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

Views (76)

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 (196)

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 (232)

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

Views (257)

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)

Views (324)

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

Views (221)

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 (272)

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 (224)

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 (178)

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)

Views (101)

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)

Views (286)

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 (194)

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

Views (138)

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 (339)

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)

Views (286)

Mar 012019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  My estimation of the pace looked pretty close again, as speed demon Star Rock set the pace early before quickly tiring at the distance, dueling with Universal Strike.  Universal Strike held on gamely, but this race was all about those coming from behind.  And the edge in that one went to Looking For War ($15.10), who stalked the pace early and got first run, never looking back and cruising to a 1-3/4 length victory with a 96 SP.  Tete Crick came flying from the back to finish 2nd, and it was another length back to Navy Blue Barbara, who put away some of the tiring horses but couldn’t quite catch up to Looking For War at the front.

This week, the Future Stars Series stretches its legs a little bit.  We head to California, where 13 colts tackle 9.5 furlongs on the turf in a NW2L Allowance.  The field is:

#1 – Dauntless Crown (Awesome Again x Settle For A Tiara [Tapit x Giant’s Causeway]) – Owned by supertaffy – 7/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-2; $52,465

Race History: Dauntless Crown enters this race having never finished out of the money on the turf.  After breaking his maiden at 8f on the turf, Dauntless Crown made a brief detour to dirt before coming back to turf and running 2nd and 3rd in back-to-back NW2Ls at 8f and 9f, respectively.  His last race saw him sit midpack, about 6 lengths back early, before closing late but running out of racing surface.  He finished 2 lengths back, earning a career high 90 SP in the process.  First and second from that race came back to put up a 92 SP and a 90 SP in a 6th and 2nd place finish, respectively, in their next allowance efforts.  Dauntless Crown will get an extra half furlong here as he comes back for his second race of 2019.

Pedigree: Awesome Again struggled a bit in the real world in 2018, as the #50 ranked US sire.  His sim counterpart is a little better, as the 2018 class currently ranks #13 overall, with 107 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.  The 2018 class includes 12 stakes winners to date, with 4 of those taking home graded honors, including My Awesome King, the winner of the Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile Turf and Sim Eclipse Award 2yo Turf Colt of the Year (interestingly, his mother was also an Eclipse Award winner). Dauntless Crown is the first (of 2) foals from 6yo mare Settle For A Tiara.  Settle For A Tiara was a moderately successful horse during her career, winning 6 of 27 career races, all at the allowance level.  Those wins were all on the turf, with all but the maiden win coming in the 7-8f range, where she did most of her racing.  Awesome Again has been bred to a Tapit mare 15 times in the past 4 years (2 are 2yos), but only 3 of those have picked up a win at the allowance level.  Most of those horses have done their best running on the dirt, and the best of those have been successful in the 8-10f range.

Expectations: Dauntless Crown has been pretty consistent in his past couple of races, sitting about 6 lengths off the lead both times.  So it wouldn’t be surprising if he tries that again here.  He has shown a steady kick late in each of his turf races, and he’ll try to do that again here.  There’s a bit of a question as to whether this 9.5f distance will dull that kick by pushing him beyond his ideal distance, but Dauntless Crown has been a solid performer to date and he can easily keep it up here.  A contender.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Skibbidy Debop (Dansili (GB) x Scat Daddy x Sadler’s Wells) – Owned by 4stardave – 7/1

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

Race History: The newbie of the field, Skibbidy Debop only has 1 career race as he was a 3yo debuter, but that was an impressive debut.  Running in late January in an 8.25f turf MSW, Skibbidy Debop broke in the back early, but kicked into gear late, flying home to win by 1-1/2 lengths and earning a career high 86 SP at 5/2 odds.  None of the top horses from that race have come back to the track, so we’ll need to wait for this race to see how good Skibbidy Debop can truly be.

Pedigree: Dansili, who was pensioned in 2018, was the #70 ranked EU sire in 2018.  His last sim crop, the 2018 class, currently ranks #9 in the sim, with 110 winners from 206 runners to date (winning at a 20% 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, that excel at the 9-10f distances).  His 2018 sim crop includes only 1 graded stakes winner among 4 total stakes winners, and the crop thus far, led by G1 winner Battlefield Hero, has shown a preference for sprinting on the turf.  This aptly named scratch-bred (no pun intended) son of the Dansili x Scat Daddy cross is one of 7 currently existing in the sim.  Of those other 6, one, Super Hero Cadet, is a stakes winner at 7.5f on the turf.  3 of the 6 are only 3yos, so there’s not much we can tell just yet.  But for all 6 of those horses, the 8-10f distances (whether on the turf or the dirt) seem to be the best for the ones that have tried the distance.

Expectations: It was a great debut for Skibbidy Debop, as he ran strong late, and that closing kick should serve him well as he gets the extra 1.25 furlongs here.  But with only 1 race under his belt thus far, there is always the question of whether he has the seasoning to get this distance this early.  You also have to wonder if he can make the jump to facing winners, as it’s tough to go from facing maidens to facing winners.  But he’s got a lot of talent and there’s no reason to think that he can’t succeed here.  A top choice.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Ready For Malice (Palace Malice x Diamond Ready [More Than Ready x Rock Hard Ten]) – Owned seamoon- 12/1

Race Record: 7:1-0-2; $46,870

Race History: Ready For Malice broke his maiden 2 races back, in start #6, at 8.5f on the dirt.  After missing in a few tries, he stretched out to his longest distance and it paid off, as his late push saw him get up to take the winning photo by a neck.  Ready For Malice came back in January for his first race of 2019 at the NW2L level, turning back to 8f on the dirt, but didn’t quite have that same finishing push, racing evenly throughout and finishing 6th, 5 lengths off the winner, but earning a career best 86 SP in the process.  The winner there came back with a 5th place finish in an 8f dirt stakes next time out.  Ready For Malice will switch surfaces and try to tackle turf, and this 9.5f distance, for the first time today.

