5th, just 2 lengths back, and earning a 63 SP while going off at 122/1.  So he stretched out for his 2nd race in June to 6.5f and even though the oddsmakers sent him off at 22/1, he showed that he was happier with the added distance, as he sat towards the back early and then moved late, breaking his maiden by 1 length and earning a 68 SP.  Satellite of Hate is the 3rd foal from 6yo mare Seattle Break, and is by bargain sire More Smoke.  More Smoke, the #27 ranked Pennsylvania sire in 2018, was a G3-winning dirt sprinter on the track.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #1,553 overall, as it only includes 3 runners and 1 winner thus far.  Standing at stud since 2002, he only has 94 total sim runners, 2 of which have won stakes races (1 local).  His sim foals are typically sprinters (65% of earnings in sprints), as evidenced by his sim AWD of 7.26, and somewhat surprisingly his foals have been a little more successful on turf than dirt (52% of earnings and 62% of wins on turf). Seattle Break won 3 of her 19 career starts, all in dirt sprints, but those wins all came in the claiming ranks. Her first two foals have followed in that same basic trajectory, each winning multiple races (one in dirt routes, one in dirt sprints), but all in claimers.  Satellite of Hate (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.80) will try to buck that trend and become the first of his generation’s foals to become an allowance winner here at a distance that seems like it would suit him.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Kris Shingle (Mohaymen x Mo City Song [Uncle Mo x Carson City]) – Owned by saratogaspa – 8/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $49,770

Capsule: Kris Shingle might sound like what happens when Santa Claus becomes a lawyer, but he’s shown more speed than Santa would on the track thus far in his career.  Debuting at 5f on the dirt on January 10, Kris Shingle stalked the pace early and came running late, but just missed, finishing 2nd by a  head and earning a 70 SP.  So it was no surprise that he came back in March at 6f and had no trouble dusting his competition, battling for the lead early and quickly assuming it, never looking back and winning by 1 length with a 75 SP.  From there, Kris Shingle made the jump to stakes company and ran evenly throughout, finishing 5th, and he gets the class relief of today’s race coming out of that stakes effort. Kris Shingle is a son of Mohaymen, and is the 2nd foal from 6yo mare Mo City Song.  Mohaymen ($7,500), a multiple G2 winner at 8-9f on the dirt, entered stud in 2018 so he does not yet have real foals.  His freshman sim crop of 2018, however, currently ranks #129 overall, with 76 runners and 41 winners to date.  Among the winners are 2 stakes winners, one who has rattled off 5 thus far (and 4 in a row) in the 5-5.5f dirt range, and one who has hit the jackpot at 6.5f on both turf and dirt.  His sim foals have shown a preference for dirt thus far (75% of earnings on dirt), and they have had a sizeable preference for sprinting (81% in sprints), though it’s possible that could change once he has more route runners.  Mo City Song, meanwhile, was a 6 time winner in 24 career starts, including a stakes win at 11f on the dirt.  Like that stakes win, most of her best races came in the 11-12f dirt range.  Her first sim foal, Mo City Bern (Bernardini), hasn’t been quite as good, with only 1 win in 9 career starts, but he’s shown some promise at longer distance races recently. Kris Shingle (DI: 6.00; CD: 1.00) drops back down to the NW2L level today from stakes company to try to take his next step forward, and although the bloodlines suggest that today’s distance may be pushing his limits, the mare side of his line has the needed stamina to get today’s distance.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – We Say Not Today (Medaglia D’Oro x Mr. Prospector x Unbridled) – Owned by given6 – 3/1 (f)

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $21,231

Capsule: The sponsor of the race, We Say Not Today had a solid debut back on May 5 when he sat last in a field of 7 early, falling almost 7 lengths back in the 6.5f MSW, but came with a big move late and managed to finish 4th, just 1 length behind the winner, earning a 70 SP.  He took a step forward in his most recent race on June 9, where he again tried a field of 7 but this time 1-1/4 length closer, and so when he unleashed his stretch run, he was able to get up in time and win by ¾ lengths, earning a 75 SP.  We Say Not Today is a scratch bred son of Medaglia D’Oro, out of a Mr. Prospector mare.  That combination has been potent in the sim, as of the 39 Medaglia D’Oro x Mr. Prospector foals in the past 5 years, 32 have won at least 1 race, with 7 of those finding stakes victories and one being a multiple G1-winning dirt router at 9f.  Medaglia D’Oro ($200,000) generally has the #22 ranked 3yo sim crop, and he was the #12 ranked real world US sire in 2018.  His sim crop includes 100 winners out of 158 runners, 9 of which have won stakes races (2 graded stakes winners).  Among those is Barbara Bites Back, winner of the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1. Medaglia D’Oro’s sim foals have a strong preference for routing (70% of earnings in routes), which is in line with his real world 7.69 AWD and 8.28 sim AWD, and they have a slight favoritism towards dirt (61% on dirt).  We Say Not Today (DI: 4.00; CD: 0.98) will try to say “yes today” as he stretches out to 7.5f, which he DI and CD suggest might be too long for him, but which the other sim foals suggest will be right up his alley.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – West of Neverland (No Nay Never x Gone West x War Chant) – Owned by stepsutt67 – 4/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $36,720

Capsule: West of Neverland had a huge debut back on April 6, as he took on a field of 10 in a 6.5f dirt MSW in Kentucky and bolted out of the gate, setting pace and never letting anyone get within 1 length of him, winning by 1 with a very strong 79 SP (the 2nd place horse from that race is 2 for 2 since).  That run was good enough to send West of Neverland to stakes company, and he held his own at that level.  Setting the pace again at 6.5f, he held the lead for a long time but was run down late and finished 4th, beaten 3-1/4 lengths but earning a 75 SP.  He’ll make the class drop today as he tries to stretch out a little further.  Stretching out to 7.5f is an interesting move for this son of No Nay Never ($100,000, who was  a turf sprinter and the #85 ranked EU sire in 2018.   In the sim, No Nay Never currently has the #7 ranked 2019 sim crop with 40 winners from 86 runners to date.  This slightly outpaces his 2018 crop’s current ranking of #25, though that crop is doing a little better with 8 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners to date.   No Nay Never’s sim foals are heavy sprinters (75% of earnings in sprints), which is in line with his sim AWD of 6.6 and his real AWD of 6.16, and they show a slight turf preference (59% on turf).  The No Nay Never x Gone West cross has only been used 1 other time in the past 5 years, and although that horse in an 8 time winner, those wins are mostly in turf sprints.  The uncommon cross isn’t much of a surprise, as Gone West in the DS spot makes West of Neverland a 4×2 inbreeding, which isn’t a particularly common strategy.  West of Neverland (DI: 3.40; CD: 0.77) was bred for pure speed, and he has shown it in his 2 races thus far, but it does beg the question as to whether 7.5f might be too far for him – we’ll find out today.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Gormless West (Gormley x Ecumenopolis [Gone West x Blushing Groom]) – Owned by planobrgn3 – 9/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $3,000

Capsule: Gormless West is the least experienced horse in the field, with only 1 career race thus far, and that 1 race was a hot race.  Back on March 27, owner planobrgn dropped 7 of his 2yos in a hot MSW at 6f on the New Jersey dirt, and it was Gormless West who came away victorious, sitting midpack early and then coming on late to win by ¾ lengths with a 64 SP as the 7/2 second choice.  Each of the horses he beat in that race came back to run at the MCL level and none won their next races (though one has broken her maiden in a $3K MCL), but Gormless West was given over 3 months off and returns to the track today to see if he can compete with real competition.  Gormless West is a son of Gormley, and is the 7th foal from 12yo mare Ecumenopolis.  Gormley ($10,000), who entered stud in 2018, was a multiple G1-winning dirt router.  In the sim, his first crop in 2018 currently ranks ##176 overall, with 45 winners from 76 runners to date.  As of yet, none of his sim foals have achieved a stakes victory, though one is a multiple stakes-placed dirt sprinter.  His foals have had a dirt preference thus far (72% of earnings on dirt), and although it’s still early to tell distances, it looks like his initial crop has had a slight preference for sprinting (71% of earnings are in sprints, but 25% of his sprint runners have won, versus only 19% in routes).  Ecumenopolis was a very profitable mare, winning 14 of 42 career races and earning over $325K in her career.  She was a router all the way, with the large majority of those wins, plus 2 stakes placings, coming in turf routes in the 9-10.5f range.  Her first foal, Cosmopolis (Galileo (IRE)), fits that mold as well, as she was a 3-time stakes winner, all in turf routes as well.  But while most of her other foals have been routers, there has been a split between dirt and turf runners.  Gormley has been bred to a Gone West mare 1 other time, with that horse having earned allowance wins in both dirt sprints and dirt routes thus far.  Gormless West (DI: 2.76; CD: 0.75) has the bloodlines for today’s 7.5f distance, but it’s a big jump from restricted hot company to open competition at the NW2L level, so he will need to take a step forward today.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – Speight Spirit (Speightster x Spirit of Speyside [Bernardini x Awesome Again]) – Owned by slicker – 23/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-0; $17,298

Capsule: Speight Spirit got his career off to an inauspicious start back on February 16, when he tried a 6f MSW but trailed the entire way and never passed a horse (though that debut was a solid field, with the winner being the current #1 ranked 2yo dirt colt, Carsons Way, and the 2nd place horse being stakes placed).  After that poor effort, he was dropped into the auction and picked up by slicker, and after another dull start at 5f, he tried a 4.5f MSW against a field of 5 and finally did something on the track, sitting midpack early and then taking over the lead late, winning by ½ length and earning a 57 SP.  His most recent race, facing winners for the first time in a NW1x allowance at 5.5f, may have been Speight Spirit’s most impressive race yet, where he ran 4th but earned a career high 67 SP, sitting last early but picking off some tiring horses and finishing only 4 lengths off of the winner.  Speight Spirit is the 2nd foal of 6yo mare Spirit of Speyside, and is by a son of Speightstown in Speightster. Spirit of Speyside was a reliable runner in her career, winning 7 of her 24 career races, 6 of them at the allowance level.  All 7 wins came on the dirt, with 4 coming in dirt routes of the 8-8.5f variety, where she spent most of her career.  Her first foal, 3yo Track The Pack, only raced twice before retiring, never racing longer than 4.5f or finishing better than 4th.  Speightster ($10,000) was a G3 winner at 8f on the dirt, adding some distance to the Speightstown line, and entered stud in 2017.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #405 overall, with 28 winners from 52 runners to date.  None of the horses from his 3yo crop have found stakes success yet, but he does have 2 stakes winners from his 58 runner first crop, one winning at 7f and one at 9f, both on the dirt.  That’s unsurprising, as his sim foals have largely preferred dirt (82% of earnings on dirt), and the bulk have been sprinters (76% of earnings in sprints, 6.68 sim AWD).  The Speightster x Bernardini cross has been used to limited effect thus far in the sim, as of the 4 runners, 3 are winners but none has earned an allowance victory yet.  Speight Spirit (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.63) isn’t as sprint-bred as one would initial expect, and the 7.5f distance might suit him well, but it’s gonna take a massive improvement off of his previous performances to get the job done today.

Watch Level: Low

#11 – Poetic Silence (Heaven’s Glory x Newbar Sea [All American x Our Poetic Prince]) – Owned by canadiana – 26/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $29,200

Capsule: Poetic Silence has spent his career thus far on the turf, so he’ll try dirt for the first time today.  A solid 4th place finish in his debut at 5.5f on February 16 prompted the repeat turf performance, which resulted in a front-end win at 5.5f-T, earning a career high 68 SP.  Poetic Silence’s most recent race saw him stretch out to 6.5f-T, where he fought on the front end early but tired late, finishing 5th of 6 in a NW2L allowance.  Poetic Silence is by Heaven’s Glory, and is the 4th foal from 9yo mare Newbar Sea.  Heaven’s Glory ($2,500), a son of Tapit, was unraced due to a training injury but after standing his first season in Maryland in 2017, he was transferred to California in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #340 overall, and has a somewhat surprising (considering the current 18 BP cost) 52 runners, of which 22 have won.  His sim foals have shown a slight preference for the turf overall (55% of earnings on turf), and they have largely been sprinters (70% in sprints with a 6.51 sim AWD).  Newbar Sea was a 8-time winner in 32 career races, all in turf sprints, with her best performance coming when she won a 6.5f turf stakes race as a 3yo (she was most dominant at that age, winning her first 4 career races and 6 of her first 10).  Her first foal, 5yo New Aussiezeal (He’s Remarkable) inherited some of her mother’s talent, as she was a multiple stakes placed turf sprinter as well, but neither of her other foals have produced much on the track as of yet. Poetic Silence’s (DI: 2.11, CD: 0.43) breeding suggests that he might like stretching out a bit, but he’ll need to take to the main track a little better than he took to the turf in order to prove that he can handle the distance.

Watch Level: Low

#12 – Tarton Squirt (Mr Speaker x Squirter CB [El Corredor x Lammtarra] – Owned by tarton12 – 9/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $41,310

Capsule: The only gelding in the field, Tarton Squirt began his career on the good dirt in Florida at 6.5f on April 12 and pulled off a huge upset at 21/1.  Sitting midpack early, he came flying late and in the blink of an eye he had passed the leaders, drawing off to win by 1-1/2 lengths and earning a 70 SP.  He caught a 5-horse field in his second race, a 6.5f NW2L in March, and he fell way off the lone speed early in that race, but again came flying late and ended up in a 3-way photo that ultimately went to the pacesetter, but Tarton Squirt’s run was good enough for 2nd and earning a career-high (and field-high) 82 SP.  Of note, the horse he beat in that 3-way photo came back to run 3rd, with a 75 SP, in a 7f dirt allowance next time out.  Tarton Squirt is the 7th foal from 18yo mare Squirter CB, and is by the sire Mr Speaker.  Mr Speaker ($10,000), a G1-winning turf router, is seeing his first foals hit the real track in 2019 and he is currently the #25 ranked first crop US sire.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #166 overall, with 41 winners from 85 runners to date.  Of those, 2 are stakes winners, one at a turf mile and one in a dirt sprint.  Mr Speaker’s sim foals have thus far been primarily dirt sprinters (61% of earnings on dirt, 71% in sprints) and his sim AWD is 6.84, which is a bit of a surprise, given his on-track abilities.  Squirter CB was primarily a dirt router in her career, with most of her races coming in the 8-8.5f range, and she retired with 3 wins (2 allowance wins) in 15 career races.  3 of her foals are non-hot, non-local allowance winners, but 2 of those are stakes placed and one, Moon Squirter (Liaison), is a stakes winning dirt miler.  Most of her foals are dirt runners, with the best doing their damage in dirt miles.  Tarton Squirt (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.65) has the bloodlines to get today’s distance, and through 2 races the oddsmakers have been severely underestimating him, so this may be your last chance to get decent odds on this gelding before the betting public catches on.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field for this NW2L Illinois allowance.  I don’t have a good feeling about my picks this week, but I’m going to go with (1) West of Neverland, (2) Tarton Squirt, and (3) We Say Not Today.  But if you’ve got some extra cash, 48/1 is a ridiculous price on Satellite of Hate, who may not be the best in the field, but is almost certainly not the worst (though I guess we’ll see how he does).

Lastly, a programming note – The Future Stars Series will be off for the next couple of weeks.  But we’ll be back!  And also, I’ve got an unrelated special statistical project that I’m working on and hope to be writing up for the BTB soon, if I can figure out how to properly present the data. Good luck everyone!

Other Races to Watch this Weekend:

1)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 6f

2)      Louisiana – Alw NW3L @ 6f

3)      New York – Allowance @ 7f

4)      New Jersey – Alw NW3L @ 6.5f

5)      New York – Allowance @ 7f

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Jul 052019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  And that recap is…I FINALLY GOT ONE RIGHT!!!  Creed of Hefin got out of the gate quickly and grabbed the lead, but he was tracked throughout the race closely by Awesomizer.  As they entered the far turn, Creed of Hefin started to falter a bit and Awesomizer took over the lead.  From there, it was clear sailing for Awesomizer ($10.40) who grabbed the lead and held on to win by ½ length, earning an 83 SP.  Tuns O’ Kittens, who sat 4th early, capitalized on the fading Creed of Hefin and came on late, but couldn’t quite catch the winner and settled for 2ndCreed of Hefin may not have been able to keep up with the top 2, but even after fading he was still good enough to hold on for 3rd, 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner.

This week, the Future Stars Series finally looks for its first 2020 Bluegrass Derby contender!  We head to Kentucky, where 9 colts try to pick up their first allowance win in a NW2L Allowance at 7 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Yankee Storm King (American Pharoah x Storm Cat x Kingmambo) – Owned by stepsutt67 – 3/1 (f)

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Yankee Storm King had no patience for his competition in his debut on April 1.  In that 5f MSW, he sprinted for the lead, opened up, and then eased his way to a ¾ length victory, earning a 73 SP.  That was enough for his owner to bump him up to the stakes level, where he tried a 6f dirt stakes and went off as the 7/2 favorite, but was unable to get the lead to set the early pace and then faded to 7th, earning a 70 SP.  Yankee Storm King is a scratch-bred horse who is one of 19 sim horses to share the American Pharoah x Storm Cat bloodlines.  Those 19 horses have resulted in 17 winners to date, 3 of whom are stakes winners and 1 of whom is a G2 winner.  American Pharoah more generally has been on fire both in the sim and the real world.  He is currently the #2 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 3 winners (and 1 Graded Stakes winner) in 11 starts, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #3 overall, with 198 runners and 138 winners to date.  Of those, 16 have earned stakes victories (4 graded stakes winners) so far (both the fewest of any of his sim crops thus far).  While the 2018 crop may not be his best, it does include American Dane, who was 2nd in the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1.  His sim foals tend to prefer the dirt (66% of earnings on dirt), with a slight preference towards routing that will likely become a little more preferred as he has more sim foals (his sim AWD is a 7.78). The majority of the horses are dirt sprinters.  Yankee Storm King (DI: 1.67; CD: 0.50) is looking to add to the tally of horses that share his bloodlines, but the first step to doing that is to defeat winners, and he looks like a solid bet to do that here.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Dalakhani Motor (Eavesdropper x Induction Motor [Dalakhani x Henrythenavigator]) – Owned by melmel2019 – 15/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-0; $34,844

Capsule: Through his first 3 races, Dalakhani Motor didn’t look all that special, never breaking a 65 SP or finishing better than 5th in an MSW, all with odds ranging from 16-34/1.  But that all changed in his most recent race on June 9, where he repeated the 6.5f distance for the 3rd time.  In that race, for the first time, he showed a real closing kick, coming from over 8 lengths back to win by 1-1/4 lengths at 39/1.  For the effort he earned a ridiculous 80 SP, seemingly out of nowhere, so the only question for this race is whether that was a fluke or a sign of maturity.  Dalakhani Motor is by Eavesdropper, and is the 6th foal out of 9yo mare Induction Motor.  Eavesdropper ($6,600) was a G3-placed sprinter during his racing career, and he has been standing in Libya for several years.  In the sim, Eavesdropper’s 2018 crop currently ranks #322 overall, with 26 runners and 13 winners to date.  One of those 13 is a stakes winner in an 8.5f turf race.  His sim foals have shown a slight preference for dirt (56% of earnings on dirt), but while the earnings suggest a route preference (60% of earnings in routes), the win percentages suggest a slight sprint favoritism, as does the 7.62 sim AWD, probably resulting from the fact that a significant percentage of stakes success has been in turf routes, even though his sim foals have almost double the number of wins in dirt sprints.  Induction Motor only raced 9 times in her career, and her lone win was in a $60K local maiden claimer where she was the 1/9 favorite, so she didn’t show much of a proclivity for racing.  Her foals haven’t done much either (only 2 of the 6 have an allowance win), but all of the foals have been turf runners, with a mix of routers and sprinters among them.  Dalakhani Motor (DI: 1.15; CD: 0.21) looks like he might want to be one of those routers, and if he can repeat his last performance, he may be one of the top contenders in this race.

Watch Level: Low

#3 – Ice Point (Ice Box x Simple Wish [Point Given x Nureyev]) – Owned by atwistoff – 11/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $20,220

Capsule: Ice Point looked pretty good in his debut on May 17.  In that 5.5f MSW in South Africa, Ice Point sat towards the back early but made a mid-race move, getting close to the leaders, and then easily overtook those in front and drew off to win by 1 length, earning a 70 SP at 15/1.  Ice Point is by Ice Given, and is the 7th foal out of 11yo mare Simple Wish.  Ice Box ($7,500), the #99 ranked Kentucky sire in 2018, won the 2010 Florida Derby and ran 2nd in the Kentucky Derby that year.  In the sim, Ice Box’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #661 overall, with 21 winners from 40 runners.  None of those horses have been successful at the stakes level, and in fact he has only had 1 stakes winner in the past 5 years.  Ice Box’s sim foals are largely dirt runners (71% of earnings on dirt), but unlike his real world running style, Ice Box’s sim foals have been sprinters thus far (61% in sprints), though his real world AWD of 7.23 indicates a longer distance for his foals than his sim 6.88 AWD.  Simple Wish won 5 of her 19 career races, all on the dirt with wins coming anywhere from 7-10.5f, though 3 of those 5 wins came at the claiming level.  As a broodmare, Simple Wish hasn’t been that impressive, and only her first foal, Cal Given (Cal Nation) even has an allowance win (in a dirt route).  The rest have only won at the maiden and/or claiming levels, with a mix of distances (mostly on the dirt though).  The Ice Box x Point Given cross has been used 1 other time in the sim in the past 5 years, but it’s a promising cross as that horse, Ice Box Ridge, was a G3–winning dirt sprinter.  Ice Point (DI: 2.43; CD: 0.58) looks to make it 2-for-2 today as he should be happy to get some extra distance to run.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Cuique Suum (Carpe Diem x Carson City x Northern Dancer) – Owned by jcasino – 6/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Cuique Suum began his career in a 6.5f dirt MSW on April 23 and didn’t disappoint.  There, he fell to the back of the 9 horse field early, but came flying late, grabbing the lead and taking the win by 1-1/4 lengths as the 5/1 5th choice, earning a 71 SP.  From there, he headed to residency company and tried the ESR Fillmore East Stakes at 6f, but he regressed a bit, breaking last and never showing a turn of foot, earning a 65 SP.  Cuique Suum is looking to bounce back here.  He is a scratch-bred son of Carpe Diem, who was crossed with a Carson City mare for the breeding.  Carpe Diem ($25,000) was a multiple G1-winning dirt router (8.5-9f) on the track, and is currently the #17 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 1 winner out of his 7 runners to have reached the track.  In the sim, Carpe Diem’s 2018 crop currently ranks #48 overall, with 84 winners out of 123 runners.  5 of those winners have found stakes success, though none of the 2018 crop have as of yet achieved a graded stakes victory.  His sim foals have a strong dirt preference (69% of earnings on dirt), while also showing a preference for sprinting (57% of earnings in sprints, 59% of wins in sprints).  His sim AWD of 7.18 also suggests a sprinting preference, but we’ll see how his real world crop looks to see if this will warrant an adjustment in the future.  Cuique Suum (DI: 3.62; CD: 0.97) was bred to sprint, so we’ll see if the added distance here will help, but if his past races are any indication he should be a little happier here.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – Data Kiss (Freud x Saint Ballado x Smart Strike) – Owned by plano10 – 9/2

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $3,000

Capsule: Data Kiss took the “easy” route in his debut, running in a Hot MSW at 6.5f on May 22.  The field included 7 horses, all from the same stables, as owner planoaxius decided to see which of his 2yos would be the most useful.  That honor seems to have gone to Data Kiss, who went off as the 4/1 3rd choice and sat towards the back early, but made a strong move in the stretch and pulled away to win by 1-3/4 lengths, earning a 73 SP.  Data Kiss is a scratch-bred son of Freud, out of a Saint Ballado mare.  Freud ($7,500) the #39 ranked US sire (and #1 ranked NY sire) in 2018, is a full brother to top sire Giant’s Causeway.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #130 overall, with 62 runners and 44 winners.  2 of those winners have been successful at the residency-restricted Local stakes level.  Overall, his sim foals are largely sprinters (64% of earnings in sprints), with a relatively even split between turf and dirt runners (55% on dirt), and his sim AWD of 6.69 closely tracks his real world AWD of 6.71.  This is the first time in the past 5 years that the Freud x Saint Ballado cross has been used in the sim.  Data Kiss (DI: 1.93; CD: 0.55) will try to prove that he belongs in non-hot competition and that his debut was no fluke.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Going Buckwild (Stonesider x Buckpasser Cadet [Empire Maker x Dubai Millennium]) – Owned by tiomundo4 – 15/1

Race Record: 5:1-0-1; $35,158

Capsule: Going Buckwild, the veteran of the field, was claimed for $50,000 out of his debut and broke his maiden in his first race for his new owner, in a 5f $100K Starter Allowance on February 15 where he took on 2 computer horses and 1 player-owned horse and easily cruised to a 2 length victory.  Since then, however, he has struggled in 3 allowance-level races at double digit odds in each one.  He enters this race off of a 5th place finish, where he earned his 2nd consecutive 70 SP while trying to come from the back of the pack.  Going Buckwild is the 2nd foal from 7yo Buckpasser Cadet, who was sent to the Giant’s Causeway sire Stonesider.  Buckpasser Cadet was a multiple stakes-placed filly on the track, with most of her 6 wins in 27 starts (and both stakes placings) coming in long distance turf races (14-16f-T).  Her first foal, 3yo Capo La Gala (Cape Blanco), retired after going winless in 9 starts.  Stonesider ($2,000), the #8 ranked sire in Texas in 2018, is a son of Giant’s Causeway and was 1 for 1 in his career on the track (a 5.5f MSW). His sim crops parallel his real life crops, as the 2018 sim class only has 3 runners to date, currently ranking #1,438 as 2 of those have won.  He only has 1 stakes winner since he became a sim sire, and that was in a residency-restricted local stakes race.  His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters (67% of earnings on dirt, 66% in sprints), which aligns with his 6.85 real world AWD and 6.61 sim AWD.  It’s unclear if a 7f dirt race is the best type of race for Going Buckwild (DI: 2.11; CD: 0.50), but he’ll try to improve off of his past races and move forward here.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – This Time Gold (Medaglia D’Oro x Northern Again [Awesome Again x Storm Bird]) – Owned by pilgrim10 – 8/1

Race Record: 4:1-1-0; $49,221

Capsule: This Time Gold began his career on the dirt, trying a 4.5f MSW on February 2 and acquitting himself pretty well, narrowly missing breaking his maiden and finishing 2nd by ¼ length.  But after a very dull 2nd start on dirt, he switched to the 6f on the turf and broke through, sitting midpack early and then just getting up to win by ¼ length, earning a 68 SP.  Unfortunately, his first try again winners in a NW2L on the turf was any dull effort, so he switches back to dirt here to see if this time he can earn gold.  This Time Gold is the 9th foal from 16yo mare Northern Again, and is by leading sire Medaglia D’Oro.  Northern Again won 5 of her 14 career starts, breaking her maiden in a dirt sprint but winning most of her races in turf routes.  Most of her sim foals have been routers, but they’ve found success – 2 are stakes winners, and 2 more are stakes-placed, with a pretty even split between those who prefer the turf and those who prefer the dirt.  Medaglia D’Oro ($200,000), the #12 ranked US sire in 2018, is equally adept in the sim, as his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #22 overall.  That sim crop includes 100 winners out of 158 runners, 9 of which have won stakes races (2 graded stakes winners).  Among those is Barbara Bites Back, winner of the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1. His sim foals have a strong preference for routing (70% of earnings in routes), which is in line with his real world 7.69 AWD and 8.28 sim AWD, and they have a slight favoritism towards dirt (61% on dirt).  The Medaglia D’Oro x Awesome Again cross has been used 27 times in the past 5 years, and although 23 of those have won races, only 1 is a stakes winner (a dirt sprinter).  The combination has actually shown a slight preference for routing, and a slightly greater preference for dirt racing.  This Time Gold (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.72) seems well suited for this distance and surface based on pedigree, but he’ll need to take a big step forward off of his past races to really compete here.

Watch Level: Low

#8 – Intoishe (Into Mischief x Oishe [Distorted Humor x Bernardini]) – Owned by given00 – 9/2

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $47,770

Capsule: Intoishe, the sponsor of the race, was a slow starter in his debut but made a big jump in race #2.  In that race, a 6.5f MSW on April 28, Intoishe sat towards the back early and moved forward late, running out of racing room just before the finish line and missing by a head, but he saw a big SP jump from 63 to 75 for the race.  The winner of that race came back to run 2nd with an 80 SP in an open allowance next time out.  Yankee Storm King, meanwhile, had no problem taking care of business in his 3rd race, sitting at the back early but closing to win by 1-1/4 length, with a 76 SP.  Intoishe is the first foal by 5yo mare Oishe, and is by Into Mischief.  Oishe was an excellent runner on the track, with 10 wins in her 22 race career.  Among those wins were 2 G2 dirt miles, which is where she did her best running.  Into Mischief ($150,000), the #4 ranked US sire in 2018, was a dirt sprinter in his racing career but he’s been known to throw a longer distance runner from time to time in the real world.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #11 overall, with 100 winners from 143 runners to date (and his 2019 crop is currently ranked #1).  Of those, only 5 have won a stakes, but 2 of those are Graded Stakes winners, including Sim Eclipse 2yo Dirt Colt of the Year Into Being Nice.  His sim foals, much like him in real life, are dirt sprinters (77% of earnings on dirt, 60% in routes), though his sim AWD of 7.00 is a little longer than his real world AWD of 6.72.  Into Mischief has been bred to a Distorted Humor mare 17 times in the past 5 years, resulting in 12 winners, one of whom is a stakes winning dirt sprinter.  In fact, the overwhelming majority of those sim horses are dirt sprinters.  Intoishe (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.67) might be gearing up for a campaign in longer races, but today’s 7f distance should fit him perfectly and he is a top contender here.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Buzz Quality (Uncle Mo x Deputy Cat [Deputy Minister x Storm Cat]) – Owned by smokeglack – 4/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $20,220

Capsule: Buzz Quality struggled mightily in his debut in an ASR residency-restricted MSW at 6.5f, where he broke towards the back and stayed there.  But he came back 1 month later, on May 30, and showed that he just needed to understand what it was like to race.  In that 5.5f MSW, he broke midpack early but picked off horses in the stretch, making his way through the pack and ultimately winning by ¾ length, earning a 68 SP.  Buzz Quality is by top sire Uncle Mo, and is the 10th foal out of stellar sim mare Deputy Cat.  Uncle Mo ($125,000), the #13 ranked US sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 8-8.5f and has been a top real world sire for years.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #10 overall, with 127 winners from 185 runners to date.  7 of those have won stakes races, but only 1 thus far has earned a graded stakes victory.  His sim foals strongly prefer the dirt (75% of earnings on dirt), though there is a pretty even split between sprints and routes (7.37 sim AWD), which is a little surprising given Uncle Mo’s real world preference for routers (7.38 AWD; note that US AWDs are typically lower because of the prevalence of sprints).  Deputy Cat is the best producing sim mare that the Future Stars Series has profiled this year.  On the track, she was a 4 time stakes winning (and 9-time stakes placed) dirt sprinter who won 16 of her 56 career races.  In the breeding shed, she’s been even better, especially recently, with 5 of her 10 foals being stakes winners (and a 6th being stakes placed).  Among those are 5yo Buzzing Quality (Quality Road), the 2017 Sim Eclipse Award winning Dirt Sprinter, G1-winning 4yo dirt sprinter Fade Back to Black (Tapit), and G2-winning 3yo What Ever Ya Like (Union Rags), who is currently the #2-ranked 3yo dirt route colt who was 15th in the 2019 Bluegrass Derby.  Uncle Mo has been bred to a Deputy Minister mare 15 times in the past 5 years, resulting in 12 winners to date, one of whom is a G2-winning dirt sprinter, which is in line with the fact that most of the Uncle Mo x Deputy Minister sim horses are primarily dirt sprinters.  Buzz Quality’s (DI: 1.00; CD: 0.00) pedigree alone would make him the favorite in this race and a potential star in the future (as a behind-the-scenes aside, his pedigree alone is what put this race into the series; just under half of the total points assigned to this race are from his pedigree alone), but his on track performance may need to take a step up to really be competitive.

Watch Level: High

In my attempt to go on a 2-race winning streak, I’m struck by the fact that there seems to be almost no pace in this race.  And therefore, I’m gonna take the only horse who looks like he’s interested in being anywhere near the front half of the field.  So, I’m going with Yankee Storm King to win.  After that, I’ll take the sponsor Intoishe, followed by the deep closer who came out of nowhere in his last race in Dalakhani Motor.  Good luck to everyone!

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f-T

2)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f

3)      California – Alw NW2L @ 6f

4)      Texas – Alw NW3L @ 7.5f-T

5)      California – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f

Views (200)

Jun 282019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  Crying Allure got out to set the early pace, but she was quickly challenged by Marylebone and those two would battle for the lead.  It didn’t take long before Marylebone stuck her neck in front.  From there, there was nothing anyone could do.  Marylebone ($11.20) opened up a 1-1/2 length lead and was never really threatened, winning by 1-1/4 lengths an earning an 80 SP.  Primetime Kameha, who had stalked the early pace, stayed pretty consistent throughout the race and was a well clear 2nd, with a 78 SP.  Lingering Drama and Lope Cartoon both came running from the back, with Lingering Drama getting first run and just narrowly edging out Lope Cartoon, 3-1/2 and 3-3/4 lengths behind the winner, respectively.

This week, the Future Stars Series is finally going to check out the colts! (Though that’s only because I was tired of handling only 2yo fillies…The top 2 races this week, as noted below, are once again races for Fillies).  The Future Stars Series heads to New York, where 7 colts try their luck in a NW3L Allowance at 7 furlongs on the turf.  The field is:

#1 – Tuns O’ Kittens (Kitten’s Joy x Tuns O’ Fun [Distorted Humor x Storm Cat]) – Owned by dragonrider8 – 5/2 (f)

Race Record: 4:2-2-0; $87,290

Capsule: Tuns O’ Kittens, the sponsor of this race, has been very consistent in his 4 previous races, running first or second in each of those.  After breaking his maiden in his debut on February 14 in a 6f dirt MSW, he proceeded to run 2nd in back-to-back NW2L allowances on the dirt at 6-6.5f, showing a slight SP improvement each time.  Tuns O’ Kittens comes into this race off of his best effort yet, as a switch to turf back on May 26 saw him duel for the lead early and explode late, taking the 6.5f-T NW2L allowance by 2-1/2 lengths with a 76 SP.  Tuns O’ Kittens is by Kitten’s Joy, and is the 5th foal out of G3-winning mare Tuns O’ Fun.  Tuns O’ Fun won 7 of her 25 races, all in dirt routes-long races, and although she proved to be a good longer distance runner (with 3 stakes wins at 10-12f), her coup de grace was in her second career race, where she took The Adam’s Apple-G3 at 8f on the dirt.  Her first two foals were both very successful runners, as both were two-time stakes winners in dirt routes, though her two more recent foals both retired without a win.  Kitten’s Joy ($75,000) was the #1 ranked US sire in 2018 and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #46 overall.  That crop includes 74 winners from 146 runners, and although there are 6 stakes winners among them (mostly in turf routes), none have won graded stakes yet.  In general, Kitten’s Joy foals are turf routers, with 75% of earnings on turf and 72% in routes, which is probably in line with his 7.82 real world AWD (given the number of his foals that run in the US) and does line up with his 8.69 sim AWD. Kitten’s Joy has been bred to a Distorted Humor mare 17 times over the past 5 years, with 5 of those earning stakes victories (and 1 3-time Graded Stakes winner), all in turf routes, which seems to be the ideal type of race for this bloodline.  Tuns O’ Kittens (DI: 2.69; CD: 0.75) is looking to buck the trend of his dam’s family, but conforming to his sire-led bloodlines, by taking to the turf, but it certainly looks like he has potential to succeed here today.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Broadworld (Ruler of the World x Kodi [Kodiac (GB) x Broad Brush]) – Owned by lightng115 – 3/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $18,860

Capsule: Broadworld took the sim world by storm in his debut on April 14, going off as the 3/1 favorite in a field of 11 for a 6.5f-T MSW and he proved the oddsmakers right, breaking towards the back of the pack early but coming on late, grabbing the lead early in the stretch and pulling away to win by 1 length.  That win earned him a 76 SP, and so he made the jump to stakes company and acquitted himself very nicely.  Against more experienced 2yos, he again closed from towards the back and gained on the leaders, but came up 2-1/4 lengths short, finishing 5th with a 75 SP.  Broadworld is by Ruler of the World, and is the 3rd foal out of 6yo mare Kodi.  Ruler of the World ($10,000) was a G1-winning turf router currently standing in Ireland.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #217 overall, with 47 winners from 105 runners.  One of those winners is a multiple stakes winner as a turf sprinter (who is also G3-placed at 9f-T).  Ruler of the World’s sim foals have a strong preference for turf (73% of earnings on turf) but only have a slight routing preference (56% of earnings on turf, 8.29 sim AWD).  Ruler of the World has 4 sim winners from 5 runners with Kodiac as the DS, mostly as sprinters (2 on turf, 1 on dirt).  Kodi was not much of a runner on the track, as she spent much of her career at the claiming level, and her 3 career wins (from 16 races) all came in turf sprints.  Her first two foals haven’t been much on the track either, with a combined 2 wins in 27 races.  Broadworld (DI: 0.88; CD: 0.00) looks to buck that trend here, and he is well positioned to do it.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Fastnet Quality (Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Elusive Quality x Redoute’s Choice) – Owned by massanewbreed – 7/1

Race Record: 5:2-1-0; $55,490

Capsule: Fastnet Quality is the most experienced horse in the race, with 5 career races already under his belt.  He broke his maiden at 5.5f on the turf in race #2, back on February 23, where he broke in the back early but came flying late, earning a 65 SP.  He moved up to stakes company in his next 2 races, running similarly to the maiden score and just missing a stakes placing in his second try, at 5.5f-T, finishing 4th.  Fastnet Quality comes into this race off of a win in a NW1x allowance, where he went off as the 4/5 favorite in a 5.5f-T race and easily took the lead in the stretch, winning by 1 length with a career high 69 SP.  Fastnet Quality is a scratch-bred colt from Fastnet Rock, out of an Elusive Quality mare.  Fastnet Rock ($70,000), the #11 EU sire and #3 Australian sire in 2018, was the champion Australian sprinter in 2005 but in the sim, his horses seem to prefer slightly longer races (60% of earnings in routes), which is in line with his real world 8.65 AWD (8.03 AWD in the sim).  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #31 overall, with 99 winners from 134 runners, including 3 turf route graded stakes winners (2 at 8f-T, 1 at 10f-T).  Overall, Fastnet Rock’s sim foals have an unsurprisingly strong turf preference (80% of earnings on turf). The Fastnet Rock x Elusive Quality cross has been very successful in the sim over the past 5 years, as 2 of the 5 horses with those bloodlines have won stakes races, both in longer turf races (one in turf routes, one in long distance turf races).  Fastnet Quality (DI: 2.64; CD: 0.65) is a closer and that would seem to suggest a desire to run longer, but his best races thus far have been at 5.5f-T so we’ll see if he can prove that stretching out will help here.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – No Free Meals (Congaree x Shin Splint [Danehill Dancer x Deep Impact]) – Owned by mschweitzer74 – 7/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $30,360

Capsule: No Free Meals, the least experienced horse in the field, made his debut on June 1 in a 5.5f turf Local Texas MSW.  Taking on a field of 4 as the 3/5 favorite, No Free Meals broke last early, but got moving late and pulled away to win by 1-3/4 lengths, earning a 65 SP.  No Free Meals is the only foal from 7yo he-mare Shin Splint, who was sent to Congaree for this breeding.  Shin Splint won 6 of his 33 career races, all at the allowance level and all in turf routes, and throughout his career he showed an almost endless supply of stamina, winning everywhere from 8.25-15f, all on the turf.  Congaree ($3,000), the #3 ranked Texas sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 8-9f (including 3rd place finishes in the 2001 Kentucky Derby and Preakness).  His 2018 sim crop is relatively small, with only 15 runners, 8 of whom have won, ranking #1,060 overall.  In his sim stud career, he has only had 1 graded stakes winner, and has had no stakes winners in the past 5 years.  His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters, with 64% of earnings on dirt and 60% in sprints, with a 6.69 sim AWD and a 6.74 real world AWD.  No Free Meals (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.92) is bred to sprint, and although his debut speed figure is a little below the best in the field here, it was a 4 horse local MSW that he dominated and there’s every possibility that he’ll make a leap here.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – Creed of Hefin (Jimmy Creed x Hefin [Pioneerof the Nile x Malibu Moon]) – Owned by zanthulus – 9/2

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $35,755

Capsule: Creed of Hefin struggled in his debut at 6f on the good turf on March 9, tiring to finish 6th, but he bounced back in a big way in race #2 when he finally caught a firm turf.  In that 6.5f-T MSW, Creed of Hefin set the pace and never looked back, opening up by 2 lengths and hanging on to win by ½ length, earning a 74 SP (2nd, 3rd, and 6th in that race each came back to break their maidens next time out).  His most recent race saw him duel for the lead early and briefly take it, before being outrun to the wire and finishing 2nd.  Creed of Hefin is the son of Jimmy Creed, and is the first foal from 6yo mare Hefin.  Jimmy Creed ($20,000), a G1-winning dirt sprinter, was the #99 ranked US sire (and #5 ranked second crop sire) in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #309 overall, with 23 of 33 runners having won thus far, with 2 of those being victorious in stakes races (both on dirt, with one in sprints, one in routes).  Much like him as a runner, Jimmy Creed’s sim foals are largely dirt sprinters, with 70% of earnings on dirt and 79% in sprints, lining up with his 6.64 real life AWD and 6.39 sim AWD.  Hefin was a winner of 6 of her 39 career races, mostly coming in turf routes in the 9-10f range, which is where she spent the bulk of her career.  Pioneerof The Nile mares have been sent to Jimmy Creed 5 times over the past 5 years, but thus far only 1 of those have won an allowance race.  Creed of Hefin (DI: 4.33; CD: 0.88) looks to become #2 here, as he is well suited for this turf sprint and has the consistent improvement in his past to put his best hoof forward today.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Awesomeizer (Optimizer x Fawsome [Awesome Again x Giant’s Causeway]) – Owned by Parramatta – 4/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-1; $57,670

Capsule: Awesomizer began his career back on January 30 with a very strong 1-1/4 length victory in a 5f turf MSW in Queensland, where he sat up with the pacesetters early and pulled away late, earning a 70 SP.  After flying across the globe to NY and finishing 3rd next time out (trailing only 2 horses that are both stakes placed), he stretched out to 6f-T for his 3rd race and took a big step forward, sitting just off the early pace and then assuming it late, winning by ½ length with a field-high 79 SP.  The 2nd place horse in that race (the pacesetter) came back to run 2nd next time out in a G3 at 5f-T.  Awesomizer is by Optimizer, and is the 11th foal out of 16yo mare Fawsome.  Optimizer ($5,000), a multiple graded stakes winning turf router (and multiple graded stakes placed dirt router) entered stud in 2017 so his real foals have not yet reached the track.  Optimizer’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #540 overall, with 22 winners from 46 runners.  None of his foals have won a stakes race yet in the sim, but based on his real life preferences, it’s possible the horses will get better as they start to run longer races.  For now, his sim foals have preferred turf sprints (67% of earnings on turf, 73% in sprints), with a 6.31 sim AWD. Fawsome never did much on the track in her 33 race career, winning only twice, both in turf sprints.  Her foals, however, have faired better, with most having multiple allowance wins (primarily on the turf) and one, Awesomahler (Mahler (GB)), a stakes winner (and G2-placed) at 10f on the turf.  Awesomizer (DI: 2.33; CD: 0.53) will try to follow that one’s lead as he stretches out to 7f-T here hopefully on his way to bigger and better things.

Watch Level: High

#7 – A Kings Invasion (Invader (AUS) x Ameha Akna [King Kamehameha x High Chaparral (IRE)]) – Owned by summerset26 – 7/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-1; $34,150

Capsule: A Kings Invasion debuted at 4.5f in a Hot turf MSW on January 17 as the even money second choice, but he showed that he was no second choice when he sat 3rd early and then moved late, winning by 1 length.  To prove that the win was no fluke, he came back to go 2-for-2 next time out in a stalking style in a 6f turf NW2L allowance.  A Kings Invasion enters this race off of a career best 73 SP, when he stalked the pace early in a 6.5f-T NW3L and finished 3rd, 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner (who came back to run 2nd in an allowance on the dirt next time out).  A Kings Invasion is the 5th foal from 8yo mare Ameha Akna, who was sent to Invader (AUS).  Amena Akna was a turf router who won 2 of her 15 career races, both at 9.5f on the turf and made two failed attempts in graded stakes.  Her foals have also largely been turf runners, though her best has been more of a sprinter than anything else.  Invader, a G1-winning sprinter in Australia and son of Snitzel, entered stud in 2018 so we don’t have much real world data yet.  In the sim, he wasn’t that popular last year, with only 2 runners from the 2018 class currently ranking #3,002 overall (one of those 2 is a winner).  Only 3 of his 10 foals in the sim thus far have won a race, and A Kings Invasion is the only multiple winner in the group.    A Kings Invasion (DI: 0.60; CD: -0.13) may have the bloodlines for this distance and has been improving in each of his 3 races to date, so he’ll look to take another step forward here.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s the field for this 7 horse allowance, and overall, the field looks pretty evenly matched.  My completely meaningless predictions?  I’m going with (1) Awesomizer; (2) Tuns O’ Kittens; (3) Creed of Hefin.  Good luck to the runners!

Other Races to Watch This Weekend:

1)      Spain – Alw NW3L @ 6.5f-T (Fillies)

2)      California – Alw NW2L @ 7f (Fillies)

3)      Florida – Alw NW2L @ 7f

4)      California – Alw NW3L @ 7f-T

5)      Louisiana – Local Alw NW3L @ 4.5f-T

Views (234)

Jun 212019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  2 time winner Golden Temptress bolted out of the gate but was joined at the front by Livincal and Big Band Channel, setting a solid pace in the 7f race.  Those three stayed out front for a little while, but the pace got to all of them and they dropped off at the halfway point.  From there, All We Hear Is took over the lead, but that lead was short lived, as No Nay Spirit came with a big move from the middle of the pack.  No Nay Spirit ($14.40) grabbed the lead in the stretch and pulled away, drawing off to win by 1-1/2 lengths with an 82 SP.  All We Can Hear managed to narrowly hang on for second, just edging out Damardal.

I’m not sure why, but it seems that since the Future Stars Series has switched to 2yos, it has found that the best 2yo fields are fillies.  I’ve got some theories on this (is there something amiss in my code?  Is it that there are fewer filly-only races, so the fields are larger?  Is it really just coincidence?).  But the result is that, for the 4th week in a row, we stick with the fairer sex.  We stay in Berkshire, England this week, where 11 fillies try to tackle 7 furlongs on the turf in an Allowance race.  The field is:

#1 – Cathedral Cove (Sir Percy (GB) x Continuity Sioux [High Chaparral (IRE) x Pivotal]) – Owned by drivelhead002 – 12/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $24,456

Capsule: Cathedral Cove debuted in a Local MSW on February 24 at 6f on the turf, and at 13/1 odds she stalked the pace early and got up late, sneaking into the lead to win by a head with a 67 SP.  She came back 2 months later in a NW2L at 6.5f and stalked the pace again, but faltered a little late and settled for 5th, though she was only 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner, who would come back next time out to run 3rd in a G3.  Cathedral Cove is the 6th foal from 9yo mare Continuity Sioux, a winner of 1 of her 13 career races.  That win came at 7f on the turf, though she put up some decent allowance runs at distances as long as 9f before moving to the claiming ranks and then retiring.  Her first couple of foals had talent on the track, as both were stakes placed, one in long distance turf races, and one in turf sprints (including a 3rd place finish in a 7f-T G2).  Unfortunately, none of the next 4 siblings of Cathedral Cove have done anything on the track, all spending most of their time in the claiming ranks and rarely finding the winner’s circle.  Cathedral Cove’s sire, Sir Percy ($7,000), was the winner of the 2006 Epsom Derby at 12f-T and was the #95 ranked EU sire in 2018.  The sim hasn’t had much interest in him as a sire though, as he’s a bargain price and his 2018 crop consists of his standard 15 runners.  Only 5 of those have won, leaving him currently ranked #1,886 for the year.  Overall, his horses are largely turf runners that like to run long (69% of earnings on turf, 61% in routes), possibly explaining the low winning percentage (especially compared to earlier years), which is in line with both Sir Percy’s actual running style and his real world 10.09 AWD. There is one other sim horse with the similar Sir Percy x High Chaparral bloodlines, but he has only 1 win in 11 starts.  Cathedral Cove (DI: 1.00, CD: 0.00) is bred for long distance running, so extra distance should help here, but she might need to take a step forward from her last race to compete here.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Lingering Drama (Odyssey Moon x Isolationism [Shamardal x Halo]) – Owned by redsleeps – 8/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $16,860

Capsule: Lingering Drama debuted on May 15 in a 6f-T MSW, and after breaking towards the back of the field early, she moved late and under a strong urging by her jockey, she got up to win by a neck, earning a 70 SP.  Lingering Moon is the daughter of Odyssey Moon, and is the 8th foal from 15yo mare Isolationism.  Isolationism wasn’t much on the race course, with only 2 wins in 21 career starts, having spent most of her career on the dirt.  None of her foals have achieved all that much success either, though 3 are allowance-level winners, with all of her foals seeming to prefer turf over dirt.  Interestingly, her 3yo foal Everybodywantssome (Sulamani (IRE)) has yet to make his debut.  Odyssey Moon ($8800) was a G3-winning turf sprinter in Australia in 2017, and he entered stud in 2018 so his first foals have not yet reached the real track.  In the sim, his debut 2018 crop currently ranks #354 overall, with 44 runners and 21 winners to date.  One of those horses, Moonlight Well, is a 3-time stakes winner, ranging from 5.5f to 8f (all on turf).  His sim foals have raced almost entirely on turf (he only has 1 dirt winner thus far), and although it’s too early to tell exactly what his best sim distance would be, the fact that he was a sprinter in real life makes it seem likely that his foals will prefer sprinting once we get enough data. The second-year sire has been sent to a Shamardal mare 5 times already, with the 4 that have hit the track all having broken their maidens in turf sprints.  Lingering Drama’s (DI: 1.67, CD: 0.42) pedigree, however, suggests that she might prefer slightly longer races.  We’ll see if she can move forward as she stretches out a bit more today.

Watch Level: Medium

#3 – Vestida De Fiesta (Oasis Dream (GB) x Came Curlin [Camelot (GB) x Curlin]) – Owned by cavieres – 8/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $45,422

Capsule: It took a few tries for Vestida De Fiesta to break her maiden, but she made a big jump in her 3rd career race on May 16 to do it.  In that 6.5f MSW, she was part of the pace duel early, but put away the other pacesetters late and opened up to win by 1 length at 13/1, earning a 77 SP.  Vestida De Fiesta is by Oasis Dream, out of 5yo mare Came Curlin.  Oasis Dream ($30,000), the 2002 champion 2yo in England and the #28 ranked European sire in 2018, was a multiple-G1 winning sprinter in his career.  His 2018 sim crop is a little better, as it currently ranks #16 overall, with 106 winners from 158 runners.  Among those are 6 graded stakes winners (half of his 13 total stakes winners), mostly in turf miles; his 2019 crop already includes 1 turf sprinting stakes winner as well, as that crop is currently ranked #14 overall (27 winners from 59 runners).  His sim foals heavily prefer turf, with 82% of earnings coming on the sod, but they are pretty evenly split distance-wise, (52% of earnings are in routes, but 55% of the wins are in sprints).  Vestida De Fiesta is Came Curlin’s first foal.  Came Curlin wasn’t much on the track, with just 2 wins in 30 career starts, both coming in back-to-back races on the dirt at the claiming level (a $20K MCL at 6f and a $100K NW2L Claimer at 8.5f).  Vestida De Fiesta (DI: 1.09, CD: 0.08) is bred to run long, so she should like the additional ½ furlong here, and with the improvements she’s shown in each race thus far, she stands a strong chance here.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Royal Status (Wootton Bassett (GB) x Gone In Sixty [Medaglia D’Oro x Spinning World]) – Owned by riversdale – 10/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $21,360

Capsule: Royal Status debuted in a 5f-T Local MSW on April 2 and dropped to the back early but came with a late move, finishing just 1-3/4 lengths short in 3rd.  So for her second start, at 6f-T on May 13, she was put closer to the front, only 1-1/2 lengths off early, and she repeated that same late move, this time pulling away to win by 1-1/2 as the 4/1 second choice and earning a 70 SP.  Royal Status is the first foal from 10yo mare Gone In Sixty, who was sent to French sire Wootton Bassett.  Gone In Sixty wasn’t all that successful on the track, as she won only 2 of her 21 career races (both in the 8.5f-9f dirt range), though she ran pretty consistently throughout her career.  Wootton Bassett ($40,000) was a G1 winner at 7f on the turf during his racing days, and he was the #75 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop is his best to date, as players finally realized that he might have some talent, and the crop currently ranks #95 overall, with 65 winners from 94 runners (those 94 runners are more than his previous 4 years combined).  Only one of those has found stakes success, as a turf sprinter (only Wootton Bassett’s 2nd sim stakes winner overall).  Turf sprinting is where his sim foals find most of their luck (68% of earnings on turf, 67% in sprints), though his real life AWD of 8.31 suggests that he might be better suited to throwing milers.  Royal Status (DI: 1.91, CD: 0.44) looks like she might like a slightly longer race than today’s, but adding an extra furlong should be good for her and it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see her improve and finish strong.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Ravn Views (Global View x Ms Ravina [Mr. Greeley x Smile]) – Owned by deeprock – 27/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $21,232

Capsule: After a failed dirt effort in her debut, Ravn Views switched to the turf and took a SAF-local MSW at 5.5f in her 2nd start on April 13, sitting just off the pace and then propelling to victory at 18/1, winning by 1 length with a 61 SP.  Her SP improved slightly in her most recent start, a NW2L at 6f, to a 65 SP but she was unable to put a run together and finished 6th, beaten almost 5 lengths.  Ravn Views is the 7th foal from 13yo mare Ms Ravina, by Global View.  Global View, a son of Galileo, was a G2 winner at 8.5f on the turf during his racing career, and currently stands in South Africa where his first foals are yearlings in 2019.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #563 overall, with 18 winners from 41 runners, but while the numbers are low, they do include Darkquick, winner of The Hogwarts-G2 (11f-T), as well as a 3yo gelding with a stakes record of 7:1-6-0, all at 5-5.5f on the turf.  Global View’s sim foals thus far have a strong turf sprinting preference, with 68% of earnings on turf and 71% in sprints.  Ms Ravina earned the only win of her 13 race career in a $15K maiden claimer at 5f on the dirt.  Her other foals have not been too successful either, with only 5 combined wins among all of Ravn Views’ siblings; 4 of those 5 coming in turf sprints.  Ravn Views (DI: 1.00; CD: 0.17) pedigree suggests that she might like longer races, but she seems like she might be up against it today.

Watch Level: Low

#6 – Primetime Kameha (King Kamehameha x Primetime Dansil [Dansili (GB) x Daylami (IRE)]) – Owned by ss89 – 8/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $39,795

Capsule: Primetime Kameha broke her maiden at first asking on March 9, when she took on a field of 12 in a 6f MSW.  There, she dueled for the lead early, grabbed it in the far turn, and drew off to win by 1-1/4 lengths with a 68 SP.  Her second start was a 2-horse race, as Primetime Kameha dueled the pacesetter the entire way around but came up on the short end of the stick, finishing 2nd by 1 length with a 69 SP (though that rival came back to run 2nd in a turf stakes in her next race).  Primetime Kameha is by King Kamehameha, and is the 2nd foal from 6yo mare Primetime Dansil.  Primetime Dansil was a stellar race horse, and parlayed her win in the 2015 Breeders’ Bowl Filly Juvy Turf-G1 (8f-T) and 2 other turf mile graded stakes wins into the 2015 2yo Turf Filly Sim Eclipse Award.  After retiring at the end of 2018, she foaled her first foal, by Frankel, who made a decent run last time out at 10.5f-T but is 0 for 4 lifetime.  King Kamehameha, the #2 ranked Japanese sire in 2018, was the champion Japanese 3yo in 2004 who won graded stakes anywhere from 8-12f on the turf.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #54 overall, with 74 winners from 110 runners, including 4 stakes winners (3 of those graded stakes winners – 2 at 8f-T, 1 at 6f-T).  His sim foals are largely turf routers (79% of earnings on turf, 77% in routes).  The King Kamehameha x Dansili cross has been used in the sim 12 times in the past 5 years, producing 10 winners, mostly in turf routes, including 1 stakes winner and 3 stakes-placed horses, all in turf routes.  Much like those others, Primetime Kameha (DI: 1.00, CD: 0.20) is bred to run longer distances, so 7f shouldn’t be a problem here.  She just hopes that she has some of her mother’s talent on the track.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Marylebone (Galileo (IRE) x Inner City Lunacy [City Zip x Bernardini]) – Owned by drivel1 – 9/2

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Marylebone went off as the 7/2 favorite in her debut on April 4 and didn’t disappoint, breaking on top of the field of 12 in a 6.5f turf MSW in Berkshire-ENG and never looking back.  She opened up as many as 3 lengths before gearing down and coasting to a 1-1/2 length victory, earning a 68 SP.  Marylebone is the first foal of 5yo mare Inner City Lunacy.  Inner City Lunacy was a G3-winning turf miler (and she was a head away from winning the 2017 The Irish 1000 Guineas-G1 (8f-T)) who won 9 of her 20 career races, including 4 dirt miles and 5 turf miles.  Marylebone’s sire, Galileo, doesn’t need much of an introduction, as he’s one of the world’s top sires and was the #2 ranked EU sire in 2018 (with an AWD of 10.31).  That top class nature covers the sim as well, as his 2018 class currently ranks #18 overall, with 208 runners and 137 winners.  Of those, 10 have earned stakes wins and 2 have graded stakes wins thus far, but those numbers will likely continue to rise, as Galileo’s sim foals, much like his real life foals, love longer distances (79% of earnings on turf, 78% in routes).  Much like the other foals, Marylebone (DI: 0.90, CD: 0.10) should improve with added distance, and although this distance might still be too short for her, she just toyed with the field in her first race so it’s unclear how good this filly could become.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Crying Allure (Gold Allure x Arusha Accord [Street Cry x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by astinator7 – 7/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $49,456

Capsule: Crying Allure has narrowly set the pace in each of her first 3 races.  In her debut on February 22 at 6f-T, she tired and finished 4th.  In her 2nd race, she looked stronger but was outrun to the finish and ran 2nd.  In her 3rd race, she finally held on, taking the 6.5f-T MSW by ¾ length with a 72 SP.  Crying Allure is by Gold Allure, out of stakes-winning 11yo mare Arusha Accord.  Gold Allure, the #8 Japanese sire in 2018, sadly passed away in 2017 but was a multiple G1-winning dirt router (mainly in the 10f range).  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #634, with 19 winners from 29 runners (no stakes winners).  His sim foals are pretty evenly split in distance and surface based on earnings, though that’s skewed by the 5-time graded stakes-winning turf router Silver Way. By the numbers, Gold Allure’s sim foals tend to favor sprinting (with a very slight edge to the dirt).  Arusha Record, the dame of Crying Allure, won 16 of her 42 career races, all on the turf, with her best result coming in a 6.5f turf stakes that she won by 2 lengths.  She hasn’t quite passed down that talent to her first 4 foals, however.  None of the 3 have won a race at the allowance level, with all of their wins coming on the turf (some in routes, some in sprints).  The Gold Allure x Street Cry cross has been used 8 times in the past 5 years, producing 7 winners who are mostly sprinters, including 1 graded stakes winning turf sprinter.  Although the cross has produced some sprinters, Crying Allure’s pedigree (DI: 1.32, CD: 0.36) suggests that she might like longer racing.  Look for her to go for the lead again here and try to hang on late.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Otto Seattle (Dubawi (IRE) x Benaroya Hall [Smart Strike x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by merrychristmas – 3/1 (f)

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: The sponsor of this race, Otto Seattle had an excellent debut on May 8, when she took on a full field of 14 in a 6.5f-T MSW here in Berkshire as the 4/1 favorite.  In that race, she sat midpack early and at first looked to be in trouble, but she turned it on at the halfway point and caught the pacesetter that had gotten loose, winning by ¾ length (it was another 3 lengths back to 3rd) and earning a 73 SP.  The 3rd place horse in that race came back to break her maiden next time out, so that maiden race is looking pretty strong.  Otto Seattle is the 3rd foal from 6yo mare Benaroya Hall, and the 2nd of those to be sent to Dubawi.  Benaroya Hall was a good runner on the track, with 7 wins in 22 career starts, coming almost exclusively in dirt routes (mainly the 9f-10f range), though she showed strong abilities on the turf as well.  Although she never picked up a stakes victory, she was 2-time stakes placed, with both of those coming in turf routes.  Otto Seattle is the full sister to 3yo filly Otto Benny (Dubawi), the 2nd foal from Benaroya Hall, who is currently the #18 ranked 3yo turf filly router and is multiple graded stakes placed at 8f on the turf, including a 2nd place finish in the 2018 Filly Grand Prix-G1 (8f-T) (she ran 7th in the Breeders’ Bowl Filly Juvy Turf).  Dubawi ($250,000) in general is an excellent sire, as he was the #1 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop isn’t quite as strong, but is still solid, ranking #21 overall, with 105 winners from 167 runners, and the crop gets better as the distances get longer.  Thus far, two of those horses have found graded stakes victories, both in turf miles, and he has 7 other stakes winners in the crop to date; in fact, a ridiculous 42% of all sim Dubawi foals that have raced in a turf route stakes in the past 5 years have won.  Dubawi’s sim foals are primarily turf routers, with 71% of earnings on turf and 78% in routes, which goes a bit against his real life AWD of 8.76, though he’s still a route sire (his sim AWD is 8.93).  By stretching out to 7f here, Otto Seattle (DI: 2.43, CD: 0.67) looks to be reaching her peak distance, and I would expect her to acquaint herself to this class of horses very well.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Bony Day (New Year’s Day x Distortabone [Distorted Humor x Interrex (CAN)]) – Owned by sixesplus – 31/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-2; $20,170

Capsule: Bony Day began her career in a 4.5f hot MSW on dirt, where she ran a closing 3rd of 5, but the winner of that race, Extreme Seeker, is 4 for 4 in her career, and is currently the #1 ranked 2yo turf filly, as she has a G2 win on turf and a G3 win on dirt.  After 1 more 3rd place effort, Bony Day switched to turf and broke her maiden on May 11 in a 5.5f turf MSW, where the 12/1 shot sat towards the back of the 8 horse field early and came on late, getting up to win by 1 length and earning a 63 SP.  Bony Day is by New Year’s Day out of 20yo mare Distortabone.  Distortabone only ran twice in her career, finishing up the track both times, but she has proven to be a capable sim broodmare.  Of her previous 10 foals, one is a G3 winning (and 4-time stakes winning) turf sprinter, and another is a 2-time stakes winning turf sprinter (and G3-placed at 8f).  Most of her foals have preferred sprinting, while there seems to be a split between turf and dirt.  New Year’s Day, meanwhile, was the winner of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and seems to have passed that on to his sim foals, who show a slight preference for dirt over turf (53% of earnings on dirt), though they have been more likely to be sprinters (59% in sprints).  New Year’s Day moved to Brazil in 2019, but previously stood in Kentucky and although his first two crops did not crack the US rankings, he is currently ranked #72 in the US in 2019, mainly as a result of his “crossing the line in the Kentucky Derby first” colt, Maximum Security.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #438, with 14 winners from 27 runners, though only 1 has found a stakes placing yet (at a turf mile).  The speed figures to date may be a little lower than the top here, but Bony Day (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.83) looks like she likes sprinting and is headed in the right direction.

Watch Level: Medium

#11Lope Cartoon (Lope De Vega x Invincible Lonhro (Invincible Spirit (IRE) x Theatrical) – Owned by harrylan4 – 5/1

Race Record: 2:2-0-0; $36,360

Capsule: Lope Cartoon enters this race as the only multiple winner in the field.  After stalking the pace in her debut at 6f-T on March 29, she came on late and drew off to win by 1-1/4 lengths, giving the 5/2 favorite a 72 SP for the win, and she repeated last time out in a Local NW2L allowance, winning by 2 lengths with a 69 SP.  Lope Cartoon is by Lope De Vega ($80,000), the #13 ranked EU sire in 2018.  Lope De Vega’s 2018 sim crop hasn’t quite caught up to the real life sire, as they currently ranking #168 overall, with 79 runners and 48 winners, 3 of those scoring at the stakes level.  His sim foals show a strong preference for the turf (76% of earnings on turf), but are pretty middle-ground when it comes to distances, which makes sense given Lope De Vega’s real life AWD of 8.04 (though on the numbers, there is a slight preference in the sim for sprinting, as 53% of his foals wins have come in sprints and his sim AWD is 7.53).  Lope Cartoon is the 3rd foal from 6yo mare Invincible Lonhro, who won 3 of her 18 career races, all in the 9.5-10.5f range with most of her success coming on turf.  Her first foal didn’t do much in her 11 race career, but her second foal is 2 for 7 to date, looking like a solid turf sprinter.  The Lope De Vega x Invincible Spirit has been pretty successful, with 7 of the 8 foals finding the winner’s circle (5 at the allowance level), all on the turf, and 1 stakes winning turf sprinter among the group.  Lope Cartoon (DI: 1.29, CD: 0.13) looks to be bred for longer distances, but as the only horse in this field who has proven that she can beat winners, she’s got a decent chance today.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field of 11.  Honestly, this one seems wide open – I think any of these horses has a shot.  So, with that, I’m gonna go with: (1) Otto Seattle; (2) Lope Cartoon; (3) Lingering Drama.  Good luck!

Other Races to watch this weekend:

1)      Minnesota – Allowance @ 7f (Fillies)

2)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T

3)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 7f (Fillies)

4)      Kentucky – Allowance @ 7f

5)      Newmarket (ENG) – Alw NW2L @ 5.5f-T

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Jun 142019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  Prince of Sealand shot out of the gate like a rocket, setting the early pace in the 6.5f race.  Road To Heroes sat in great position just off of the pacesetter and looked dangerous throughout the race.  But as they hit the top of the stretch, it was Traffic Ride ($10.10), flying from well back, who got up and took over the lead.  Traffic Ride took the win by 1 length, earning a 78 SP for the effort.  Road To Heroes couldn’t keep up with the winner, but held on tight and narrowly edged out stalking Crafty Beauty in a photo for 2ndCrafty Beauty finished 3rd, and it was another ½ length back to Prince of Sealand in 4th.

On an administrative note, this week the Future Stars Series is making a slight change.  In an attempt to shorten these articles (which are getting way too long), and because there’s so little racing history with these 2yos, I’m combining the “Race History”, “Pedigree”, and “Expectations” into one paragraph called “Capsule”.  Is it still too long?  Probably (there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to pedigrees).  But it’s better.  So without further ado, this week the Future Stars Series travels to Berkshire – England, where a field of 13 fillies tries out the newly unlocked 7f distance in a turf allowance.  The field is:

#1 – No Nay Spirit (No Nay Never x I’m A Kayak [Invincible Spirit (IRE) x Galileo (IRE)] – Owned by harrylan – 6/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $46,370

Capsule: No Nay Spirit broke very slowly in her debut on February 16, but closed to finish 2nd in a 6f-T MSW with a 74 SP, so for her 2nd race she was stretched out to 6.5f-T and she responded in kind, dropping well back early but flying late to win by 1-1/2 lengths with a 72 SP.  No Nay Spirit is the first foal from 4yo early-bred mare I’m A Kayak, who was sent to No Nay Never to produce the filly.  I’m A Kayak didn’t spend a long time on the track, with only 9 career races and 1 win in a $30,000 MCL, where she was claimed.  That win came in a turf 4.5f sprint, but after the claim she stretched out and put up a couple of decent races at the starter level in dirt miles.  No Nay Never ($100,000), a turf sprinter and the #85 ranked EU sire in 2018, currently has the #1 ranked 2019 sim crop with 29 winners from 73 runners to date.  This slightly outpaces his 2018 crop’s current ranking of #22, though that crop is doing a little better with 7 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners to date.   No Nay Never’s sim foals are heavy sprinters (75% of earnings in sprints), with a slight turf preference (59% on turf), and this is true of the No Nay Never x Invincible Spirit cross as well, as the 3 horses from the past 5 years with those bloodlines have combined for 12 wins (5 in dirt sprints, 7 in turf sprints) and 1 turf sprint stakes placing.  Based on No Nay Spirit’s (DI: 1.15; CD: 0.14) past races and her pedigree, today’s 7f distance doesn’t seem like it should bother her.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Street Mule (Army Mule x Street Slew [Street Cry x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by want2win – 15/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $6,000

Capsule: Street Mule won her debut in a hot MSW in a field of 4, and that win propelled her up to the stakes level for her 2nd race.  In that 12 horse field at 6f-T, Street Mule broke midpack and moved forward late, but couldn’t quite get up for a placing and settled for 4th, 1-1/2 lengths behind the winner (who went on to run 2nd in a G2 next time out) but ahead of today’s rival Damardal (5th).  Street Mule earned a 68 SP in the race.   Street Mule is by Army Mule and is the 11th foal out of 15yo mare Street Slew.  Street Slew wasn’t much on the course, winning only 3 of her 31 career races, with only 1 at the allowance level and all 3 in turf routes.  She has, however, produced a stakes winning turf sprinter and a stakes placed turf router, with most of her foals doing their best in turf routes.  Army Mule ($10,000), a freshman sire and son of Friesan Fire, won the G1 Carter Handicap at 7f on dirt in 2018.  Army Mule’s 2019 sim crop currently ranks #84 overall, with 10 winners from 26 runners.  Those runners have focused on dirt races thus far, though they are 0 for 11 collectively on turf (against 8 for 36 on dirt).  Street Mule (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.81) will come from midpack today with the class drop to prove that the hot win was not just a hot race result.

Watch Level: Medium

#3 – A Shin Causeway (A Shin Hikari (JPN) x Of Campbell River [Giant’s Causeway x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by newastin14 – 11/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-1; $43,165

Capsule: One of the veterans of the field, A Shin Causeway struggled a bit in his 3rd place debut, but broke through in his second race, at 6f-T on March 15.  There, she sat midpack early and came on strong late, drawing off to win by 1-1/4 lengths with a 72 SP.  She came back on April 27 in a NW2L allowance at 6.5f-T and followed that same running style, but couldn’t quite catch today’s rival Golden Temptress and settled for 2nd with a 73 SP.  A Shin Causeway is the 2nd foal from 9yo mare Of Campbell River, and the first of her foals by A Shin Hikari (JPN).  Of River Campbell was a stakes winning dirt sprinter (at 7.5f) who won 5 of her 19 career races, mostly in dirt races around the 7.5-8.5f range.  Her first foal, Obambulate, has not done much on the track, with just 1 turf sprint win in 11 career starts. A Shin Causeway’s sire, A Shin Hikari (2.5MM Yen), was a multiple G1 winner in turf routes in his career and entered stud in 2017, so his real foals have not yet hit the track.  His 2017 sim crop includes 2 graded stakes winners, both in turf routes, and his 2018 crop is currently ranked #255 with 34 winners from 68 runners, with 1 turf sprinting stakes winner among the crop.  A Shn Hikari’s sim foals have shown a significant turf preference, while also seeming to prefer sprinting on the numbers (though 64% of his foals earnings have come in routes). It’s even more pronounced for the A Shin Hikari x Giant’s Causeway cross, which has produced 6 runners to date, 1 of which is a 3-time graded stakes winner at 10-12f, and 2 others that are graded stakes placed (1 in turf sprints, 1 in long turf).  A Shin Causeway (DI: 1.50; CD: 0.30) will likely sit midpack as she tries to move late.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Big Band Channel (English Channel x Street Band [Street Cry x Dixieland Band]) – Owned by pasorobles – 11/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $30,360

Capsule: Big Band Channel comes into this race after breaking her maiden in her second career start, at 6f on the turf, where she stalked the pace early and then moved forward as the pacesetters tired, keeping the closers at bay and winning by ¾ lengths, earning a 71 SP for the victory.  Big Band Channel is a daughter of English Channel, out of 10yo mare Street Band.  English Channel ($30,000), the 2007 Turf Eclipse Award Winner, was the #17 ranked US sire in 2018 but his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #311 overall, with 34 winners from 69 runners.  Only one of those is a stakes winner.  English Channel’s sim progeny are heavy turf routers, in line with his 7.99 AWD, with 75% of earnings on turf and 73% in routes.  Street Band won 7 of her 41 career starts, all on the turf and mainly in the 10-13f range.  Her first 3 foals have shown promise, with 5yo Daiwa Street (Daiwa Major (JPN)) a stakes winner at today’s 7f-T distance.  The English Channel x Street Cry combo has likewise been successful, with 1 stakes winning turf router among the 3 runners of the past 5 years (the other non-Big Band Channel horse is also an allowance winner in turf routes). Big Band Channel (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.80) will try to stay close to the pace or just off of it in her attempt to win 2 in a row.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – All We Hear Is (War Front x Teotihuacan [Giant’s Causeway x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by griffeyjr – 4/1 (f)

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: All We Hear Is dominated her debut on April 27, as she went off at 7/1 in the 14 horse 6.5f-T MSW and after breaking midpack, she kicked into high gear late and drew off to win by 1-1/2 lengths.  She earned a 74 SP for the win there, and she’ll stretch out a bit here which should fit right in.  All We Hear Is is the daughter of War Front, and the 8th foal out of 16yo mare Teotihuacan.  Teotihuacan is a stakes-winning dirt miler who won 9 of her 41 career starts, all at the dirt mile distance.  Her foals are equally well-acquainted with the winner’s circle, as she has 1 stakes winning foal (in a dirt sprint) and 3 other stakes placed foals (two in dirt miles, one in a turf mile) among the group, 6 of the 7 of whom have at least 1 allowance win (the only one that doesn’t is the 3yo).  All We Hear Is’s sire, War Front ($250,000), was the #23 ranked US sire of 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #6 overall, with 124 winners from 179 runners, including 12 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners.  His sim foals are largely dirt horses (69% of earnings on dirt), with an even split between sprints and routes, on par with his 7.32 AWD.  The War Front x Giant’s Causeway cross is popular, having been used 36 times in the past 5 years, producing 31 winners, 3 stakes winners/5 stakes placed (mostly in turf routes) and 1 graded stakes winner (coming in a long distance turf race).  All We Hear Is (DI: 2.00; CD: 0.43) will try to run back to that debut effort as she stretches out to 7f here.

Watch Level: High

#6 – Lady Is Roaring (Roaring Lion x Rain Spirit Quest [Invincible Spirit (IRE) x Rainbow Quest]) – Owned by stockswami11 – 9/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Capsule: Lady is Roaring enters this race 1-for-1 in her career, after taking her debut at 6.5f-T on April 8 by ¾ length.  Sitting midpack early, she came flying late and earned a 70 SP for her win (the 2nd place horse would come back to break her maiden next time out).  Lady is Roaring is by Roaring Lion, out of 7yo he-mare Rain Spirit Quest.  Roaring Lion ($40,000), the EU Horse of the Year in 2018, is a son of Kitten’s Joy.  His freshman 2019 sim crop currently ranks #184 thus far, with 34 runners and 9 winners to date.  Although we don’t know much about his stallion career yet, Roaring Lion was a multiple G1 winner at 9-10f on the turf when racing.  Rain Spirit Quest was also an excellent horse on the track, winning 8 of his 30 career races.  5 of those wins came at the stakes level, with 3 G2 wins among them.  All of those wins came in the 8-8.5f turf range, which is where he did his best running.  In addition to those wins, Rain Spirit Quest was graded stakes placed 7 other times, including a 2nd place finish in the 2017 Sand Castle Fee Duty-G1 at 8.5f-T.  Lady Is Roaring (DI: 1.46; CD: 0.38) stretches out here as she looks to take the next step in her career.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – Mafina (Finale x Playboy Bunny [Cape Cross x Daylami (IRE)]) – Owned by tobiman – 36/1

Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $25,200

Capsule: Mafina is one of the most experienced filly in this field, with 3 career races under her belt.  She broke her maiden on a good dirt track at 6f in race #2, but comes into this race off of a big SP jump when she made the turf switch last time out, putting up a 71 SP in a NW2L 6.5f-T allowance at 24/1 where she showed off a deep closing kick.  Mafina is the daughter of Finale, out of 14yo mare Playboy Bunny, a winner of 3 races in her 17 race career.  Playboy Bunny was a turf runner and seemed to show about the same ability in both sprints and routes, but spent most of her career in claimers or *CPU-restricted allowances.  Of her 9 previous foals, only 1 has won a non-hot, non-local allowance, doing so as a turf sprinter, but ultimately none of those foals have shown much on the track.  Mafina’s sire, Finale ($3,000 – FL), a son of Scat Daddy who was a G3-winning turf miler in Canada, was the #129 ranked New Mexico sire in 2018.  His sim crop is small, as the 2018 class only includes 3 runners to date, none of which have won, and currently ranks #3,480 (overall, 6 of his 12 sim foals have won non-hot races).  Finale’s sim foals are too few to really tell their preferences, but 4 of the 6 winners have earned wins in dirt sprints, though none have ever won an allowance race. Mafina (DI: 1.00; CD: -0.07) looks to prove that the turf bump in her last race was legit, and not just a dirt-to-turf bump, as she tries to become the first allowance winner for her sire.

Watch Level: Low

#8 – Forlorn Lover (I Am Invincible x Dainty Miss [Danehill x Mining]) – Owned by roosters02 – 7/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; 33,720

Capsule: Forlorn Lover, a daughter of #2 ranked Australian sire I Am Invincible ($27,500), enters this race off of her maiden score in her debut on April 7.  There, at 5.5f on the turf, she sat 2nd early before moving up late and taking the victory with a 67 SP.  Forlorn Lover is the 7th and final foal from 20yo mare Dainty Miss, a stakes winning (and 4-time stakes placed) turf sprinter who won 10 of her 49 career races.  Unfortunately, Dainty Miss has not been a great sim producer, and only 1 of her 6 previous foals have managed a non-hot, non-local allowance victory.  Forlorn Lover’s siblings have varied in distance and surface preferences.  I Am Invincible’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #24 with 91 winners from 119 runners, including 13(!) stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners; among them is 2018 Sim Eclipse Award Champion 2yo Filly Invincible Irish, and his 2019 crop is currently ranked #17 overall, with G3 winner Sinew leading the way. His sim foals are primarily turf sprinters (70% of earnings on turf, 71% in sprints), in line with I Am Invincible’s on-track career. The I Am Invincible x Danehill cross has produced 5 foals in the past 5 years, 3 of which are stakes placed turf sprinters.  Forlorn Lover (DI: 1.80; CD: 0.43), looks to take a step forward from her stalking position in today’s race.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Livincal (Acclamation (GB) x Livininthefuture [Redoute’s Choice x Kris S.]) – Owned by extras7 – 15/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $30,360

Capsule: Livincal had a rough debut on February 23, trying a 6f-T MSW but tiring to finish 7th.  She came back in a big way on April 10, however, opening up a large lead as the pacesetter in a 6.5f-T MSW and then hanging on late to win by ½ length, earning a 67 SP.  Livincal is by Acclamation, the #17 EU sire of 2018, and is the 3rd foal out of 6yo mare Livininthefuture.  Acclamation ($40,000), a sprint sire with a real life 6.85 AWD, produces the same in the sim, with 70% of earnings on turf and 65% in sprints.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #96 overall, with 59 winners from 89 runners, including 4 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners (including Japanese Oaks-G1 (12f-T) winner Skaftafell).  Livininthefuture was a 3-time allowance winner and won 5 of her 22 career races, all in turf sprints.  Her first foal, 4yo, Sea The Future (Sea The Stars (IRE)), improved on Livininthefuture and is already a 2-time stakes winner at 5.5f on the turf through 10 career races; however, her second foal is winless through 8 career starts.  The Acclamation x Redoute’s Choice cross has produced 13 runners in the past 5 years, 4 of which are stakes placed (1 stakes winner) in turf sprints (1 is also stakes placed in a turf route).  Livincal (DI: 1.40; CD: 0.17) may try to wire this field just like she did in her last race.