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 #102, with 50 winners from 96 runners winning at a 13% rate (a little below his average of 16.5%).  Among those 50 winners is 1 stakes winner, Palace Stormer, who has been succeeding in turf sprints. In general, Palace Malice’s sim progeny have preferred dirt (76% of earnings on dirt), with a pretty even mix of sprints and routes.  He has had 1 graded stakes winner to date.  8yo mare Diamond Ready was the winner of 5 races in her 46 race career, all coming on the turf (2 in early career sprints, 3 more in the 8-9f range).  She was stakes placed at 7f-T and 8.5f-T, but she ended up doing most of her racing in the 9-12f distances.  Her first foal (and only other to date), Heart’s Ready (Heart’s Cry (JPN)), matured as a 3yo and has put up some solid efforts in allowance company, but has little to show for it, as he has only 2 wins (an MSW and a local allowance) in 15 career races.  Palace Malice has been bred to a More Than Ready mare one other time in the sim thus far, but that other horse (also a 3yo with 6 career starts) has not yet broken her maiden (her best efforts have been dirt routes).

Expectations: Ready For Malice was happy to get some added distance under him, and his only win has come in his longest race to date, so he should love the extra furlong here.  He has a late gear but needs some time to get into it.  The big question mark for Ready For Malice in this race is whether he’ll take to the turf.  His mom did, and his brother does, but Palace Malice isn’t known as a turf sire, and there’s definitely a question.  If he takes to the surface, he’s got a great chance here; but it might be worth watching for a race first.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Audacious Presence (Dansili (GB) x Phantom Astronomer [Galileo (IRE) x Ghostzapper]) – Owned by contesthorses – 5/1 (f)

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

Race History: Audacious Presence will take on winners for the first time as a late 2yo debut.  Kicking off his career at 8f on the turf in late December 2018, Audacious Presence broke towards the back early and closed fast, but came up 1-1/2 lengths short, earning an 86 SP.  He came back as a 3yo at 8.5f-T, and this time had no problem catching the leaders, pulling away to win by 1-3/4 and earning a career high 89 SP.  He’ll try to take another step here when adding another furlong.

Pedigree: See Skibbidy Debop for a description of Dansili.  Audacious Presence is the first foal from 6yo mare Phantom Astronomer.  Phantom Astronomer was the winner of 4 races from 31 in her career, all on turf and at a variety of distances.  She showed the ability to get everything from 7f-10f with no problem, adjusting her running style based on the distance (coming from way back in sprints, and sitting closer to the pace in routes).  The Dansili x Galileo cross is a very popular one in the sim, having been used 43 times in the past 4 years.  Among those are 8 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners, with the graded stakes coming at 10f-T and 12f-T.  The combo unsurprisingly loves the turf (though there’s a couple of strong dirt runners in there as well), with the route distances being the most popular.

Expectations: Audacious Presence takes after his mother a bit with his running style, but looks like he might have a stronger closing kick than his mother did.  This colt likes to sit well off the pace, and with the longer distance here might sit even further back early.  But he’s got the closing speed to make up the distance, and he should be coming on strong late.  The only question is whether his lack of experience, both at the distance and racing in general, will hold him back.  There isn’t a ton of pace in here, but he’s a strong contender here.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Feudal Warrior (Dansili (GB) x Blood Feud [Giant’s Causeway x Frankel (GB)]) – Owned by mightyforego27 – 6/1

Race Record: 5:1-0-1; $41,082

Race History: Feudal Warrior broke his maiden at 7f-T in his second career start, but has been struggling a bit at the allowance level since that win.  In 3 turf routes at the allowance level, he has 1 third place finish in 3 races.  That 3rd came in Feudal Warrior’s most recent race, a 9f-T NW2L allowance in January, where he sat a few lengths off the leader in 4th early, and finished 3rd, 3 lengths back.  That 3rd place finish earned Feudal Warrior a career high 91 SP.  The 2nd place horse from that race came back to win a NW2L allowance next time out with a 96 SP.  Feudal Warrior will look for some of that to rub off on him as well in this 9.5f-T race.

Pedigree: As the 3rd horse in this field sired by Dansili, see Skibbidy Debop for an overview of the sire.  Feudal Warrior is the first foal from 5yo mare Blood Feud, a lightly raced horse who earned 2 wins in 10 career races.  Those wins were both on the turf – a maiden at 6.5f-T and a NW2L at 8f – as were most of her races.  She was stakes placed at 8.5f-T, and her fastest races were in the 8.5-9.5f range.  She did seem to have distance limitations, though, as she couldn’t quite get 10f.  Dansili has been used with a Giant’s Causeway mare 26 times in the past 4 years in the sim, including 4 stakes (and 2 graded stakes) winners.  The bulk of those are sprinters, though some can get up to 9f without too much of a problem.

Expectations: Feudal Warrior will look to have something to run at, and will probably try to sit midpack in this race, roughly 5 lengths off of the pacesetters.  From there, it’s just a question of whether he can put it into another gear approaching the finish line.  His last race is a bit of a yellow flag, as trying 9f for the first time saw him lose some of that extra oomph and his race was a little more even.  With that said, Feudal Warrior has a lot of talent and that talent alone might be enough to put him towards the top here.  Solid option.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Zelflow (Zelzal (FR) x Radar Signal [Pivotal x Vice Regent]) – Owned by lightng106 – 16/1

Race Record: 7:1-1-0; $46,930

Race History: It was a little rocky there for a bit, but Zelflow finally cracked the code in his last race.  In his first try at 9f on the turf, Zelflow sat 5 lengths back early, but turned on the jets let, first picking off tiring horses and then zooming forward to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a career high 85 SP.  The horses running 3rd and 4th to him last time out came back to run 3rd and 1st in MSWs next time out.  Zelflow stretches out a bit more here as he takes on winners for the first time.

Pedigree: Zelzal, who entered stud in 2018 and currently stands for $8,000, was a G1 winner at 8f on the turf in France.  In the sim, his freshman crop consists of 57 runners to date, with 21 winners (at a 14% rate) and currently ranks #203 overall.  Among those are 2 stakes winners, one of which Lactical, who was claimed for $10K and went on to pick up a G3 at 8.5f on the turf.  The other stakes winner, as well as one other graded placed horse, have preferred turf sprints, and that’s where most of the earnings have come from thus far (83% on turf, 65% in sprints).  Radar Signal, the 8yo dam of Zelflow, took an interesting route to her only career win. After struggling on both dirt and turf in MSWs, her owner took 13 horses and dropped them all in a 9.5f polytrack open allowance.  She was the only filly among the group of males, but she came out on top.  She would eventually find her way back to turf, and she seemed to have some stamina on the sod, running 2nd and 3rd in a few allowances at 12-16f.  Radar Signal has had 4 foals thus far (of which Zelflow is the 3rd). and thus far all of them have also shown a preference for turf.  Only one has picked up an allowance win to date, coming in an 11f turf contest.  Zelzal has been bred to a Pivotal mare 3 times thus far, but only one of the 3 3yos has picked up an allowance win as of yet (coming in a turf sprint).