Watch Level: Low

#10 – Golden Temptress (Gold Allure (JPN) x Tempestuous Outburst [Congrats x Johannesburg]) – Owned by mfwoodward – 13/1

Race Record: 2:2-0-0; $48,300

Capsule: Golden Temptress is the most accomplished horse in this field, being the only filly with 2 wins on her record already.  After breaking her maiden on February 22 at 6f on the turf, she tried a NW2L allowance at 6.5f-T on April 27 and proved that her debut was no fluke, as she sat just off of the pace and then showed no mercy in pulling away to win by 1-1/4 lengths, earning a career-high 75 SP and defeating today’s rival A Shin Causeway (2nd).  Golden Temptress is the 3rd foal from 8yo mare Tempestuous Outburst and is the daughter of Gold Allure.  Tempestuous Outburst was a stakes winning turf sprinter in her racing days, winning 7 of her 28 career races, all in turf sprints.  Her first two foals, however, have picked up all of their wins in dirt routes, so it will be interesting to see if Golden Temptress follows more closely behind her mother or her half-siblings.  Gold Allure, the #8 Japanese sire in 2018, sadly passed away in 2017 but was a multiple G1-winning dirt router (mainly in the 10f range).  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #629, with 18 winners from 29 runners (no stakes winners).  His sim foals are pretty evenly split in distance and surface based on earnings, though that’s skewed by the 5-time graded stakes-winning turf router Silver Way. By the numbers, Gold Allure’s sim foals tend to favor sprinting (with a very slight edge to the dirt).  Golden Temptress (DI: 2.08; CD: 0.60) will try to sit just off the pace as she tries to start her career with a 3 race winning streak.

Watch Level: High

#11 – Damardal (Shamardal x Bichito Rapido[Dansili (GB) x Distorted Humor]) – Owned by desertdog18 – 5/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $32,360

Capsule: Damardal looked like a world beater in her debut on February 23 at 6f on the turf, as she dueled on the pace and held on to win by ½ length, earning a monster 78 SP (the 2nd place horse from that race came back to run 2nd with a 74 SP in her next maiden attempt, and then finally broke it in race #3).  That effort led to a stakes run at 6f-T on May 5, where Damardal went off as the 3/1 favorite but disappointed, finishing 5th with only a 68 SP and finishing just behind today’s rival Street Mule (4th), though the winner of that stakes came back to run 2nd in a G2 next time out).  Damardal is the only foal from 6yo he-mare Bichito Rapido, who was sent to Shamardal when he was retired.  Bichito Rapido won 6 of his 29 career races, 4 of those at the allowance level, and he did his best running in turf miles (running 5th at both the stakes and G3 levels).  Shamardal, meanwhile, was the 2004 Cartier Champion 2yo Colt (and Breeders Cup Juvenile winner) and was the #5 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His sim foals follow his real world lead in their turf prowess (72% of earnings on turf), though they tend to go slightly longer than their real life counterparts (62% of earnings in routes, vs. a real world 7.92 AWD).  The 2018 crop currently ranks #30 overall, with 97 winners from 151 runners, including 14 stakes winner and 1 G3-winning turf miler.  The Shamardal x Dansili cross has produced 14 horses in the past 5 years, 3 of which have won turf route stakes, and 2 of which have won graded stakes (1 in a turf sprint, 1 in a turf route).  Damardal (DI: 1.40; CD: 0.25) drops back down in class here and stretches out to try and prove that her debut was not a fluke.

Watch Level: Medium

#12 – Carrying On (Harry Angel (IRE) x In Philadelphia [Lonhro x Kingmambo]) – Owned by plainfield – 11/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $43,545

Capsule: Carrying On made her debut on February 24 at 6f on the turf and sat towards the back early, slowly picking off some of her competitors and settling for 2nd, 2 lengths back of the winner (who went on to repeat at the allowance level next time out) and earning a 68 SP.  Her second race showed that she just needed to get her sea legs under her, as she again sat back early but came flying late in a 6.5f-T MSW, winning by 1-3/4 lengths and earning a 73 SP on April 23.  Carrying On is the daughter of Harry Angel (IRE), out of early-bred 4yo mare In Philadelphia.  In Philadelphia wasn’t much on the track, winning her debut at 6f on the turf but never finding consistency anywhere.  Her fastest race was at 8.5f on the dirt when she ran 2nd in a NW2L.  Freshman sire Harry Angel ($20,000) was the 2017 Cartier Champion Sprinter.  His 2019 sim crop currently ranks #94 overall, with 6 of 26 winners (all but 3 of the races have come on turf thus far).  Carrying On (DI: 0.71; CD: 0.00) will sit midpack or further back here, but the added half furlong should help.

Watch Level: High

#13 – Tysha (Zelzal (FR) x Tyrion Kills Me [Dansili (GB) x Dynaformer]) – Owned by dosstables – 13/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $18,030

Capsule: Tysha got away from the gate slowly in her debut at 6f-T on March 16, but came on late and got up to win by ¾ length, earning a 67 SP in the win (the 2nd place horse jumped up to the allowance level in her next race and picked up a win with a 74 SP).  Unfortunately, Tysha didn’t show the same late move in her 2nd race, a NW2L at 6.5f-T on April 28, and after sitting 6th of 7 early, she couldn’t really advance and had to settle for a 4th place finish with a 64 SP.  Tysha is the second foal from 7yo mare Tyrion Kills Me, a turf router who was twice stakes placed at 9.5-10f-T and won 11 of 33 career races, all but one in turf routes. Her first foal, Duraformer (Duramente (JPN)), is 3 for 5 lifetime thus far in his career, making a massive jump in SP from 2 to 3 when stretching out to turf routes.  Tysha’s second year sire, Zelzal ($8,000), was a G1-winning turf miler in his career.  His first sim crop currently ranks #245 overall with 31 winners from 59 runners.  Included in that crop are 3 stakes winners and 1 graded stakes winner, Lactical, winner of the Triangular Star Stakes-G3 (8.5f-T).   The Zelzal x Dansili cross has produced 3 runners thus far, and all 3 have won races, though none have yet earned an allowance win through 19 combined races.  Tysha (DI: 0.89; CD: 0.00) will look to close from the back of the pack as she looks to mimic her sibling’s jump between races 2 and 3.

Watch Level: Low

That’s the field for this 7f turf allowance.  It’s a tough call, because a lot of these fillies look like they have some talent. But I’m gonna go with Golden Temptress, the only runner here proven at this level.  Following her, I’ll take the class drop of Damardal to correct the big SP drop, followed closely by All We Hear Is.

Other Races to Watch This Weekend:

1)      Florida – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Kentucky – Allowance @ 6f (Fillies)

3)      Paris – FR – Alw NW2L @ 6f-T (Fillies)

4)      Florida – Alw NW2L @ 7f

5)      Kentucky – Allowance @ 7f (Fillies)

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Jun 102019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  It was a relatively solid pace that led to a bit of a duel up front, between Yankee Justine and Dry Eyes.  They were neck and neck for the first half of the race, with Yankee Justine slightly ahead, but Yankee Justine started to wear out slightly and Dry Eyes took the lead at the top of the stretch.  But instead, the solid pace was enough to allow for a closing kick, and that charge came from Ship The Kash ($16.20), who came flying from 9th early to challenge Dry Eyes.  Ship The Kash grabbed the lead and crossed the finish line first, winning by 1 length with a 79 SP.  Dry Eyes held on for 2nd, and it was another 1-1/2 lengths back to Yankee Justine, who was well clear of 4th.

For the throngs of Future Stars Series fans who said “that last 2yo race was great!  I just want to see more of it!” Well…you’re in luck!  Because we’re staying in Kentucky this week, as we, for the 2nd week in a row, check out a 6.5f dirt NW2L Allowance for 2yo fillies.  This race has drawn a field of 9.  The field is:

#1 – Crafty Beauty (Take Charge Indy x Pioneers Tale [Tale of Ekati x Pioneerof the Nile]) – Owned by holdingnyc – 15/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $9,876

Race History: Crafty Beauty said “no thanks” to the maiden level and instead debuted in an allowance at 5f on the dirt on January 30 in Minnesota.  Taking on 12 rivals, Crafty Beauty went off at 17/1 and wasn’t the fastest out of the gate, as she ended up 6th early (though only ½ length back).  But it turns out she was the most mature of the group, and slowly moved up until she finally got to the front, getting up to win by a neck and earning a 67 SP.  She came back 1 month later in a NW2L at 6f and sat 3rd early but tired and finished 5th, earning a 66 SP.  Crafty Beauty will try to get crafty and find her way back to the front today.

Pedigree: Take Charge Indy, the G1-winning son of Hall of Famer Take Charge Lady, currently stands in South Korea and was the #218 ranked Korean sire in 2018.  In the sim, Take Charge Indy’s 2018 crop currently ranks #57 overall with 69 winners from 104 starters, winning at an 18% rate.  Among those are 2 G1 winners, one at 9f on the dirt and one at 7f on the dirt.  In addition, his 2019 crop already includes 1 stakes winner, Purple Heart Lane, who took a 5.5f dirt stakes back on April 21.  Take Charge Indy’s sim foals largely prefer the dirt (73% of earnings on dirt), but are evenly split between sprints and routes (51% in routes), though he has more sprinting winners than routing winners.  Crafty Beauty is the first foal from 5yo mare Pioneers Tale.  Pioneers Tale won 3 of her 17 career races, but did most of her damage early.  After rattling off 2 straight wins at 5f on dirt to start her career, she tried stakes company and ran 3rd in a 5.5f dirt stakes.  Unfortunately, that was the highlight of her career.  She found sprinting to be her best distance, specifically around 7f, and seemed to be showing promise on turf in the claiming ranks before retiring.  Crafty Beauty is one of 2 sim foals from the past 5 years that are by Take Charge Indy out of a Tale of Ekati mare, but the other has not shown anything on the track in 7 career starts.  The Cairo Prince x Forestry cross is unexpectedly popular, with 6 sim horses sharing that lineage over the past 5 years.  Of those, 4 have found the winner’s circle, all in dirt sprints, but each (including Prince of Sealand) has only 1 victory (a 4 for 66 record in dirt sprints lifetime).  Crafty Beauty’s dosage index of 3.00 and CD of 0.64 suggest she might like slightly longer than today’s distance, but not too much longer.

Expectations: Crafty Beauty came up big as a longshot in her debut race, but didn’t seem to progress much in her second.  She got 3 months off after that run though, so we’ll see if she’s got something extra on the track as she likely tries to stalk the pace.  Being one of the more experienced horses in the field, she’s got a chance, but she’ll likely need to step up a bit to get the job done here.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Blue Candy Maker (Candy Ride (ARG) x Tis Taz Cat [Bluegrass Cat x Empire Maker]) – Owned by rickybobbylod – 8/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Blue Candy Maker made her debut back on April 14, when she took on a field of 10 in a 6.5f dirt MSW here in Kentucky.  Off at 8/1, she stalked the pace early, sitting 2 lengths back in 3rd, but came charging late and got first run over a couple of her competitors, managing to grab the lead and then hold on to win by a head, earning a 69 SP.  A decent number of that field has come back to run 70+ SPs, with the 5th and 7th place finishers breaking their maidens next time out.  Blue Candy Maker will look to keep the ball rolling 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 is a solid sire, as his 2018 crop currently ranks #35 overall.  That 3yo crop includes 134 runners to date, from which 78 have won races at a 17% rate.  5 of those winners have pulled off the feat at the stakes level, mostly in dirt routes, and two are G2 winners, including Black Middle Flower Stk-G2 winner OG Candy Front, though two (including 1 G2) stakes winners have done so in 7-7.5f dirt sprints.  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).  Blue Candy Maker is the sole foal from 5yo he-mare TIs Taz Cat.  Tiz Tas Cat won 5 of his 22 career races, including 4 at the allowance level, and managed a 3rd place in a 5 horse stakes at 5.5f on the dirt as a 3yo.  Most of his races did occur in sprints, but he actually found the turf more to his liking, doing his best running at 6-7f on the turf.  Candy Ride has been bred to a Bluegrass Cat mare 3 times in the past 5 years, but neither of those other horses have broken their maidens as of yet, both showing minimal dirt talent.  Blue Candy Maker’s 1.67 dosage index and 0.42 CD are screaming out for more distance than today’s race, so watch out for her once 2yos can start running longer distances later in the year.

Expectations: Blue Candy Maker put together a solid debut effort as she caught a pretty quick pace but had no issues withstanding the heat, either on the front end or coming late.  The pedigree indicates that she shouldn’t have any problem with the distance, though there is a question if she’ll prefer the turf.  Still, look for her to take a step forward here.

Watch Level: Medium

#3 – Miss Warrior (Warrior’s Reward x Attip [Tapit x Tale of the Cat]) – Owned by kashman – 11/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Miss Warrior, a PA-bred filly, opened her racing career at 4.5f on the dirt in Kentucky on April 21.  There, she barely got away from the gate, breaking 7th in the field of 8, dropping 3-1/2 lengths back early.  But she came flying late, and just barely got up to take the win by a head, earning a 65 SP in the process.  She’ll stretch out significantly here as she tries to put together the same type of run.

Pedigree: Warrior’s Reward, a multiple graded stakes winner from 7-8.5f on the dirt, currently stands in Pennsylvania for $4,500, but has produced well beyond his modest expectations and was the #38 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in Pennsylvania).  His 2018 sim crop isn’t quite as promising, currently ranking #444 overall with 16 winners from 31 runners, winning at a 17% rate.  None of those horses have been successful beyond the allowance level as of yet.  Warrior’s Reward’s sim foals prefer the dirt, with 68% of earnings on the main track, and show a slight preference to sprinting with 57% of earnings in sprints.  The pure numbers, however, show a stronger sprinting preference, with the data possibly skewed by the fact that his 2 graded stakes winners in the past 5 years both did so in dirt routes, and that sprinting preference fits in with his real world 6.87 AWD.  Miss Warrior is the 9th foal from 13yo mare Attip.  Attip struggled in her career, winning just 2 of her 28 career races, both in turf sprints.  However, she spent most of her career on the dirt, struggling in the claiming ranks.  But it was the breeding shed where she finally struck gold…or bronze, with her 2nd foal.  That foal, Kash on Tap, won 9 of her 42 races, all on dirt, including The Victorious Ride-G3 at 6f, and placed in 5 other graded stakes, including running 2nd in the 2013 Bluegrass Oaks-G1 as the 3rd betting choice.  Unfortunately, none of the other foals have achieved that level of success, and only one of the 6 foals since then have even won more than 2 career races (only 2 are still active).  Tapit mares have been sent to Warrior’s Reward 12 times in the past 5 years, and the combo has produced 1 stakes winner out of 10 total winners.  The stakes win (and 6 other stakes placing) all came in turf routes, but most of the foals have actually preferred dirt, with a pretty even split of sprinters and routers.  Miss Warrior’s dosage index of 3.50 and CD of 0.78 put today’s distance at the top of her list.

Expectations: Miss Warrior seems to have closing speed, and should be happy with the added distance and the up front speed in today’s race.  This race sets up very well for her, but her first race was a little slower than some of the top contenders in this race.  She may need to take a big step forward to pull out today’s race, but that speed wasn’t all that surprising, given that it was at 4.5f, and she’s certainly got a chance to impress today.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Twisting Road (Twirling Candy x Tizz The Boss [Tizway x Quality Road]) – Owned by oldmoonfarms39 – 13/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Twisting Road began her career on April 20 in a Hoosier Residency-restricted MSW at 6f on the dirt in Kentucky.  In a field of 13 first time starters, Twisting Road broke 4th early, sitting ever so slightly off the pace, but had no patience for the pacesetters and decided to take over herself in the far turn.  From there, it was a sprint to the finish and she narrowly held off a rival, winning by a head with a 66 SP.  She’ll take on non-residency competition here in Race #2.

Pedigree: Twirling Candy, a G1-winning dirt sprinter and G2-winning router (both on turf and dirt), currently stands for $25,000 in Kentucky and was the #46 ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #253 overall, with 31 winners from 57 runners winning at a 15% rate.  One of those colts just picked up the first stakes win of the crop, at 5.5f on the dirt.  Much like that colt, Twirling Candy’s sim progeny tend to focus on dirt sprints, with 64% of earnings on dirt and 61% in sprints, in line with his real world 6.69 AWD.  Twisting Road is the 2nd foal from 5yo mare Tizz The Boss.  Tizz The Boss only ran 11 times in her career, but ended up in the winner’s circle 4 times.  Only one of those was in an allowance, with the other 2 coming at the claiming ranks.  She saw a massive improvement when dropping to that level, putting in her best races in 7-7.5f dirt claimers, though she never stretched out beyond that on the dirt (nor did she ever try turf sprinting).  Twisting Road’s only sibling to date is an allowance winner in 9 career races thus far, taking a 5f turf sprint NW2L, but hasn’t tried anything over 6f.  There is one other sim foal to share the Twirling Candy x Tizway bloodlines over the past 5 years, from the same owner, and she is a winner of 1 in 6 starts, with her best race thus far coming in her maiden score at 8f.  Twisting Road’s 3.00 DI and 0.75 CD put today’s race right up his alley.

Expectations:  It’s always a bit of a tough move coming out of a residency-restricted race and taking on the wider sim, but Twisting Road will try it here and there’s no reason to think she can’t pull it off.  She dug in gamely to withstand a late charge in her last race, so she’ll need to progress to make sure she can get the extra half furlong here.  But this is another filly with some potential, so watch for her to sit just off the pace early and try to hang on late.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – Shanghai Lovins (Shanghai Bobby x God Love Her [Street Sense x Pulpit]) – Owned by debargain – 9/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $34,694

Race History: Shanghai Lovins made her debut in Kentucky on March 17 in a 6f MSW.  There, she dueled for the lead early, quickly put away her competition, and drew off to defeat the field of 11 by 1-3/4 lengths with a 68 SP.  That race looked particularly solid, as the 2nd and 4th place finishers each came back to break their maiden next time out, the 2nd place finisher with an 80 SP.  Unfortunately, Shanghai Lovins stumbled a bit in her 2nd race, a NW2L allowance at 6f back on May 2.  There, she broke 7th early and never really got involved, losing ground on the leaders and finishing 5th with a 67 SP.  She’ll look to revert back to her debut form today.

Pedigree: Shanghai Bobby, the Eclipse Award Champion 2yo in 2012, currently stands in Japan and was the #286 ranked Japanese sire in 2018.  In the sim, his 3yo crop currently ranks #380 overall, with 22 winners from 39 runners winning at a 14.5% rate.  His sim runners are mainly dirt sprinters, with 74% of earnings on dirt and 66% in sprints.  His 1 G1-winning sim foal, a now-retired 7yo, achieved that success when he was a 2yo, and while Shanghai Bobby’s ranking might not be that high, 34 of his 40 foals in the past 5 years that have won at least 1 dirt sprint as a 2yo have done so at the allowance level.  Shanghai Lovins is the 2nd foal from 6yo mare God Love Her, a multiple stakes placed mare who loved going long.  She won 4 of her 23 career races, her best of which, include her 2nd and 3rd place stakes finishes, came in the 10-12f dirt range.  Her first foal, She Loves Deeply (Deep Impact (JPN)), has 1 win through 5 career starts, but hasn’t quite shown the same interest in long distance running as her mother.  The Shanghai Bobby x Street Sense connection has produced 2 winners out of 4 runners over the past 5 years.  The best of those has 8 wins in 35 starts, earning most of those wins in dirt routes.  Shanghai Lovins’ dosage index of 4.33 and CD of 0.75 indicate a preference for sprinting, a good sign for this race.

Expectations: Shanghai Lovins set lofty expectations after her strong debut where she blitzed the field.  But a different horse showed up in race number 2, as she didn’t have the gate speed or the finish of her debut.  So the question is…which is the real Shanghai Lovins?  We’ve all seen horses put up strong debuts and never run back to that effort again, and we’ve also seen horses debut strong, throw a clunker, and come right back on top.  We’ll have to see today to get a sense of the future.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Lethal Cry (Curlin x Lethal Electra [Tapit x Street Cry]) – Owned by 22away – 3/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: This regally bred filly made her debut in Kentucky on April 4 in a 6.5f MSW in a field of 12.  Lethal Cry broke very slow and looked almost uninterested early on, dropping as many as 5.5 lengths back.  But she came flying late, gobbling up ground and eventually storming past the leaders, drawing off to win by 1-1/4 as the 2/1 favorite and earning a 71 SP.   She’ll try to make it 2 for 2 at Kentucky today.

Pedigree: Curlin, the 2-time US Horse of the Year and #6 ranked US sire of 2018, currently stands for $175,000 in Kentucky.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #28 overall, with 103 winners from 164 runners, victorious at a 16% rate.  That crop includes 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  Somewhat surprisingly, most of the stakes wins for those horses have come in dirt sprints, though one scored on the turf and two achieved success in dirt routes.  Those last 2 line up with Curlin more generally in the sim, as he tends to through dirt routers (67% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.55f average winning distance.  Lethal Cry is the first foal from 4yo (early bred) mare Lethal Electra.  The well-scratch bred mare didn’t end up doing much of anything on the track, so she was retired after only 7 races.  She broke her maiden at 5f on the dirt in her 2nd career race, a sizeable improvement over her first effort at 6.5f, but never finished better than 5th at the allowance level.  With that said, she only ever ran in dirt sprints, so it’s tough to know what her preferred surface or distance would have been.  Curlin has been bred to a Tapit mare 25 times over the past 5 years, with 21 winners among the group.  Only 1 of those has achieved stakes victory, coming in a dirt route (as most of the Curlin x Tapit horses do), though that filly was also 2nd in the 2017 California Oaks-G1 and managed to make the field of the 2017 Bluegrass Oaks, where she finished 15th.  Lethal Cry’s dosage index of 3.80 and CD of 0.79 put today’s race squarely in her wheelhouse.

Expectations: Lethal Cry has quite the pedigree to live up to.  Unfortunately her mother was never able to do it, but Lethal Cry already looks to have some more talent than her dam.  Her strong closing kick in her debut was a nice run that you don’t often see for young 2yos at these short distances, and it suggests that Lethal Cry might even prefer longer than this 6.5f distance.  Unfortunately, that’s as far as 2yos can go right now, but Lethal Cry looks like she might have a solid career ahead of her.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Traffic Ride (Cross Traffic x Ghost Ride LV [Ghostzapper x Candy Ride) – Owned by klh8 – 4/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Traffic Ride put together a very strong debut run back on April 21.  Opening up at today’s 6.5f distance here in Kentucky, Traffic Ride went with the pace early, sitting just ½ a length back, and then proved she was much the best by asserting herself in the far turn.  She pulled away, defeating the 13 horse field by 1-1/2 lengths and earning a very strong 77 SP.  She’ll try to repeat that run here.

Pedigree: Cross Traffic, a G1 winner at 9f, was the #1 ranked freshman US sire of 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $25,000.  Cross Traffic’s 2018 sim crop (the 3yo crop) currently ranks #535 overall, with 10 winners from 27 runners winning at a 12% rate, as it has not yet caught up to his real world progeny.  His sim foals are primarily dirt sprinters (72% of earnings on dirt, 82% in sprints), with over 75% of his sim winners over the past 5 years having been successful in dirt sprints, and that is in line with his 6.62 real world AWD. Traffic Ride is the 3rd foal from 6yo mare Ghost Ride LV, a winner of 3 of her 15 career races.  Ghost Ride LV spent most of her career around the 8f distance, picking up 2 allowance wins in addition to her maiden victory.  She made 2 failed stakes efforts at the 11-11.5f distance (which was too far for her), but may have retired before she was completely done on the track.  Her two previous foals have followed in her footsteps, both also preferring dirt routes in the 8-8.5f range and both having found success at the allowance level (neither have tried stakes company).  Cross Traffic has been bred to a Ghostzapper mare one other time in the sim, but that horse has not shown much ability to date (in fact, Traffic Ride’s debut was a better race than any of that horse’s 14 prior runs).  Traffic Ride’s dosage of 4.60 and CD of 0.79 indicate a sprinting preference for this filly.

Expectations: Traffic Ride put up one of the best races in the field in her debut, and it puts her towards the top of the heap here.  Mixing in her sire’s sprinting preferences, and you’ve got a solid combination for this race.  She’ll likely sit close to the pace again, and hope to stay there at the end.  Traffic Ride is definitely one to keep your eye on.

Watch Level: High

#8 - Road of Heroes (Quality Road x Age of Heroes [Medaglia D’Oro x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by given10 – 2/1 (f)

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770

Race History: With the numbers, it was only a matter of time before a given horse came up in this series, and we get our first today with Road To Heroes (though as the sponsor of this race, it was pretty much a…given… that we’d get one of his horses).  This filly debuted on April 5 at 6.5f on the dirt in Kentucky and ran a ridiculous race, getting locked in a front-running duel with Apathetic Guru.  That rival managed to win the race by ¼ length, but Road To Heroes finished 3 lengths in front of 3rd, earning a 78 SP that was the 4th highest non-winning SP for a 2yo to that point.  Apathetic Guru came back to win the Vermont-sponsored Happy Mothers Day-G2 and is currently the #2-ranked dirt 2yo filly, and the 5th and 6th place finished from that race each came back to break their maiden next time out.  Road To Heroes also proved her debut was no fluke, as she came back at 6.5f in Kentucky on May 5 and blitzed the field, going wire-to-wire to win by 1 length and earning a field-high 80 SP.  She’ll look to do the same today.

Pedigree: Quality Road, a multiple G1-winning horse, currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky and was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in G1 Wins).  His 2018 sim crop is struggling compared to his other classes, currently ranking #107 with 64 winners from 94 runners (winning at a 15% rate), though his 2yo crop currently ranks #7 overall with 22 winners from 77 runners.  Only one of the 94 3yos is currently a stakes winner, and that horse, Quality Killer, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf, though he is also stakes placed at 9.5f on the dirt. Quality Road’s progeny strongly prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), with a pretty even split in earnings between sprints and routes (though the speed figures and number of winners favor sprints).  His real world AWD of 7.40 suggests a preference for short routes, which lines up with his best sim progeny (he has 4 graded stakes winners in dirt routes over than last 5 years, vs. only 2 in dirt sprints).  Road To Heroes is the 2nd foal from 10yo mare Age of Heroes.  Age of Heroes won 1/3 of her 33 career races.  1 of those 11 wins was in stakes company, taking an 8.5f dirt stakes, and she was stakes-placed at 8-8.5f on both turf and dirt.  Her first foal, 6yo War of Heroes (War Front), won 3 of her 12 career races, spending most of her time in dirt routes.  Quality Road has been bred to a Medaglia D’Oro mare 17 times in the past 5 years, with 2 of those runners being stakes placed (all in dirt routes).  Although a lot of the horses have shown both turf and dirt abilities, most do end up as dirt routers.  Road To Heroes’ DI of 2.38 and CD of 0.59 suggest that she’ll like stretching out even more than she likes the current distance.

Expectations: Road To Heroes has run 2 races better than any other horse in this field, and the only horse that has ever beaten her is the #2 ranked 2yo dirt filly.  In other words, Road To Heroes is your favorite for a reason.  She looks like she’ll try to grab the lead from the get-go here, and from there it’s just a question of whether one of the other horses can keep up.  Road To Heroes looks like the real deal, both here and for the future.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Prince of Sealand (Cairo Prince x Bushy [Forestry x Speightstown]) – Owned by affirmed76 – 14/1

Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $24,130

Race History: Prince of Sealand opened her career at 17/1 in a 5.5f dirt MSW in Kentucky on February 9.  In that race, she outsprinted her 11 rivals for the lead and that got locked in a battle on the lead, digging in gamely but not quite holding on, finishing 2nd by ¼ length with a 64 SP.  The winner from that one has a win and a 2nd in 2 allowance tries since that race, as well as a 4th place stakes effort (and most recently was 9th in a stakes).  Prince of Sealand came back 2 months later in another 5.5f MSW, this time in Minnesota, and had no problems dispatching the 4 horse field, easing to a 1-1/4 length victory and earning a 61 SP.  She stretches out an extra furlong here as she looks to take the next step forward.

Pedigree: Cairo Prince, a multiple graded stakes winning miler, currently stands in Kentucky for $25,000 and was the #3 ranked freshman US sire in 2018.  In the sim, Cairo Prince’s 2018 crop currently ranks a career high #49 overall.  The crop contains 106 runners, of which 70 have won, and the reason for the high ranking is his 6 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners, including G1-winning Revitalization, who won the Los Vinegrette Stakes-G1 at 8f on dirt and was 14th in the Bluegrass Oaks.  His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters (75% of earnings on dirt, 65% in sprints), in line with his real world 6.83 AWD.  Prince of Sealand is the 6th foal from 11yo mare Bushy, winner of 4 races in her 42 race career.  Most of Bushy’s career came In turf sprints, though she was never all that successful.  Her only allowance victory came at 7f on the turf in a $8700 NW1x allowance.  She spent most of her time trying super-sprints to no avail.  Her first five foals all seem to have followed in her turf footsteps, making it a bit of a surprise that Prince of Sealand began on the dirt.  Bushy’s most successful foal is 5yo Caballo Prestado (Perfect Soul), who is stakes placed at 6.5f on the turf, but that 5yo only has 2 wins in 34 starts.  Tu Amor (North Light) is a promising looking 3yo, with 3 wins in 8 career starts, all in turf sprints as well.  Prince of Sealand’s DI of 7.00 and CD of 1.00 suggest that she wants to do nothing but run fast and short.

Expectations: Prince of Sealand has some early gate speed, which should help her be well placed towards the front of the pack in this 6.5f race.  From a dam’s side that focuses on short sprints, one has to wonder if 6.5f is too far for this filly, but the distances of her siblings and dam may have been more about the owner’s selection than the horse’s preferences, so there might not be an issue.  The only other concern here is that the speed figures are well below the top numbers in this field.  But Prince of Sealand had such an easy time last race, there’s definitely a chance for a sizeable bump today.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s the field for this NW2L allowance.  On paper, Road To Heroes is the best horse, and I’m not sure it’s all that close, so I’m a little surprised that she’s 2/1.  But just because she’s the best on paper doesn’t mean she’ll be the best on the track.  Still, I’ll go with: (1) Road To Heroes; (2) Lethal Cry; (3) Blue Candy Maker

Other Races to Watch this Weekend:

1)      California – Local Alw NW1x @ 4.5f-T

2)      Wyoming – Alw NW3L @ 6.5f

3)      California – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f

4)      Wyoming – Alw NW3L @ 6.5f

5)      Berkshire-ENG – Alw NW1x @ 5f-T

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May 312019
 

As mentioned in last week’s Midyear Recap, this week the Future Stars Series is making a change…we’re heading to the 2yo ranks.  I’m hoping to update the race points system to better account for the fact that 2yos have very few career starts at this point, but this week we’re still using the old model.  Which means that this week, we’re headed to Kentucky, where a full field of 14 2yo fillies stretch out to 6.5f for a NW2L Allowance on the dirt.  Many of those fillies have only run once in their careers.  The field is:

#1 – Cats N Birds (Bird Song x Alley Cat [High Yield x Gone West]) – Owned by hoppybob – 25/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $35,406

Race History: One of the two veterans of the field, Cats N Birds also comes into this race as the longshot.  She had a poor debut on the turf back on March 24, but shifted over to the dirt and saw a solid improvement when she ran 4th in her second race.  She comes into this race off of her maiden score in a local 5f dirt MSW in Kentucky on May 11, where she led the field of 9 from the break and held on late, winning by ½ length and earning a career high 70 SP.  She takes on non-local company for the first time here as she stretches out to 6.5f.

Pedigree: Bird Song, a multiple graded stakes winner at 8-8.5f out of Champion 3yo filly Bird Town, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $5,000.  His 2018 sim crop (current 3yos and his first crop) currently ranks #156 overall, with 37 winners from 72 runners winning at a 15% rate.  His 3yo crop includes 1 dirt sprinting stakes winner, and his 2yo crop includes a horse who broke her maiden in a Blazing Saddles residency-restricted stakes race.  Overall, his sim foals have preferred dirt sprints (72% of earnings on dirt, 78% in sprints).  Cats N Birds is the 4th foal from 18yo mare Alley Cat.  Alley Cat raced for quite a while, crossing a finish line 71 times, with 7 wins among them.  All 7 of those came in dirt sprints, where she spent most of her career.  She took a few shots at the stakes level, but was never able to finish better than 5th in her 4 career tries.  Her first 3 foals are spaced out in age, but only her most recent, 3yo Alley D’Wild (D’Wildcat), has really done anything on the track, as he’s found a niche in Louisiana local races, resulting in 4 wins from 13 career races thus far. He seems to be equally adept to turf and dirt, and to this point, he has spent his entire career sprinting.  Cats N Birds dosage is 4.60, with a CD of 0.86, indicating a strong sprinting preference.

Expectations: Cats N Birds broke through in her last race, which is nice to see, and she’ll take on non-local dirt company for the first time here.  She seems to like being out on the front, so expect her to bolt from the gate and try and set the pace here.  There are some questions about whether she overdoes it early, however, as she’s been tiring late in each of her 3 races and this will be her longest race to date.  But it’s possible that having the 3 race foundation under her will help improve her stamina; we’ll see here.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Blues Explosion (Violence x Kabamezi [First Samurai x Smart Strike]) – Owned by saluki9 – 9/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Blues Explosion began her career at 5f on the dirt in Kentucky back on April 1.  On that day, she sat towards the back of a field of 10, but was only 2 lengths off the lead.  From there, she came running late, passing most of the field on her way to a 1 length victory, earning a 69 SP.  Although that race doesn’t look that strong (none of the field has broken their maidens yet), Blues Explosion will try to capitalize and move forward here.

Pedigree: Violence, the #45 overall (and #1 second-crop) US sire in 2018, was a G1 winner at 8.5f in his career and currently stands in Kentucky for $40,000.  His 2018 sim crop currently consists of 89 runners and 42 winners, winning at a 13.5% rate.  Among those runners are 3 stakes winners, including Got Them All, winner of the Wooden Indian-G1 and 17th in the Bluegrass Derby-G1.  Violence’s sim foals have shown a preference for dirt (68% of earnings on dirt), while being fairly evenly split between sprints and routes (52% in sprints, though his best sim foals have been routers), although his real world AWD of 6.63 indicates a higher preference for sprinting. Blues Explosion is the 4th foal from 8yo mare Kabamezi, the winner of 5 races in her 20 race career.  That career was spent primarily on the turf, with her fastest races coming at the 8f distance, though she was capable anywhere from 6-8.5f.  Her best foal to date is 4yo filly Kabasaluki (Warrior’s Reward), who just narrowly missed in an 8f stakes back in December 2018 and had a record of 11:6-5-0 going into her 4yo year (though she’s had a couple of rough starts as a 4yo).  Overall, Kabamezi’s foals have done their best running at 8f on the dirt.  There is one other Violence x First Samurai horse bred in the sim in the past 5 years, and he has been more of a turf runner, putting up some solid allowance runs in turf routes.  Blues Explosion’s dosage index of 2.43 and CD of 0.58 are, much like Violence’s other sim stats, a little conflicting but make it somewhat likely that she would prefer the mile range.

Expectations: Blues Explosion put something solid together in her first start, and it looks like she’ll be happier getting a little more ground.  Her two best siblings do their best running at 8f on the dirt, so she might end up liking distances slightly longer than this, but the stretch out here should at least make her happy.  Expect her to sit midpack or further back here and then try to make a move late.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Redarro (Cupid x She’s A Beast [Giant’s Causeway x Dynaformer]) – Owned by teesaggro0 – 10/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $3,000

Race History: Redarro’s debut came back on April 26, when she took on a 6f dirt Hot MSW in Kentucky.  Her competition that day consisted of 1 CPU horse and 2 other fillies, so it wasn’t the strongest competition.  Still, Redarro did what you want to see when a horse takes on inferior completion; she made easy work of her opponents.  Sitting over 3 lengths back early, Redarro came flying late, easily passing the pacesetter and drawing off to win by 1-3/4.  She earned only a 61 SP in that win, but she steps up the competition today to prove that she belongs at this level.

Pedigree: Cupid, a graded stakes winner from 8.5f-10f, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $10,000.  His freshman 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #264 overall, with 44 winners from 77 runners to date, winning at a 14% rate.  The crop includes 3 stakes winners to date, with 2 scoring in dirt routes and the third in a turf sprint.  The class has shown a preference for dirt races overall (77% of earnings on dirt), though it’s still too early to tell a distance preference until 3yos can get more routes in.  Redarro is the 3rd foal from 7yo mare She’s a Beast.  She’s a Beast, out of a G1-winning mare, won 8 of her 22 career starts, spending most of that career at the 9-10f dirt distance (and showing some ability at even longer distances).  That career included a 2nd place finish in a 9.5f dirt stakes.  Her first two foals, however, have not shown quite as much talent early on.  4yo Knockingatthedoor (Tapit) is only now finding his way, as he has found the 12-16f distances to be more to his liking, whereas She’s A Beast’s 3yo filly has not yet broken her maiden after 7 starts, now running at the claiming level.  The Cupid x Giant’s Causeway cross has been used 5 times in the past 2 years, with 1 of those being more of a dirt router and one being a sprinter, but it’s too early in those careers to really draw any conclusions.  Redarro’s dosage index of 1.93 and CD of 0.41 indicate a preference for slightly longer races.

Expectations: There’s not a whole lot that we can glean from Redarro’s first career race, other than that it appears she prefers to come from behind.  That shouldn’t be a problem here, as she’ll have some speed to run into.  The hot race likely didn’t take much out of her, but it also didn’t give us much of an idea of how much talent, if any, this filly has.  We’ll see today.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Dry Eyes (Palace Malice x Godspeed Hellbound [Dynaformer x Forty Niner]) – Owned by sparkit – 12/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-0; $10,956

Race Record: One of the veterans in the field, Dry Eyes has already raced 3 times in her career.  She broke her maiden at first asking on February 2, in a 5.5f turf MSW in a field of 13.  There, she dueled for the lead early and grabbed it as they turned for home, pulling away to win by 1-1/4 lengths with a 66 SP.  Dry Eyes regressed a little next time out at 5f on the turf, where she raced evenly and finished 5th (though the top 3 from that race have each gone on to win, including the winner of that NW2L event, who scored in a stakes race next time out). She enters this race off of a surface switch, as she tried dirt in a 6f local NW2L and again raced evenly, earning a career-high 67 SP but finishing 8th in the race (though the winner of that race also went on to stakes victory next time out, with a ridiculous 86 SP).  Dry Eyes will try to improve off of that run here.

Pedigree: Palace Malice, winner of the 2013 Belmont Stakes, currently stakes for $15,000 in Kentucky but his real progeny have not yet hit the track.  In the sim, his 2018 crop is currently ranked #107, with 58 winners from 98 runners winning at a 15% rate (a little below his average of 16.5%).  Among those 58 winners are 2 stakes winners, Palace Stormer, who has been succeeding in turf sprints, and Into Malice, a dirt sprinter. In general, Palace Malice’s sim progeny have preferred dirt (77% of earnings on dirt), with a pretty even mix of sprints and routes.  He has had 1 graded stakes winner to date.    Dry Eyes is the 7th foal from 11yo mare Godspeed Hellbound, a winner of 7 races in her 30 race career.  In addition to those wins, she was a 3-time stakes placed horse at 8-10f on the turf (which is generally where she did her best running).  She hasn’t really passed down that ability to her foals, however, as only 2 of her 6 previous foals have picked up an allowance win.  There also doesn’t seem to be a common thread in terms of race type, as even though most of her foals’ wins have come on turf, some of their fastest races have been on dirt.  Palace Malice has been bred to a Dynaformer mare 6 times in the past 5 years, but only 1 of those 6 has picked up an allowance win (doing so in a long-distance turf race).  The fastest speeds for the combo have been on turf, though dirt races haven’t been bad either.  Dry Eyes’ dosage index of 1.40 and CD of 0.28 suggest that she wants to run much longer than today’s distance.

Expectations: Dry Eyes has an advantage over some in this field simply by having already raced 3 times.  Unfortunately, her last 2 efforts have left something to be desired.  But it turns out the winners from those races have been very strong horses, so she might be able to do something here coming from a few lengths off the pace.