Expectations: Zelflow has the running style that he likes, and he sticks to it, sitting roughly midpack.  His most recent race, however, was the first time that he showed any real closing move.  That’s a promising sign as it coincides with his first race a 3yo, indicating that he might be improving in for the future.  His pedigree suggests some improvement as distances increase, so he shouldn’t have a problem with the distance.  The only real question is whether he’s got the speed to outrun the others in this race.  I’m not sure he does.

Watch Level: Low

#7 – Minimumrequirement (Churchill (IRE) x I’m Very Appealing [Declaration of War x Awesome Again]) – Owned by indyatw – 7/1

Race Record: 9:1-4-2; $88,310

Race History: One of the veterans of the field, most of Minimumrequirement’s races thus far were at the maiden level.  After 7 unsuccessful tries on the dirt, he switched over to turf for his last race of 2018 and, at 8.5f-T, broke through in a huge way, sitting off a loose leader early before letter that one tire, and then kicking on to win by nearly 3 lengths, earning an 87 SP (an improvement over his dirt efforts).  Minimumrequirement came back at 9f-T last time out in a NW2L and put up a good showing for himself, sitting midpack early before narrowing the gap and finishing ¾ length back in 2nd, earning a career high 89 SP.  He’ll hope that extra half furlong is enough to make it all the way to the front this time.

Pedigree: Churchill (IRE), winner of the 2017 2000 Guineas, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands for $35,000.  His first sim crop currently ranks #151, with 38 winners among 92 runners, winning at an 11% rate.  Those winners have come mostly on turf, with 81% of earnings coming from the sod.  The 2018 crop includes 2 stakes winners (1 restricted), both coming in turf sprints – though both horses have been progressing well when stretching out.  Minimumrequirement is the first foal from 5yo mare I’m Very Appealing, winner of 2 from 11 races in her career.  Those two wins were back-to-back for a new owner after an auction purchase (I believe), and both came at her best distance of 8.5f on the dirt.  She tried 10f on the turf once in her career, but didn’t have the stamina and quickly tired.

Expectations: Minimumrequirement has some early tactical speed, but he’s also content to let others tire themselves out trying to set the pace.  He caught a very fast pace last time out where he sat further back than ever before, so I’m guessing that he’ll be forwardly placed here, though maybe not on the lead.  He has definitely shown some promise on the turf, and the extra distance shouldn’t hurt.  My main concern is that he didn’t show much of a jump from 2 to 3, and some of the others in here might have moved a little further ahead.  Still, Minimumrequirement has never finished worse than 5th, and coming off a career best race last time out, there’s no reason to think that stat will change today.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Dreaming of Giants (Giant’s Causeway x Julia’s Dream [Dynaformer x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by zkingab4 – 7/1

Race Record: 4:1-2-0; $58,774

Race History: After not quite closing out two maiden sprint efforts, Dreaming of Giants stretched out to routes and showed a finishing kick. In his first try, at 8f-T in October 2018, he sat towards the back early, but closed late, coming up 1-1/4 lengths short.  The winner of that race has gone 3 for 3 since that win, including a stakes victory at 8f-T last time out.  Among the horses Dreaming of Giants defeated that day was today’s rival Enter The Dragon, who finished 10th in that race. Dreaming of Giants kept stretching out to 9f-T in his first race of 2019 and scored in a big way, winning by 2 lengths, earning a career high and field-high 93 SP (a 13 point jump from his prior race).  He’ll add another half furlong here in his first allowance effort.

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, sadly passed away in 2018 and thus Dreaming of Giants is part of his (massive) final sim crop.  That sim crop currently ranks #2 with 377 (!) runners to date.  Of those, 215 have won at a 20% rate.  Among those are 14 stakes winners and 6 graded winners.  His sim foals are typically routers (and impressively, the 2018 crop is already 50/50 with earnings in sprints and routes, as that split is usually much more skewed towards sprints until the horses have gotten older), and are evenly split among dirt and turf. Dreaming of Giants is the 6th (of 7) foal from graded-placed, stakes-winning 12yo mare Julia’s Dream.  Julia’s Dream was a winner of 8 races in her 25 race career, and her best races (including both stakes wins and both graded placings) came at 12 furlongs on the turf.  Her most successful foal is 5yo Dream of Stars (Galileo (IRE)), a 3-time G1 winner at 10.5-12f on the turf.  Dreaming of Giants is a full brother to 6yo Cause It’s a Dream, who was not as successful as his younger sibling, winning 1 race (at 10.5f on the turf) in her 12 race career (though her first 2 foals are both graded stakes placed).  Giant’s Causeway has been bred to a Dynaformer mare 40 times over the past 4 years, and among those, 9 are stakes winners (with 3 winning graded stakes), with most coming in 9-11f races on the dirt.

Expectations: Dreaming of Giants will likely settle a few lengths off the pace early, but he’s found a closing kick in routes that he didn’t have at shorter distances, and the added half furlong should only help that here.  He made a jump at 3, and he looks primed for another step forward in this race.  Looming large.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Demon Dancers (Lentenor x Dancing Evil [Danehill Dancer x Kingmambo]) – Owned by mrbigb – 11/1

Race Record: 4:1-3-0; $33,150

Race History: Demon Dancers had a bit of seconditis in his first 3 starts, as he could never quite close the deal, but he finally broke through in his first race of 2019.  In a 9f MSW on the turf, Demon Dancers sat third early, 3 lengths off the pace, and after the two leaders tired, Demon Dancers grabbed the lead and powered ahead, opening up to win by 2 lengths.  His speed figures nicely progressed in each of his 4 career races, culminating in a career high 88 SP last time out.  He comes back here for his first allowance effort.