Watch Level: Low

#5 – Ship The Kash (Midshipman x Kash Street [Street Cry x Bernardini]) – Owned by kashbarn – 7/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $27,000

Race History: Ship The Kash began her racing career in Iowa, in a 5f dirt MSW on April 13.  This filly only caught a field of 5 and went off as the even money favorite.  Sure enough, after sitting 4th early, 1-1/2 lengths back, she came on strong late and pulled away to win by 1 length.  More impressive was the 74 SP that she earned for the win.  The horse that Ship The Kash defeated would come back next time out to break her own maiden with a 72 SP.  Ship The Kash stretches out to 6.5f here as she tries to duplicate her last performance.

Pedigree: Midshipman, winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, was the #66 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $8,500.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #247 overall, with 27 winners from 46 runners, winning at a 17.5% rate.  One of those winners found victory in an ASR residency-restricted stakes at 8f on the dirt.  But in general, Midshipman’s sim foals are primarily dirt sprinters (72% of earnings on dirt, 62% in sprints), which is in line with his real world 6.71 AWD.  Ship The Kash is the 2nd foal from 7yo mare Kash Street.  Kash Street was a winner of 5 races out of her 30 career efforts, though she ran 2nd or 3rd in 18 of the 30, only running worse than 4th twice on dirt.  Most of her career was spent in dirt route allowances, with her best coming in the 9-10f range.  She did get close to a graded stakes placing, finishing 4th in her only career stakes effort in the 2017 King Classic-G2, although she was beaten 11 lengths in that race.  Her first foal, Kash Profit (Tapit), has shown some serious promise thus far, with 3 wins from 7 career starts (though he stumbled in his attempt at the California Derby-G1, where he finished a well-beaten 12th).  Midshipman has been bred to a Street Cry mare 7 times in the past 5 years, with 5 of those 7 earning a win thus far.  The best have been dirt sprinters to date.  Ship The Kash’s dosage index of 3.57 and CD of 0.81 put this 6.5f race right in line with what her pedigree suggests she wants.

Expectations: It was a dominant performance out of the gate for Ship The Kash, made even more impressive by the fact that she only took on 4 opponents.  She should sit midpack or further back in this race, and will try to progress late to repeat her last run.  She definitely has potential, but can she sustain it?

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Renown Runner (Anchor Down x Hushwing Stebbing [Elusive Quality x Royal Academy]) – Owned by hoosier12 – 13/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $10,080

Race History: Renown Runner is one of the few to have tried this distance already.  In her debut back on April 14 at 6.5f on the dirt, she took on a field of 6, and although she was the 4th choice at 9/2, she grabbed the lead early and never looked back, easily winning by 2-1/4 lengths.  She earned a 68 SP in the win.  The 3rd place horse from that race came back to break her maiden next time out with a 76 SP, so expect Renown Runner to potentially show some improvement here.

Pedigree: Anchor Down, a G2-winning dirt miler (who was 2nd to Frosted in the 2016 Met Mile), currently stands for $7,500 and entered stud in Kentucky in 2017, so none of his real life foals have hit the track.  His 2018 sim crop (the 3yo crop) currently includes 56 runners, 29 of which have won at a 13.5% rate.  Among those is 1 stakes winner, who picked up that win in a short turf sprint, but in general his sim horses have largely preferred dirt sprints (73% of earnings on dirt, 67% in sprints). Renown Runner is the 6th foal from 9yo mare Hushwing Stebbing.  Hushwing Stebbing won 2 races in her 29 race career, but neither win was all that impressive.  Most of her races, and her best efforts, came in dirt routes, though she was never really more than a claimer.  Her foals have done slightly better than she ever did; her first foal, LV Excalibur (Hansen) was primarily a local dirt router in South Korea, but did pick up a local residency-restricted stakes win as well as some other local stakes placings, in dirt routes ranging anywhere from 8-16f.  The only other real consistent runner, Hushwing Algo LV (Algorithms), was best in the 8-9f dirt range.  The Anchor Down x Elusive Quality cross has been used 1 other time, but thus far the 3yo gelding has shown no real interest in racing.  Renown Runner’s dosage index is 3.44, with a 0.75 CD, indicating a preference for sprinting.

Expectations: Renown Runner set the pace in her first race, but she’s facing a much larger field here and might have trouble doing that again.  The bloodlines aren’t particularly strong here, with a bargain sire out of a hot allowance-winning mare, but that doesn’t mean Renown Runner can’t outrun her lineage.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Stone of Orbos (Henny Hughes x Priceless Gift [Cherokee Run x Dixie Union]) – Owned by golfteam3 – 12/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $27,000

Race History: Stone of Orbos made her debut on April 19 in a 5f dirt MSW at Iowa.  She broke a step slow in the field of 9, dropping 3 lengths back early, but got into the race late and came flying at the end, just barely getting up to win the photo by a nose.  She earned a 67 SP for her win as the 4/1 3rd choice.  The 4th place runner from that race came back to break her maiden next time out with a 67 SP.  Stone of Orbos will try to make things a little easier on herself this time as she stretches out to 6.5f.

Pedigree: Henny Hughes, a multiple G1-winning sprinter, currently stands in Japan for 3.5MM Yen and was the #24 ranked Japanese sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop took a big leap over earlier crops, currently ranking #50 overall with 94 runners and 61 winners, winning at a 19% rate.  2 of those runners have achieved stakes victories, one in a short sprint on dirt and one in a sprint on turf.  Much like the real horse, Henny Hughes’ sim foals are primarily dirt sprinters (78% of earnings on dirt, 74% in sprints).  Stone of Orbos is the 6th foal (all fillies) from 12yo mare Priceless Gift, who won 9 of her 47 career races.  Nearly all of those came on the dirt, and although she has a fair number of route efforts to her name, most of Priceless Gift’s success came in dirt sprints.  Her best races actually came on the off track.  Her foals have done ok for themselves, with most of them turning out to be dirt sprinters like their mother.  One of her foals, Four Houses (Lion Heart) is a multiple stakes placed filly at 6.5f on the dirt.  Stone of Orbos’s dosage index doesn’t really tell us much, as there are only 2 chef-de-race point involved (he has a DI of 3.00 and a CD of 1.00).

Expectations: Stone of Orbos took a somewhat surprising route to victory in her first race, as she dropped to the back of the pack in a 5f race and still came on to win.  This filly really seems to have a nose for where the finish line is.  Her speed figure may not be as high as some of the others in here, but she’s got an interesting look to her and she should like the added distance today.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Loose Cash (Blame x A.P. Indy x Unbridled) – Owned by gliffo8 - 5/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Loose Cash debuted at today’s 6.5f dirt distance in Kentucky back on April 11, and did it in style.  Off as the 4/1 4th choice, Loose Cash dueled for the lead early and quickly put away the other challenger, opening up to lead by 1-1/4 and then maintaining that lead through the finish.  Loose Cash earned a strong 73 SP in the victory, though none of her competition from that race has backed her up (no one has finished better than 3rd, or cracked the 70 SP, in their follow-ups).  Loose Cash will look to repeat that performance here.

Pedigree: Blame, the 2010 Eclipse Award Older Male of the Year, was the #21 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $30,000.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #131 overall, with 41 winners from 84 runners winning at a 14.5% rate.  His sim foals are primarily dirt routers (69% of earnings on dirt, 65% in routes), which aligns pretty well with his real world 7.52 AWD.  The cream of the 3yo crop is multiple graded stakes winner Unbiased Question, who unlike most of the other Blame foals is 5 for 5 in dirt sprints, including the graded stakes wins at 7f.  There are 22 sim horses that share the Blame x A.P. Indy bloodlines over the past 5 years.  Of those, 6 have found the winner’s circle in stakes races, primarily in dirt routes (or longer), with 3 achieving graded stakes victories.  However, most of the Blame x A.P. Indy horses are later bloomers – although half broke their maidens as a 2yo, only 2 of the 22 horses managed to win at the allowance level as a 2yo.  Loose Cash’s 2.73 dosage index and 0.64 CD show that much like the others with similar bloodlines, she might prefer longer distances than today’s race.

Expectations: Loose Cash already has the experience at this distance and put up one of the fastest prior races in the field.  Coupled with her solid bloodlines, she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.  The one drawback is that she might prefer longer distances that today’s.  Granted, you won’t get that for a 2yo at this point in the year, so Loose Cash really only has more room to grow as the races get longer.

Watch Level: High

#9 – We Gotta Talk (Curlin x A.P. Indy x Private Account) – Owned by 4stardave – 9/2 (f)

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: We Gotta Talk got her career off on the right foot first time out.  Taking on a field of 10 in a 6.5f dirt MSW in Kentucky, We Gotta Talk battled the pace early, but when the other pacesetters couldn’t keep up, she inherited the lead and never looked back.  We Gotta Talk won by a clear length, earning a 71 SP, and none of her competitors really gained any ground on her late.  The 4th place horse from that race took a huge leap next time out to win an MSW, though 2nd and 3rd from the race didn’t see much of a jump next time out and are still looking to break their maidens.  We Gotta Talk will try to make it 2 for 2 here.

Pedigree: Curlin, the 2-time US Horse of the Year and #6 ranked US sire of 2018, currently stands for $175,000 in Kentucky.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #26 overall, with 102 winners from 164 runners, victorious at a 16% rate.  That crop includes 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  Somewhat surprisingly, most of the stakes wins for those horses have come in dirt sprints, though one scored on the turf and two achieved success in dirt routes.  Those last 2 line up with Curlin more generally in the sim, as he tends to through dirt routers (67% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.55f average winning distance.  The Curlin x A.P. Indy cross has resulted in 55 runners over the past 5 years, 42 of which (76%) are winners.  7 of those have earned stakes victories (though none have found Graded Stakes success just yet), with the majority of those pulling off the feat in dirt routes.  41% of the Curlin x A.P. Indy 2yos that broke their maiden as a 2yo have gone on to win an allowance race as a 2yo.  We Gotta Talk’s dosage index of 3.29 and CD of 0.73 suggest that she might love sprinting here.

Expectations: We Gotta Talk put together a strong debut, where she went off as the 3/1 favorite and ran like it.  She should be forwardly placed again here, and the bloodlines look like they produce solid 2yos.  We Gotta Talk might be happier once the races stretch out even more, but repeating at 6.5f to start her career won’t hurt.

Watch Level: High

#10 – By Var The Best (Var x Given Away Kash [Any Given Saturday x Dynaformer] – Owned by onamission – 8/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $27,000

Race History: By Var The Best kicked off her career on April 13 in a 5f dirt MSW in Iowa.  Taking on a field of 4, she sat last early, dropping 2-1/2 lengths back before turning on the jets.  But she turned them on without a problem and crossed the finish line ¾ length ahead, earning a 72 SP as the 6/5 favorite.  She’ll stretch out some here as she tries to pick up win #2.

Pedigree: Var, a G1 winning turf sprinter, was the #3 ranked South African sire in 2018.  His sim foals are slowly starting the catch up to that, and his 2018 crop currently ranks #84 overall, with 54 winners from 72 runners, winning at an 18% rate.  2 of those 54 have found stakes victories, one who is a stakes winner at 7.5f on the dirt and G3-placed at 8f, and the other who is a stakes winner at 5-6f on the dirt.  His sim foals have primarily been sprinters (67% of earnings in sprints), with an ever-so-slight preference for dirt (56% on dirt).  By Var The Best is the 5th foal from 10yo mare Given Away Kash.  Given Away Kash won 6 of her 39 career races, but really excelled as a 2yo, winning 2 stakes races in dirt sprints in her 2nd and 3rd career starts.  She also ended up as a stakes placed turf sprinter and turf routers, and actually put up her best speed figures at 8f on the dirt.  Her first foal, 6yo mare Collecting Kash (City Place), inherited a fair amount of her mother’s talent, and was 4-time stakes placed at 8.5-9.5f on both turf and dirt.  The other founds haven’t found quite as much hardware and instead preferring to dominate the claiming and starter ranks.  Var has been bred to an Any Given Saturday mare 3 times in the past 5 years, though neither of the others have done much of note on the track.  Unlike most of Var’s foals, the dosage index of By Var The Best says that his best races will be much longer, with a 1.67 DI and a 0.38 CD.

Expectations: By Var The Best found an easy spot in her first race but capitalized on it, putting up a strong speed figure for this field.  The indications are that she likes to make a late run, so expect her to sit somewhere in the middle or further back.  By Var The Best doesn’t have the bluest of bloodlines, though it’s also not quite the bargain bloodlines of some of the others in this field.  There’s potential here for a breakout 2yo campaign.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – Rowdy Cura Storm (Curandero x Pomeroy Storm [Pomeroy x Storm Cat]) – Owned by simhorse16 – 23/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $16,860

Race History: The oddsmakers might not like Rowdy Cura Storm’s debut, but it was a solid run nonetheless.  Taking on a 5.5f dirt MSW in Ohio on April 17, Rowdy Cura Storm broke very slow and started 11th in a field of 13, dropping 2-1/2 lengths back.  But she came flying late, circling the entire field in time to get up to win by ¼ length at 14/1.  The speed figure was only a 66, but the horse she edged out would come back to break her maiden next time out with a 71 SP.  Rowdy Cura Storm looks to prove that her last race was no fluke as she stretches out a bit here.

Pedigree: Curandero, an unraced son of Storm Cat out of a Forty Niner mare, currently stands in Texas for $1,000 and was the #57 ranked Texas sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop ranks #1,001 overall, but that’s because it only contains 6 runners, 3 of which have won at an insane 26% rate.  That number is buoyed by The Alamo, who has been very successful in the local claiming ranks, mostly on the turf in the 7-8.5f range.  Curandero does have 1 sim stakes winner in 4yo Fairhope, a stakes winner and G3-placed colt at 7.5f on the dirt.   His foals at usually sprints (67% of earnings in sprints), but have a pretty even split on surfaces (52% on dirt, though that might owe to his few best foals being solid dirt horses while most others prefer turf).  Rowdy Cura Storm is the 4th foal from 8yo mare Pomeroy Storm.  Pomeroy Storm debuted as a 3yo and looked pretty good early, winning 3 of her first 4 races and 4 of her first 6 (including 2 local allowances), but she was never again able to find the winner’s circle in her 31 career races.  She proved to be a dirt runner, preferring anywhere from 6-8f.  Her first 3 foals have all been dirt sprinters but none has been all that impressive, with only 1 combined allowance win in 42 total races.  Rowdy Cura Storm’s DI of 3.00 and CD of 0.75 put her right about average distances based on her bloodlines (which are 2×3 inbred to Storm Cat).

Expectations: Rowdy Cura Storm is a bargain bred horse, and thus the oddsmakers may not like her, but her last race was a solid run.  She gets another furlong here, which doesn’t look like it will hurt her, and she showed a closing kick in her first race when coming from the back.  But her speed in her first race was a little behind the best in here, and it looks like she’ll need to take a step forward to really stamp herself as legit here.

Watch Level: Medium

#12 – Vale Redoute (Schoolyard Dreams x Redoustina [Redoute’s Choice x Crafty Prospector]) – Owned by superfecta – 22/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Vale Redoute pulled off a bit of an upset in her debut.  Going off at 13/1 in a field of 9 in a 5f dirt MSW at Kentucky on April 4, Vale Redoute dropped back early, sitting about 2 lengths back.  She started to move up as they reach the top of the stretch and then came on strong late, just getting up to win by ¾ length.  The win earned her a 64 SP.  Of note, the 2nd place horse from that race came back to break her maiden next time out with a 65 SP.  Vale Redoute will try to extend that late run here as she stretches out to 6.5f.

Pedigree: Schoolyard Dreams, a multiple graded stakes placed dirt miler, entered stud in Canada in 2015 and currently stands for $2,000.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #1,063, with 11 winners from 21 runners to date, winning at a 21.5% rate.  The sim foals have largely been dirt sprinters (77% of earnings on dirt, 76% in sprints), and although none have achieved stakes victories yet (and only 4 have allowance wins), Flew Too High has been by far the most successful foal thus far, finishing 2nd in The Rebel Yell-G3 at 8.5f on the dirt.  Vale Redoute is the 5th foal from 13yo mare Redoustina, a 3-time stakes winner and G3-placed dirt sprinter.  Redoustina did most of her damage in the 5.5-6.5f range (though she has a stakes win at 7.5f as well).  Her foals, however, seem to be hit-or-miss, with an emphasis on the miss.  The one exception to that is 6yo Creedoustina (Jimmy Creed), who managed to pick up a stakes win at 5.5f to end his 3yo campaign en route to 6 wins from 22 starts thus far.  Vale Redoute’s dosage index of 3.00 and CD of 0.75 put her right in the middle when it comes to preferred distances.

Expectations: Vale Redoute has a solid backend to her pedigree, though her bargain sire is likely the reason she went off at 13/1 in her debut and is 22/1 today.  But that doesn’t mean that this filly can’t be great.  Her debut race was a solid one as she came from behind to take the victory, and the added distance here doesn’t hurt.  She may need to step it up a notch here in order to win, but it’s not ridiculous to think that she could.

Watch Level: Medium

#13 – Yankee Justine (Justify x Yankee Cinnamon [Giant’s Causeway x Tale of the Cat]) – Owned by Yankeetown – 9/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $39,340

Race History: The sponsor of this race, Yankee Justine is one of the few with more than 1 career race under her belt.  Her debut came back on February 2 in a 4.5f dirt MSW at Kentucky.  In a field of 11, she battled the pace early but couldn’t quite keep up late, finishing 3rd and earning a 64 SP.  But the race did her good, and Yankee Justine would go on to win her 2nd race, a 5.5f MSW on April 6, by 1 length after sitting just off the pace early.  She earned a 69 SP in the win.  The 2nd place horse in her most recent race would run 2nd again next time out at the MSW level.  Yankee Justine stretches out again to 6.5f here.

Pedigree: Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown Winner and Eclipse Award Horse of the Year, currently stands in Kentucky for $150,000.  His 2yo sim crop currently ranks #3 overall, with 27 winners from 88 runners to date.  Almost all of the runs have come on dirt, with one colt having picked up a Blazing Saddles residency-restricted stakes win to kick off his career (and most recently was 4th in the Vermont BB Juvenile-G2 at 6f on the dirt). Yankee Justine is the first foal from 4yo early-retired mare Yankee Cinnamon.  Yankee Cinnamon was a stakes winner who earned 10 wins in her 20 race career.  Her one stakes win came in career start #2, where she took home a 5f dirt 2yo stakes.  But most of her career was spent at the hot allowance level, with the slight majority of her races and wins coming in turf routes, but her fastest speed figures coming in dirt routes.  Only 2 of the 4 foals by Justify out of a Giant’s Causeway mare have hit the track yet, and Yankee Justine is the only one with a win.  With a dosage index of 1.67 and a CD of 0.38, Yankee Justice might be biding her time for longer races later in the year.

Expectations: Yankee Justine’s first 2 races have seen her sit just off the pacesetters early, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her forwardly placed here.  For a sire pedigree line, she is quite the blue blood, and one would expect her to get better as the distances increase. But I’m not sure the dam was quite as strong as she first looks on paper (though the dam’s line has a G3 winner and a G3-placed horse as the granddam and great-granddam, so there’s some promise in the bloodlines.

Watch Level: High

#14 – Lady Tornado (Toronado x Lady Grinning Soul [Palace Malice x Dansili (GB)]) – Owned by leeleea21 – 23/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $10,680

Race History: Lady Tornado is the only filly in this field to have debuted at the claiming level. She kicked off her career on April 6 in a $20,000 MCL at 5.5f on the dirt in Illinois.  Running against a field of 4, she went off as the co-favorite at even money, and took off for the lead, never looking back.  She set the early pace and then drew off to win by 1-1/4 lengths, with a 57 SP.  Of note, the 2nd and 4th place horses in that race came back at the MCL level next time out and finished 3rd and 5th, respectively.  Lady Tornado makes the jump to the allowance level here to see if she can compete with the big girls.

Pedigree: Toronado, a multiple G1 winning turf miler in the UK, was the #162 ranked French sire in 2018 (it may have been his first crop) and currently stands in France for $12,000.  Toronado’s 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #855 overall, with 20 winners from 37 runners winning at a 9% rate.  None of those horses has had stakes success yet, though one was G2-placed as a 2yo in a turf mile.  His sim foals significantly favor the turf (78% of earnings on turf), with a pretty even sprint/route split (53% in routes).  Lady Tornado is the second foal from 5yo mare Lady Grinning Soul, who won 2 of 26 races in her career.  Her maiden win was at 8f on the turf in a hot race, and her only other win was in a $20K claimer at 8.5f. Most of her races came on the turf in the 7-8.5f range, though she did her best running around the mile.  Her first foal, 3yo Brody’s Grinning (Brody’s Cause), seemed to take a little while to get going but now has a 6:1-1-4 record, starting to excel as a deep closer as he stretches out.  Lady Tornado’s dosage index of 1.22 and CD of 0.20 indicate a preference for longer races.

Expectations: Lady Tornado wasn’t the most highly touted 2yo to debut and doesn’t have the greatest bloodlines, but she did what she needed to do in her debut effort.  She went unclaimed so her owner has decided to see if she has the ability to compete at a higher level.  The speed figure from her debut is well below the others in this field, but the race setup didn’t require her to work any harder, so we expect to see some improvement here.  The only question is whether it will be enough improvement.

Watch Level: Low

That’s your field of 14 for this first 2yo Future Stars Series race.  Normally, I’d give my predictions, but I have no clue how to handicap a 2yo race where 11 of the 14 horses have only run once.  So my completely arbitrary predictions are: (1) Loose Cash; (2) Renown Runner; (3) We Gotta Talk.  Good luck!

Other 2yo Races To Watch This Weekend:

1)      Berkshire-ENG – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f

2)      New York – URC-Restricted Hopes and Dreams Alw 1 @ 6.5f

3)      New York – URC-Restricted Hopes and Dreams Alw 1 @ 6.5f-T

4)      Texas – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f-T (Fillies)

5)      California – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f (Fillies)

Views (276)

May 232019
 

We’re getting close to the halfway point of 2019!  This week, rather than looking at an upcoming race where some future stars might be running, it’s time for the Future Stars Series to take a look back.  If you recall, back when the Future Stars Series began, there was a specific goal: to get in on the ground floor of some of the future stars of the sim.  It’s still a little early to see if we’ve achieved ultimate success…after all, most Future Stars Series runners have run anywhere between 0 and 3 times since their Future Stars Series race.  But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had success yet.  So it’s worth checking in to see how we’ve done at finding some future stars over the past 6 months.

First, the stats.  Here are the total numbers for the Future Stars Series horse for races following their Future Stars Series race (all statistics through Sunday, May 19).

Number of Races: 258
Number of Wins: 60 (23.26%)
Number of ITM Finishes: 129 (50%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Races 19
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Wins 4 (21.05%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes ITMs 6 (31.58%)
Number of Graded Stakes Races 9
Number of Graded Stakes Wins 2 (22.22%)
Number of Graded Stakes ITMs 4 (44.44%)
Average Finish 4.11
Average Odds 6.84
Average SP 89.61
SP Standard Deviation 9.05
Minimum SP 61.05
Maximum SP 109.69

 

Overall, we had solid results in the first half of the year.  Our Future Stars Series horses would go on to win over 20% of their future races.  There were 19 stakes efforts and 9 Graded Stakes runs, and we even had a 20%+ winning percentage in each of those categories!  We found some very fast horses among the group, and we’ll get into some of the specific horses down below.

One thing that was added to the Future Stars Series previews was a “Watch Level”.  This was largely a representation of how high I personally felt the horse’s prospects were for the future.  The idea was that the horses with a “high” watch level were the ones that I thought really made the race a key race, and they had a lot of potential for the future; whereas “low” watch level horses weren’t as interesting going forward (though some were good horses and well suited for the races they were running).  So, how did I do at predicting how good the horses would become?  Well…not great.

Watch Level High Medium Low
Number of Races: 99 82 77
Number of Wins: 27 (27.27%) 15 (18.29%) 18 (23.38%)
Number of ITM Finishes: 47 (47.47%) 42 (51.22%) 40 (51.95%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Races: 13 3 3
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Wins: 2 (15.38%) 1 (33.33%) 1 (33.33%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes ITMs: 3 (23.08%) 1 (33.33%) 2 (66.67%)
Number of Graded Stakes Races: 8 1 0
Number of Graded Stakes Wins: 2 (25%) 0 (0%) 0 (N/A)
Number of Graded Stakes ITMs: 3 (37.50%) 1 (100%) 0 (N/A)
Average Finish: 3.87 4.26 4.26
Average Odds: 5.54 6.7 8.67
Average SP: 93.4 89.24 85.14
SP Standard Deviation: 8.28 8.80 8.18
Minimum SP: 67.02 61.05 64.31
Maximum SP: 109.69 105.14 103.20

 

So it looks like the “High” watch horses did fair the best (though the stakes percentages were lower than the others, largely due to a higher number of runners).  But there were plenty of misses.  There were “high” watch level horses that have looked more like clunkers.  And you’ll notice that the “Low” watch level horses include 3 stakes efforts, with 1 win and 1 second.  So it’s clear that my wild guess as to a watch level is pretty meaningless.

So let’s take a quick look at the Top 10 Future Stars Series graduates from the first 6 months of 2019 and see how they’re doing.  But again, keep in mind that this list benefits those who were earlier horses in the series, as they’ve had more post-FSS races to run.

#1 – Serve In Honor (Nyquist x Lincecums Hair [To Honor And Serve x Medaglia D’Oro]) – Owned by revnhusker

Future Stars Series Race: February 3, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 98.18 (High)

Current Race Record: 6:3-1-0; $176,365

It wasn’t too much of a shock to me to find this 3yo colt at the top of the heap thus far.  Why is that?  Because he has been dominating since his Future Stars Series race back in February.  Following that NW2L victory, Serve In Honor tried to make a late run at the Derby trail.  He followed up his FSS race with a run in the Felipe Alou Stakes-G2 at 8.5f, where he ran a solid 4th. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to get him into a Derby Lock Prep race, so he instead regrouped and ran in the Chief Snow Handicap-G3 at 9f on April 21.  There, he caught a good dirt track and put together a dominant performance, earning a G3 victory with a 105.31 SP.

If you’ve thought that the name Serve In Honor sounded familiar, that’s probably because he followed up that G3 run by taking a shot at the Middle Jewel-G1 at 9.5f.  Picked by abcde in the BTB Middle Jewel preview as the 4th place finisher at a price, he unfortunately didn’t take to the slop and finished 8th.  But Serve In Honor is a very promising colt who already has a G3 victory under his belt.  Keep your eyes out for him in the future.

#2 – Forty Niner Cause (Giant’s Causeway x Forty Niner x Street Cry) – Owned by ddkstables22

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 101.48 (High)

Current Race Record: 8:4-2-1; $239,160

The first clue that the Future Stars Series might actually work as a spotlight on future stars came right off the bat, with Forty Niner Cause, the winner of the very first Future Stars Series race.  Like Serve In Honor, Forty Niner Cause parlayed his FSS win into a run in the Felipe Alou Stakes-G2 at 8.5f.  In that race, he ran evenly throughout, finishing a solid 5th with a 99.99 SP.  He dropped back to allowance company next time out and walloped the field at 9f, earning a 106.55 SP.  That was enough to warrant another graded stakes try, and he didn’t disappoint.  Entered in The Grunt-G3 at 8.5f on May 12, Forty Niner Cause dueled for the lead early and grabbed it late, hanging on to win by ½ length and earning the fastest speed figure of any Future Stars Series horse to date, a 109.69 SP.  Watch out for this guy going forward; his next race will hopefully be in the Swamps Stakes-G2.

#3 – Kymarc Cap (Red Rocks x Alycap [Marscay x Alydar]) – Owned by kymar26

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 96.86 (Medium)

Current Race Record: 8:3-2-2; $158,560

This 3yo gelding has really shown talent following his FSS win.  He found a perfect spot for his next race, as he caught a 4 horse field in the Pleasant Neck Turf Mile at 8f-T.  He didn’t go off as the favorite, but that’s the betting public’s fault, as Kymarc Cap was dominant in the race.  Sitting 3rd of 4 early, he came moving late and drew off to win by 2-3/4 lengths, earning a 94.13 SP.  That run was enough to warrant a jump to graded stakes level, and he came back in late April for The Premium Pairing-G3 at 8f-T.  In the field of 11, he sat midpack early and came charging late.  It wasn’t quite good enough to win, but it was enough to get up for 3rd, earning Kymarc Cap a Graded Placing and a 100.05 SP.  Kymarc Cap was indicating that he might like longer distances, so we hope to see him next time out in the Derby de Czech-G3 at 12f-T.

#4 – Subjecttothefates (Street Sense x Humaliwo [Malibu Moon x Danehill]) – Owned by Sarasota

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 2nd

SP (Watch Level): 99.32 (Low)

Current Race Record: 8:3-2-0; $162,700

“The one that got away”, if you will, Subjecttothefates is the horse that proves that just because I put labeled a horse as a “low” watch level doesn’t mean they don’t have talent.  After running 2nd in the FSS race (with a ridiculous 20 point SP jump after finally stretching out), Subjecttothefates came back to win a 9.5f NW3L allowance next time out.  From there, it was a jump to stakes company.  His first try was on March 15 in the 9.5f Tom E Nearctic Dirt Route, where he sat towards the back early and came flying late, finishing 2nd (to eventual Corkscrew Derby-G1 winner and Bluegrass Derby 6th place finisher The Glaive) and earning a 103.20 SP.  Following that strong effort, Subjecttothefates stretched out to 10f for the Virtuoso Dirt Route and easily cruised to his first stakes win with a 96.89 SP.  In his most recent race, he stretched out again to 10.5f and kept closing late, but came up short and finished 7th.  Subjecttothefates was originally considering a run in The New Yorker-G1, but at the moment it’s unknown where his next run is going to come.

#5 – Simply Golden (Tapit x Golden Element [Medaglia D’Oro x Forty Niner]) – Owned by 1styearflag

Future Stars Series Race: February 9, 2019 – NW3L @ 8f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 99.21 (High)

Current Race Record: 10:5-0-1; $177,567

Simply Golden was already a stakes winner when he took on the Future Stars Series allowance race, though that one stakes race was a Vermont residency-restricted race.  But after showing that he could rate and still win a route race while on the good dirt in the FSS allowance, Simply Golden took the easy route and found a very easy tune up in a 4 horse allowance at 8.25f.  He easily won that effort, and the win earned him enough points to draw into the Corkscrew Stakes-G1 at 9f as Simply Golden made a last ditch effort to reach the Derby.  It wasn’t a bad effort either.  He couldn’t quite set the pace, sitting 2nd early, but after the pacesetter started to tire he very briefly grabbed the lead.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite hold off the latecomers, and had to settle for 6th, earning a career high 102.07 SP.  Most recently, he dropped back into 8f allowance company, showing local competitors that he’s a horse you don’t want to mess with, easily defeating the competitors at 3/2 odds and earning a 99.47 SP.  It’s not clear where his next race will come just yet, but competitors beware.

#6 – Seize The Knight (Arrogate x Vilholin [Arch x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by knightmare

Future Stars Series Race: March 9, 2019 – NW3L @ 9f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 99.70 (High)

Current Race Record: 9:3-3-1; $174,735

After destroying the FSS competition in March, Seize The Knight took the obvious next step; she headed into stakes company.  A deep closer, Seize The Knight tried the 9f Spoken For Dirt Route stakes in April, impressively taking on the boys for the first time at a particularly high level. And while she didn’t win, she proved that she belonged against those competitors, finishing a fast-closing 4th and earning a 104.93 SP.  So with that run behind her, Seize The Knight came back on May 18 in the Leopard Stakes-G3 at 8f, this time against only fillies.  There, she fell dead last early but came with a monster charge late.  Another 0.5 furlongs and she probably could have won, but she came up just short, finishing 2nd with a 104.38 SP.  That was good enough for her first graded stakes placing, and she seems to only be getting better, so expect even greater achievements in the future as we wait to see where she’ll run next.

#7 – Mean No Harm (Into Mischief x Dark Interval [Unbridled’s Song x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by plano8

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 2nd

SP (Watch Level): 94.54 (High)

Current Race Record: 7:3-3-0; $125,910

After running 2nd in the Future Stars Series race in late January, Mean No Harm played things pretty slow.  He repeated at the NW2L level next time out, where he won at 9f-T by 1 length.  From there, he tried NW3L company, against at 9f-T, again earning a victory and picking up a career high 102.04 SP.  With those 2 wins under his belt, Mean No Harm’s most recent race saw him trying stakes company for the first time.  Finding a field of 6 in the 8.5f-T Obliging Zgreat Turf Route, Mean No Harm broke last early but made a bit of a move late.  He was no match for the top 2 in that race, but finished a solid 4th with a 98.85 SP.  We don’t know where his next race will come yet, but it’s only a matter of time before he picks up a stakes win.

#8 – Forrester’s Dancer (American Dance x Forrester Flyer [Deputy Minister x Gulch]) – Owned by splitenzex

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 3rd

SP (Watch Level): 99.18 (High)

Current Race Record: 7:2-2-1; $87,880

Forrester’s Dancer took a little time off after his 3rd place finish in the Future Stars Series, but he came back in mid-March in the 9.5f Tom E Nearctic Dirt Route.  There, he stalked the pace early and showed some potential mid-race, but got passed by closers late (including Subjecttothefates) and finished 4th with a 99.08 SP.  A drop into a NW1x race earned Forrester’s Dancer an easy win, and most recently he took on the ASR Preakness at 9.5f.  Not loving the slop, Forrester’s Dancer sat midpack all the way around the oval, picking up ground slightly at the end and finishing 5th. His next start is not yet decided.

#9 – FSS Arrogation (Arrogate x West Coast Humor [Distorted Humor x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by mightyforego8

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 6th

SP (Watch Level): 86.60 (Low)

Current Race Record: 12:4-3-1; $143,120

Sometimes it’s not about the ultimate prize, it’s just about consistency.  FSS Arrogation is the best example of that.  He cracks this top ten without even having attempted stakes races yet.  How did he do it?  With a strong, consistent allowance record.  After struggling in a 6th place finish in the Future Stars Series race, FSS Arrogation tried out the polytrack for the first time, where he was victorious in a field of 5.  From there, he headed back to the turf, where he’s turned things up a notch.  He opened with a ½ length loss in a 7f NW3L, but since then he’s rattled off 2 straight victories, both in open allowance company, at 6f-T and 6.5f-T.  His next race is expected to come in a NW5L turf allowance at 8f, where he’ll be taking on, among others, a former G1-winning turf sprinter.

#10 – Monk Brew (Redoute’s Choice x Dynaformer x Kingmambo) – Owned by deyoto10

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 4th

SP (Watch Level): 88.44 (High)

Current Race Record: 6:2-0-0; $56,114

The last of the Future Stars Series top 10, Monk Brew hasn’t been quite as successful as the others on this list.  He scored in his first race after the Future Stars Series, stretching out to 9.5f-T and taking the race by 1 length with a 99.13 SP.  From there, he stretched out to 10f-T and tried his hand at The Force Stakes-G3.  He battled for the pace early, but faded late, finishing 5th and earning a 95.16 SP.  His most recent race was a class drop down to a NW3L at 10f-T, but he faded to 7th after setting the pace.  Those distances might be a bit too long for Monk Brew, but don’t be surprised to find him a stakes winner at some point.

—-

That’s the top 10 in the Future Stars Series so far.  But there’s one last thing to bring up.  As we enter June, a couple of things are going to change.  The biggest change?  We’re going to shift to 2yos!  The 3yos are nice, but at this point a lot of the best 3yos are already at a higher level, and in looking for the strongest 3yo races every week, I am starting to see some duplicate runners.  So instead, we’re gonna switch it up!  The good news is that by moving to the 2yo crop, there’s a better chance that we’ll find a Breeders Bowl or Bluegrass Derby competitor.  I’m also hoping that, with 2yos having less of a racing history, I might actually start writing shorter articles!  No promises though…

The other change is on the back-end; I am going to change how the Watch Level is done.  From the reader’s standpoint, it’ll all look the same.  But going forward, rather than deciding on the watch level’s myself, I am going to let the computer do it.  It will be a simple process; it will be determined based on the number of points that the horse contributes to the race points (for an explanation of how the points system works, check out the Future Stars Series Intro).  Hopefully that will give a more accurate picture of which horses have a high likelihood of future success.

Views (226)

May 182019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  I finally got a pace prediction wrong, as I didn’t think that Turns and Burns was going to have the necessary gate speed, but it turns out that he did, and he and The Middle Man locked into the early duel, with Iron Fisted just off of them, another length back to Blanco Reef, and then further back to the rest of the field.  It was a blistering pace though, and the duel basically guaranteed that no one on the front end would be able to hold on.  Sure enough, that came true, as flying late were Galileoff and Petah Tikva.  Petah Tikva was in front early, but Galileoff came with a faster late move.  In the end, it was Galileoff ($12.90) would would get to the wire first, just ¼ length ahead of Petah Tikva in 2nd, both earning 106 SPs for their efforts.  It was 2 lengths back to the fast closing Dawn De Vida in 3rd, and The Middle Man managed to hold onto 4th after sitting on the front end.

This week, the Future Stars Series is going to do something that it’s largely avoided to date – heading to a race with a small field.  But with one of the strongest allowance fields this weekend, we finally get a chance to focus on the fillies!  So we head to the Midwest, Oklahoma, where a field of 5 fillies try their hoofs at a NW4L at 9.5 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Bazynaeon (Broken Vow x Storm Bird x Stage Door Johnny) – Owned by empirehouse4 – 9/2

Race Record: 5:3-2-0; $20,000

Race History: Don’t let the earnings fool you; Bazynaeon has talent.  But this will be her first race outside of hot company.  Taking on 3 male CPU horses in her debut, she easily set the pace and cruised to a 3-1/2 length victory at 8.5f on the dirt.  Her next 3 hot races, all in CPU Value-restricted races at 9-10f, were more legitimate fields of 11, 8 and 9 respectively, but it was only the 10f race where someone managed to close the huge gap she had created as a pacesetter, and she finished 2nd.  Her most recent race, at 9f, saw her find her way back to protected hot company, and she only faced 1 legitimate competitor, who was a colt.  Unfortunately, that legitimate competitor was a little better on that day and Bazynaeon found herself 5 lengths back in 2nd, after opening up as many as 8 lengths as the sole pace in the race.  That effort, however, earned her a career high 91 SP.  She’ll head over to non-hot company for the first time today as she tries the 9.5f distance for the first time.

Pedigree: Broken Vow, a multiple graded stakes winner at 8.5-9f on the dirt, was the #44 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $25,000.  His sim crops haven’t quite caught up to his real life ones just yet, and his 2018 currently ranks #116 overall, with 72 runners and 42 winners to date, winning at a 14% rate.  Of those, 2 have found their way to a stakes winner’s circle, one of whom is a G3 winner at 6f on the dirt and the other who is a stakes winner and G3-placed at 8.5-9f on the dirt.  Those horses have shown a strong preference for the dirt, with 72% of earnings coming on that surface.  As for the distance, the earnings have a slight bias towards routes (56%), but the speed figures show a preference for sprinting, which is in line with his real life 7.26 AWD. The Broken Vow x Storm Bird cross has been used 4 times in the past 4 years.  One of those four, 6yo Storming Jamison, is a stakes-winning and G3-placed dirt sprinter, but the others have not done much to date.

Expectations: Bazynaeon has proven that she wants the lead.  In hot company, when no one else has been a pacesetter, she’s opened up huge leads early and dared her competitors to catch her.  Only once in her career did she not get the lead immediately, but they were moving so fast up front that the horse who stuck her nose in front early quickly tired and left Bazynaeon all alone.  The real question here is whether she can handle the company.  She’s facing some top competition today, and she was no match for a colt in her last race that would come back to a 3rd place finish in a NW4y allowance next time out.  She’s intriguing, but I’d prefer betting on her underneath.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Smiling Empire (Empire Maker x Smiling Knight [Sadler’s Wells x Kingmambo]) – Owned by given1 – 7/5 (f)

Race Record: 6:3-2-0; $101,810

Race History: The sponsor of this race, Smiling Empire may not have been Given’s key to a Derby win this year, but she’s got some solid potential for the future.  After debuting 2nd at 7f in October 2018, she stretched out to 8.5f and immediately responded with 2 solid wins.  That was enough for her to open her 2019 campaign at the stakes level.  Unfortunately, she struggled to get into the race, sitting midpack early and then tiring to finish 7th.  She bounced back strong when she dropped back into NW3L company, however.  Her first attempt at 9f saw her sit just off the pacesetter early and they stayed that way the entire race, earning her a 97 SP.  In her most recent race, this time at 9.5f on the dirt, Smiling Empire still sat 2nd but let the pacesetter go a little faster, and then engulfed that pacesetter in the stretch, blowing out the field to win by 2-3/4 and earning a career-high and field-high 98 SP.  She’ll try and repeat at the NW4L level here.