Pedigree: Lentenor, a full brother to late 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, currently stands in Indiana for $2,000 and was the #27 ranked Indiana sire in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently ranks #474, with 12 winners from 27 total runners to date.  Those 12 have won at a 12% rate (a little below his standard 17.5% rate), but among those 12 is stakes winner Kymarc Craft, who has found success in short turf sprints.  That’s not surprising, as Lentenor’s sim foals often prefer sprints (63% earnings in sprints), though they’re about even on dirt and turf (earnings are slightly higher on turf, speed figures on dirt). 11yo Dancing Evil, the dam of Demon Dancers, has a ridiculous racing record, with 40 wins in 66 career races, though the significant majority of those (34) were in hot allowances.  Prior to those races, she had gone 6 for 25, with all of those wins coming at 8 furlongs on the turf.  Impressively, 3 of those 6 wins were against males (she had a career record of 5:3-1-1 in open company).  Demon Dancers is Dancing Evil’s third foal to date, and while her two older foals have both won on the turf, neither has found victory at the allowance level.  Both have done their best running in turf routes.  Lentenor has been bred to a Danehill Dancer mare three times in the past 4 years, including one other time to a similar Danehill Dancer x Kingmambo cross.  Unfortunately, that horse, Allinforhoosiers, hasn’t done much in her 62 race career.

Expectations: Demon Dancers has shown some early speed in his career, but it looks like his ideal trip might be a couple of lengths off of the pace.  From there, he has shown the ability to gain ground in the stretch, and from his past performances alone he looks well prepared for this 9.5 furlong race.  Dancing Evil will need to take another step forward as he faces winners for the first time, but this Indiana-bred horse has a chance here (if it doesn’t work out, he can always head to local company).  Don’t discount.

Watch Level: High

#10 – K’s Social Media (Kitten’s Joy x K’s New Socialite [Bernardini x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by wrecks – 11/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $35,980

Race History: K’s Social Media will try to get a dirt-to-turf bump in this race, as he comes off of dirt effort in his first race of 2019.  In that dirt race at 8f, he put up a career high 83 SP, but never really took to the surface and struggled in the race, finishing 8th.  His prior race, his last of 2018 and first at the allowance level, was also K’s Social Media’s first route effort, where he stalked the pace early but tired late, finishing 6th with an 82 SP.  He caught a tough field that day, however, as the winner from that NW2s allowance is now a stakes winner at 8f on the turf, and 3 of the 4 other horses finishing ahead of K’s Social Media have all picked up wins since that race.

Pedigree: Kitten’s Joy currently stands for $75,000 in Kentucky and was the #1 ranked US sire in 2018.  His sim counterparty hasn’t been quite as strong, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #58 overall.  That crop includes 56 winners from 144 runners, winning at a 14% rate (a little below his average 17%).  The winners include 2 stakes winners, and much like those two, Kitten’s Joy’s sim progeny are typically turf routers, with 75% of earnings on turf and 72% in routes.  K’s Social Media is the only foal to date from 7yo mare K’s New Socialite, a stakes winner at 11f-T who won 13 of her 27 career races.  A run of those wins came in hot races, but she was strong even outside of hot company, and picked up 2 other stakes placings at 12f-T.  She did most of her running, and her best running, at the 10-12f turf distances.  Bernardini mares have been sent to Kitten’s Joy 8 times in the past 4 years, with limited success.  The best, 4yo Slinging Fiction, is graded placed at 10f on the turf; the only other stakes placed horse, Missile Silo, preferred the longer dirt races.

Expectations: K’s Social Media has the pedigree to run for days; but his two route races (one on turf, one on dirt) call into question whether he has the stamina to go two turns.  Adding an extra furlong here won’t necessarily help him adjust to the distances either.  He has the benefit of coming back to the turf after trying the dirt, and he may see some improvement off of that effort.  But this field is shaping up to be a solid one, and with the way he’s run in his past couple of races, K’s Social Media may be a cut below some of the best in here.  Pass.

Watch Level: Low

#11 – Excels Ridge (Fiorente (IRE) x Exceptional Choice [Exceed and Excel x Indian Ridge]) – Owned by deeprock48 – 29/1

Race Record: 9:1-0-1; $24,650

Race History: One of the most experienced horses in the field, Excels Ridge was very aggressively placed early in his career.  Excels Ridge broke his maiden at 6f-T in his debut in a local MSW, and after a couple of misses in allowances, jumped up to G3 company, where he finished a respectable 7th of 13.  He moved into stakes company next, but struggled mightily, on both turf and dirt.  Excels Ridge comes into this race off of 2 straight rough performances in NW2L allowances, one on dirt at 8.5f, where he finished last of 10, and one on polytrack at 8f, where he finished 7th of 10.  The polytrack effort earned him a 74 SP, just off the 75 SP career high he earned in a 5.5f dirt stakes back in October 2018.  This will be his second race of 2019, and first turf route.

Pedigree: Fiorente, the 2013 Melbourne Cup winner, currently stands in Australia for $17,600 and was the #20 ranked first-crop sire of 2018.  In the sim, Fiorente’s 2018 crop is struggling a bit, as they currently rank #1,130 with only 7 winners among 36 runners to date (winning at a 5.5% rate, well below his 14% average).  Only 1 of those 7 has picked up a non-hot allowance win (though that horse has already run 16 times), in a turf sprint. Fiorente’s sim foals are largely turf routers, with 68% of earnings on turf and 66% in routes, so the 2018 crop may improve as they start going longer distances.  Excels Ridge is the 4th of 5 foals to date from 8yo mare Exceptional Choice, who won 3 of her 19 career races.  Those wins all came in dirt sprints.  She only tried turf once, in her debut at 8f, but seemed to have some distance limitations in her career, struggling to ever get more than 8f.  Her 3 other foals that have raced to date, have done their best running on turf.  2 of the 3 are allowance winners (the third retired winless in 8 starts), with those wins mainly coming in turf sprints.

Expectations: Excels Ridge has bounced around different distances, surfaces, tracks, and class levels in his 9 race career, and it’ll be interesting to see if he sticks here in turf routes.  The experience at the stakes level will help here, but his prior races have him a level below this field, and he was well beaten in his last 2 races, both route attempts at the NW2L level.  Between the apparent distance limitations and his poor recent performances, he doesn’t look to have a great chance in here.  But it will be interesting to see if he tries to use some of that sprint speed he showed early in his career to try to be a part of a minimal pace scenario here.

Watch Level: Low

#12 – Enter The Blues (Point of Entry x Mambo’s Blues [Big Blue Kitten x Kingmambo]) – Owned by talismanic – 20/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-0; $33,720

Race History: Enter The Blues really put everything together at the end of 2018, and after two poor maiden efforts (including his debut race, against today’s rival Dreaming of Giants, who finished 2nd to Enter The Blues’ 10th), he clicked in an 8f turf MSW.  In that race, he stalked the pace early, sitting 3 lengths before, before slowing creeping forward and then getting up just in time to win the photo by a neck.  That win earned him a career best 82 SP.  Unfortunately, his first race against winners, and first as a 3yo, found him a little overmatched.  In that race, a NW2L allowance at 8f on the turf, Enter The Blues again tried to stalk the pace, but was no match for his rivals and faded to 11th.  He’ll try to bounce back here as he stretches out to 9.5f.

Pedigree: Point of Entry, a 5-time G1 winner in his day, currently stands in Kentucky for $20,000 and was the #7 ranked second-crop US sire in 2018.  His sim progeny from 2018 are currently ranked #270, a big drop from prior years, as only 35 of his 98 runners to date have picked up a victory at a 10% rate (well off his 17.5% average).  Those numbers should improve as the foals age, as much like the sire himself, his sim foals are typically turf routers, with 77% of earnings on turf and 70% in routes.  The 2018 crop does include a graded stakes winner among the 35 winners, in the form of Moves Like Stagger, a multiple G1 winner at 9-10f on the turf.  Enter The Blues is the first foal from 5yo mare Mambo’s Blues, a winner of 6 races from 22 starts in her career.  Most of those races had tags, though she did land a 9f-T NW1x allowance late in her 3yo season, earning a career high 104 SP.  Interestingly, that was her only career race at the distance, which looked to be her best.

Expectations: Enter The Blues has found a style that he likes, and that’s stalking the pace, sitting just a few lengths off of the pacesetters.  His bigger problem has been keeping up at that speed.  In 3 of his 4 races, all turf 8-8.5f routes, he tired and dropped back.  Only in his maiden score did he manage to carry that speed throughout the race.  Impressively, the horses that ran 3rd and 4th to him that day came back to break their maidens next time out, so that race looks to have some potential.  But Enter The Blues’ top speed figure is a level below the best in here, and he’s shown no sign that he can get this distance, so I’m passing on him in this race.

Watch Level: Low

#13 – Clue Hunter (Arrogate x Danzig x Mr. Prospector) – Owned by cadetrx – 10/1

Race Record: 5:1-1-1; $52,976

Race Record: Clue Hunter has been stretching out in each of his races as his owner tries to figure out this horse’s preferences.  Today’s race sponsor, Clue Hunter broke his maiden in start #2 at 6.5f on the turf, but earned a career low 73 SP in that win.  He’s struggled a bit at the allowance level, narrowly missing a 7f-T race and then coming into this race off of two straight off-the-board finishes in routes (1 dirt, 1 turf).  His last race, at 9f-T back in January, was a marked improvement in speed figure as he earned a career high 89 SP (a 12 point jump), but Clue Hunter struggled to keep up in that race and fell to 4th, 4-1/2 lengths off the winner.  The winner from that race, as well as the 5th place finisher, each came back to dominate in allowance wins next time out though, so the field looks like it may have been tough.  Clue Hunter will go back-to-back on the turf here as he stretches out an extra half furlong.

Pedigree:  No expense as spared for this colt that is the bluest of blueblood scratch breedings.  Arrogate, the richest racehorse of all time (off the back of 4 G1 wins), 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 #16 overall, with 8 stakes winners and 3 graded stakes winners (all in G3s).  The foals have primarily raced on the dirt (89% 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.  Clue Hunter is one of 4 horses bred with the Arrogate x Danzig cross.  He is also the only one of those four that has broken his maiden as of yet.  None of the others have yet broken a 79 SP, though each has only run 2-3 times and only one of the other 3 has tried a route race.

Expectations: When sprinting, Clue Hunter stayed closer to the lead, but it looks like, in his route races, he’s tried to keep something left in the tank and sat a couple of lengths off the pace.  Unfortunately, on he hasn’t quite shown that he has the stamina to keep running at full speed at this distance.  In his 8f dirt try he faded severely at the end, and although his last turf effort was better, he still struggled to keep his speed through the stretch.  The added half furlong will only make that tougher.  He’s a decent looking horse with a great pedigree, but this distance looks to be a little too far for him.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s the field of 13 for this NW2L allowance.  Based on past performances alone, there is absolutely no pace in this race.  For that reason, I’m gonna say that Minimumrequirement sets the pace here.  Clue Hunter will probably be there as well, with Dreaming of Giants and Demon Dancers leading the next group.  There’s a real logjam in the middle of the pack though, and it might come down to who has the best position.  I’ve predicted the past races with an eye towards pace setup, and I’ve been horribly off on who’s gonna win.  So this time, even though there doesn’t seem to be any pace, I’m gonna throw that angle out the window.  Instead, I’m gonna pick the ones that have a combination of speed and…my favorite names?  So, with that, my predictions in this race are coming from the back, going (1) Skibbidy Debop; (2) Dreaming of Giants; (3) Audacious Presence.  If you don’t like that angle…maybe try the Dansili trifecta!  It could happen.  Good luck this week!

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      California – Alw NW3L @ 8f

2)      California – Alw NW2L @ 8f (Division 1) (Division 2)

3)      South Korea – Allowance @ 6.5f-T

4)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 9.5f

5)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 9f

6)      New York – Alw NW3L @ 9f

7)      Berkshire (ENG) – Alw NW3L @ 9.5f-T (Fillies)

8)      Japan – Alw NW3L @ 9f-T

Views (225)

Feb 222019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  I didn’t call the results correctly, but I’m even more proud of the fact that I nailed the pace setup.  Battle Thy Mom had her nose out in front early, dueling with Henty Kelee, with Safety Guide and Banished From Hell just off of them.  Of course, I thought that would create a pace breakdown, and while the pace was reasonably fast, Henty Kelee proved to be much the best in the field, withstanding that pace battle to pull away and win by 1-1/2.  The leading charges came from midpack, with Dilys Price putting in a solid effort to come up from 6th to grab 2nd. It was 4-1/4 lengths back to third, where D’Oro Cookies was the leading closer, coming up from 9th early to hit the board.