Pedigree: Empire Maker, the winner of the 2003 Belmont Stakes, was the #31 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands for $85,000 in Kentucky.  His 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #36 overall, with 82 winners from 123 runners to date, winning at a 16% rate.  Among those are 7 stakes winners, 2 of which have found G3 success (one in a turf mile and one at 9f on the dirt).  He is the sire of 3 separate Sim Hall of Famers, Lex Luthor (a turf router), K’s Storm Maker (a dirt sprinter) and Empire Reef (a dirt router).  Empire Maker’s sim foals are typically dirt routers, with 63% of earnings coming on the dirt and 74% in routes (which lines up with his long-tending real life 7.63 AWD).  Smiling Empire is the 11th of 12 foals from 16yo mare Smiling Knight.  Smiling Knight won 5 races in her 30 race career, and was twice stakes-placed at 9-9.5f on the dirt, where she did her best running.  She was a late bloomer, not really peaking until midway through her 4yo season.  Her sim foals, however, have taken that ability and expanded on it.  Of her 12 foals, 4 are graded stakes winners, including multiple G1 winner The Word (A.P. Indy), winner of the Players Club National Oaks-G1 and Birmingham Stakes-G1 at 10f on the dirt (and 2nd in the Breeders Bowl Distaff) as a 3yo in 2009.  Smiling Knight’s foals have varied as to whether they prefer dirt or turf; while The Word, one other stakes-placed foal and several of the allowance-level horses seem to prefer dirt, the 3 G2 winners are all turf stars.  Most of her foals prefer to run routes or long-distance races. Empire Maker has been bred to a Sadler’s Wells mare 15 times in the last 4 years.  Only one of those has taken home a stakes victory, with 2 URC residency-restricted stakes wins at 9-10f on the dirt.  There seems to be a pretty even split of turf horses and dirt horses with that combination, though routing does seem to be the ideal distance.

Expectations: As the sponsor, one would expect that this race would set up perfectly for Smling Empire, and it looks like it does.  Her last race indicated that she likes this surface and distance, and the NW4L is the next progression in her success.  The race even sets up nicely for her stalking style, as she’ll have a pacesetter out in front to chase after but she has the talent to move past that one.  The only question mark on Smiling Empire is that she appeared to flop in her one stakes race to date.  She catches a stakes winner here; is Smiling Empire able to outrun that rival?  A top choice.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Bringer of Chaos (Empire Maker x Black Tuesday [Storm Cat x Kingmambo]) – Owned by fairhaven1 – 2/1

Race Record: 7:3-1-1; $144,860

Race History: Bringer of Chaos really began to peak later in her 2yo campaign as she stretched out in distances, taking 2 of her first 3 route efforts.  Her most impressive race came in her 3yo debut though, as she stretched out to today’s 9.5f dirt distance and tried stakes company for the first time.  In that race, she sat dead last early, over 11 lengths off the lead, before slowly moving up late.  At the top of the stretch, Bringer of Chaos kicked into another gear and blew past the competition, winning by ½ length with a 97 SP.  From there, she took an interesting career path, heading into open (non-filly) stakes company.  Her first try, at 9f, saw Bringer of Chaos display her strong closing kick for a 4th place finish, earning a career-high 98 SP, just 4-1/4 lengths behind winner Kash Back Bonus, who would go on to run 2nd in the California Derby-G1 next time out (and would then finish last in the Bluegrass Derby).  In her most recent race, back in March, Bringer of Chaos stretched back out to 9.5f, again in open company, but for the first time in her career didn’t fire late, finishing 12th (the winner of that race, The Glaive, would win the Corkscrew Stakes-G1 next time out and then finish 6th in the Bluegrass Derby).  Bringer of Chaos takes a class drop here and heads back to restricted company, where she looks to regain her winning ways.

Pedigree: For a description of Empire Maker, see Smiling Empire above. Bringer of Chaos is the 11th of 12 foals from 15yo Sim Hall of Famer Black Tuesday.  Black Tuesday was a dominant force on the track in her day, winning 13 of 29 races, including taking some version of the NY Sim Triple Tiara by winning the Chestnut Stakes-G1 (11f), the Players Club National Oaks-G1 (10f), and the Birmingham Stakes-G1 (10f) as a 3yo.  She has passed some of that ability down to her foals, as 4 of Bringer of Chaos’s siblings are stakes winners (and 2 more are stakes placed), including G1-winning 5yo My Twisted Love (Awesome Again), winner of the 10f Movieland Shiny Cup-G1, and 6yo Tuesday War (War Front), winner of The Ransom-G2 at 9f.  Most of Black Tuesday’s foals have preferred dirt routes in the 9-11f range, though a couple are stakes placed on the turf.  Storm Cat mares have been sent to Empire Maker 20 times over the past 4 years, but only 1 other than Bringer of Chaos is a stakes winner, that horse scoring at 8.5f in a G3.

Expectations: Bringer of Chaos is the class of this field and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her run like it.  Expect her to break at the back of the pack early and bide her time before unleashing her speed.  The only real question is whether her deep closing style will be hampered by the small field.  But she likely has the most talent of any horse in this race, so you have to respect her.  The pick.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Brains Around Town (Speightstown x Brains and Brawn [Smart Strike x Galileo (IRE)]) – Owned by redhill21 – 5/2

Race Record: 6:3-1-0; $81,501

Race History: Brains Around Town has been slowly building up her stamina, adding ½-1 furlong for every race.  After breaking her maiden at 5.5f on the dirt, she put up a few solid races at the NW2L but could never quite break through.  That changed in March when she reached 8.5f for the first time.  In that race, Brains Around Town assumed her usual stalking position early, 2-3 lengths off the lead, and then pounced as they entered the far turn, grabbing the lead and then holding off a late charge to win by ¼ length with a career-high 96 SP.  Brains Around Town stretched out to 9f for her most recent race but switched over to the turf, where she dropped further back than normal but came on strong late, winning by 2-1/2 lengths with a 92 SP.  She’ll try to earn her three-in-a-row badge today.

Pedigree: Speightstown, the Eclipse Award champion sprinter in 2004, was the #15 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $85,000.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #14 overall, with 95 winners from 121 runners to date, winning at an insane 24% rate.  But while they’ve had success winning, including 7 stakes winners, none have yet achieved graded stakes success.  However, 4 are graded stakes placed, 1 in a turf sprint, 1 in a dirt sprint, and 2 in dirt miles (though the crop as a whole strongly favors dirt sprints). Much life Speightstown’s own racing career (and his real life 6.53 AWD), his sim foals are dirt sprinters, with 71% of earnings on dirt and 64% in sprints.  Brains Around Town is the first foal from 7yo mare Brains And Brawn.  Brains And Brawn was a winner of 7 races in her 37 race career, which was spent mostly at the allowance level.  She did, however, manage to run 3rd in the 2015 Louisiana Oaks-G2 at 8.5f on the dirt.  That 8-9f dirt range was where she spent most of her career, and she cracked a 110 SP twice at that distance.  The Speightstown x Smart Strike cross is not a common one, most likely due to the 3×3 inbreeding to Mr. Prospector.  But that combination does imply a ton of speed.  Only 1 other horse shares the S x DS combo from the last 4 years, and that horse is a 2yo that ran 3rd at 6f in his debut last week.

Expectations: Brains Around Town is a filly that likes to sit a couple of lengths off the lead and then move later, which shouldn’t be a problem in this field.  She seems to have figured something out recently, as her last 2 races have been her best to date, and she gets another ½ furlong in today’s race.  She’s a strong contender, the only concern is that she hasn’t faced quite as strong opponents as some of today’s competitors.  But that’s not a real reason to knock her.  Legitimate.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Brianna’s Eyes (Eye on Jacob x Brianna’s Speed [Brilliant Speed x Kingmambo]) – Owned by dpcd1 – 11/1

Race Record: 4:3-0-0; $53,823

Race History: Brianna’s Eyes’ modest breeding has led to a cautious racing schedule.  Held until her 3yo season, she debuted in January at 6f on the turf in a Brazilian local race, where she dueled for the lead but lost, tiring to finish 4th.  All she’s done since she switched to the dirt is rattle off 3 straight wire-to-wire victories.  The first, at 5f in an Argentinian local race open to colts and fillies, saw Brianna’s Eyes set the pace and never look back, earning a 74 SP.  Her coming out part was in a 6.5f NW1x next time out, where she again set the pace and drew off to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a career high 90 SP.  She came back to the track 6 days later in a hot race at 6.5f and again dusted the competition, earning an 82 SP and winning by 2 lengths.  Brianna’s Eyes gets the biggest test of her career here, as she stretches way out to 9.5f and takes on this NW4L company.

Pedigree: Eye on Jacob is not an easy horse to find information on.  This son of A.P. Indy won 2 of 9 career starts, both at the 8.5-9f range, and entered stud in Peru in 2013; according to the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Global Rankings, Eye On Jacob is currently the #235 ranked sire with 2 G1 wins this year.  In the sim, however, he didn’t become a sire until 2018, so Brianna’s Eyes is one of 2 horses in his freshman sim class.  She is the only winner, so there’s not much we can tell thus far.  Brianna’s Eyes is the 2nd foal from 8yo mare Brianna’s Speed, a winner of 8 races in her 33 race career.  A sprinter through-and-through, Brianna’s Speed was a 2 time stakes winner at 5.5f on the dirt.  She didn’t seem to pass much of that talent down to her first foal, who picked up his only win in 7 career starts in a $35K maiden claimer at 4.5f on the turf.  There’s not much to say about the Eye of Jacob x Brilliant Speed cross, as Eye of Jacob only has 7 foals in the sim (and only 2 are older than 2).

Expectations: Brianna’s Eyes is a bit of a conundrum for race handicappers today.  She’s definitely a pacesetter; the fact that she’s been able to set the pace at anywhere from 5-6.5f means that she’s got real early speed.  But she’s never tried anything close to this distance in her career.  Her mother was a sprinter, though her father was a two-time winner in routes and is a son of A.P. Indy.  She has also never faced this level of competition, having faced mostly local or hot competitors.  So she’ll get a test here.  Is she up to that test?  We’ll have to see.

Watch Level: Medium

So there’s your very short field of 5 for today’s race.  There is going to be a battle upfront early between sprinting pacesetter Brianna’s Eyes and routing burner Bazynaeon.  They’ll duel for the lead early and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was neck and neck (I’m not even going to guess on which one would have the lead; the one who’s usually 1-2 in front in a sprint, or the one who’s usually 5-8 in front in routes).  Behind them will be Smiling Empire, followed by Brains Around Town, and then WAY behind them early will be Bringer of Chaos.  But to me, the combination of the class drop and this pace duel sets up perfectly for Bringer of Chaos.  Therefore, I’m gonna guess that the race goes: (1) Bringer of Chaos; (2) Smiling Empire; (3) Brains Around Town; (4) Bazynaeon; (5) Brianna’s Eyes.  But who knows?!

Other Races to Watch This Weekend:

1)      Maryland – Alw NW3L @ 8.5f

2)      Arizona – Alw NW4L @ 8.5f

3)      California – Alw NW3L @ 6.5f

4)      New York – Alw NW4L @ 9f

5)      Ohio – Alw NW3L @ 9.5f-T (Fillies)

Views (180)

May 102019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race. My prediction was pretty accurate early on, as Tapendereya and Discomfortable battled for the early lead, with Tapendereya sticking a nose in front.  I likewise predicted that the speed duel up front would creating an opening for one of the closers to sneak through.  Unfortunately, I picked the wrong one, as it was OG Tapit Cat ($16.60) that came flying late, picking off horses one by one.  Eventually he reached the frontrunners and blew past them like they were standing still, drawing off to win by 1-3/4 and earning a 107 SP.  The pace duel didn’t seem to distract the 2 frontrunners much though, as Discomfortable managed to outrun Tapendereya for 2nd, while Tapendereya had a big enough margin to hang on for 3rd.

This week, the Future Stars Series heads back to the Emerald Isle, Ireland, for a NW3L Allowance for turf sprinters, going 7 furlongs.  The field of 12 is:

#1 – Blanco Reef (Cape Blanco (IRE) x Lease a Wire [Soft Falling Rain x Speightstown]) – Owned by atw9 – 7/1

Race Record: 10:2-1-3; $82,566

Race History: Blanco Reef began his career in MSWs, but made the jump to winners and broke his maiden in a local NW1y allowance in his 4th career start.  From there, it was an ambitious jump to a G3 at 9f on the turf (after having never run farther than 7f), but the effort didn’t go well, so Blanco Reef dropped back down to the local NW2L level.  There, his first try at 8f saw him tire to 3rd, so he cut back to 7f where he broke through with a 1-3/4 length victory and an 87 SP.  He kicked off his 2019 campaign in a 7f turf stakes effort, where he set the pace early but was outrun and finished 4th of 5.  From there, Blanco Reef dropped back down in class to the NW3L level, and he’s been there for the last 2 races, each time setting the pace early before being outrun late, first at 6f and then at 6.5f.  His most recent race, the 6.5f effort, saw him hold on to second place, earning a career high 94 SP.  Blanco Reef will stretch back out slightly here, to the distance where he’s won twice.

Pedigree: Cape Blanco, the 2010 Irish 3yo of the year and 2011 Turf Eclipse Award winner, currently stands in Japan, though his most recent real life crop is from his US-siring days, where he ranked #137 in 2018.  In the sim, his 3yo crop currently ranks #124 overall, with 32 winners from 53 runners scoring at a 17% rate.  The big star from the crop is Momentary Triumph, a 3-time graded placed filly that won The Diana Trail-G2 at 11f on the turf in her last race by 3-1/4 lengths. Cape Blanco’s sim foals are much like their sire in running style, as they typically prefer turf routes (75% on turf, 62% in routes).  The distance is a little higher than his 7.74 real life AWD, though that distance may be suppressed by having US runners (the number may increase once his first Japanese crop gets underway).  Blanco Reef is the only foal from 6yo he-mare Lease A Wire, a winner of 8 races in 30 career starts.  Among those 8 wins are 3 stakes victories, all occurring in turf sprints in the 5.5f-6f range.  Blanco Reef takes after his “mother”, who was a super-sprinter that had a ton of speed and liked to use it early, with most of his wins coming when he was on the lead or fighting for it.

Expectations: Blanco Reef has a ton of speed and wants to use it early.  He has been fast enough to set the pace at the stakes (and even the route graded stakes) levels, and he set a blistering pace in each of his last 2 starts, at 6f and 6.5f.  So expect to see Blanco Reef on the front end here.  The real question is whether he can carry that speed over 7 furlongs.  He’s shown the ability to win at this distance before, but his last few races have shown signs of tiring late, and he certainly won’t get an easy pace today.  Still, he’s a solid horse and a possible exotics contender.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – French Barbara (Siyouni x Diesis x Montjeu) – Owned by musclebarn – 29/1

Race Record: 8:2-1-0; $33,936

Race History: French Barbara has never quite lived up to the aspirations of his owner through 8 career starts, most of them occurring in turf sprints.  After breaking his maiden in a 4.5f dirt hot race back in February 2018, he made the switch to turf and hasn’t looked back since.  However, his only success in this type of race was in career race #3, when he went off at even money in a 4 horse NW1x at 4.5f on the turf and stuck his head in front at the wire.  His only notable race since then was 2 starts back, his 2019 debut, where French Barbara again took on a 4 horse field, this time at 7f on a yielding turf course, and popped a career high 83 SP while running 2nd the entire way around the track.  French Barbara comes into this race off of a last place finish in a field of 7 at 7.5f, where he finished behind today’s rivals Petah Tikva (2nd – 96 SP) and Hempriggs (6th – 84 SP), earning a 79 SP (he also ran 12th in a 6.5f turf race against Turns and Burns (7th) back in November 2018).

Pedigree: Siyouni, the #19 ranked European sire in 2018, was a G1-winning turf miler in France and currently stands there for $100,000.  His 2018 sim crop is currently his best sim class, owing to a solid stud career thus far, and the crop currently ranks #49 overall, with 61 winners from 96 runners to date, winning at a 19.5% rate.  Among the foals are 10 stakes winners (4 graded stakes), led by 2018 Breeders’ Bowl Filly Juvy Turf-G1 (and multiple-G1) winner Light So Bright.  Siyouni’s sim foals heavily favor turf, with 79% of earnings coming on turf, and are pretty evenly split between sprinters and routers (53% sprints), which lines up with his real life racing preference and his real AWD of 7.86.  Most of his top sim 3yos have excelled at the mile distance thus far, though a couple have sprinted well and one G3 winner has found success at 10.5f, with all of those successes coming on the turf.  The Siyouni x Diesis cross has been used twice in the sim in the past 4 years.  The other instance was with 6yo retired mare Galactic Quest, whose sole win in 12 career starts was in a $12.5K maiden claimer at 8f on the turf.  The Montjeu DDS pairing is a little more common for Siyouni in the sim, with 10 3yos or older, though only 1 of those has won an allowance-level race to date (all in fields of 4 or local allowances).

Expectations: French Barbara’s past successes have come when battling for the lead, but it’s not a spot that he seems likely to get in this race.  More likely, he’ll sit midpack or towards the back in this race.  From there, it’s just a question of whether he can close ground in the race, but he looks a little overmatched here.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#3 – The Discovery (Oasis Dream (GB) x Perplex [Kingmambo x Dehere]) – Owned by grammy – 9/1

Race Record: 8:2-3-0; $84,332

Race History: It took a bit for The Discovery to snap into his grove, but he finally did it when breaking his maiden in his 4th career race, back in October 2018 at 6f.  2 weeks later, he took a shot at a 6.5f stakes on the yielding turf, but came up empty and finished 7th.  Dropping back to a local NW2L allowance at 7.5f-T next time out, The Discovery capitalized, stalking the pace early and then moving late to win by 1-1/4 lengths.  He has been more patiently raced in 2019 though, with only 2 races thus far.  The first, at 6f, saw him use that same stalking style and move late, but he ran out of track and finished 2nd, earning a career high 91 SP.  He stretched out significantly for his most recent race, back in early March, when he took on a local NW3L at 9.5f on the turf, setting an easy pace early but getting caught in the stretch and finishing 2nd with a 90 SP.  The Discovery cuts back to sprinting here as he tries to regain his place in the winner’s circle.

Pedigree: Oasis Dream, the 2002 champion 2yo in England and the #28 ranked European sire in 2018, was a multiple-G1 winning sprinter in his career and currently stands in England for $30,000.  His 2018 sim crop is a little better than the real life counterpart, as they rank #12 overall, with 103 winners from 158 runners to date, winning at an 18% rate.  Among those horses are 11 stakes winners (4 graded stakes winners), most of whom have hit their groove in turf miles.  Oasis Dream’s sim foals are turf lovers (72% of earnings on turf), with a pretty even split in distances (52% routes), in line with his real world 7.55 AWD.  The Discovery is the 6th of 7 foals from 15yo mare Perplex, winner of 5 races in her 14 race career.  4 of those wins came in her first 4 career starts, all at 8f on the dirt, which is where she spent most of her career.  However, her final 2 career races, at 7f and 9f, were both on the turf and they showed some potential on the sod as well (her final race was a 4 length victory at 9f on the turf).  Her foals, meanwhile, haven’t shown a consistent preference to one type of race.  Most of her foals have won sprint races, but the fastest speed figures have largely come in routes.  Two of her foals, Pslambeforthestorm (Dalakhani) and Perplexo (Pyro) are stakes placed, one in a 7f dirt sprint and one in a 8.5f turf route.

Expectations: The Discovery likes to sit just off the pace, which should be a good spot here given the speed duel up front.  From there, he has shown in the past that he can make some moves and catch those on the lead.  What’s troubling in his past races is when that move occurs.  His two wins have seen him take the lead before the stretch, possibly due to horses tiring on the lead.  I’m not sure if he’s gonna be able to get the lead that quickly in this race.  If he can, then he’s dangerous; only once in his career has he ever ceded a lead that he’s been given, and that was at 9.5f.  The question is whether he’ll ever be able to get there.  It’s possible.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Dawn De Vida (Dawn Approach (IRE) x Pan De Vida [Monsun x Miswaki]) – Owned by gcliffo22 – 8/1

Race Record: 8:2-5-0; $120,466

Race History: Dawn De Vida always seems to show up, but he’s also come down with a case of seconditis in his career, with 5 2nds in 8 starts.  4 of those came in the MSW ranks, all at 5-6.5f on the turf, as he continued to run close but never quite snag the lead.  That changed in September 2018 in career race #5, however, as he was able to stalk the pace and finally was able to run down the leads, pulling off to win by 1-3/4 lengths.  After closing out 2018 with his only off-the-board finish, Dawn De Vida has looked like a new horse in 2019.  His season debut came at 6.5 furlongs on the turf, where he dropped slightly further off the pace than normal but gained ground late, finishing 2nd by 1-1/4 lengths.  But stretching out to 7.5f-T in his last race was a real boost, as he sat midpack early and came storming late, destroying the field and earning a career high 98 SP.  Dawn De Vida will cut back slightly to 7f here as he tries to continue his successful 3yo campaign.

Pedigree: Dawn Approach (IRE), the #80 ranked European sire in 2018, currently stands in Ireland for $15,000 and was the winner of the 2013 2000 Guineas and was a multiple G1-winner at 7-8f.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #56 overall, with 106 runners and 66 winners to date, winning at a 16% rate (a little lower than his 20% average).  Among those winners are 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Mourning Rainbow, has found graded stakes victory at 6f on the turf.  Dawn Approach’s sim foals are typically turf runners (75% of earnings on turf), and evenly split between sprints and routes (51% in routes), in line with his 7.83 AWD, though the top horses from his 3yo crop have been turf sprinters thus far.  Dawn De Vida is the 4th of 5 foals from 9yo mare Pan De Vida, a winner of 6 races from 19 career starts.  Although she never quite reached the winner’s circle at the stakes level, she was 2-time stakes placed, once in a turf sprint and once in a dirt sprint.  She bounced back and forth on the turf and dirt, showing abilities on both, with 4 of her wins and her fastest speeds coming on dirt, but never finishing worse than 5th on the turf (including 4 stakes tries).  Her foals have followed in her sprinting footsteps, with her first foal likewise being solid on both turf and dirt and her other allowance winner finding the turf more to her liking.  Dawn Approach has been bred to a Monsun mare 12 times in the past 4 years, with limited success to date.  Not including Dawn De Vida, only 1 of the other 10 3yo+ horses has picked up an allowance-level win, scoring 3 times in sprints (one on each of the 3 surfaces).  Only 5 of the 10 have broken their maidens, though that may be a symptom of each of the maiden 5 having 5 or fewer starts under their belts and each having raced better in routes than sprints.

Expectations: Dawn De Vida has been pretty consistent in his running style over his past few races, and there’s no reason to think that would change here.  Expect to see him sit midpack, about 3-5 lengths off of the pacesetters.  From there, it’s a matter of making his move at the right time.  It seems to take him a little longer to get going than others, but when he does finally start moving, look out.  The question is whether 7f will be long enough for him to get into that next gear.  If he can, he’s a strong contender, but he might ultimately prove to be a router.  Still, one to consider here.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Magic Carpet Vibes (Oasis Dream (GB) x Psychotic Vibes [Teofilo x Kingmambo]) – Owned by 4horsemen – 9/1

Race Record: 6:2-3-1; $76,285

Race History: Magic Carpet Vibes has been very consistent, never finishing off the board in 6 career races.  Two of those starts have been wins, both coming at 4.5f on the turf when he was a 2yo.  Since then, he’s been on an “every two months” schedule.  Magic Carpet Vibes kicked off his 3yo campaign by stretching out to an 8f turf race for the first time, and after sitting 2nd in a field of 5 early, he raced pretty evenly throughout but never showed the forward momentum that he had in his prior sprints, and he finished 3rd, earning an 86 SP, his best turf speed to date.  He got 2 months off leading into his most recent race, as he repeated at 8f but this time headed over to the polytrack for a local NW3L in Newmarket.  He seemed to take to the polytrack pretty well, as he stalked the pace early and moved in tandem with the other stalker in the race.  Unfortunately, that other stalker was ahead of Magic Carpet Vibes when they started their moves, and it ended up the same way with Magic Carpet Vibes finishing 2nd, but he earned a career high 96 SP in the process.  Magic Carpet Vibes gets another 2+ months off here as he heads back to the turf and cuts back in distance to try and find the winner’s circle.

Pedigree: Oasis Dream’s information can be found under The Discovery above.  Magic Carpet Vibes is the first foal from 3yo mare Psychotic Vibes, a winner of 4 races in her 21 race career.  3 of those wins were at the allowance level, though only one came against non-local horses, but this $200K earner did a lot of damage in her career, hitting the board in 16 of those 25 starts.  She did most of that damage anywhere from 7f-9f on the turf, though her 3 turf wins and her fastest speed figures all came while routing.  Magic Carpet Vibes is the only foal by Oasis Dream from a Teofilo mare in the past 4 years, but the Oasis Dream cross has been common for Galileo, Teofilo’s sire, and the cross has produced an assortment of different runners, showing a very slight preference for routing.

Expectations: Magic Carpet Vibes is likely to try and stalk the pace here, sitting a couple of lengths back early.  That should set up well for him in this race.  But the real question is what to make of his most recent run.  Was this a sign of 3yo maturity, coming, as it did, in his 2nd career start as a 3yo?  Or was it possibly a sign that Magic Carpet Vibes prefers the polytrack?  It’s interesting to see him come back to the turf here after such a successful poly run, so his owner must think it’s a sign of maturity.  If it is, watch out here.  But I’m a little skeptical.  Bet with caution.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – The Middle Man (Teofilo (IRE) x The Mediator (Symboli Kris S x Storm Bird) – Owned by liam20 – 6/1

Race Record: 7:2-3-0; $92,051

Race History: The sponsor of this race, The Middle Man comes into this race riding a bit of a hot streak.  After struggling in his first 2 sprints as a 2yo, he stretched out to turf routes and found his comfort zone at the front of the pack, setting the pace.  Unfortunately, he could never quite break through the maiden ranks, finishing 2nd each time (by a combined 2 lengths).  But The Middle Man saw a huge improvement from 2yo to 3yo.  In his 3yo debut 2 starts back, he dropped back from routing to a 7f turf MSW here in Ireland.  He flashed some insane early speed in that race, opening up over 5 lengths on the field and then withstanding a late charge to win by a head, earning a career high 97 SP.  The 3rd place horse in that race, who finished 5-1/4 lengths back in 3rd, would stretch out and break his maiden next time out with a 102 SP.  Going up against winners in his most recent race, The Middle Man again showed early speed and none of his competitors ever stood a chance, as he opened up over 3-1/2 lengths before easing to a 2 length victory, earning a 96 SP.  He’ll try to make it 3 in a row today.

Pedigree: Teofilo, the 2006 Champion European 2yo Colt, was the #4 ranked European sire of 2018 and currently stands for $40,000 in Ireland.  His sim crop hasn’t quite caught up to his real life progeny, but the 2018 class is a solidly-ranked #43 overall, with 72 winners from 110 runners, winning at a 20% rate (above his 16.5% average).  The class includes 7 stakes winners to date, 3 of whom have found graded success (all in 9f-T G3 races), with the other 4 finding success while sprinting.  Teofilo’s sim foals heavily favor the turf, with 78% of earnings on the turf, and prefer routes as well (65% in routes), matching his real life 9.77 AWD.  The Middle Man is the 3rd of 4 foals from 7yo mare The Mediator, a G2-winning router.  The Mediator won 7 of her 19 career starts, including the 2015 Full Moon Handicap-G2 at 9f on the turf, and added 3 additional stakes placings (1 G3) to that record.  Although she did most of her running, and earned most of her wins, in turf routes, her 2 fastest speed figures actually came in dirt routes (though she won neither race).  Her foals to date have both seen some success, though not to her level, with both older siblings to The Middle Man earning multiple allowance wins, one in turf routes and one in dirt routes.  Symboli Kris S mares have been sent to Teofilo 4 times in the past 4 years; 2 of the other 3 resulting foals have earned allowance wins, with both of those horses preferring routes (one on the turf, one on the dirt).

Expectations: The Middle Man is a burner who wants to take the lead and never look back.  Only once in his 7 race career has he not had the early lead (he was ½ length back early in that race), and it was, by far, his worst performance to date.  So expect The Middle Man to be out in front early.  From there, it’s just a question of the pace setup in the race.  He’s got the speed, but he won’t be alone out there, so the question is whether he’ll burn himself out early.  But he’s shown the ability to run quickly and hold off late charges before, so we’ll see if he can do it again.  A top candidiate.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Turns and Burns (Star Turn (AUS) x Just Sebring It [Sebring x Portland Player (NZ) – Owned by lindsypark – 16/1

Race Record: 6:2-0-1; $53,360

Race History: Turns and Burns has been slumping a bit recently.  After taking 2 of his first 3 starts, both at today’s 7f turf distance, Turns and Burns has failed to hit the board in his last 3 starts.  He set the pace and never looked back in his two victories, but failed to get the lead in his 4th career race, a NW3L allowance, and then faded to 7th (though he defeated today’s rival, French Barbara, who finished 12th).  He took 3 months off and then made his 2019 debut in a 6 horse stakes race, at 5.5f on the turf, and managed to grab the lead early but was no match for the field off of the layoff, finishing last.  He stretched out to 8f for his most recent race, where he dueled for the lead early and briefly stuck a nose in front, but then couldn’t hang onto that lead and faded to 7th, 10-1/2 lengths back.  The race earned his a career high 89 SP, however, showing an improvement over his 2yo days.  Turns and Burns cuts back to 7f here, where he’s 2 for 2 lifetime, to try and recapture the old magic.

Pedigree: Star Turn, a multiple graded stakes winning sprinter and son of Star Witness, entered stud in Australia in 2017 and currently stands for $22,000.  His freshman sim crop from 2018 currently ranks #172 overall, with 26 winners from 55 runners to date, winning at a 20% rate.  The number of runners may be low, but he already has 3 stakes winners from his first crop, all in turf sprints.  That’s where most of his runners have win to date, with 84% of his earnings on turf and 91% in sprints (which will likely come down as 3yos stretch out, though it should still strongly favor sprints).  Turns and Burns is the 5th of 6 foals from 11yo mare Just Sebring It, a two-time stakes placed mare who won 4 of her 27 career starts.  She spent all but 2 of her career races in turf sprints, including both of her stakes placings and all 4 of her wins, with her best efforts coming in the shorter 5-6.5f sprints.  Her foals haven’t done much to date, with Turns and Burns’ 5 siblings going a combined 5 for 40 lifetime.  2 of those have picked up allowance wins, one in a turf sprint and one in a dirt sprint.  This is the only time that Star Turn has been bred to a Sebring mare in the past 4 years, and only 1 other horse has been bred to the More Than Ready DS line, a 2yo out of a Verrazano mare that ran 2nd in her debut.

Expectations: Turns and Burns wants to be on the front end, and would set the pace if he could.  In this race though, there’s a ton of pace, and my suspicion is that Turns and Burns is not quite as fast out of the gate as a couple of other pacesetters in this field.  He’ll certainly push the front, but he may have to settle behind horses, which has not been a favorite place of his in the past.  Siding elsewhere.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Petah Tikva (Dansili (GB) x Sunday Silence x Blushing Groom) – Owned by harrylanexp7 – 7/2 (f)

Race Record: 3:2-1-0; $53,955

Race History: The most lightly race horse in the field, Petah Tikva also goes off as your post-time favorite.  The reason for that is his 3 strong performances to date.  He debuted in December 2018 in a 6.5f turf MSW and stalked the pace early before pummeling them late, drawing off to win by 1-1/2 and earning an 88 SP.  He came back in late January to a local NW2L at 7f on the Newmarket turf, where he put on a show,  sitting just off the pace early back making an early move to grab the lead and never looking back.  That win earned him a career-high and field-high 99 SP, but even more impressive may be that the second place horse would go on to take his own allowance race next time out, and the 3rd place horse would come back to pick up a stakes win in his next start, indicating some solid competition.  Petah Tikva’s most recent race, a 7.5f turf NW3L, saw another stalker get the first move on him and he had to settle for 2nd, earning a 96 SP, but the winner of that race would come back to win a NW4L next time out with a 101 SP.  Petah Tikva also defeated today’s rivals Hampriggs (6th) and French Barbara (7th) in that race.  Petah Tikva cuts back ½ furlong here as he tries to make it 3 for 4 in his career.

Pedigree: Dansili, who was pensioned in 2018, was the #23 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His final sim crop, the 2018 class, currently ranks #15 in the sim, with 134 winners from 233 runners to date (winning at a 21% rate).  Dansili’s sim foals have a strong preference for turf, with 74% of earnings on turf, but are evenly split 50/50 in distances (a little different than his real life foals, as Dansili has a real life AWD of 9.2).  His 2018 sim crop includes only 1 graded stakes winner among 5 total stakes winners, but that 1 graded stakes winner is 4-time G1 winner (and #1 ranked 3yo turf sprinter) Battlefield Hero, who along with the bulk of Dansili’s 2018 class has shown a preference for sprinting on the turf.  It’s not very often that you see Dansili, a big time turf sire, paired with Sunday Silence, usually thought of as a dirt distance horse, especially in a scratch bred.  But it’s not completely unheard of; the Dansili x Sunday Silence combo was used 1 other time in the past 4 years.  That horse, 3yo Party On Saturday, has unfortunately not done much in his 7 career starts, as he’s still trying to break through his maiden.  The Blushing Groom DDS has been slightly more popular with Dansili, having been used 11 times in the past 4 years, with 1 stakes winner among them (whose stakes win came at 10.5f on the dirt, though her fastest races were actually in the 8-9f turf range).

Expectations: Petah Tikva may be the most lightly raced in the field, but he’s also the favorite for a reason.  The pace in this race sets up perfectly for his stalking style, as the duel up front has the chance to break down and there aren’t many closers in the field.  He has shown in his 3 races that he can hang with some high quality runners, and so he shouldn’t be intimidated by some of the accolades from this field.  The top choice.

Watch Level: High

#9 - Hempriggs (Almazor x My Kitty Dancer [Kitten’s Joy x Danehill Dancer]) – Owned by ­bperry7 – 17/1

Race Record: 19:2-3-2; $55,786

Race History: The most experienced runner in today’s field, this will be start #20 for Hempriggs, who has generally campaigned on a 2-3 week schedule since being acquired back in September 2018.  He has gone winless in 9 starts since taking up residence for his current owner.  The previous owner found success for Hempriggs at the claiming level, as he broke his maiden at 5.5f in a $35K maiden claimer and would go on to post a record of 2-2-1 in 5 turf sprint claimers for his prior owner.  After claiming race #3, Hempriggs was gelded by his former owner.  Following the acquisition, bperry moved Hempriggs up to the allowance level, but to limited success.  His best race to date came 3 starts back, in a 9.5f local turf NW3L in Deauville (FR), where he earned a career high 86 SP while stalking the pace early and then tiring to finish 5th.  2 starts back, in a 7.5f turf NW3L, he finished 6th with an 84 SP, trailing today’s rival Petah Tikva (2nd) but defeating rival French Barbara (7th).  Hempriggs comes into this race off of a last place finish in a 7f NW3L, where he tired to finish 12 lengths behind the winners, earning a 76 SP.  He’ll try to bounce back here.

Pedigree: Almanzor, the 2016 Cartier Champion 3yo Colt, was a dominant European horse at 10f on the turf and entered stud in France 2018, where he stands for $35,000.  In the sim, his freshman crop is currently ranked #107 overall, with 83 runners and 49 winners to date, succeeding at a 15.5% rate.  Four of his foals have won stakes races thus far (2 in turf routes, 1 in a turf sprint, and 1 in a dirt sprint), with one of those, Manzored, picking up a G3 victory in a turf mile. His sim foals have preferred the turf thus far, with 77% of earnings on turf, while it’s still a little early to tell whether he will throw more sprinters or routers.  Hempriggs is the first foal from 5yo mare My Kitty Dancer.  My Kitty Dancer put ended up with only 1 win in 15 career starts, but put up her best career start in her 2nd to last race, a 9.5f NW2L allowance on the turf, where she showed a closing kick that she had never previously demonstrated and finished 3rd, proving that routing was her best distance (she had some ability on dirt as well, though not the same closing speed).  Almanzor has only been sent to a Kitten’s Joy mare one other time, resulting in 3yo Kiss on the Deck, who has just started to find his stride as a pace-setting turf router (though through 7 starts, he only has a local MSW to show for his efforts).

Expectations: Hempriggs is one who may sit midpack, or slightly closer, early on, but doesn’t really seem to show any interest in being up on the pace.  He may be taking after his mother in that regard, but up until now, he hasn’t really shown the same closing kick that she demonstrated late in her career.  What he has seemed to do in his career is run evenly, but the 7f distance may not help him here.  He may be one that prefers to run longer, as he seems to have some stamina that others might be lacking.  With his experience, we’re not really expecting anything out of the ordinary from Hempriggs today, and his best probably isn’t enough to get the job done in this field.  Prefer others.

Watch Level: Low

#10 – Galileoff (Zoffany (IRE) x Unpredictability [Galileo x Kingmambo]) – Owned by phillipj4 – 5/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-1; $96,140

Race History: The most decorated horse in the field, Galileoff was gelded before he ever hit the track.  That “equipment change” looked to pay off early, as in two straight local races at 7.5f and 8f on the turf, he sat just off the pacesetter and then made an early move, winning both races.  That prompted a huge class jump the The International-G2 at 8f-T in November 2018, and he put on a strong performance, stalking the pace and holding his own to finish 3rd with a 91 SP, earning him a Graded Placed badge.  From that race, Galileoff was given a…Gali-layoff (*rimshot*)…and returned in February at 8.5f in a turf stakes.  Unfortunately, he didn’t take to the yielding track and finished a tiring 5th.  He tried graded company again last time out in the Irish 2000 Guineas Trial-G3, where he sat further back than he ever had before and never really got into the race, finishing a well-beaten 9th but earning a career-high 95 SP.  He’ll make a big class drop and cut back in distance here as he tries to get his 2019 back on the right foot.

Pedigree: Zoffany, a G1-winning sprinter in Ireland, was the #25 ranked EU sire in 2018 and currently stands for $25,000 in Ireland.  His 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #71 overall, with 61 winners from 97 runners to date winning at a 16.5% rate.  4 of those 61 winners have found victory at the stakes level, all in turf sprints (though one has been promising in longer routes), but none of his 2018 foals have reached graded stakes glory as of yet.  Overall, Zoffany’s sim progeny have shown an affinity for turf (77% of earnings on turf) and have preferred sprinting thus far (57% in sprints), matching Zoffany’s real life race preference but slightly shorter than his real life AWD of 8.21. Galileoff is the 2nd foal from 7yo mare Unpredictability, a winner of 4 from 15 career races.  Her two best efforts came in 3rd and 4th place finishes in turf stakes at 8.5-9f, which also happened to be the distance of her 4 career wins.  Her first foal, Daiwability (Daiwa Major), has upped his game since being gelded in mid-2018, and he is 5:1-3-1 in turf allowances since the change, all coming at the 9.5f-10f distances.

Expectations: Galileoff has shown a lot of talent throughout his young career, and the cutback in distance will likely push him slightly closer to the pace here than his last run.  It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the cutback, as this will actually be the shortest race of his career.  But in terms of raw talent, Galileoff has it.  The horse he defeated in his maiden score has gone on to be a stakes winner, and he has proven that he belongs in graded stakes company.  The class drop should help him as well.  My only objection is the price; 5/1 doesn’t give you quite the value of some of the others in here.  But he’s a tough horse to knock.  A legitimate threat.

Watch Level: High

#11 – Iron Fisted (Ironicus x Larf Da Housedown [Limehouse x Distorted Humor]) – Owned by flurgen3 – 14/1

Race Record: 5:2-3-0; $61,725

Race History: Iron Fisted may be a lightly raced colt, with only 5 career races under his belt, but he’s been very successful thus far.  He began his career on the dirt, where he set the pace in each of his first 3 races (all as a 2yo) before being caught each time, finishing 2nd in all 3 races (two sprints and one route).  To kick off his 3yo campaign, Iron Fisted switched from the dirt to the turf, as he took on a field of 7 in an 6.5f turf MSW.  There, he opened up a sizeable lead early and never looked back, holding on to win by 1-1/2 lengths and earning an 84 SP (the 2nd place horse would go on to break his maiden next time out, earning a 90 SP in the victory).  Iron Fisted then stretched out to 7.5f on the turf to face winners for the first time and found a gear that he had never shown before.  With no other pacesetters, Iron Fisted drew off early, opening up a 5+ length lead on the field, and then geared down in cruising to a 1-1/2 length victory, earning a career high 95 SP.  He will try to make it 3 for 3 on the turf here.

Pedigree: Ironicus, who entered stud in 2017, was an 8-9f turf graded stakes winner in his career and currently stands for $5,000 in Kentucky.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #160, with 33 winners from 83 runners, winning at a 11% rate.  Among those winners are 3 stakes winners and one graded stakes horse, Ironicus Bandit, who took down a G2 at 12f on the turf.  Thus far, Ironicus’ sim foals have slightly preferred turf races (55% of earnings on turf) and his foals’ earnings, along with their speed figures, show a slight preference for turf sprints thus far.  Iron Fisted is the 5th of 6 foals from 14yo mare Larf Da Housedown, winner of 13 of 51 races in her career.  A stalwart at the stakes level, primarily sprinting on the turf, Larf Da Housedown picked up 12 career stakes wins, and 21 career stakes placings, including a win in The Bally’s Best-G3 at 6f on turf in 2009.  Her foals haven’t been quite as perpetual at the stakes level, but 2 of her foals are stakes winners and a third is stakes placed.  One of the foals, Giggly Jiggly (Shamardal) is a stakes winner at 7f on the turf (and stakes placed from 7-8f-T), and another, You Make Moi Laugh (Pour Moi (IRE)), is a Local Stakes champion at 9f-T (and 2-time Local Stakes-placed at 11-12f-T).  The Ironicus x Limehouse combination is a new one for the sim (nor do I see any crosses between Ironicus x Grand Slam, the sire of Limehouse, or any other sons of Grand Slam, or Ironicus x Gone West, the sire of Grand Slam).

Expectations: Iron Fisted is a speedball.  He wants the lead, and through 5 career starts he’s never not had it early.  This might be the first time in his career when he’s tested on the lead.  But while he struggled to hold off horses on the dirt, he’s been dominant once switching over to the turf.  The speed figure in his last might be deceiving, as he didn’t need to run hard to secure the win, though we don’t know much about his competition there (the 5th place horse ran 2nd next time out in a local allowance, but he’s the only one that has come back to the track yet).  Iron Fisted has room to grow, and he’ll be one to watch here.  A contender.  Unsurprisingly, Cape Blanco has never been bred to a Soft Falling Rain mare.  In fact, there are only 14 horses to have been bred in the past 4 years with Soft Falling Rain in the DS spot, with only 3 of those (including Blanco Reef) having picked up an allowance win.

Watch Level: High

#12 – Only What You Do (Giant’s Causeway x The Black Wolf [War Front x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by victoryland – 9/1

Race Record: 6:2-0-0; $61,680

Race History: Only What You Do has taken on some of the highest caliber competition of anyone in this field.  After breaking his maiden at 6f-T at first asking in June 2018, Only What You Do was stretched out to 7f-T and entered into The Vintage-G2.  There, he stalked the pace and ran evenly throughout, finishing 5th.  A 2nd attempt at a 7f turf G2 in the Nationwide Stakes-G2 didn’t work out quite as well, as he sat midpack early and never really find, finishing 7th.  Only What You Do was then sent to rest up for his 3yo season.  After a dull debut in a dirt route, he switched back to the turf and tried an 8f race.  He earned a then-best 85 SP in the effort, but it was a poor run, as he tried to stalk the pace early but tired badly, finishing 9th.  He came back 3 weeks later in a 6.5f turf NW2L, and there he showed that he is a sprinter at heart, as he stalked the pace early and then pounced late, getting up to win by 1-1/2 lengths and earning a career high 91 SP.  Only What You Do will stretch back out to 7f here as he tries to repeat his last performance.

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, passed away in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently has 405(!) runners to date and ranks #1 overall.  That class includes 264 winners, which have won at a 20.5% rate.  Among the winners are 25 stakes winners and 8 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 66% of earnings on dirt (boosted by a certain Bluegrass Derby winner).  Only What You Do is the first of 2 foals from 5yo mare The Black Wolf, winner of 6 from 20 career starts.  One of those wins, her best career race, came in a 6.5f dirt stakes, where she battled for the lead and then pulled away to win by 1.  She did spend some time on the turf, though her best performances all came on the dirt, and she was a sprinter through-and-through.  Although Only What You Do is the first foal from The Black Wolf, it’s interesting to note that her second foal, Like An Angel (Pivotal), broke her maiden at first asking at 6f on the turf in March, and then went on to a 3rd place finish last week in a 6f turf stakes race, where she stalked the pace early and was moving up at the end.  Giant’s Causeway has been bred to a War Front mare 9 times in the past 4 years in the sim, with 3 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners among the bunch.  One of those graded stakes winners is Giant’s Kash, the winner of the 2019 Bluegrass Derby-G1, while the other, Every Atom of Me, is a G3-winning turf miler who just ran 2nd in the 2019 The 2000 Guineas-G1.  Both of those graded stakes winning 3yos share the full Giant’s Causeway x War Front x A.P. Indy cross with Only What You Do, as does 1 other turf sprinting allowance winner.

Expectations: Only What You Do has a lot to live up to, with 2 top 3yos sharing the same bloodlines.  And although Only What You Do hasn’t quite achieved that level of success yet, he’s still young and the promise is there.  He does look like he’s a sprinter all the way, as he likes to stalk the pace early and then pounce late (he doesn’t seem to have the stamina for that running style in routes).  Furthermore, he’s been improving in every turf start, and he’ll look to continue that trend here.  But it looks like he’ll need a pretty sizeable improvement from his previous best to take down this field.  It’s certainly possible, but he may be better served underneath your bets rather than on top.  A Kingmambo mare has been bred to Oasis Dream 49 times in the past 4 years, with 10 stakes winners and 4 graded stakes winners among the group.  Most of the progeny are turf runners, and although the graded stakes winners have mostly been successful in 8-9f turf races, the group as a whole seems to have some sprinting ability.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s your field of 12 for this NW3L allowance.  And surprisingly, with that many horses, there aren’t any true closers, which is a bit of a bummer because the front end should be hot here.  I’ve done a pretty good job in the past of predicting the pacesetters, but I’m at a bit of a loss here, as there are 3 horses in this field that are willing to go all out to get the lead early.  Blanco Reef has set the fastest paces of the three in the past, but he’s been pushed in those races.  So instead, I’m gonna say that The Middle Man sets the pace, dueling neck-and-neck with Iron Fisted, followed by Blanco Reef about ½ length back and then another length to Turns and Burns.  But most of the horses in this field are going to cluster about 2-4 lengths off of that pace, so expect to see Petah Tikva and Dawn De Vida a little further back than you would normally expect them to be.  But honestly, I think that could help them here.  I’ve been wrong about the impact of pace on these races before, but I just can’t see the frontrunners not getting caught here.  So my prediction is: (1) Petah Tikva; (2) The Middle Man; (3) Dawn De Vida, with longshot pick Iron Fisted.  Good luck to everyone!

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Ireland – Alw NW2L @ 9f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Pennsylvania – Alw NW3L @ 9f

3)      Virginia – Allowance @ 8f

4)      California – Alw NW4L @ 9.5f-T

5)      Kentucky – Local ALW NW2x @ 8f

6)      Paris – Alw NW3L @ 9f-T

7)      Louisiana – Alw NW3L @ 8f (Fillies)

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May 032019
 

Welcome back to the Future Stars Series!  We took the last few weeks off, but we’re back for Bluegrass Derby week!  So first, a quick recap of the last race covered by the Future Stars Series back at the beginning of April.  As expected, American Lion had no competition for the lead, but rather than slow himself down to a crawl and steal the race from the front end, the jockey rode him all the way out to a 6 length lead down the backstretch.  Unfortunately, he didn’t have the stamina to hold on.  Instead, in was Islay Malt ($9.80), who sat towards the back early, that came flying late.  It briefly looked like Mister Moselle, who inherited the lead once Invincible Lion gave way, might be able to power ahead, but Islay Malt blew past that horse on his way to a 2-1/2 length victory, earning a 101 SP in the process.  Mister Moselle had to settle for 2nd, and it was another 2 lengths back to ASR Ravens, who edged out Rock It Cadet in a photo for 3rd.

This week, the Future Stars Series comes back with its most popular type of race…a NW3L Allowance at 8 furlongs on the dirt!  This one is being run on Saturday in California, and a field of 13 colts are headed to the starting gate.  The field is:

#1 – Leave Them Behind (Mineshaft x Unbridled x Easy Goer) – Owned by barbstable – 26/1

Race Record: 11:2-0-2; $14,184

Race History: Leave Them Behind is an interesting juxtaposition, as he is the veteran of the field with 11 career races under his belt, but also by far the lowest purse earner with $14,184.  That is largely due to him spending most of his early career in hot races.  He struggled mightily early in his career, at one point dropping into a $50K maiden claimer, but has matured with the extra year and some extra distance in his races.  After kicking off the 2019 season with back-to-back wins on back-to-back days in hot races, Leave Them Behind got back to a normal schedule and stretched out to 9.5f for a NW3L on dirt in February.  He has tried 3 times at the NW3L level at 9-9.5f, with his best finish being a 5th place run in that first effort.  Leave Them Behind comes into this race off of a career best 88 SP at 9.5f back at the end of March, though he didn’t have quite the closing move of some of the others in the field and finished 8th.  Leave Them Behind will leave the longer dirt races behind here and cut back to 8 furlongs as he tries to prove that he’s more than just a hot runner.

Pedigree: Mineshaft, the #35 ranked US sire in 2018 and 2003 US Horse of the Year, currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #83 overall (his lowest ranking in the past 5 years), with 59 winners from 117 runners winning at an 11% rate, well below the average for Mineshaft.  The crop includes 3 stakes winners to date, but no graded stakes winners.  Two of those stakes winners have been in dirt sprints, while the third took home a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f on the dirt.  Historically, Mineshaft’s sim horses have been pretty evenly split between turf and dirt (55% of earnings on dirt), though his last few crops have strongly favored dirt. He tends to throw routers (69% in routes) which lines up with his real life average winning distance of 7.23f (which for a US sire equates to more of an 8-9f runner).  Leave Them Behind seems to have been bred to run all day.  The Mineshaft x Unbridled cross has been used in the sim 20 times in the past 4 years.  Of those, 2 have picked up a stakes win.  The foals seem to primarily prefer dirt routes (which is unsurprising), with the stakes wins mainly coming in the 9f dirt range (with one oddball coming at 5.5f).

Expectations: Leave Them Behind doesn’t have a great burst out of the gate, and instead likes to sit towards the back, which should be no problem here.  The real concern is that he needs to make sure that he doesn’t lose contact with the rest of the field.  With the speed here, this race is wide open for someone to come from behind, but Leave Them Behind will need to do a little better than last time, when he started to gain on the pacesetters (and passed them) but was outrun by some of the others coming from behind.  He’s got a solid pedigree, but his racing thus far might be a notch below some of the others in this field, so I might leave him behind in my betting.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Discomfortable (Curlin x Storm Cat x Street Cry) – Owned by fairhaven1 – 3/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 8:2-2-2; $131,985

Race History: Discomfortable comes into this race as one of the most decorated horses in the field.  He has only 2 wins, his maiden effort in Race #2 at 8f and a NW2L allowance race at 8.5f, and is winless in 3 starts as a 3yo, but he hasn’t shied away from top competition.  After running 2nd in a stakes in his last start as a 2yo, Discomfortable was elevated to graded stakes level when he took on a full field in the Giant Slayer Classic-G3 at 8.5f in January.  There, he set the pace and fought gamely, eventually succumbing only to Bluegrass Derby entrants My Awesome King (who was also the 2018 2yo Turf Colt of the Year) and Telah and earning a career high 102 SP.  He moved up to the Moises Alou Cap-G2 next time out and again dueled for the lead but this time couldn’t hang on, finishing 4th.  He enters this race off of an attempt in the Sand Castle Derby-G1, but the 9f distance may have been a little too much for him and he faded to 8th, earning a 96 SP.  Discomfortable makes a massive class drop here and cuts back in distance to try to get a little more comfortable in 2019.

Pedigree: Curlin, the 2-time US Horse of the Year and #6 ranked US sire of 2018, currently stands for $175,000 in Kentucky.  In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #25 overall, with 94 winners from 164 runners, victorious at a 16% rate.  That crop includes 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018.  Somewhat surprisingly, most of the stakes wins for those horses have come in dirt sprints, though one scored on the turf and two achieved success in dirt routes.  Those last 2 line up with Curlin more generally in the sim, as he tends to through dirt routers (67% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.55f average winning distance.  The Curlin x Storm Cat cross is incredibly popular in the Sim, with 95 such breedings in the past 4 years.  Of those 95, 15 (16%) of them have won at least 1 stakes race, with 7 of those having took home graded stakes honors.  Most seem to prefer dirt, and the 8-9f range seems to be right up the alley of the best.  Interestingly, only 1 other horse in the last 4 years has the same full cross as Discomfortable, a 4yo with 4 career starts.

Expectations: Discomfortable doesn’t like to chase horses – He wants to be in front.  The good news for him is that he has a lot of speed and has usually been able to get to the lead early.  It wasn’t until his G2 start 2 races back that he finally learned what it felt like to not have the lead, and he didn’t seem to like it much, so expect him on the front end in this race.  From there, it’s clear that he’s got talent, and between the class drop and the cutback in distance, Discomfortable should get a huge boost.  A top pick.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Risks You Take (Western Gambler x After The Buzzer [Bernardini x Red Ransom]) – Owned by 3dddz – 15/1

Race Record: 10:2-3-3; $84,990

Race History: Risks You Take is a New Mexico-bred horse that has taken advantage of that local status as best as he can up to now.  6 of his 10 career races have come in local races, including his previous 3 starts as a 3yo.  He kicked off the 2019 season in a $50K local claimer at 6 furlongs on the dirt, where he popped a career high 85 SP while coming up 1 length short in the race.  His last 2 efforts have been in 7f local dirt allowances (his longest races to date), and Risks You Take has seen some improvement across those races.  2 races back he dropped further back than he had in any previous start and sat towards the back of the field, coming on strong late and coming up just 1-1/4 lengths short, earning an 88 SP.  He comes into this race off of a career high 96 SP last time out, where he sat midpack before gaining late, but he was unable to catch the winner (a former stakes winner) and the 2nd place horse (a stakes placed horse).  Risks You Take stretches out to routes for the first time here and takes a risk by leaving local company.

Pedigree: Western Gambler, a New Mexico-based sire who ranked #36 in the state in 2018, was winless in 6 career starts back in 2006-2007.  The son of Storm Cat’s 2018 sim crop only contains 7 runners, 2 of which have won for a total winning percentage of 7%, and because of the small crop they currently rank #2,313.  Although Western Gambler has been a sim sire since at least 2009, he has only sired 51 sim horses, with only 22 winners overall.  Risks You Take is currently his 3rd best foal of all time.  In general, his foals tend to be dirt sprinters (78% of earnings on dirt, 76% in sprints), but he does have one horse that is local stakes-placed at 8f on dirt.  Risks You Take is the 3rd of 4 foals from 7yo mare After The Buzzer, a horse who lacked a bit on the track.  She won just 1 of her 12 career starts, in a 5 horse 5.5f MSW, and never ran better than 6th at the allowance level.  She was primarily a sprinter and only tried 8 furlongs once, in her final career race, where she was never involved in the race and finished last.  Her first foal, Buzzerbeater Champ (Big Blue Kitten) indicated some ability as a mare though, as he is a multiple stakes placed turf sprinter, having won 5 of 27 races to date, though his fastest races to date have actually been in 8.5f turf races.  However, he seems to be the only accomplished foal to date.

Expectations: Risks You Take likes to sit off the pace, and as he’s seen longer distances, he has dropped a little further off the pace.  He has shown a bit of a closing move in his last few races, which indicates that he might be able to take to the mile distance.  The main concern is that this open company NW3L race is a big jump from the local level, and the competition here is fierce.  I expect that he won’t make a fool out of himself in this race, but he might be a cut below the best.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Khal Snitzel (Snitzel x Uncas Ruckus [Giant’s Causeway x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by 24flat – 9/1

Race Record: 4:-2-1-0; $68,565

Race History: Khal Snitzel may be one of the most lightly raced horses in the field, but he’s also one of the most interesting.  After a tough beat in his debut exactly where you would expect him to excel, at 6.5f on the turf, he stretched out to 8f and scored at second asking.  He moved up to the NW2L level to kick off 2019, repeating at 8f on the turf, but he struggled with the footing and finished 7th.  So in his most recent race, Khal Snitzel was sent over to the main track here in California and he exploded.  Stalking the pace early on, Khal Snitzel made a surprisingly early move and grabbed the lead in the backstretch before pulling away to win by 1-3/4, earning a career-high 96 SP.  In hindsight, that race looks a little suspect, as none of his competitors could do better than 4th in their next race, with only 1 even breaking a 90 SP.  So Khal Snitzel will look to prove that his last race wasn’t a fluke here.

Pedigree: Snitzel, the #1 ranked Australian sire in 2018, was a G1-winning sprinter and currently stands for $220,000 in Australia. The sim finally got the message as to this sire’s excellence and his 2018 crop currently ranks #26 overall, the highest ranking for any of his sim crops.  That includes 82 winners from 127 runners, succeeding at a 20% rate (far above his 15% average).  Among the 82 winners are 8 stakes winners, 4 of whom have found graded stakes success.  The best of those thus far is General Snitzel, who won The Japanese 1000 Guineas-G1 at 8f on the turf back in March; in fact, all 4 graded stakes winners (and 2 of the other stakes winners) have done so at 8f on the turf, with 2 succeeding in turf sprints.  And as is expected, given his turf sprinting ways on the track, his sim foals also tend to prefer turf sprints (78% earnings on turf, 69% in sprints).  Khal Snitzel is the 12th (and likely second-to-last) foal from 20yo mare Uncas Ruckus.  Uncas Ruckus was quite the racehorse in her day, winning 9 of 48 career races, including 5 stakes wins (3 graded) and 7 stakes placings (5 graded).  The 8-9f range was her best, though she was an excellent runner on both turf and dirt (and was a G2 winner on both).  Her foals, likewise, have varied on surfaces, though most prefer turf, and almost all prefer the 8-9f route distances.  5 of her foals are graded stakes winners to date, all in 8-9f turf routes, including 2016 Breeders’ Bowl Mile-G1 winner Mohegan Sun Cadet (Sea The Stars) and multiple G1 winner Cape Cadet (Cape Cross).  Giant’s Causeway mares have been bred to Snitzel 6 times in the past 4 years, and one of those has picked up a stakes victory in a turf sprint, though a few of the others seem to be running better, or at least equally well, on dirt.

Expectations: Khal Snitzel may not have the experience of some of the others in this field, but he’s got the perfect stalking style for this race.  He typically likes to sit 2-4 lengths off of the leaders, though there’s a chance he’ll find himself a little further back today.  But in his best races, he has shown an acceleration that his competition has not been able to match.  He’s a maturing colt and this is a tough field, but if he can take another step forward off of his first dirt performance, he’s got a strong chance.  Consider.

Watch Level: High

#5 - Mild And Amiable (Awesome Again x Dark Stormy Sermon [Stormy Atlantic x Pulpit]) – Owned by ratem – 23/1

Race Record: 10:2-1-0; $68,230

Race History: Mild And Amiable kicked off his career strongly, running 2nd first time out before breaking his maiden at 2nd asking.  Unfortunately, it’s been a bit of a struggle since then.  A brief dalliance with turf sprinting earned him his second career win at the end of his 2yo season, but in 4 races as a 3yo (including 2 stakes efforts), he has finished no better than 6th and has beaten only 5 horses in the year.  3 starts back, in Mild And Amiable’s first try at 9f on the dirt (and first race back on the dirt after the 2 race turf experiment), he battled for the lead but tired, finishing 7th behind today’s rival Doomcrag, who ran 4th.  But Mild And Amiable comes into this race after a bit of a course reversal.  He cut back to 7f in his last race, his first time dirt sprinting since his maiden score in race #2, and earned a career high 87 SP while setting the pace early before fading to 6th.  Mild and Amiable will stretch back out to 8f here as he tries to find some of his 2yo form again.

Pedigree: Awesome Again, the 1998 Breeders Cup Classic winner and Canadian Hall of Famer, was the #50 ranked US sire in 2018.  His sim counterpart is a little better, as the 2018 class currently ranks #9 overall, with 122 winners from 180 runners to date, winning at a 20% rate.  Awesome Again is typically a dirt route sire, with 68% of earnings coming on dirt and in routes, lining up with his real life 7.43f average winning distance (which adjusts to roughly the 9f range).  The 2018 class includes 12 stakes winners to date, with 4 of those taking home graded honors, including My Awesome King, the Bluegrass Derby entrant and Sim Eclipse Award 2yo Turf Colt of the Year.  Mild And Amiable is the first foal from 6yo mare Dark Stormy Sermon, a winner of 7 races in her 25 race career.  Among those 7 wins were 2 graded stakes (a G2 and a G3), both in the 8.5f-9.5f dirt range, where she did her best running.  In addition to those wins, she ran 3rd in the 2016 Players Club National Oaks-G1 at 10f.  A Stormy Atlantic mare has been bred to Awesome Again one other time in the last 4 years, to produce 4yo colt Awesome Riptide, a sprinter who has 1 allowance win on the turf but showed some real dirt promise in his most recent race.

Expectations: Mild And Amiable likes to be forwardly placed, and in an ideal world he would probably relish setting the pace.  But he’s not the quickest out of the gate and has only managed to set the pace in 3 of his 10 career races (1 of those being his 5.5f turf victory).  So expect him to be near the front early here, but he may not have the speed of some of the others necessary to grab the lead.  But whether he gets the lead early may not matter, as his racing history suggests that he might be better equipped as a sprinter than a router.  With that said, he mother was a router, and there’s always a chance that he’s a late bloomer.  But this is a very tough field and it would take a significant jump from his prior races to have a chance to place here.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#6 – Tiger By The Toe (Zip It Up x Pine Bluff x Broad Brush) – Owned by whitebull – 9/1

Race Record: 8:2-1-2; $70,977

Race History: Tiger By The Toe started his career modestly, taking on dirt sprinting with a closer’s mentality but always running out of room.  But when he finally found his way into an 8f race, in October 2018, he finally broke through, dominating a residency MSW to win by 2-1/4 lengths.  He dropped back to 7f for a local NW2L next time out, but again came up just short.  Since turning 3 though, he’s tried routes twice and has seen promising results.  His first try, in a 9f NW2L, saw his closing kick dulled a little bit, as he finished 3rd, 6 lengths back, earning a 96 SP.  The top 2 from that race would each try stakes company next time out (one in a G2, one in a listed stakes) to no avail.  Tiger By The Toe, meanwhile, cut back to 8f for a NW1x and changed up his running style, sitting just off the pace rather than trying to close.  That was enough to do the trick, as Tiger By The Toe grabbed the lead in the stretch and pulled away to win by 1-3/4, earning a career high 100 SP.  He’ll try to repeat that effort here.

Pedigree: Zip It Up, a son of City Zip and a winner of 3 claimers from 14 races in his career, currently stands in California for an undisclosed fee, but entered stud in 2017 and therefore has no real world progeny as of yet.  In the sim, his freshman class of 2018 currently ranks #171 overall, with 26 winners from 49 runners to date, winning at a 19.5% rate.  One of those winners, Zippen Thief, is a 3-time stakes winner, all in the 5-5.5f dirt range. The horses from that crop have primarily favored the dirt, with 62% of earnings on dirt, and the speed figures have ever so slightly favored sprinting thus far.  This modestly bred colt has outrun his breeding thus far.  The Zip It Up x Pine Bluff combo has been used one other time in the past 4 years, but it’s for a 2yo named Zipperbones, so it can’t tell us much.  That 2yo ran in 2 hot MSWs in the span of 5 days, picking up a win and a 2nd on the turf back in February.  The Broad Brush DDS is a little more instructive though, as there are 2 other Zip It Up x ____ x Broad Brush horses in the sim; both look to be dirt routers, though neither has won at the allowance level.

Expectations: It’s tough to know exactly what’s going on with Tiger By The Toe.  His stalking style last race was so out of the ordinary that it’s tough to tell if it was a result of the race running, or an intentional jockey instruction.  My guess, and it’s a pure guess, is that it had to do with the setup of the race.  I think that Tiger By The Toe was one of two strong horses, and rather than let the pacesetter run off with a slow place and an easy win, Tiger By The Toe pushed it more.  I expect Tiger By The Toe to go back to his closing ways here.  And if he does that, look out field.  He has one of the best closing kicks in the field, and they’ll be coming back to him at the end.  Dangerous.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Omi Alley (Flower Alley x Omi’s A Classic [Freud x Gold Fever]) – Owned by twosilk2 – 22/1

Race Record: 7:2-1-1; $82,800

Race History: Omi Alley has done most of his damage throughout his career on the turf.  After debuting in a 5f dirt MSW, he stretched out and switched surfaces, going 2 for 3 at the MSW/Allowance level on the turf to end 2018.  His 2nd of those victories, an 8f turf NW2L allowance, saw him battling the entire way, dueling for the lead early on and then never letting a horse past, winning by a head and earning a career-high 90 SP.  2019 has not been as kind to Omi Alley, however.  After a dull 4th place effort in a 7f turf stakes to kick off the year, Omi Alley switched back to dirt, first in a 9f stakes and then in an 8f NW3L, but was no match for the competitors in either race.  He was given about 2 months off and comes back in this dirt NW3L hoping to see a difference in outcome.

Pedigree: Flower Alley, winner of the 2005 Travers Stakes, was transferred to South Africa in 2015 and currently stands for $80,000 there, but he has not shown up on a South African sire list yet and so I only have him as the #113 ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, his 2018 crop is currently ranked #174, with 26 winners from 52 runners, winning at a 15% rate.  Only one of those 26 winners has found stakes victory, though she has done it twice, both at 7-7.5f on the turf.  Unlike her, however,  Flower Alley’s sim foals tend to be dirt sprinters, with 66% of earnings on the dirt and 60% in routes, and the speed figures back that up.  Omi Alley is the 2nd of 3 foals from 7yo mare Omi’s A Classic, a winner of 4 races in her 26 race career.  Omi’s Alley’s success, however, was in the local claiming circuit, as all four of those wins came in local NY claimers at 5.5-6f on the turf.  Her first foal has followed suit, spending most of her career thus fair in the claiming ranks as well, with 1 win through 13 starts coming in a $25K 7f dirt maiden claimer.

Expectations: Omi Alley is one of many in this field that likes to be on the front end, and he should contribute to the blistering pace expected here.  His last race was a little bit of an outlier, as he actually sat 4th early and tried to stalk the pace, but something may have been off that day as he never got involved and was the equivalent of sim-pulled up.  However, oddsmakers in that race didn’t think too highly of him, as he went off at 68/1 (though, in the horse’s defense, that field looks to have been stacked, as it took a 114 SP to win that race).  Omi’s Alley seems to take to the turf footing a little better, but he will give the main track one more try here.  He just found a tough spot here.  Pass.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Doomcrag (Tapit x Danehill x Fappiano) – Owned by lenny15 – 3/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 7:2-3-0; $113,751

Race History: Doomcrag has been a solid horse from the first jump, breaking his maiden in an 8f MSW at first asking back in September.  Most of his career has been spent here in California, and he’s parlayed that into 2 wins and 2 seconds in 5 races, all at 8-9f on dirt.  He had slight Derby hopes as the calendar turned to 2019 and so he stretched out to 9f for the first time in a NW3L allowance, where he sat midpack early and moved late, but not quite fast enough, and he had to settle for 4th with a 90 SP (besting today’s rival Mild And Amiable, who ran 7th).  However, that race put him firmly on the Derby trail and he jumped up to an 8f dirt stakes next time out.  In that field of 7, he sat towards the back, 6 lengths off the pace early, and moved with a vengeance late, just barely running out of time and finishing 2nd, ¼ length back (losing to a horse than came back to take another stakes and then run 3rd in a G2).  For the effort Doomcrag earned a career- and field-high 105 SP.  His most recent race was an attempt to draw into the Bluegrass Derby as he took on the Florida Derby-G1 at 9f, and while he finished a respectable 7th of 14, the closing kick that he had at 8f wasn’t there at 9f.  So instead, Doomcrag cuts back to 8f here as he drops down to the NW3L level.

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 277 runners is the #2 ranked sim class of 2018 thus far.  Among those 277 runners are 194 winners (winning at a 20% rate) and 16 stakes winners.  Three of those 14 have achieved Graded Stakes glory, all in dirt 8-8.5f races, including Sand Castle Derby-G1 winner and Bluegrass Derby co-favorite Above Threshold.  Tapit’s sim foals are mainly dirt routers (71% of earnings on dirt, 60% in routes), in line with his real world 7.63f average winning distance, 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.  The Tapit x Danehill connection has, somewhat surprisingly, only been used 4 times in the past 4 years (though if you assume Danehill is a top turf sire and that Tapit is a top dirt sire, the lack of overlap makes more sense).  Of the 3 other horses sharing that cross, 1 has not yet broken her maiden, and the other 2 have done their best running in the 8-9f dirt range.  Doomcrag is the only horse with this exact cross, but there are 3 others that have a Tapit x Danzig x Fappiano cross (Danzig is the sire of Danehill); unfortunately, only 1 of those three has shown any talent on the track, though that one is stakes placed at 8.5f on the dirt.

Expectations: Doomcrag catches the perfect pace setup here, as his midpack (or further back) style coupled with his closing speed at 8f should find a perfect place in this race.  Having come off of G1 (and Bluegrass Derby-) caliber competition, Doomcrag should relish the class drop here, even though he does catch a couple of equally strong horses.  If there’s one concern about Doomcrag here, it’s that he is winless in his last 5 starts, including 2 races where he just narrowly ran out of track.  The jockey may want to start moving Doomcrag slightly earlier in this race than he has been moved in his last few races if he wants to see the winner’s circle.  The pick.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Tapendereya (Tapitgold x End of the Bridle [Eskendereya x Pioneerof The Nile]) – Owned by transition2 – 20/1

Race Record: 7:2-2-1; $90,778

Race History: Tapendereya spent his first six races on the turf, his first three in Florida local races, interestingly finally breaking through towards the latter half of 2018 when he left local company and headed to open fields.  He pulled off back-to-back wins in 7f turf races, first an MSW and then an NW2L allowance, where he set the pace each time and held on for the win.  But after struggling in a race at 7.5f, Tapendereya was sent to the farm and gelded.  He came back to the track for the first time back in March, switching things up and heading for a 6.5f race on the dirt.  It’s tough to say whether it was the gelding, the maturity from 2 to 3, the surface switch, or something else, but Tapendereya popped his best speed to date, earning a career-high 97 SP when setting the pace and opening up lengths on the field before being caught and settling for 3rd.  The winner came back next time out in stakes company and finished only 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner, earning a 98 SP there.  Tapendereya will stretch out to 8 furlongs here for the first time in his career, as he tries to prove that his 2019 debut was no fluke.

Pedigree: Tapitgold, a gray horse who won just once in 10 career starts, entered stud in 2015 and currently stands for $1,000 in Florida, though I have been unable to tell if any of his foals have reached the track yet.  In the sim, his horses have reached the track, and his 2018 crop includes 11 runners to date with 5 winners, resulting in a current ranking of #1,725, though they have won 18% of their races.  None of his 76 total sim foals have reached the stakes level as of yet.  His sim foals tend to prefer dirt sprints (71% of earnings on dirt, 66% in sprints).  Tapendereya is the 2nd foal from 8yo mare End of the Bridle, a poor runner who found victory only once in her 22 race career, in a 6 horse $7500 MCL at 7.5f on the turf (a distance and surface where she did most of her running).  Tapendereya’s older half-sister, Outback Walkabout (Street Sense), was slightly better on the track, with 2 wins from 13 races, including an allowance win, when sprinting on the dirt.  However, Tapendereya seems to be the best of the bunch so far, as he earned a higher SP in 2 of his last 3 races than either his mother or half-sister ever earned.  Tapitgold has actually been crossed with an Eskendereya mare one other time in the sim, but that horse is 1 for 20 lifetime.

Expectations: Like a number of others in this field, Tapendereya will be battling to set the pace early.  Unlike others in this field however, Tapendereya is a major speedball.  In 7 career races, he has never been anywhere other than 1st until the far turn.  And those were in sprints.  It will certainly be a battle to set the pace, but Tapendereya has a leg up on it.  The problem is whether it will take too much out of him to do it.  There’s definitely a distance concern, as his sole attempt at 7.5f ended in a disasterous 11th place finish when he tired out.  He’s a top contender based on his last race, but we might need to see another race before we know what’s real and what isn’t.  A chance, but siding with others.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – Grasberg (Honor Code x How Much How Soon [Medaglia D’Oro x Forty Niner]) – Owned by holdasec – 12/1

Race Record: 9:2-3-0; $86,445

Race History: Grasberg took some time to get going in his career, not breaking through his maiden until his 4th career start, but he really hit his stride at the end of his 2yo/start of his 3yo season.  The key race was an 8f NW2L allowance on the good dirt back in November 2018.  There, he set the pace early, opened up midway through the race, and then held off a late charge to win by ¼ length, earning a 92 SP.  On the chance that it was an off-track aided victory, Grasberg was sent back out in a 7.5f stakes on a good dirt track to kick off his 3yo season, but he struggled and ran 6th.  The good news is that he bounced back from that race, as he put up a career high 94 SP next time out in a NW3L allowance at 7f on the fast dirt.  He comes into this race off of his first turf attempt, a race at 8f where he briefly grabbed the lead but then faded badly late and finished 5th earning an 88 SP.  Grasberg will look for a turf-to-dirt bump here as he heads back to the main track.

Pedigree: Honor Code, winner of the 2015 Met Mile (8f) and Whitney Handicap (9f) stands for $40,000 in Kentucky, has had 1 real life runner – Honorable Memory, who ran 4th in his debut.  In the sim, his #27-ranked 2018 crop includes 127 runners to date, with 65 winners winning at a 18% rate.  Of those 65 winners, 3 have found a stakes winner circle, with 2, including California Oaks-G1 winner and Bluegrass Oaks third betting choice Honor Your Maker, finding graded stakes success in dirt routes.  Honor Code’s sim progeny have a strong preference for dirt, with 82% of earnings on the main track.  His foals thus far seem to slightly prefer routes (54% in routes) and get better with distance as they age, with earnings being higher in sprints early but increasing for routers as they age (speed figures slightly favor sprints, though he has been consistent enough to throw solid long-distance runners compared to the average sire).  Grasberg is the 8th of 9 foals from 14yo mare How Much How Soon.  How Much How Soon won 9 of 44 career races, all at the dirt sprinting allowance level.  Most of her foals have followed suit, with 5 dirt sprinters from the 9 foals, but it’s the ones who have differed that are the most interesting.  8yo Spare A Dime (General Quarters) was a stakes winner and 3-time stakes placed (including 1 G2), primarily in the 8.5-9f dirt range, and Unlawful Order (Mr. Sidney) is a 2-time stakes winner on the turf (once at 6f, once at 8f).  One other foal is also multiple stakes placed in dirt sprints.  Honor Code has been bred to Medaglia D’Oro mares 11 times in the past 4 years, but as of yet, only 1 of the 8 non-Grasberg 3yos or older have won an allowance race, with most seeming to run their best in dirt sprints or miles.

Expectations: Grasberg is one of several in this field that is likely to find himself towards the front of the pack and battling for the pace.  He doesn’t always get there, and may settle for sitting just off the leader again here, but he will very likely stay close.  From there, it’s just a question of whether he can accelerate late.  Grasberg has struggled a bit with that lately, but he has some history of pulling it off.  The only concern is that his success when he doesn’t get the lead has been limited to sprinting; his 8f victory came when he opened up multiple lengths and narrowly held off a late charge.  I’m just not sure that the pace scenario in this race helps him, so proceed with caution.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – OG Tapit Cat (Tapit x Storm Cat x Mr. Prospector) – Owned by bbaffert0­ – 7/1

Race Record: 10:2-4-0; $152,569

Race History: The highest earner in the field, OG Tapit Cat broke his maiden at first asking in March 2018 at 6f on the dirt, but struggled to find the winner’s circle again until the end of his 2yo campaign.  In his last race of the year, he stretched out to 7.5f and tried stakes company, and broke through in a big way.  After sitting a few lengths off the pacesetter, he began his move in the far turn and grabbed the lead, thundering to the finish line first for a 1 length victory and a 95 SP, giving him the only stakes win in the field.  OG Tapit Cat has had an up-and-down 2019 campaign though.  After failing to fire in an 8f G3 to open the year, he made a strong effort 2 races back to just narrowly miss a stakes win at 8f, finishing ¼ length behind a horse that would go on to take down a G3 victory and earning a career-high 97 SP.  But he enters this race off a disastrous 9f dirt stakes effort, where he never showed interest in the race and finished a well-beaten 13th.  He’ll cut back to the 8f distance and take a class drop here as he tries to find the winner’s circle for the first time in 2019.

Pedigree: See Doomcrag above for a breakdown of Tapit.  The Tapit x Storm Cat cross has been used in the sim 68 times over the past 4 years, with 16 of those horses having found stakes success (24% of the runners).  7 of those have taken home a graded stakes win, including 2017 Sim Eclipse Award Older Dirt Male Sprinter Falchion.  The cross has done the most damage in dirt sprints, though a number of horses have been able to get the 8-9f range as well.  The full Tapit x Storm Cat x Mr. Prospector cross has been used 9 times in the last 4 years, with 4 of those 9 going on to stakes victories and 2 to graded victories (both sprinters).

Expectations: OG Tapit Cat likes to sit a few lengths back in his races, and that should set him up perfectly here.  He also cuts back in distance after showing that 9 furlongs might be a little too far.  Similarly, he takes a class drop here to the NW3L level, which should also help.  But this is a strong NW3L field, and OG Tapit Cat has been inconsistent in 2019.  He certainly has the talent to win the race; the real question is whether he can stay focused, and whether he may prefer something slightly shorter than today’s race.  A contender.

Watch Level: High

#12 – Everythingatstake (Elnaawi x Summer Point [Point Given x Summer Squall]) – Owned by fab50 – 25/1

Race Record: 7:2-1-2; $46,975

Race History: Everythingatstake looked promising in his first 4 starts as a 2yo, missing by ¼ length in each of his first 2 starts before walloping the field with a 3-1/2 length win in a 7.5f local MSW and the coming back with a ½ length victory in a 7f dirt NW2L.  But from there, the wheels came off a bit.  “Everything” was at stake in his next race, a 7f NW2x, but a dull 8th place finish led his owner to geld the horse.  He came back to the track in 2019 at 8f on the turf, putting up a career high 86 SP in a closing 3rd place finish in his first start back on the track.  Everythingatstake enters this race off of a 6th place finish, where he closed but not quite as fast as some of his competitors.  He heads back to the main track today to see if he’ll fair better on the dirt.

Pedigree: Elnaawi, a graded stakes placed horse from 8.5f-12f in his 5 year career, entered stud in Indiana in 2017 and currently stands for $2,500.  The half-brother of To Honor And Serve’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #609 overall, with 12 winners out of 28 runners to date.  Those winners have succeeded at an 11% rate.  None of the 2018 crop have yet reached beyond the allowance level. Elnaawi’s sim progeny have shown a preference for dirt thus far, with 73% of earnings on dirt, with speed figures slightly favoring sprints.  Everythingatstake is the 7th foal from 11yo mare Summer Point, a winner of 2 races in her 10 race career.  Her best race was her maiden score at 6f on the dirt, as she was never competitive at the allowance level.  Her foals have been slightly more successful, as 5 of her 7 foals have won at least 1 allowance race.  However, only her first foal, Crimson Camp (Crimson Overtime), won a non-local, non-hot race, and even that one was an owner restricted race.  Thus, Everythingatstake has already been the mare’s best foal.  To the extent that her other foals have found the winner’s circle, it has mostly been in dirt sprints, though some of her younger foals have put up decent runs in dirt routes.  Point Given mares have been sent to Elnaawi a surprising 8 times in the past 4 years, and one of those, 4yo Eleven Nights, is a stakes winner at 7.5f on the dirt, though his fastest races have been in the 8-9f range.  Eleven Nights is also the only stakes winner from Elnaawi to date.  Only 1 of the other 5 non-2yos has won an allowance at this point.