This week, I decided I was tired of the NW3L dirt mile races (even though the highest point race this weekend again fit that bill). So for a change, this week the Future Stars Series “goes bragh”, as we head to Ireland for a 9f turf NW2L for fillies.  The field of 14 is:

#1 – Aerials (Belardo x Turf Crossing [Cape Cross x Dynaformer]) – Owned by lockyer – 25/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $6,410

Race History: A bargain bred, Aerials began her career where many bargains do – At the hot race level.  After dominating in that race (against only 1 other human-owned horse), she moved into standard NW2L company, but struggled in her first try at 8f.  She comes into this race off a much better effort in her 2nd route try, and 3rd race overall, where she ran 3rd in a NW2L at 8f-T in a field of 9, picking up a career high 85 SP in the process.  The two that defeated her each came back to run 2nd in allowances in their next races.  Aerials has seen a 16 point SP jump in each of her races, and if she can do that again here, she’ll be in great shape. She comes into this race off a 3.5 month layoff, as her 3rd place finish was back at the beginning of November 2018.

Pedigree: Belardo, the champion European 2yo of 2014, currently stands for $10,000 but entered stud in 2017, so he does not have any real life foals.  In the sim, his #324-ranked 2018 crop includes 50 runners to date, of which 22 have been victorious (at a 15% rate).  His foals prefer turf, and thus far have shown a preference for sprints (which is similar to Belardo in real life, who did his best running at 7-8f-T), though that could change as they find their way into longer distances.  The 2018 class includes Belardo’s only stakes winner to date, Areacode West, who earned that victory in a 5f dirt sprint.  Aerials is the 3rd foal from Turf Crossing, a 9yo mare and winner of 9 from 33 races in her career.  Following her maiden win, she was claimed for $60,000 and her new owner found success for her at the allowance level in long-distance turf races.  She could run all day, with her best racing at the 14-16f distances (including a well-beaten 2nd in a 6-horse 16f turf stakes).  Turf Crossing’s 2 prior foals include Exbourne’s Curves (Frankel (GB)), who ran 2 very poor races as a 2yo and has been on the shelf ever since, and Ardamir (Dariyan (FR)), who has done his best running in turf miles.

Expectations: The relative inexperience of Aerials, and the long layoff, makes this race a bit of a question mark.  It looks like she’ll sit towards the back early.  But there’s some question as to whether she has the stamina to get the distance.  Her mother certainly did, and her one racing sibling also has no problem with it, but Aerials’ two efforts at this distance have seen her with a limited or non-existent closing kick.  When coming from the back, that’s something that you’re gonna need.  Still, she was given a lot of time off from her last race, so she may come back sharp here, but I’m going to wait a race before backing her at the betting window.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Henty Beam (Shamardal x Dapto Sunbeam [Camelot (GB) x Sea The Stars]) – Owned by dargo – 9/1

Race Record: 2:1-0-1; $35,420

Race History: She might be lightly raced, but Henty Beam comes into this one looking strong.  After trying a 6.5f-T race in her debut, where she briefly poked her nose in front before finishing 3rd, she stretched out to 9f-T in her first race of 2019, a local MSW.  Against a 14 horse field, she broke for the lead and never looked back, opening up to a 3 length lead in the far turn before gearing down for a 2 length victory.  That win earned her a 90 SP, a 16 point jump from her first effort.  None of her previous 23 maiden competitors have earned a win following those races, though only 3 from her last race have come back to the track yet.

Pedigree: Shamardal was 2018′s #5 ranked EU sire, with his real life progeny preferring the 7-8f distances (similar to Shamardal himself).  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #22, with 69 winners from 147 runners to date, winning at an 18% rate.  His sim progeny are turf specialists (72% of earnings on turf) and seem to improve with distance (62% in routes), though they do just fine in sprints as well.  The 2018 class includes 1 graded stakes winner, Opted Back In, who was 2nd in the Breeders Bowl Juvy Filly Turf and is currently the #2 ranked 3yo filly turf router, as well as 6 other stakes winners (5 of whom did so in turf sprints).  Henty Beam is the 3rd foal from 7yo mare Dapto Sunbeam, who was a 2-time stakes winner and G2-placed among 6 wins in 21 career races.  Most of those races were in the 9-10f-T range, though she did earn a stakes win at 11f-T and was 4th in the 2015 Sydney Derby – G1 at 12f-T.  Her first two foals have not been quite as good as their mother, though both have multiple allowance wins.  Both of those foals have done their best running in long turf races, finding their home in 10-16f turf races.  There is only one other sim horse produced by Shamardal with a Camelot mare to date, and that is 3yo Shamalama, who is similarly 2 races into her career, having just broken her maiden at 8.5f-T in January.

Expectations: Henty Beam may not have the speed to grab the lead in a sprint, but when it comes to routes, she’s got the energy to get out in front and she’s got the stamina to stay there.  In this field, that’s a great sign.  Another great sign is that she already has experience at this distance, and she was geared down when winning that race, so Henty Beam should have something left in the tank for this race.  It’s not an easy field, but she’s faced full fields before and she looks primed for a big run here.  The pick.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Realistic Shot (Authorized x Surrealistic [Distorted Humor x Dynaformer]) – Owned by desimster6 – 8/1

Race Record: 7:1-3-0; $62,236

Race History: Realistic Shot comes into this race off of a 2nd place finish in a NW2L at today’s distance at the end of January.  In that race, she earned a career best SP of 87, as she sat 2 lengths back early and then was outrun by just 1 horse to the wire.  That race was her second of 2019, as Realistic Shot opened her 3yo season with a dirt try in which she struggled with the footing.  Most of Realistic Shot’s career races have been at the turf route distances, including her maiden-breaking score at 8.5f-T, where she sat 3rd early before taking the victory.  She also competed in a key race for today’s competition in December 2018, in a NW2L 8.5f turf allowance where Realistic Shot finished 8th, behind today’s rival Navy Blue Barbara (6th) but ahead of rival Star Rock (11th).