Expectations: Everythingatstake likes to sit back and let the race develop as he stakes out his eventual closing path.  That running style should serve him well in this race, as most of the field will be more forwardly placed.  The question is whether his closing kick is fast enough to outrun some of the others and get the lead.  His pre-gelding races are a cut below the best in here.  But we don’t know how he’ll take to routing, on the dirt, now that he’s gelded.  I think there’s at least a decent chance that he’ll improve somewhat significantly from the past.  Whether it’s enough remains to be seen, but at 25/1, he’s an intriguing longshot.

Watch Level: Medium

#13 – AP’s Golden Mummy (American Pharoah x A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector) – Owned by thechallenge2 – 9/1

Race Record: 4:2-2-0; $60,920

Race History: AP’s Golden Mummy is one of the least experienced horses in the field.  He didn’t make his debut until November 2018, with back-to-back 2nd place finishes in 6f dirt MSWs.  He spent a few months at the farm but came back to the track in a 7f MSW in March and finally broke through, setting the pace the entire way and easing to a 1-1/2 length victory, earning a career-high 90 SP in the process.  That race appears to have been a key race, as the horses that ran 2nd and 3rd to him that day each came back to break their maidens next time out, earning a 97 SP and a 94 SP, respectively.  AP’s Golden Mummy, however, made an interesting choice and shifted over to the turf to try an 8f NW2x allowance.  AP’s Golden Mummy went off as the 1/2 favorite in the race and ran like it, never really facing any competition and essentially walking to a 2-1/2 length victory.  Unfortunately, that race doesn’t tell us much about AP’s Golden Mummy.  But it does mean he’s likely sharp for today’s race, as he heads back to the dirt.

Pedigree: American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown Winner, has a private stud fee and is currently ranked the #1 first-crop sire, as 2 of his 3 runners to date have picked up wins.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranked #3 overall, with 198 runners to date, including 130 winners finding success at a 21% rate. Among the 130 winners are 13 stakes winners, including Bluegrass Oaks co-favorite American Dane, Bluegrass Derby entrant Yankee Pharoah, and one other graded stakes winner, each of whom struck it big in dirt routes.  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 (60% in routes).  The American Pharoah x A.P. Indy cross has been used 55 times in the sim in the past 4 years, with 7 stakes winners (2 graded) among them.  The combination seems to throw primarily dirt routers, with the two graded stakes winners scoring at 8.5f and 10f, respectively.  The full American Pharoah x A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector cross makes up 9 of the 55 foals, including previous Future Stars Series 2nd place finisher American Trumpet and Future Stars Series 5th place finisher American Belle.  Of those 9, there seems to be an even split between dirt sprinters and dirt milers.

Expectations: AP’s Golden Mummy is a little tough to decipher because he doesn’t have a sizeable race history.  He seems to me like he wants to be towards the front, but may not need to actually have the lead to do well.  His last race, a 4 horse turf effort, doesn’t help much because he was so much the class of the field, but he set the pace in that one as well as his maiden score.  The speed figures may be a touch below the best here, but I’m not sure those numbers accurately reflect his talent. The oddsmakers seem to think there’s something underneath this horse, and between the turf-to-dirt bump and the general maturity that comes from a 5th career start, AP’s Golden Mummy is a solid contender in this field.  Don’t discount.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field of 13 for today’s race.  As noted above, this race sets up to have a wicked pace, as no less than 6 horses in the field like to sit on, or just off, the lead.  Ultimately, while I think a number of them want the lead, I’m gonna call Tapendereya as the early pacesetter, followed very closely by Discomfortable, Grasberg, Mild and Amiable, Omi Alley, and maybe AP’S Golden Mummy.  A couple of these horses are strong contenders.  I just don’t see how this race favors any of them.  Instead, I think it favors someone coming from behind.  So, with my prediction, I’m going with (1) Doomcrag, (2) Tiger By The Toe, and (3) Discomfortable (with longshot pick Tapendereya).  Good luck everyone!

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Germany – Alw NW2L @ 10f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      New York – Alw NW3L @ 7.5f-T

3)      Maryland – Alw NW2L @ 7f (Division 1) (Division 2)

4)      Kentucky – Alw NW4x @ 8f

5)      Kentucky – LOCAL Alw NW2L @ 7f (Division 1) (Division 2)

6)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 10f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

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Apr 052019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  I was correct that Minor Boo Boo would have the lead alone.  What I didn’t anticipate is that he would take off like a horse possessed.  He opened up a huge lead on the rest of the field when he probably didn’t need to.  The result was that he was 6+ lengths clear, but tired and couldn’t hold off the late charges.  The strongest late move came from “stalker” Butterballs ($11.30), who found himself farther back early than he likes to be, but also in front of every horse not on the pace, and therefore he got first jump on the rest of the field, particularly Gun Inspector.  Both horses began their moves together, but Butterballs kept pace from Gun Inspector and never let him pass, defeating that rival by ½ length.  Gun Inspector had to settle for 2nd, while Dot To Dot managed to take the 3rd place photo from the tiring Minor Boo Boo.

This week, the Future Stars Series heads back to Ireland, where 9 Irish bred colts will take on a local NW3L Allowance at 9 furlongs on the turf.  The field is:

#1 – Rock It Cadet (Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Dynaformer x Kingmambo) – Owned by scoobysnak – 4/1

Race Record: 4:1-2-0; $60,146

Race History: Rock It Cadet is one of the least experienced horses in the field, but he may have the most promise.  Foaled early in 2018, he sat on the shelf until distances started getting longer, and in his 2 2yo races (one at 7f and one at 8f, both on the turf), Rock It Cadet closed late but came up just short each time, finishing 2nd.  He then headed to the bench again to wait for the 3yo season, but in his 3yo debut he caught an off track, holding him back.  But Rock It Cadet came back with a vengeance in his most recent race, at 9.5f on the turf.  In that MSW, he sat midpack early but made his move on the backstretch, quickly inhaling his competition.  They hit the top of the stretch with Rock It Cadet in front, and he didn’t look back, rocketing to a 1-3/4 length win and a career high 98 SP.  2nd from that race came back to finish 2nd again, with a 97 SP, in his next maiden effort (a very unlucky horse).  Rock It Cadet will cut back a touch here as he takes on winners for the first time.

Pedigree: Fastnet Rock, the #11 ranked European sire and #3 ranked Australian sire of 2018, currently stands for $70,000 and was Australia’s 2005 champion sprinter.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #25 overall, with 87 winners from 134 runners winning at a 19% rate.  Among those are 4 stakes winners, with 3 coming in turf sprints (at 5.5-7f-T) and the fourth coming in a residency-restricted turf mile, and two more graded placed horses, one at 6f-T and one at 9f-T.  His sim foals largely prefer turf (79% of earnings on turf), but unlike his actual racing career, his foals tend to be routers (60% in routes), which is in line with his real life AWD of 8.65.  This scratch bred’s Fastnet Rock x Dynaformer cross has been used 26 times in the past 4 years, with 5 of those producing stakes winners (and 2 producing graded stakes winners), including three-time G1 winning turf miler Fastnet Blue.  Turf routes seem to be the most successful races for these foals, and a number of them have shown strong ability in long distance races.  The full Fastnet Rock x Dynaformer x Kingmambo bloodlines have appeared 3 other times in the past 4 years (including one previous runner in a Future Stars Series race, Cat Skoozie, who finished 6th in that race).  Of those 3, each have improved on turf as the distance expands, with the only non-3yo doing his best racing at 12-14f on the turf.

Expectations: Rock It Cadet likes to sit in the middle of the pack and then pounce from there, so expect him to sit 4-7 lengths back early here.  That closing kick has been strong in the past, particularly in the most recent race, and he’ll hope to unleash it again here.  The only real question mark is whether that most recent race was a fluke or a sign of things to come.  The horse he beat put up a similar performance next time out, so I’m leaning towards legit.  And if it’s legit, watch out here.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Islay Malt (Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Yoga Trim [Dubawi (IRE) x Monsun]) – Owned by croissant – 7/2

Race Record: 8:2-1-1; $70,845

Race History: Islay Malt looks like a completely different horse once he matured as a 3yo.  After breaking his maiden at the local level at 8f-T in his 3rd career start, Islay Malt stalled out at the allowance level, eventually making an unsuccessful attempt on the dirt to end his 2018 season.  But once the clock turned, so did Islay Malt.  In his 3yo debut, at 9f-T in a NW2L, Islay Malt sat towards the back early but flew late, romping with a 2-1/4 length victory and earning a career high 97 SP.  He stretched out to 9.5f-T in his most recent race which pushed him a little closer to the pace, and he ran a respectable 3rd with a 93 SP.  He’ll cut back to 9f here as he tries to continue his impressive 3yo campaign.

Pedigree: See Rock It Cadet for a description of Fastnet Rock.  Islay Malt is the first foal from 7yo mare Yoga Trim.  Yoga Trim won 4 of her 30 races, all at the allowance level.  Her trainer bred her to run long, and so that’s what she did.  Even though she broke her maiden at 7f on the turf, she spent 28 of her 30 career races in route/long races, with her best performances coming at the 9-10f distances.  She showed some decent ability on dirt as well, though she only tried the surface 3 times.  Fastnet Rock has been bred to a Dubawi mare 13 times in the past 4 years, with 2 stakes winners (1 graded) in the bunch.  Success has largely come on the turf, with multiple runners peaking in the 9-12f range including the G1 winning 5yo Archie Trunker, who won The Jockey’s Weapon-G1 at 12f-T in October 2018.

Expectations: Islay Malt needs to save up his energy early in order to unleash his closing kick late.  He had always shown a desire to sit back early, but it wasn’t until he became a 3yo that he finally showed interest in running late.  But what a difference a year makes.  This horse has a lot of talent and, with the right pace situation, has one of the best chances in this field.  The issue is whether he’ll get that pace situation.  Strong contender.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Moes Tavern (Rock of Gibraltar x Inglostadt [Medicean x Storm Cat]) – Owned by oolong – 23/1

Race Record: 9:2-0-0; $57,516

Race History: Moes Tavern began his career by winning a 6f turf local MSW, and outside of one failed effort in a 5f turf stakes in his second start, has spent the rest of his career at the local level.  His 3 most recent races, however, have come on dirt.  Two races back, in an 8.5f local NW3L allowance, Moes Tavern earned a career high 77 SP when he battled for the pace early on before tiring badly and finishing last of 7, finishing behind today’s rival Without Reprisal.  His most recent race came just 10 days ago in a 7f local allowance on the good dirt track, where he tried to stalk the early pace but could not keep up with his competition, finishing last of 9.  This is his Moes Tavern’s first race for his new owner/trainer, and he’ll hope that the new trainer has done some magic as he heads back to turf routing.

Pedigree: Rock of Gibraltar, the 2002 European Horse of the Year and #44 ranked European sire of 2018, currently stands for $7,500 with an AWD of 8.48.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #245 overall, with 24 winners from 60 runners, winning at an 11% rate.  One of those, Rocktilthemoonsets, is a stakes winner at 9f on the turf. His sim foals are typically turf routers, with 77% of earnings on turf and 70% in routes.  Moes Tavern is the first foal from 11yo mare Inglostad, a winner of 2 of 13 races in her career.  Both of those wins came while sprinting, which is where she spent her entire career.  A majority of her races came on the turf (though she broke her maiden on the dirt), with her best efforts coming in the 5.5-6f range.  Rock of Gibraltar has been bred to a Medicean mare 4 other times in the past 4 years; 3 of those 4 have broken their maidens, and 2 have won allowance level races, with the fastest of those horses running best in the 8-10f range on the dirt.

Expectations: Moes Tavern has been forwardly placed in the past, and he may try to battle for the lead here.  There’s not a ton of pace here, so this might not be a bad tactic in this race.  Unfortunately for Moes Tavern, the other speed in this feed, American Lion, seems to be faster and Moes Tavern may struggle to actually grab the lead.  Moes Tavern has struggled in the past to keep up his pace from beginning to end, and he might need more than 10 days off to recharge.  He’ll need a career best performance today to be competitive in this field.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#4 – Highland Visit (Highland Reel x Langer [Dansili x Dynaformer]) – Owned by vkstables5 – 6/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $37,608

Race History: Highland Visit enters today’s race with some experience at the local level.  Two races back, in his 3yo debut, he broke his maiden in a local MSW here at today’s 9f turf distance.  In that race, he took up residence at the back of the pack early, but came flying late, passing every horse and cruising to a 1-3/4 length victory, earning a career high 89 SP.  He came back 1 month later in a NW2L allowance at 9.5f on the turf, but caught an off-track.  Against sitting last of 6 early, he came flying late but ran out of time, finishing 3rd and earning an 88 SP.  That 6 horse field appears to have been pretty strong, as the 4th place horse came back to win an allowance with a 102 SP next time out, and 6th came back to run 2nd in an allowance, also earning a 102 SP.  Highland Visit will try to do the same as those horses here.

Pedigree: Highland Reel, winner of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands for $17,500.  In the sim, his freshman crop currently ranks #180 overall, with 88 runners and 40 winners succeeding at a 14% rate.  His sim progeny are largely turf runners, with 79% of earnings on turf, while the foals seem to be getting better as more routes are available, which is not surprising given the sire’s success in long distance turf races.  What is surprising is that his one stakes winner to date, Reel Ready, pulled off the feat in a 9f dirt stakes race. Highland Visit is the 6th of 7 foals from 10yo mare Langer, who won only 1 race in her 14 race career, but pulled off a 3rd place finish in the GRSimster’s 2011 Championships at 8f on the turf in her 3rd career race to earn a residency-restricted  stakes placing.  Langer found that she was a closer who preferred sprinting, with most of her races coming on turf.  Among her previous foals, the best of the bunch is 7yo Rosslare (Henrythenavigator), who won an owner-restricted stakes at 12f on the turf and did his best running in long races.  There has been a pretty even split of sprinters and routers from Langer’s foals, but most prefer turf.  There is one other sim 3yo with the Highland Reel x Dansili cross, but he is still a maiden through 3 starts.

Expectations: Highland Visit has never felt any particular urgency coming out of the gate, and it would be shocking to see him anywhere other than last early in this race.  But don’t let that early start fool you; once this guy gets going, he doesn’t stop. The only drawback to this race is that it might not be long enough for him.  He has been successful at 9f, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he went on to bigger and better things once he gets out to the 12f range.  But that’s for another day.  For today, at 9f, he’s a solid contender, depending on the pace.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Beloisir (Choisir x Bel Blue Avenue [Bel Esprit (AUS) x Bluegrass Cat) – Owned by king4aday – 10/1

Race Record: 7:2-0-0; $39,120

Race History: Beloisir has spent most of his career on the dirt.  He won his first 2 races there, and then jumped into stakes company, but struggled to keep up with that competition, including a career high 90 SP in a 13th place finish in his only route try, at 8.5f on the dirt on ASR Championship Day.  Beloisir took a little break before coming back to the track for his first 3yo try in February, where he saw a surface switch to the turf for the first time.  Trying a 6f-T NW3L allowance, Beloisir never really showed much interest, sitting midpack early and never firing, finishing 10th with an 83 SP.  He’ll try to bounce back here and run back to that speed figure from the 8.5f effort as he stretches out to a turf route for the first time.

Pedigree: Choisir, a member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and both a champion 2yo in Australia and a champion sprinter in Europe, was the #18 ranked sire in Australia in 2018 (and #63 in Europe) and currently stands for $29,700.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #171, with 34 winners from 59 runners, scoring at a 15% rate.  The most impressive of those is Darsparkle, who broke his maiden in March's South African Classic-G2 at 9f on the turf, but two others are also graded placed, one in a turf mile and one in turf sprints.  Much like his racing career and his real life progeny, who have an AWD of 6.84, Choisir's sim progeny are also turf sprinters (75% earnings on turf, 64% in sprints).  Beloisir is the first foal from 8yo mare Bel Blue Avenue, a winner of 6 races in her 23 race career.  Only one of those wins was at the allowance level; the rest came in claimers.  Most of her wins came in dirt sprints, but she showed similar abilities anywhere from 6f to 9f on the dirt (the one allowance win was at 9f), clearly preferring the main track to the sod. Choisir has been bred to a Bel Esprit mare one other time in the past 4 years; that horse is primarily a sprinter in the claiming ranks.

Expectations: Beloisir is a bit of an unknown, having only handled this surface once and only routing once, and in different races.  The speed figure from his 8.5f effort makes it seem like he might be better at route distances.  But his running style, including how he handled his 6f turf effort last time out, makes it seem like he doesn’t have the speed to get out in front or the stamina to get the distance.  He has faded at the end of each of his last 5 races.  This is a horse that may have potential; but I’ll wait to see it in a turf route before I back him.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 - Mister Moselle (Churchill x Moselle [Sea The Moon (GER) x King Kamehameha) – Owned by lgbost9y – 3/1 (f)

Race Record: 8:2-2-1; $60,848

Race Record: Mister Moselle has spent almost all of his career here at Ireland, running in the local circuit.  And after breaking his maiden in a hot MSW (his one non-local performance), he kicked off a very strong 3yo campaign at the local NW2L level.  He has put up a 90+ SP in each of his 3 starts in 2019, sitting midpack in each of the 3 races (all at 8.5-9f on turf) and getting closer late.  Mister Moselle’s big break came in his most recent race, where he sat 7 lengths off the pacesetter before pouncing, grabbing the lead just before the wire and winning by ¼ length, earning a career- and field-high 101 SP.  He’ll look to repeat that effort today.

Pedigree: Churchill, the 2016 European 2yo colt champion and winner of the 2000 Guineas, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands for $35,000.  That freshman sim crop currently ranks #111 overall, with 92 runners producing 41 winners at an 11% rate thus far.  Two of those foals have found stakes victory in the sim thus far (one in a residency-restricted stakes), both at 6-6.5f on the turf, though two more are stakes placed at 9-9.5f-T, indicating some potential as the races get longer.  His sim progeny are, unsurprisingly, turf runners, with 82% of earnings on turf.  Mister Moselle is the first foal from 5yo mare Moselle, a local maiden winner in 12 career races.  That win came at 5.5f on the dirt in a field of 4.  Her best race was arguably at 10f on the dirt in a $125K local claimer, but she never really showed a particular prowess on the track.

Expectations: Mister Moselle is likely going to sit towards the middle or back of the pack here, as he’s a late runner that wants a target in front of him.  He put together a tremendous effort last race, his third straight improvement, and there’s a bit of a concern that he may be due for a bounce.  But I think this was just a natural progression as Mister Moselle matured and got more distance to cover, and he can run back to it.  If he does, watch out, because he’s the one to beat.  The open question here is whether the pace will impact his chances.  The pick.

Watch Level: High

#7 - ASR Ravens (Raven’s Pass x Danzig x Kris S.) – Owned by asr3 – 7/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-1; $41,250

Race History: ASR Ravens looked good at the turn of the calendar, as he ended his 2018 season with an MSW victory at 8f-T and followed that up with a 2nd place finish in a 9f-T NW2L allowance to kick off his 2019 campaign.  The maiden score, in which he and many others were bunched up with no clear pacesetter, saw ASR Ravens outrun his competitors to the finish line and win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a career high 90 SP.  ASR Ravens enters this race off of a 7th place effort at 9.5f-T in a NW2L allowance, where he struggled to keep up with some of the others in the race.  He’ll cut back to 9f here in hopes that the last race was a clunker and he can bounce back here.

Pedigree: Raven’s Pass, a G1 winner on both turf and dirt in his racing career, was the #52 ranked European sire in 2018 and currently stands for $10,000.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #339 (his worst ranking in many years), with 29 winners from 63 starters winning at a 10% clip.  None of those horses have hit stakes success yet, with only 1 even stakes placed, at 8.5f on the turf.  His sim progeny have a preference for turf (68% of earnings on turf), and like his real life AWD of 8.36, his sim foals also prefer routes (65% in routes).  The Raven’s Pass x Danzig cross that this scratch bred sports has been used 4 other times in the past 4 years.  Only 2 of those 4 have won at the allowance level, though part of that is because the fastest of the 4 has decided to dominate at the claiming level in 9-10f dirt and polytrack claimers instead.  None of the four have shown a ton of promise, but other than the claimer, the others seem to be slightly better on the turf.

Expectations: ASR Ravens’ best races have come when he has sat a little closer to the pace, but those have also been races with pretty slow paces.  I would instead expect ASR Ravens to stalk the pace, just a few lengths off, so that he doesn’t need to maneuver around a lot of horses to get to the front.  His most recent race concerns me, as he seemed to tire at the end, but he’s shown ability at this 9f distance before, so it’s possible that 9f is just his max.  He’s got a shot in here, but he may be slightly beneath the best horses in this field.  Prefer others.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 - Invincible Lion (Invincible Spirit (IRE) x Lion Fire [Lion Heart x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by jonesstables7­ – 5/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-2; $87,240

Race History: Invincible Lion is the most accomplished horse in this field, as he comes out of back-to-back turf sprint stakes.  After winning 2 of his first 3 starts, both at 7f on the turf, he made the leap and ended his 2018 2yo campaign with a 3rd place finish in a 7f stakes, where he earned a career-high 86 SP after dueling for the lead early and barely losing steam at the end.  He came back for his first race of 2019 and cut back into a 6f turf stakes, but he was never able to get to the lead and didn’t like the dirt in his face, faltering and finishing 5th.  He takes a class drop here and stretches out significantly as he heads across the pond to take on Irish bred horses and tries routing for the first time.

Pedigree: Invincible Spirit, the #18 ranked European sire of 2018, currently stands for $120,000 in Ireland and has an AWD of 7.09.  In the sim, his 2018 crop is currently ranked #36 overall, with 100 runners and 72 winners succeeding at a 22% rate.  The 2018 class includes 6 stakes winners (and 8 more stakes placed horses), of which one, Invincible Scales, has achieved G3 success at 6f on the turf.  Of the other 5, 3 were victorious in turf sprints, one in a dirt sprint, and one at 9f on the turf. Invincible Spirit is a heavy turf sire in the sim, with 70% of earnings on turf, but is pretty evenly split between sprints and routes.  Invincible Lion is the 2nd of 3 foals from G2-winning 6yo mare Lion Fire, who won 16 of her 25 career starts.  Lion Fire was a Turkish bred who rattled off an 8 race win streak in her career, with the first 6 coming in local allowances before he successfully made the jump to stakes company.  Most of her success, including her win in The Winter Forest-G2, came at the 7-8f turf distance, though she won stakes races anywhere from 5-8f.  Lion Fire’s first foal, 4yo Oasis Fire (Oasis Dream (GB)), took his mother’s ability and improved upon it, as in 13 career races he is a multiple graded stakes winner, including taking the 2018 New Zealand 2000 Dark Beers-G1 at 8f on the turf, and he currently ranks as the #12 older turf router.  Meanwhile, Lion Fire’s most recent foal, 2yo No Nay Fire (No Nay Never), recently broke his maiden in his 2nd career start at 6f on the turf with an 80 SP.

Expectations: If you were wondering where the pace in this race is coming from, here it is.  Invincible Lion has been setting the pace in sprint stakes company, and he may open up lengths on this field before you can blink.  There are some distance questions – his mother and his best sibling have done their best racing at 8f, and his sire tends to throw sprinters in the real world.  His career best speed figures are also a cut below the best in this field.  But those efforts were at the stakes level, and the drop down could propel him forward here.  And with the pace setup in this race, Invincible Lion may just be able to steal this one on the front end.  Consider.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Without Reprisal (Society Rock (IRE) x Red Trotter [Manduro x Shamardal] – Owned by bazefan – 19/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-1; $28,521

Race Record: Without Reprisal was claimed out of his debut, a $15K NW2L that he won at 4.5f on the turf.  He tried turf one more time, a 4th place finish at 7f, before switching to the dirt for his most recent 3 races.  Without Reprisal’s 2nd win also came at the claiming level, but he enters this race off of 2 local allowance tries.  In his most recent race, he stretched out to 8.5f for the first time, once again on the dirt, and earned a career high 82 SP in the effort, but never really got involved in the race, finishing a well beaten 6th, defeating only today’s rival Moes Tavern.  Without Reprisal will switch back to the turf here, hoping for a dirt-to-turf bump to propel him forward.

Pedigree: Society Rock, winner of the 2011 Golden Jubilee, sadly passed away in 2016 but ranked as the #74 European sire in 2018.  The 2018 sim crop is his last, and it includes 12 runners to date, 7 of which have found the winner’s circle at a 13% rate.  His 5 sim seasons produced only 1 stakes winner to date, from his first crop, and the 2018 class does not include any horses that have been successful at the allowance level as of yet.  That one stakes winner (and his only stakes placed foal) scored at 5f on the turf.  Society Rock’s sim progeny, like his real world AWD of 6.55, are largely sprints, with 70% of earnings in sprints, while also preferring turf (62% on turf).  Without Reprisal is the 3rd foal from 7yo mare Red Trotter, a winner of just a $75K MCL in her 17 race career.  That win came in an 11f dirt race, where she beat a field of 7 by ¾ of a length and earned a career high 87 SP.  She was never a strong horse on the track, but what skill she did have seemed to best come out in that 9-12f distance.  Her 2 other foals to date have spent their careers in the claiming ranks as well, and both have shown to be sprinters, one on the dirt and one on the turf.

Expectations: Having never tried turf routing before, it’s a little tough to know exactly where Without Reprisal fits into this field.  Based on his previous turf and routing efforts, my guess is that he’ll be sitting towards the back of the pack early.  The local circuit is a solid place for this horse to spend his time, and he saw some success at this level 2 back in a 6.5f dirt allowance.  Unfortunately for Without Reprisal, this time he caught a much stronger field.  He’s a longshot here for a reason.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

That’s the field for this Local NW3L Allowance.  The pace seems pretty easy to predict here, as Invincible Lion is a frontrunning sprinter stretching out for the first time, Moes Tavern is a frontrunner who doesn’t have much speed, and everyone else prefers to sit midpack or farther back.  The result of that combination is that Invincible Lion could probably as fast or as slow of a pace as he wants.  In the real world, this race is a recipe for Invincible Lion to steal the race on the front end at a price.  But I’m not sure that the sim values lone speed as much as the real world does, and there’s a chance that Moes Tavern pushes Invincible Lion more than he is comfortable with.  So I’m gonna guess that some of the horses from the back get close.  Because of that, I’m going with (1) Mister Moselle, (2) Islay Malt; (3) Rock It Cadet.

As an administrative note, the Future Stars Series will be off for the next 2 weeks, but it will be back at the end of April.  Good luck everyone!

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Arkansas – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      California – Alw NW3L @ 9.5f-T

3)      Kentucky – LOCAL Alw NW4x @ 8f

4)      Indiana – Allowance @ 8f-T

5)      Oklahoma – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f (Division 1) (Division 2)

6)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Fillies) (Division 1) (Division 2)

Views (196)

Mar 292019
 

The Future Stars Series took a week off last week, so first a quick recap of the race from two weeks ago.  Giant Rebourbon ($10.00) lived up to her name and proved to be a giant in the field.  Setting the early pace and being pushed by longshot VT Mansion, Giant Rebourbon quickly dispatched that rival and hit another gear as they entered the far turn.  She opened up a 3-1/4 length lead at the top of the stretch before easing her way to a 1-1/2 length victory, earning a 98 SP in victory.  It was too little too late for Barbara Tap Out, who was making her way from 7th but ended up 1-1/2 lengths short.  It was a close photo for 3rd, but the nod went to stalker Demostolos, who just narrowly held off the late charge of Loyola Ramblers coming from last.

This week, the Future Stars Series is back, and heads to its alma mater’s home, Pennsylvania!  There, we find 11 colts battling in a NW2L Allowance at 9 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – The Other Guy (Quality Road x Angels Fall [Empire Maker x Theatrical]) – Owned by wilko – 11/1

Race Record: 5:1-0-1; $40,914

Race History: The Other Guy comes into this race off of his maiden score in his first 3yo race back in February.  In that race, an MSW at 9.5f on the dirt, The Other Guy assumed his usually stalking position, 2 lengths off the leaders, but unlike his 2yo races, the jockey made his move early and The Other Guy pulled away in the far turn to open up by 2 lengths.  From there, it was just a question of whether he could hold off the closers, and the answer was yes, as he won by 1 length and earned a career-high 92 SP.  It was his second attempt at routing, with the first a solid 3rd place effort at 8.5f.  The Other Guy cuts back a half furlong from his last race for today’s effort.

Pedigree: Quality Road, currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky and was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in G1 Wins).  His 2018 sim crop is lagging behind a bit, currently ranking #118 with 53 winners from 94 runners (winning at a 15% rate).  Only one of those 94 is currently a stakes winner, and that horse, Quality Killer, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf, though he is also stakes placed at 9.5f on the dirt. Quality Road’s progeny strongly prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), with a pretty even split in earnings between sprints and routes (though the speed figures favor sprints).  Angels Fall, the 15yo he-mare of The Other Guy, was a 5 time winner in his 55 race career, with all of his wins coming in dirt routes (or longer).  He was a stakes winner and G3-placed at 10 furlongs on the dirt, and that distance is where he did his best running, with 4 of his 5 wins at the 10f distance.  Quality Road has been bred to an Empire Maker mare 7 times (excluding 2yos) in the past 4 years.  Although none of the other 6 have had stakes success yet, 3 are allowance winners, and in general all of their best races have come in the 8-9f dirt range.

Expectations: The Other Guy wants to sit about 2 lengths off of the pace, and he’ll use whatever speed it takes to do that.  His most recent effort saw a tiring pacesetter fade early, combined with The Other Guy trying an early move to put away the field.  It’s not clear that that particular strategy will work in this race, but it’s not The Other Guy’s only option.  He has shown in the past that he has something left in the tank at the end of races, and he’ll try to outrun his competition here.  He has made steady improvement in his last few races, and if he can improve again today, he’s got a chance, but facing winners for the first time can sometimes be a daunting task.

Watch Level: Medium

#2 – Butterballs (Congrats x Barely Lucky [Dynaformer x Halo]) – Owned by mogul – 9/2 (f-t)

Race Record: 4:1-1-1; $48,866

Race History: Butterballs was bred early in 2018 but waited until races got longer and debuted in October 2018, when he broke his maiden at 7.5 furlongs and indicated that the longer distances were right up his alley.  In each of his 3 allowance tries following that win, all in dirt routes, Butterballs has shown a bit of a closing move, but as of yet he hasn’t been able to find the winner’s circle.  2 races back was his closest effort, as he was coming on strong late in a 9f race but ended up getting passed by a deeper closer, finishing 2nd and earning a career high 93 SP.  The winner from that race came back to run 3rd at the stakes level next time out.  Butterballs enters today’s race off of a 3rd place finish at 9.5f on the dirt, where he sat 2nd behind a loose leader early and closed the gap at the end, but had to settle for 3rd with a 92 SP.  He cuts back to 9f here to see if he can finally get the jump on the others.

Pedigree: Congrats, the #24 ranked US sire in 2018, currently stands for $12,500 in Kentucky and has shown some additional promise recently, including with top 2019 Kentucky Derby contender Harvey Wallbanger.  In the sim, Congrats’ 2018 crop is currently ranked #94 (#38 in jimj’s recent Message Board rankings), with 43 winners from 84 runners winning at a 15% rate.  Among those is 1 Graded Stakes winner, Hey Thanks, winner of the Vermont Is 4 Lovers-G1 at 9f on the dirt and currently the #5 ranked 3yo dirt route filly.  Congrats’ sim progeny are largely dirt horses (75% of earnings on dirt), while they are pretty evenly split between sprints and routes (52% sprint), though the speed figures are relatively better when routing.  Butterballs is the 5th of 6 foals from G2-winning 12yo mare Barely Lucky.  Barely Lucky was a solid runner in her day, winning 16 of 39 career races, including the G2 win in the 9f D-Day Distaff-G2, and 7 other stakes victories, along with 5 G3 placings, all in dirt routes in the 9-9.5f range.  Most of her foals (other than her first) have followed suit by preferring dirt routes.  The best of those is 5yo mare Luck or Fate (Hard Spun), who is a stakes winner at this 9f distance and twice stakes placed at 8.5f.  Congrats has been bred to a Dynaformer mare 2 other times in the past 4 years.  One of those has yet to race, and the other, Truly Inspired, is a 4-time allowance winner, with his best races coming in races over 12f on the turf.

Expectations: Butterballs has shown in his past that he can close from far back if he really needs to, but he would prefer to have fewer horses to pass, likely sitting about 3-4 lengths off of the pace.  He definitely has the speed to pick off some horses late, but he’s shown some vulnerability in his last 2 races to deeper closers that get the first run on him, as well as loose leaders.  But he’s a solid horse who has a chance here.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Break Dancer Bob (Majestic Warrior x Nureyev x Mr. Prospector) – Owned by simlander – 17/1

Race Record: 9:1-1-2; $29,878

Race History: Break Dancer Bob certainly looks like he loves racing.  The “youngest” horse in the field, having not debuted until November 2018, Break Dancer Bob has already run 9 times, the most in the field.  Most of those were in short 4.5-5.5f sprints on both turf and dirt, and he broke his maiden in mid-February in a 5f turf sprint.  He came back 9 days later in a NW2L at 6f on the dirt but showed no interest in wanting to be back already, sitting in last the entire race.  His most recent race came 13 days later, when he stretched out to 9f for the first time, and he earned a career high 84 SP but was never really in the race, finishing a well-beaten 12th.  Break Dancer Bob will get 20 days of rest leading up to this race, his longest break since career race #4.

Pedigree: Majestic Warrior, a G1 winning sprinter as a 2yo, ranked as the #29 US sire in 2018, but was shipped to Japan in 2016 and currently stands for 1.8MM yen there, where his first Japanese foals are likely to begin running this year.  Majestic Warrior’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #146, with 38 winners from 94 runners, winning at a 10.5% rate.  Among those 38 winners are 3 stakes winners, one at 7f on the turf and 2 (one owner-restricted) at 8.5-9f on the dirt.  Majestic Warrior’s sim progeny have strongly favored dirt (70% of earnings on dirt), while he has evenly sired sprinters and routers. No one else has bred a Majestic Warrior x Nureyev foal in the past 4 years, but there is one Majestic Warrior x Peintre Celebre (a son of Nureyev) out there.  And he has been a solid runner, with 3 wins in 9 career starts, doing his best running in turf miles.

Expectations: Early in his career, Break Dancer Bob showed some true gate speed, as he was fast enough to set the pace in most of his early 4.5f and 5f races.  It may be the racing schedule, but he hasn’t shown that same ability in his last few races.  I expect that he would want to battle the pace if he could, but he hasn’t indicated that he currently has the speed to take on some of the others in this field.  This colt may need a breather before he’s able to compete with the caliber of horses in this NW2L.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#4 – Well in California (California Chrome x Sadler’s Wells x Fappiano) – Owned by tripleaaa – 5/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-1; $50,878

Race History: Well in California may be across the country from his namesake state, but that didn’t seem to both him much in his most recent race.  Trying his third straight MSW at or beyond 9f, Well in California decided to take a new tactic, sitting off the pace for the first time in his career.  But while his previous races saw him tire late (including 2 races back, where he took off running early on, opening up 6-1/2 lengths on the field before tiring to finish 3rd), in his most recent run he showed an extra kick at the end.  Siegehunter sat 3 lengths off the pace early, but came running late and grabbed a ¾ length victory, earning a career high 96 SP.  He’ll take on winners for the first time today.

Pedigree: California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner and Horse of the Year, currently stands for $35,000 in Kentucky but has not seen any real world foals yet, as he entered stud in 2017.  That’s enough time for the sim, however, and his 2018 crop currently ranks #66, with 126 runners and 60 winners succeeding at a 12% rate.  Only one of those 60 is a stakes winner, at 9f on the dirt, though California Chrome does have 1 G1 winner, Golden California, also at 9f on the dirt from his 2017 crop. His sim progeny have been dirt runners, with 75% of earnings on dirt, and while his sim foals currently show a slight edge in sprints, they have been improving with added distance and he may end up as a sire that has no distance preference.  California Chrome has been crossed with Sadler’s Wells 3 other times in the sim.  The most successful of those is 4yo Chrome City, a residency-restricted stakes winner at 8.5f on the dirt, though he has proven to be particularly adept on the turf.

Expectations: Siegebreaker did something in his last race that he had never done before – he settled off the pace.  In 4 prior starts, he was all in on speed.  The question for the casual observer is whether that change was one made by the jockey or one made by the trainer.  If it was the trainer, Siegebreaker has a real strong chance in here, as he proved that if he can take back a little, he’s got some leftover stamina to outrun others.  If it was the jockey and he reverts back to his pacesetting ways, he may get locked into a speed duel here that could be too much to overcome.  My guess?  It was the trainer.  The pick.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Threewilltestify (Frosted x Rejoice in Storms [Bodemeister x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by billzelite – 10/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-1; $48,920

Race History: The sponsor of the race, Threewilltestify has been counting down the races to this one – in his first 5 races (all dirt routes), he finished 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  That 1st place finish was in his most recent race, here in Pennsylvania at 9f at the beginning of March.  In that race, He sat 4 lengths off the pace early, which put him towards the back, but came flying beginning on the backstretch and had nearly grabbed the lead by the far turn, eventually taking the lead and pulling away to win by 2 lengths.  The race earned him a career high 91 SP, a 10 point jump over his previous effort.  Threewilltestify will try to duplicate that most recent performance here as he tries winners for the first time.

Pedigree: Frosted, a 3-time G1 winning horse at 8-9f on the dirt who entered stud in 2017, currently stands for $50,000 in Kentucky.  His 2018 second sim crop is currently ranked #82 overall, with 61 winners from 107 runners, winning at a 14% rate.  His sim foals are dirt runners, with 73% of earnings on the dirt, while being evenly matched in both sprints and routes (currently 57% overall in sprints, but the 4yo class is 51/49).  Frosted has not yet had a graded stakes winner in the sim, but his 2018 class includes 2 stakes winners, one at 7f on the dirt, and one in a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f on the dirt, and one G2-placed horse at 6.5f on the dirt.  Threewilltestify is the only foal from 6yo he-mare Rejoice in Storms, a winner of 3 from 22 races in his career.  The big one of those 3 wins was a 9f stakes on a dirt off-track, where he put up a career best SP in winning by 1-1/4.  But it wasn’t necessarily a fluke, as Rejoice in Storms had 2 other stakes placings (1 residency-restricted stakes, 1 open) at 8.5f and 9.5f on the dirt.  His best racing was done in the 9-10f range, though his 2 other wins were in his first 2 career races, both at 7f.

Expectations: Threewilltestify seems like he may be a bit of a slave to the pace setup in this race.  He wants to be roughly 3-4 lengths off the pace, and so he’ll expend whatever energy it takes to get there.  But the unique thing about Threewilltestify is that he seems to have a lot of stamina, so a hot pace could actually benefit him, as he will outlast horses that are tiring.  He doesn’t have quite as strong of a closing kick as one might expect, given his running style, but he may be improving with age.  His most recent race was a big jump from his prior efforts, and if he can move forward in this race, he’s in it.  But I’m siding elsewhere here.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Peach Barbara (Bodemeister x Lucky You Barb [Exceed and Excel x Rahy]) – Owned by lukebarn – 17/1

Race Record: 5:1-0-0; $16,860

Race History: Peach Barbara won his debut race back in September 2018 at 7f on the dirt, stalking the pace early and then getting up by a neck in a field of 12.  But since then, he has been struggling at the allowance level.  In 4 races since that maiden win, Peach Barbara has finished no better than 6th.  With that said, his speed figures have been improving ever so slightly in each of his 5 races.  In his most recent race, he was stretched out to 9f after trying a 6.5f sprint, and that stretch out may have been too much for him, as he broke towards the back and was never really in the race, finishing 15-3/4 lengths back in 8th.  He did, however, earn a career high 80 SP.  He’ll try 9f again today, this time with a little experience at the distance under his belt.

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 #102, 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.  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.  Peach Barbara is the first foal from 6yo mare Lucky You Barb.  Lucky You Barb was a winner of 7 races in her 24 race career, with 4 non-hot, non-local allowance wins among those.  All 7 of those wins, and in fact all 24 of her career races, were in turf sprints, with most coming in the super short 4.5-5.5f range.  Bodemeister has been bred to an Exceed and Excel mare 4 times in the past 4 years.  One of those, Bodeworld LV, is a stakes winner at 8f on the turf, and the others (aside from Peach Barbara) have likewise done their best running in turf routes (or longer).

Expectations: Peach Barbara is looking to rebound in his 2nd race at 9f here.  But it’s tough to see a scenario where he finishes near the front.  His last several races have indicated that he doesn’t have the speed to be competitive early, nor does he seem to have the stamina to get these distances.  That’s not much of a surprise if you look at his pedigree, given that his dam was a turf sprinter.  In fact, it’s a little surprising that Peach Barbara hasn’t tried the turf through 6 career starts (including today), as this writer’s uneducated guess is that he would be better on the grass than the dirt.  That’s certainly something to look for in the future, but for this race, there’s a reason that Peach Barbara is one of the biggest longshots.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – Gun Inspector (Gun Runner x Mr. Prospector x Nijinsky 2nd) – Owned by sjmeola9 – 7/1

Race Record: 6:1-1-0; $50,244

Race History: A very well-bred 3yo, Gun Inspector was gelded after a poor first effort, but while he saw improvement after the procedure (which was also when he stretched out to a mile), he still struggled throughout his 2yo season, finishing with 1 2nd place finish in 5 races.  But he saw a significant improvement in his 3yo debut in February, his most recent race.  In that race, a MSW at 9.5f on the dirt, Gun Inspector sat midpack early and then unleashed a closing move that he had not previously hinted at in his prior races, grabbing the lead and pulling away to win by 1-3/4 lengths and earning a career-high 97 SP, a 13 point jump over his previous high.  This will be Gun Inspector’s first attempt against winners, as he hopes to prove that the improvement wasn’t just a blip here.

Pedigree: Gun Runner, the 2017 American Horse of the Year, was a dominant horse on the track, primarily in the 9f-10f range on the dirt and currently stands in Kentucky for $70,000.  A freshman sire in 2018, Gun Runner’s #22-ranked sim class currently consists of 137 runners, of which 81 have won at a 15% rate.  The large majority of his sim foals have preferred dirt (83% of earnings on dirt), but they are starting to show more promise as they stretch out to route distances (currently 47% of earnings in routes, but growing).  The 2018 class includes 2 stakes winners – Sniper’s View, a colt squarely on the Bluegrass Derby trail and a G2 winner at 8.5f on the dirt, and The Bourbon Double, winner of a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f on the dirt, and multiple stakes placed at 8-9f. Gun Runner has been crossed with Mr. Prospector 2 other times thus far in the sim (both with Northern Dancer, Nijinsky 2nd’s sire, as the DDS), and all 3 were bred and are owned by sjmeola.  One has shown strong ability in dirt sprints, with a maiden win in 4 tries thus far, while the other is winless through 5 races.

Expectations:   Gun Inspector is looking to sit roughly midpack, which in an ideal world would put him just 2-3 lengths off the pace, but might pull him back a little farther in this race.  But what you think of Gun Inspector really depends on how you see his last race.  Was it the sign of a horse that reached his maturity as a 3yo?  Or was it a fluke?  Nothing in his prior route efforts indicated he wanted an extra 1.5 furlongs, as he had tended to race pretty evenly.  But it’s certainly possible that he filled out once he aged up.  And if that’s what happened, he’s a solid choice here.  Don’t discount.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Minor Boo Boo (Mineshaft x Boodha [Buddha x Belong To Me]) – Owned by dalegend – 12/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $40,241

Race History: Minor Boo Boo didn’t have much of a boo boo when he stretched out to 8f in his second career race, back in September 2018.  Able to set the pace at the distance, he overpowered 9 rivals to wire the field by 2 lengths.  He came back at 8.5f in December 2018 and again set the pace, but faded to 6th.  Minor Boo Boo showed a marked improvement in his first 3yo effort and most recent race, however.  There, he once again set the early pace, opening up a 2-1/2 length lead at the top of the stretch before running out of gas late.  He ended up fading to 4th, beaten 3-1/4 lengths, but he earned a career high 95 SP for the effort.  The 3 horses that managed to pass him in that race each came back to run 3rd, 1st, and 2nd at the allowance level in their next races, earning SPs of 95, 95, and 90.  Minor Boo Boo will hope that he can improve his stamina off of that most recent race and get an extra half furlong here.

Pedigree: Mineshaft, the 2003 Horse of the Year and the #35 ranked US sire in 2018, currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #100, with 117 runners and 56 winners to date, winning at an 11% rate (well off of his 17% average).  It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Mineshaft was downgraded in 2018, though it’s also possible that the horses will get better with age, as he tends to throw horses that prefer routes (69% of earnings in routes).  His progeny have, in recent years, been stronger on dirt, though overall his progeny have been pretty evenly split between turf and dirt.  The 2018 crop includes 3 stakes winners to date, 2 of those in dirt sprints and 1 in a residency-restricted dirt route.  Mineshaft is also the sire of Sim Hall of Famer The Gun Went Off.  Minor Boo Boo is the 9th foal from 16yo mare Boodha, winner of the 2008 edition of the 8.5f Steadhemp Handicap-G1.  In addition to that G1 win, Boodha earned 7 other wins in her 35 race career, including 1 other stakes victory at 8f, and added 5 other stakes placings (including a G3 placing) at distances ranging from 6.5f-8f in her career).  Her most impressive efforts were in the 2 back-to-back stakes wins at 8f and 8.5f, though she spent a lot of her early career sprinting, and proved to be a solid runner anywhere from 6.5f to 8.5f on the dirt.  But the main trait that she has passed down to her sim progeny has been speed, as all but one have done their best racing in sprints (most on the dirt).  One of her foals, 7yo Boozin (Hansen), is stakes placed at 6f on the dirt, while 3 of the other 7 are winners in non-local, non-hot allowances.

Expectations: Minor Boo Boo is going to try for the lead, and he’s shown in the past that he has the speed to get there.  He may even be able to open up lengths on the field early, similar to what he did in his last race.  But the real question is whether he’ll be able to maintain that speed for 9 furlongs.  He did it in his maiden score at 8f, but he’s struggled at 8.5f to finish strong, and adding the extra half furlong here doesn’t look like it will help.  His siblings are all primarily sprinters, and one is left to wonder if it might be worth trying a race at around 7 furlongs, to see if he can get to the lead and maintain it.  A strong horse, but this might be too much for him.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Siegebreaker (Dubawi (IRE) x Queen Anne’s War [Declaration of War x Kingmambo]) – Owned by borodino – 8/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $39,944

Race History: The least experienced horse in the field, Siegebreaker began his career with 2 starts on the turf.  After breaking his maiden at first asking at 8f on the turf, he stretched out to 8.25f-T but faded late.  He was shifted over to the main track in his most recent race, a 9f NW2L allowance back in February.  There, he sat midpack early, well off of a very hot pace, and finished a well-beaten 5th, but early a career high 92 SP (a 9 point jump over his previous turf high) in the process.  The first and third place finishers from that race came back to run 3rd and 1st in their next allowance races, each putting up high 90s SPs.  Siegebreaker will try 9f on the dirt again here.

Pedigree: Dubawi, the #1 EU sire in 2018, currently stands in England for $250,000.  In the sim, his crop wasn’t quite as strong, as the 2018 class currently ranks #52 overall, with 88 winners from 163 runners, winning at a 17.5% rate.  None of those 88 has won a graded stakes yet, though 2 are graded stakes placed at 8-8.5f on the turf and 3 others are stakes winners (all at 8-8.5f, 2 on turf and 1 on dirt).  Dubawi’s sim progeny strongly prefer turf routes (71% of earnings on turf, 78% in routes), which is a little surprising given his somewhat low-end real life AWD of 8.76 (you’d expect slightly more sprinters, even though routes would still be preferred overall).  Siegebreaker is the first foal from 6yo mare Queen Anne’s War, a winner of 6 from 28 races in her career.  Among those wins was a stakes win at today’s 9f dirt distance.  She proved to be talented on both turf and dirt in her career, ultimately earning more on turf (backed by 4 of her 6 career wins), even though her two stakes placings were both on dirt.  She was a solid runner anywhere from 7f-9f.

Expectations: There’s a little bit of uncertainty around Siegebreaker because he’s had so few races in his career.  What is his preferred running style, since he didn’t have much of a chance to show it with the blistering pace of his first dirt try?  How much of his last race was a turf-to-dirt bump?  There’s also a distance question, as he’s tired late a bit in each of his first 2 races as a 3yo.  But more experience at the distance could help that.  He’s one of many with a shot in here.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – The Trumpinator (Giant’s Causeway x A.P. Indy x Blushing Groom) – Owned by champions8 – 5/1

Race Record: 5:1-2-0; $62,056

Race History: The Trumpinator came up just short in his 2nd race, at 7f on the dirt back in October 2018, as a photo proved he was defeated by a head, but it was a bit of surprise that it would take 3 more tries before he could finally break his maiden.  A stretch out to routes indicated a bit of a closing kick, but it wasn’t until his most recent race, his second as a 3yo at 8.5f on the dirt, that he finally put it all together.  There, he sat just off the pace early before hitting another gear in the stretch, pulling away from the pacesetter to win by 2 lengths and earning a career high 91 SP.  He’ll add another half furlong here as he tries to make it two in a row.

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, passed away in 2018.  And if it feels like Giant’s Causeway is covered in this series every week…it’s because he has.  This is the 4th straight week with a Giant’s Causeway horse.  And the reason?  His 2018 sim crop currently has 385 runners to date.  That #1 ranked class includes 238 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 60% of earnings on dirt.  Giant’s Causeway x A.P. Indy is one of the most popular crosses in the sim, with 87 bred in the past 4 years.  15 of those 87 are stakes winners, but only 1 has hit the graded stakes jackpot, with a G3 win at 8f on the dirt as a 2yo.  Overall, those horses seem to prefer dirt, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a distance preference as a whole.

Expectations: If The Trumpinator gets the race that he wants, he’d probably sit 2-3 lengths off the pace early.  But the pace in this race might be a little faster than he’d like, and he might be forced to sit a little farther back.  That’s not necessarily a death knell, as The Trumpinator has shown a bit of a closing kick in some previous races, and the 9f distance here might help that a bit.  But he caught a very soft pace in his maiden win and this is his first time facing winners, so it’s a question about whether he’s up to the level of some of his competition here.  He’s got a possibility, but I’m siding with others.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – Dot to Dot (Connect x Short Notice [Bernardini x Saint Liam]) – Owned by johnscall – 9/2 (f-t)

Race Record: 7:1-2-2; $51,912

Race History: Dot to Dot has shown steady improvements in speed in each of his 7 career races, which has also corresponded to increasing distances.  He enters this race off of his fastest race to date, when he earned a career-high and field-high 98 SP at 10 furlongs in a NW2L allowance back in February.  In that race, he stalked the pace in 4th and moved up as they hit the far turn, but he was outrun by a few others to the finish line and he had to settle for 4th.  The 2nd place horse from that race came back to win a NW2L allowance next time out with a 95 SP.  This race will be Dot to Dot’s 5th try at the NW2L level, but he’s never finished worse than 4th, or farther back than 3-1/2 lengths, in any of those races.  He’ll cut back in distance for the first time here, to match the distance he ran 2 back, where he sat midpack early and closed to a 3rd place finish.

Pedigree: Connect, a freshman sire in 2018, currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky and was a strong dirt miler in his racing career.  In the sim, that freshman class currently ranks #141 overall, with 40 wins out of 79 runners, winning at a 16% rate.  The crop may not be as large as some others, but it already includes 5 stakes winners, including Connectorbone, a G2 winner at 6.5f on the dirt and 4 others that run the gamut from 6.5f on the turf to 10.5f on the dirt.  Connect’s sim progeny have thus far been dirt sprinters (82% of earnings on dirt, 74% in sprints), but the sprinting may change as his first crop gets a real chance to route.  Dot to Dot is the 3rd foal from 10yo mare Short Notice, a winner of 8 races in her 44 race career.  6 of those wins came at the non-hot, non-local allowance level, and most of those wins came in long distance races.  Short Notice could run for days, and did her best running at 10-12f on the dirt.  Her two prior foals have inherited some, but not all, of that stamina, as both of them have been best at the 8-9f range (one on dirt, one on turf), and both have picked up 2 non-hot, non-local allowance wins thus far in their careers.  There is one other sim colt from Connect x Bernardini parentage, and he has likewise done his best running through 6 career races thus far in 8f dirt races, though as of yet he only has a maiden win to his name.

Expectations: Dot to Dot likes to sit midpack, probably anywhere from 3-5 lengths off the pace, if he can.  If the pace is this race is a little hot, as it was 2 races ago, he may sit slightly further back.  Where he has run into trouble recently is that his closing kick is not as strong as some of his competition, and so he’s susceptible to others getting the first run over him.  Dot to Dot comes off of a very strong race that would have had an even better result for him if the wire had come one furlong sooner, and so he’ll get the benefit of a cutback here to try and propel him forward even more.  A strong contender.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field of 11 taking on this NW2L Allowance.  Unlike some of the past races in this series, I’m not sure I can accurately break down the pace scenario here.  I think it’s likely that Minor Boo Boo tries to set it.  The question is whether he has it alone, or whether Well in California tries to join him (and then whether Break Dancer Bob will try to keep up).  I think it’s most likely that Well in California tries to rate like he did in his last race, so that leaves Minor Boo Boo on the lead alone.  But there will be a huge crowd sitting 2-5 lengths off.  This race will come down to two things: (1) will Minor Boo Boo have the stamina to wire the field, and (2) if not, who gets first run from those coming from off the pace.  Ultimately, I think it’s someone from off the pace.  My projections are: (1) Well in California; (2) Butterballs; (3) Gun Inspector, with The Other Guy as my longshot pick.  Apologies to those 4, and good luck to everyone.

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Florida – Alw NW3L @ 6f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      New York – Alw NW3L @ 8f

3)      Iowa – Allowance @ 9.5f

4)      West Virginia – Alw NW3L @ 8f-T

5)      Indiana – Alw NW2L @ 9.5f

6)      Florida – Alw NW2L @ 6.5f (Division 1) (Division 2)

7)      Virginia – Allowance @ 8f-T

8)      Delaware – Alw NW2L @ 9.5f

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Mar 162019
 

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 2ndRatavari, 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:

1)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)      Kentucky – Local Allowance @ 8f

3)      California – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T

4)      Indiana – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T (Fillies) (Division 1) (Division 2)

5)      Surrey (England) – Alw NW3L @ 8.5f-T

6)      Berkshire (England) – Alw NW2L @ 7f (Division 1) (Division 2)

7)      Dubai – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T

Views (341)

Mar 092019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  Unsurprisingly, there was very little pace in the race, and as expected, Minimumrequirement set the fractions, with Clue Hunter right behind and then K’s Social Media and Feudal Warrior.  Minimumrequirement ran out of gas in the race, but the others didn’t and with the slow early fractions, no one was able to gain any ground from the back.  The 2-3-4-5-6 horses in the pace setup finished 1-2-3-4-5, with Clue Hunter ($22.30) ultimately winning a head photo over Feudal Warrior, both earning 98 SPs.  K’s Social Media dug in for 3rd, another 3 lengths back.

This week, the Future Stars Series heads to New York, where 10 fillies try their hand at a 9 furlong NW3L Allowance on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Popest of Maori (Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) x Legend of Maori [Blame x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by br5four9 – 15/1

Race Record: 12:2-0-0; $37,284

Race History: It’s been a tough slog recently for Popest of Maori.  After winning her first 2 career races at 4.5f on dirt in August 2018 and 5f in a NW1x allowance 2 weeks later, she has failed to hit the board in her last 10 starts, all at the NW3L/NW2x level. That includes tries on turf and dirt, in sprints and routes.  Her fastest race to date came in career start #8, where she put up an 83 SP in a 7f turf NW3L and set the pace early before tiring to finish 4th.  She comes into this race with 4 under her belt as a 3yo already, with 3 on the turf and 1 on the good dirt.  Her most recent race, at 7.5f on turf, saw a bit of a regression, as she set the pace early but struggled to keep up, finishing 13-1/2 lengths back and earning a 74 SP.  Of note, she has competed against today’s rival Officer Queen twice, finishing 10th both times to that rival’s 2nd and 3rd place finishes.  Popest of Maori will try to get a turf-to-dirt bump here as she stretches out to 9f for the first time.

Pedigree: Holy Roman Emperor, the #14 ranked European sire of 2018, currently stands for $15,000 in Ireland.  In the sim, Holy Roman Emperor’s 2018 crop currently ranks #190 with 18 winners from 39 runners, winning at a 13.5% rate (slightly above his 12.5% average).  But what the crop lacks in quantity it makes up in quality, as 2 of those 18 winners are already stakes winners.  One, Holy Hello, is a stakes winner at 8.5f on the turf and G3-placed at 10f-T, and the other, Royal Mate, is a stakes winner at 7f-T.  Unsurprisingly, Holy Roman Emperor’s sim foals prefer turf (68% earnings on turf), and they tend to prefer routes (60% on routes), a little different than his real life foals which average around 7.5 furlongs.  Popest of Maori is the 3rd foal from 8yo mare Legend of Maori, a winner of 8 races in her 38 race career.  Most of those wins came at the claimer/starter level, though she did pick up an allowance win at 7f on the dirt.  Much like that win, most of her success came on the dirt in the 6-7f range.  Unlike their mother, however, both of Popest of Maori’s previous foals have done their best running in routes and both have allowance wins at today’s 9f distance.

Expectations: Popest of Maori likes to be in the front, and her best chance in this race puts her setting the pace early.  It’s interesting then to see that in her 2 previous dirt route efforts, she took back a bit, either sitting just off the lead or setting a slow pace.  This was probably to try and save some speed for the end, but in each case, she ran out of gas quickly and finished over 10 lengths back.  This race pushes the distance out even farther, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like she’ll have the juice to get it done today either.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Seize The Knight (Arrogate x Vilholin [Arch x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by knightmare – 6/1

Race Record: 6:2-2-0; $105,015

Race History: Seize The Knight has taken some big swings in her career, and she hasn’t embarrassed herself.  After winning her second consecutive race (career races #2 and #3), a NW2L at 8f on the dirt, her owner sent her to the Frickazee Stakes-G1 in October 2018.  There, she broke towards the back early, but passed a number of horses and finished a strong 4th, earning an 87 SP.  Seize The Knight followed that up by dropping back down into NW4L territory and took on a field of 4, but couldn’t quite catch up to the winner who got first run on her, finishing 2nd.  She enters this race off of another shot, this time in The SilverBulletBeer-G3 at 8.5f on the dirt in early February, where she again broke at the back and moved up a bit late, but she could only get up to 8th before the wire, 6 lengths back.  She earned a career high 94 SP in that race (her 6th straight SP increase) and she’ll try to build off of that while dropping in class and stretching out to a career long 9f.

Pedigree:  Arrogate, the richest racehorse of all time, entered stud in Kentucky for $75,000.  His freshman crop in the sim includes 151 runners to date, of which 88 have found the winner’s circle at an 18% rate.  The crop currently ranks #15 overall, with 9 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners (all in G3s).  The foals have primarily raced on the dirt (88% of earnings on dirt), and the 3 graded stakes winners all scored at 8-8.5f on the dirt, so his sim progeny seem to be improving with distances.  He also sired last week’s Future Stars Series winner, Clue Hunter. Vilholin will only have 1 sim foal, as he was a he-mare used to produce Seize The Knight.  Vilholin was an excellent horse in his own right, a G3 winner at 8f on the dirt in The Hambone Cup-G3, where he earned a career high 121 SP.  He tried some other stakes but could never repeat that amazing performance.  Still, he finished his career with 9 wins from 33 starts and hopes to have passed down some of that talent to his lone progeny.

Expectations: Seize The Knight has faced stronger fields than today’s NW3L, and that experience should help her settle in here.  Furthermore, she’s seen improvement in each of her races to date.  A relatively deep closer, Seize The Knight hopes that the added distance in this race will help her get to the finish line first.  But I’m worried that while she has a closing kick, it might not be as strong as some of the others in this field.  That may be an optical illusion, based on the graded company that she has faced, and this filly has a very promising future ahead of her.  She’s a deserving horse here, but for the price, I’m going elsewhere.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Kelly’s Gold Mine (Arrogate x Mineshaft x Seeking The Gold) – Owned by ddkstables35 – 6/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-0; $69,626

Race History: Kelly’s Gold Mine broke her maiden in her first try at dirt routing, in her second career start back in August 2018.  From there, she took a couple of shots at stakes company, both at 8.5f on the dirt.  In each race, she finished respectably (4th then 5th), with her first attempt getting slightly closer than her second.  To kick off 2019, Kelly’s Gold Mine dropped back down in class to the NW2L level at today’s 9f distance, where she crushed her competition.  In that race, she sat about 5 lengths back early before cruising to a 2-1/4 length victory, earning a career high 92 SP in the process.  That was her 5th straight SP increase, and she looks to make it 6 today.

Pedigree: See today’s rival Seize The Knight for a description of Arrogate.  The Arrogate x Mineshaft cross has been used 4 other times thus far in the sim, with 2 of them being 2yos this year.  Of the other two, only one, Deckon Thar, has broken his maiden, though he is also stakes placed at 8.5f on the dirt.

Expectations: Kelly’s Gold Mine is likely to sit several lengths off of the pace, though her last race, and first at this distance, saw her sit slightly closer than she had previously.  That race worked out well for her, so she may try something similar again here.  There’s also no question about the distance, as she proved in her first race as a 3yo that she can get this distance without a problem.  Kelly’s Gold Mine has a solid foundation with 2 stakes efforts already, and she’s a game one in today’s race.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Life To Come (Graydar x Auyoung [Bernardini x Deputy Minister]) – Owned by vkstakes8 – 8/1

Race Record: 6:2-3-1; $90,340

Race History: A perfect 6-for-6 on the board, Life To Come also enters this race as the most accomplished filly in the field.  Her second career win, which came two races back in December 2018, was a wire-to-wire victory in a residency-restricted stakes race at 8.5f on the dirt.  Life To Come came out of that race sharp and actually improved her speed figure in her most recent race, as she comes into this race off of a career high 94 SP last time out.  In that NW3L effort at 8f, she again set the pace, but couldn’t quite hold off the winner, who pulled in front to win by 1-3/4 lengths, forcing Life To Come to settle for 2nd.  That winner came back to the track and won her next allowance race as well, with a 98 SP.  Life To Come will stretch out to a career long 9f here, as she will try to hold her speed for the full distance.

Pedigree: Graydar, a G1 winner at 9f, currently stands for $7,500 in Kentucky and was ranked the #10 second-crop US sire of 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #77, with 95 runners and 52 winners to date (winning at a 13.5% rate, well below his 18% average).  His sim foals strongly prefer dirt, with 79% of earnings on dirt, both are pretty evenly split between sprinting and routing (54% in sprints), even though his real life progeny have an average winning distance of roughly 6.5f.  The 2018 crop includes 2 stakes winners to date, one of which is Life To Come.  The other scored at 7f on the dirt, but another one of Graydar’s 3yos just ran 3rd in a 9f dirt G1, so there’s some stamina potential as well.  Life To Come is the 6th foal from 10yo dam Auyoung, a stakes winner at 5.5f on the dirt.  Auyoung won 4 of her 15 career races, with all of her success coming in dirt sprints where she didn’t have to worry about tiring late.  Most of her sim progeny have also been sprinters, mainly on the dirt, and they have largely taken after their mother’s front-running style as well.  One, Angelwingz (Fusaichi Pegasus), is multiple stakes placed in dirt sprints, and another, Wigmore Drive (Pivotal), is residency-restricted stakes placed at 9f on the dirt.  Graydar has been bred to a Bernardini mare 11 times in the past 4 years, with one graded stakes winner among them in 5yo Radar Magic, who picked up a G3 victory at 6f on the dirt as a 2yo.

Expectations: Life To Come has a ton of speed, and I fully expect her to use it here.  The big question mark is whether she can get the distance.  Most of her siblings haven’t been great in routes, her mother was a sprinter, and her sire tends to throw sprinters in the sim.  Life To Come has put together a couple of very strong races at 8-8.5f, but this race goes even farther.  There’s some indication that she may have been tiring in her last effort at 8f, even though she held on for 2nd.  Life To Come is a strong horse with a strong future ahead of her, but that future may end up being in shorter races than this.  We’ll find out today.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Aces and Apples (Aces Star x Eve’s Apple Pie [Hussonet x Deputy Minister]) – Owned by lawdro2 – 8/1

Race Record: 9:2-2-2; $92,398

Race History: Aces and Apples began her career on dirt, but after 3 tries, she switched over to turf where she first found success at 8 furlongs.  After spending 5 races on the sod, she moved back to dirt for her last race at 8.5 furlongs and put together a career best race.  In that NW2L, she broke midpack early and stuck with her group as they moved forward before kicking into another gear and pulling away to win by 1-1/2.  That effort earned her a career high 89 SP, a 4 point jump from her prior turf effort at the same distance, where she finished 3rd but struggled to gain any ground on the footing.  Aces and Apples sticks with the dirt here and stretches out to a career high 9 furlongs.

Pedigree: Aces Star, a son of Monarchos, currently stands in Sweden, but since I can’t read Swedish I can’t tell much more about him.  But I can read the sim data, and his 2018 class includes 14 runners to date.  They currently rank #1,474 with 6 winners winning at a 9.5% rate.  Typically, his sim horses, which include 3 total stakes winners, are dirt sprinters, with 64% of earnings on dirt and 78% in sprints.  Eve’s Apple Pie, the 8yo dam of Aces and Apples, was a winner of 7 from 21 career races.  That career included a 3rd place finish in an 8 furlong turf stakes as a 3yo, but her best races were actually on the polytrack, where she went 2 for 5 lifetime at the 8.5f distance.  She seemed to like the 8-9f distances in general.  Her 3 other sim progeny to race thus far, however, have mostly done their best running in sprints.  The only exception is 4yo Eden’s Zip Code (City Zip), who has found herself doing her best running at 8-9f on the turf

Expectations: Aces and Apples has run pretty consistently in her 9 races, usually sitting 3-5 lengths off the pace in route races such as today’s race.  She showed a lot of maturity in her most recent race, finally putting together what she had hinted at in much shorter races earlier in her career.  But there’s an outstanding question – was her last race aided by the turf-to-dirt bump?  The race was by far Aces and Apples’ best dirt effort, but was it a sign of maturity as she reached the right distance and age, or was it a fluke.  We’ll see here.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Iron Seed (Ironicus x Millview Seeds [Falvelon (AUS) x Advocator]) – Owned by lightng102 – 84/1

Race Record: 9:1-0-1; $22,350

Race History: The longest shot on the board, Iron Seed comes in here with only 1 prior dirt race, her debut effort at 6f in a local MSW in February of 2018.  She went off at 59/1 odds and ran like it, finishing last against males, 9-3/4 lengths back with a 49 SP.  She ended up breaking her maiden in a $60K MCL at 5f on the turf, but 2 races later found herself in G2 company.  She was no match for the competition that day though, and hasn’t shown much in her 4 efforts since that race.  Iron Seed enters today’s race off of her first route attempt, a 12-1/2 length defeat at 8.25 on the turf in an Allowance, where she earned her third straight 68 SP, tied for her career high.  She’ll look for a turf-to-dirt bounce as she heads back to the main track here.

Pedigree: Ironicus, who entered stud in 2017, was an 8-9f turf graded stakes winner in his career and currently stands for $5,000 in Kentucky.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #155, with 32 winners from 82 runners, winning at a 12% rate.  Among those winners are 2 stakes winners and one other graded placed horse, with a mix of turf sprinting, turf miles, and dirt miles among them.  Thus far, Ironicus’ sim foals have slightly preferred turf races and routes (57% of earnings on turf and in routes), though the speed figures from his foals thus far show a slight preference for turf sprints.  Iron Seed is the 7th foal from 14yo mare Millview Seeds, a horse who managed 7 career stakes placings but only 1 career win.  Well placed early in her career, that one win came in a 6.5f turf MSW in her 8th career race (at which point she had already picked up 5 career stakes placings, all 2nd place finishes in 4-6 horse fields).  Millview Seeds spent most of her career in turf sprints, but did manage one solid dirt race, where she ran 3rd of 12 in a 7f NW1x allowance.  Her sim foals have taken after her as well, with most of their best races coming in turf sprints, though none have shown much talent on the track (only 2 of the 6 have won an allowance race outside of the local or hot levels).

Expectations: This will only be Iron Seed’s second career race on dirt and only her first since her debut over 1 year ago.  It’s certainly possible that she actually loves dirt and will see a huge improvement here. And it’s very possible that she’ll see a nice turf-to-dirt bounce.  Anything’s possible, so I can’t count her out entirely.  But she’s 84/1 for a reason, and on paper it’s hard to see how she’ll beat any more than 1 horse in this field.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – Officer Queen (Officer x Queenavenger [Kingmambo x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by txace04 – 7/2 (f)

Race Record: 12:2-4-2; $119,558

Race History: One of the most experienced horses in the field, Officer Queen comes into this race having come very close, but never quite cracking, the NW3L level.  2 for 2 in dirt routes prior to reaching NW3L races, she has run 3rd, 2nd, 5th, and 2nd in her 4 prior attempts at this level.  A deep closer, Officer Queen comes into this race off of an 8.5f NW3L on the good dirt back in mid-February, where she showed a monster closing kick but ran out of running room, coming up 2 lengths short and earning a career high 96 SP.  She finished 5th on the good dirt in her only other try at 9f, 2 races back, but the horses finishing ahead of her in that one came back to run 2nd in a G2, 3rd in a stakes, and 2nd in an allowance, so that race looks to have had a strong field.  Officer Queen also has some history against a couple of her rivals today.  Back in race #4 of her career, at 6.5f on the dirt, Officer Queen trailed today’s rival Ratavari, who finished 2nd to Officer Queen’s 5th.  More recently, Officer Queen has taken on Popest of Maori twice at the NW3L level and has outrun her rival both times, finishing 3rd to Popest’s 10th in October 2018 and then 2nd to Popest’s 10th in December 2018.

Pedigree: Officer, a 3-time graded stakes winner as a 2yo, currently stands in South Korea and was the #3 ranked Korean sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #468, with only 20 runners to date and 9 winners (winning at a 14% rate).  Among those 9 winners is a 3-time stakes winner, who has found her best success sprinting on the turf.  Officer’s sim foals tend to prefer the dirt (63% of earnings on dirt) and sprinting (68% in sprints).  Officer Queen is the final foal (of 14) from 21yo mare Queenavenger, a 6 time stakes winner and 8 time stakes placed horse (including 2 graded stakes placings) in her 69 race career.  Queenavenger did all of her damage on dirt, with most coming in sprints (though she did also pick up 9 of her 21 wins, and her G2 2nd, at the 8-9f range).  Her stakes wins ranged anywhere from 6f to 8.5f on the dirt.  Two of her foals have picked up stakes wins: Avenger’s Ghost (Ghostzapper), a stakes winner and G2-placed at 7f on the dirt, and Northern Avenger (North Light (IRE)), a stakes winner at 8.5f on the turf.  Other siblings include 2 other stakes placed horses as well as 15yo Avenger’s King (Daylami (IRE)), a million dollar earner who won 40 times (and was ITM 72 times) in 105 (!) races, even though his only two stakes attempts were failures (most of those earnings came at 10-12f, and primarily 11f, on the dirt.

Expectations: Officer Queen loves to have something to chase after, and she’ll sit in the back early.  She may look hopeless early, but this is a horse that absolutely flies late.  She’s had experience at this level and has done well, but she has just run out of room every time.  The only hesitation with her here is that her prior 9f dirt race was her worst routing effort to date.  But that field was very strong and the track was rated good, so she’s got excuses.  She came back strong last time out, and has an excellent shot here.  Top prospect.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Miss Vinotinto (Giant’s Causeway x Rucio Moro [Americain x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by ottox – 5/1

Race Record: 4:2-1-0; $74,151

Race History: The sponsor of this race, Miss Vinotinto, is also the least experienced in the field, with only 4 career races under her belt.  It only took 1 try to break her maiden, and after a close 4th in her first NW2L effort in sprints, she stretched out to route races and popped.  2 races back at 8.5f in a NW2L, Miss Vinotinto stalked the pace and then briefly grabbed the lead, before getting passed by the eventual winner and having to settle for 2nd, 1-1/4 lengths back with an 89 SP.  The winner from that race, Jyuratodus, is 3 for 3 since defeating Miss Vinotinto, including a stakes at 8.5f and a victory in last week’s 9f The Miss Bonnie-G2, putting Miss Vinotinto in solid company.  She proved it in her most recent race, as she stretched out to 9f and dusted her competition, sitting just off the pace early before taking the lead in the far turn and pulling away to win by 3-1/4 lengths.  She comes into this race off of a career high 93 SP.

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, passed away in 2018 so Miss Vinotinto is a member of his final sim crop.  That sim crop is currently the top ranked class with 378 (!) runners to date.  Of those, 220 have won at a 20% rate.  Among those are 18 stakes winners and 6 graded winners.  His sim foals are typically routers, and are evenly split among dirt and turf…  Miss Vinotinto is the daughter of 8yo he-mare Rucio Moro, an excellent horse in his day.  He spent most of his career at today’s 9f distance and picked up 15 wins in 33 career starts.  The coup de grace was his victory in 2016’s The Barry Foster-G1, his second G1 win of the year, which propelled him to the Breeders’ Bowl Classic (where he finished 13th after tiring out on the front end).  Miss Vinotinto is one of two horses to be sired by Giant’s Causeway from an Americain mare, but the other has done nothing beyond breaking her maiden in 4 career starts.

Expectations: Miss Vinotinto will probably sit pretty close to the pace in this race, maybe 1-2 lengths off of it early.  Her history shows that she will try to make an early move and then withstand a late charge from some of the others in here.  Her most recent race may have been the most impressive one in this field, based on how significantly she dominated her competition.  Considering she was only 1 length off of a G2 winner 2 races back (and the horses that finished 3rd and 4th behind her have gone 3 for 4 in allowances since that race), she has a very strong resume even without the experience of some of the others in here.  She might be the pick.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Quality Ending (Quality Road x Stormy Ending [Stormy Atlantic x Rahy]) – Owned by mightyforego8 – 5/1

Race Record: 7:2-1-2; $63,805

Race History: Quality Ending broke her maiden at the $100K maiden claimer level, but proved that once she reached route distances, she fit right into allowance company.  She ended 2018 with a 4th place finish in a residency-restricted stakes race, and then came back in early February and put up her fastest race to date.  In that last race, a NW3L at 8.5f on the dirt, Quality Ending sat midpack early, about 5 lengths off the pace, and then came with a rush along with 2 of her other co-midpack runners.  Those other 2 (a G2-placed horse and a stakes-placed horse) were a little quicker than her, so Quality Ending had to settle for 3rd, 4-1/2 lengths behind the winner but also 5-1/4 lengths clear of 4th.  She earned a career high and field high 98 SP for the effort, and big jump over her prior 89 SP, and she’ll look to carry that forward here.

Pedigree: Quality Road, currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky and was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018.  His sim crop has not quite caught up to his real life counterparts, as the 2018 crop currently ranks #115 with 51 winners from 94 runners (winning at a 15% rate).  Only one of those 94 is currently a stakes winner, and that horse, Quality Killer, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf, though he is also stakes placed at 9.5f on the dirt. Quality Road’s progeny strongly prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), with a pretty even split in earnings between sprints and routes (though the speed figures favor sprints).  Quality Ending is the first of 2 foals to date from 5yo mare Stormy Ending.  Stormy Ending struggled as a 2yo, but took the aging process well, as she saw a 24 point SP jump from her last 2yo maiden effort to her 3yo maiden-winning debut.  She would go on to multiple stakes placings at 8.5f-9.5f on the dirt in her 15 race career.  That career ended with 3 wins, all as a 3yo and all in the 9-10f range.  Quality Road has been bred to a Stormy Atlantic mare 3 times in the last 4 years, but the other 2 horses are a combined 2 for 15 overall.

Expectations: Quality Ending’s most recent race was eye-opening and moves her to the top of the class here.  She did her best to hang with stakes company and although she wasn’t quite good enough to catch them, she did well for herself in blowing out the rest of the field.  If she can carry that over here, she’s got a great chance.  The concern is that she seems to be a horse that stays towards the back early, but doesn’t have much of a closing kick.  Her best races have come with soft paces up front, and she probably won’t get that here.  But Quality Ending’s mother took a huge leap at 3, and it’s possible that Quality Ending’s last race, her own first race at 3yo, is a genetic thing and a sign of even more promising things to come.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Ratavari (Symboli Kris S x La Madame [Storm Cat x Forty Niner]) – Owned by abarca – 5/1

Race Record: 9:2-5-1; $119,325

Race History: Ratavari cured her seconditis in her last race, and she comes into this one off of a 2 length victory in a 9f NW2L allowance.  That had snapped a run of 3 2nds and 1 3rd at the NW2L that she had going prior to the race.  In that most recent run, her first as a 3yo, Ratavari sat midpack early, about 4 lengths off the lead, before methodically moving up and then pouncing late, pulling away to win by 2 lengths and earning a career high 95 SP.  Of note, one of Ratavari’s 5 career second place finishes was against today’s rival Officer Queen, who finished 5th in Ratavari’s 2nd career race (at 6.5f on the dirt).

Pedigree: Symboli Kris S, a 4-time G1 winner in Japan, currently stands there and was the #14 ranked Japanese sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #119 overall, with 29 winners from 64 runners to date, winning at a 16% rate.  Among those is 1 stakes winner thus far, Earth Is Flat, who recently picked up a win in an 8.5f turf stakes.  Symboli Kris S has 2 other stakes placed horses from the class thus far, one at 8.5f on the turf, and one at 6f on the dirt, but to this point, most of his 2018 crop have done their best racing on the turf. Likewise, his sim progeny based on earnings slightly favor turf (58% earnings on turf), as well as routing (62% in routes), though his progeny’s speed figures indicate a stronger preference for sprinting.  Ratavari is the 4th of 5 foals from 16yo mare La Madame.  La Madame was an extremely well-bred mare, but didn’t run like it on the track, as she won only 2 of 45 career races.  La Madame tried different surfaces in spurts, with her two wins coming at 7f on the dirt and 8f on the turf.  Her two best speed figures, however, both occurred in turf sprints, as she ran 2nd and 3rd in NW2x allowances at 6f-T and 6.5f-T.  Her 3 prior progeny to race have fared slightly better on the track, as 2 of the 3 have already earned more wins than her.  Each of those progeny has been stronger on dirt than turf, with one being able to get as far as 10f and the other two living in the sprint/mile range.  Storm Cat mares have been sent to Symboli Kris S 4 times in the past 4 years (3 not including Ratavari), and of the 2 that have reached the track, one is a stakes winner at 8.5f on the dirt, and the other has not yet broken her maiden and has been on the shelf for the past year (along with her stablemates).

Expectations: Ratavari’s win in her last race, her first at 9f, was a huge breakthrough and the culmination of some near misses at slightly shorter distances.  She proved in that one that today’s distance should be no issue, and she made a nice improvement in her first race as a 3yo, which is something you love to see.  There are some strong opponents in this race, but Ratavari has shown that she belongs.  Her track record makes me think she’s more likely to finish 2nd than anything else, but Ratavari looks like she loves this distance and that gives this midpack-style runner a good chance here.  Respect.

Watch Level: High

That’s the field of 10 for this wide open NW3L.  Last week I decided to discount pace entirely, and it came back to bite me.  So I’m going back to my old strategy.  The best news for some of the closers in this field is that Popest of Maori is here, because she may act as a rabbit for some of those late comers by creating a duel up front.  That duel will likely be with Life To Come, with Miss Vintinto sitting just off of them.  Popest of Maori will give way before long, and that’s when the closers will start their runs.  But I think that duel up front might be just enough to work.  So I’m gonna go with (1) Officer Queen, (2) Miss Vinotinto, and (3) Quality Ending.  Sorry to those of you I picked.

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Spain – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (Division 1) (Will be split into 2 divisions)

2)      Paris – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

3)      Hong Kong – Alw NW3L @ 7f-T (Fillies)

4)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8f (Division 1) (Division 2)

5)      Ireland – Alw NW3L @ 9f-T

6)      Maryland – Alw NW2L @ 7f (Division 1) (Division 2)

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