Pedigree: Authorized, the 2007 European Champion 3yo colt, did his best running at 10-12f on the turf and currently stands for $12,000, where he is the #71 ranked European sire of 2018.  That real life performance is a little better than his sim counterpart, where the 23 runners in his 2018 crop currently rank #300, with 14 winners among them winning at a very successful 26% clip.  None of the class has moved beyond allowance wins, however.  His sim progeny, much like his real life progeny, prefer long turf races, with 68% of earnings on turf and 73% in routes (with the best speed figures coming in races longer than 10f)..  Realistic Shot is the 4th foal from 10yo mare Surrealistic, an excellent runner who won 10 races, including 5 stakes, in 33 efforts.  She is also G2-placed, and just missed a G1 placing with a 4th place finish in the 2013 Oaks De English – G1 (12f-T).  Surrealistic did most of her damage, however, at 9f on the turf.  Surrealistic’s first three foals have similarly followed Surrealistic’s path.  Each of them is stakes placed, with one, Bumpin In The Club (Variety Club) a 2-time stakes winner, and all 3 have done their best running in turf routes (the 8-10f range).

Expectations: Realistic Shot is the most experienced 3yo in the field, having already raced twice as a 3yo. Her last race also had the benefit of being a dirt-to-turf race, giving her a potential boost in that one.  These two facts make it less likely that we’ll see an unexpected jump here.  The question is whether she can make a modest improvement to take the victory.  She will likely sit about 2-3 lengths off the pace early, and hopes to fend off some of the closers here late.  She does have experience at the distance, and has a chance here; she’s just a little less interesting than some of the others.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Battle For Uncle (Uncle Lino x Battle For STC [War Chant x Miswaki]) – Owned by stclegions – 18/1

Race Record: 9:1-1-2; $28,064

Race History: The most experienced horse in the field, Battle For Uncle has been struggling at the allowance level since breaking his maiden in his debut, but looks like she may be rounding into form as a 3yo.  She comes into this race off of a 2nd and 3rd place finish in her last 2 races, both in January 2019.  Battle For Uncle’s most recent race may be the most instructive for today’s contest, as it was her first try at a turf route.  In that NW2L allowance at 8f-T, she broke midpack early and raced evenly throughout, passing a couple of tiring horses and finishing 3rd, earning an 81 SP.  That SP was down slightly from her prior race, at 8.25f on the dirt in a NW1x, where she set an easy pace before running out of gas late and finishing 2nd in a 4 horse field.  Battle For Uncle will stretch out to a career long 9f here to try and improve on those last couple of races.

Pedigree: Uncle Lino, a freshman sire in 2018, currently stands in Pennsylvania for $4,000.  His freshman crop in the sim is currently ranked #203 overall, with 29 winners from 59 runners to date winning at an 18.5% rate.  Among those is Uncle No No, a stakes winner at 5.5f and G1-placed at 8.5f, both on the dirt.  That’s where his progeny have preferred to be thus far, with 79% of earnings on the dirt to date.  It’s too early to judge the right distance for his foals, though the early route speed figures are looking stronger than the sprint ones.  14yo dam Battle For STC was a winner of 4 races in her 25 race career, with all 4 of those (and most of her career races) coming on the dirt.  The best stretch of her career was an “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” situation, where she proceeded to run 2nd in 5 straight allowances at the 8-9f distance, before finally breaking the slump at 10f.  That 8-10f distance was her preference.  Her only other foal to date, 11yo Save The Birds (Birdstone) never did anything on the track, going 0 for 6 in her career (technically, she is still active, though she has not raced since 2011).

Expectations: Looking at her past performances, it’s interesting to see that Battle For Uncle seems to race more evenly on turf, but may run slightly faster on dirt.  This 9f contest will be a good indication of where she stands, as if she can race evenly though this distance, she could end up running her best race to date.  She’ll probably sit midpack here and see what she can do from there.  I’m not sure that she has the speed to catch the pacesetters or outkick the closers in this particular race, but this race could be very instructive for where she ends up in the future.

Watch Level: Low

#5 – Navy Blue Barbara (Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Kris S. x Montjeu) – Owned by barbsbarn – 6/1 (­f-t)

Race Record: 4:1-1-1; $47,880

Race History: One of the co-favorites, Navy Blue Barbara comes into this race off of a strong 3rd place finish in a NW2L allowance at 8.5f-T last time out, her first race of 2019.  In that race, Navy Blue Barbara sat a length off the pace early and briefly grabbed the lead from a tiring pacesetter at the top of the stretch, before dueling down the stretch and coming out on the short end of a 3-horse photo.  The effort saw her pick up a career high 89 SP, her 3rd straight 80+ SP.  The race prior to that one was a key race here, as she outran today’s opponents Realistic Shot (8th) and Star Rock (11th) when running 6th in her first allowance effort.  Navy Blue Barbara will stretch out to a career long 9f distance here.

Pedigree: Fastnet Rock, the #3 ranked Australian sire and #11 ranked European sire in 2018, is a very successful dual-standing sire with a $70,000 stud fee.  In the sim, Fastnet Rock’s 2018 crop is currently ranked #55, with 77 winners from 134 runners winning at an 18% rate.  Much like real life, where his foals have their best success around 9 furlongs, his sim foals mildly prefer routes, with 60% of earnings in routes, while 79% comes from the turf.  The 2018 crop includes 4 stakes winners (but no graded winners) to date, with most of those coming in turf sprints.  The Fastnet Rock x Kris S. cross has been used 14 times in the past 4 years, including 6 times in 2018.  The cross has resulted in one excellent horse, 4yo Secret Kitten, winner of the 2018 Equinics – Cecil Roo – G1 (8f-T) as a 3yo.  Like her, the cross has excelled on turf, though they are split among sprinters and routers.  Among the 3yos, all 6 have broken their maidens, but only 1 has moved beyond that to win a NW2L allowance thus far.

Expectations: Navy Blue Barbara does have some early speed, as she showed in her 6.5f-T debut, where she dueled for the lead the entire way before coming up 1 length short.  But as she has stretched out to routes, she’s tended to come from farther back.  Her most recent race saw her only 1.5 lengths back early, but the pace there wasn’t too fast, so it’s more likely that she’ll sit 3 or 4 back here.  In this field, that will probably put her closer to the front.  And if she’s there, she’s got the speed and stamina to hold off some from the back.  She’s consistent, and she’s the co-favorite here for a reason.  Respect.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Sea Da Bears (Sea The Stars x Starrahy Eyed [Rahy x Danzig]) – Owned by palehose – 7/1

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

Race History: The least experienced horse in the field, Sea Da Bears comes into this race off of her maiden breaking debut back in January.  In that race, a local 7f-T MSW, she caught a field of 8 and after sitting 2 lengths off the pace early, she showed a strong burst of speed late, drawing off to win by 3 lengths.  The win was good enough for an 84 SP.  None of her competitors have come back to the track yet, so it’s a little difficult to judge the caliber of her competition, though they were a combined 0 for 20 prior to that race.  Sea Da Bears takes a big leap in distance here, stretching out to 9f-T for her first route effort.

Pedigree: Sea The Stars, the 2009 European Horse of the Year, was the #7 ranked sire in the EU in 2018. In the sim, his 2018 crop is currently ranked #8, with 183 runners to date and 106 winners, winning at a 20.5% rate.  His progeny prefers turf routes (75% earnings on turf, 69% routes).  The 3yo crop, in particular, includes 6 stakes winners to date, all but one of whom has done so on turf, with one of those, Shine Underneath, recently breaking through with a G3 victory in the Super Hero Role Playing Stakes-G3 at 10.5f on the turf.  Starrahy Eyed, the 12yo dam of Sea Da Bears, was a G1-winning millionaire in her racing days.  She won 14 races in her 39 race career, with the biggest coming in the Super Gold Handicap-G1 (6f-T) as a 2yo in 2007.  Her best results, including all 3 graded stakes wins and 4 non-graded stakes wins, all came in turf sprints at 6-7f, though Starrahy Eyed’s fastest SP actually came in dirt sprints.  She proved to be equally good on dirt later in her career, though she never stretched beyond the level on that surface.  Starrahy Eyed’s 4 older foals have taken after her preferences as well, as all four have picked up all but 1 win in sprints (mostly on the turf, though a few on the dirt).  The “star” of the foals is 6yo Star Incanto (Per Incanto), a 4-time stakes winner in 5.5f-6f turf sprints.  8yo Black Patch (Exceed and Excel) was also stakes placed at 6.5f on the turf.  Sea The Stars has been bred to a Rahy mare 4 times in the past 4 years, and one of those, 6yo See Me Shine, is a stakes winner at 7.5f-T (though most of her wins came at 8f-T).

Expectations: It’s tough to know exactly what to expect from Sea Da Bears here, as she only has one race under her belt thus far, and that race was a 7f-T sprint.  She sat towards the back there, but I have a feeling that she’s going to try to stalk the pace this time.  She may even end up more forwardly placed.  Sea Da Bears looked like she had something left in the stretch of that race, but I can’t help but be concerned about this distance given her pedigree.  Her mother was a sprinter; her siblings are all sprinters; and her bloodline cross also looks to be best in sprints.  Sea Da Bears is definitely a live one in this race, but I feel more confident in others here.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Looking For War (War Front x World Stage [Frankel (GB) x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by dora – 6/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $41,026

Race History: Looking For War waited until the races were a little longer, and has seen some improvement in each of her 3 races to date.  She comes into this NW2L off of a maiden score at 8.5f-T in her first start of 2019.  In that race, she sat mid-pack early before steadily moving to the front and winning by 1-3/4 lengths, earning a career best 85 SP.  2 races back in an 8f-T ESR-restricted MSW, she struggled to keep up with the others and finished 6 lengths back in 4th, but the winner from that race went on to take home an ESR stakes race next time out, and the top 4 horses from that race (including Looking For War) are a combined 5 for 5 since that race.  Looking For War will try to make it 6 for 6 here.

Pedigree: War Front currently stands for $250,000 in Kentucky and was the #23 ranked US sire in 2018.  In the sim, he was even better, as his 2018 crop currently ranks #13, with 96 winners from 179 runners to date (at an 18% win rate).  His sim progeny are equally adept at sprints and routes (though the speed figures are better in routes than sprints), but they do typically prefer dirt races, with 69% of earnings on dirt.  The 2018 class includes 6 stakes winners, 2 of which have landed G3 wins.   One of those two, Expert Panel, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf and ran 4th in the Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile Turf, while the other, Telah (son of Sim Hall of Famer Final Exit), has found his success at 8.5f on the dirt. World Stage, the 7yo he-mare of Looking For War, was a winner of 10 races in his 29 race career.  Those 10 wins included 5 at the stakes level, and he came up just 1-3/4 lengths short of being a G3 winner, with all of those races coming in the 7.5-8.5f-T range.  Much like his only daughter, he preferred to come from midpack or further back.  The War Front x Frankel combination has been used 5 times in the past 4 years (including Looking For War), but only 3 of those have broken their maidens yet and none have picked up an allowance win.  The speed figures look slightly better in sprints than routes, but there’s not quite enough data to know for certain which is preferred (4 of the 5 horses are currently 3yos).

Expectations: Looking For War is looking for her second consecutive victory here, and if she does it, she’ll do it from midpack.  She likes to have something to run towards, but she is also more methodical about it and doesn’t have quite the same closing kick as some of the others in here.  I’m a little curious what would happen if Looking For War sprinted.  In this race, she’s certainly got a chance, but I think she might struggle to get first run on some of the others coming from farther back.

Watch Level: Medium

#8 – Newspaperofrecord (Shamardal x Sadler’s Wells x Blushing Groom) – Owned by sjmeola4 – 6/1 (f-t)

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

Race History: Like her real life namesake, Newspaperofrecord has shown some real turf ability in her 2 race career.  In her debut in November 2018, she settled second to last early on, before showing a strong closing kick and drawing off to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 77 SP.  She came back as a 3yo with a vengeance, entering an open-gender local NW2L at today’s 9f-T distance.  Running against 6 boys (and 2 other girls), Newspaperofrecord sat last early, dropping over 10 lengths back, but came flying late and just ran out of real estate, losing a photo for 2nd and finishing 2-1/2 lengths back.  That effort earned her a career- and field-high 92 SP.  She gets the comfort of only fillies this time, as this lightly raced filly tries to duplicate her most recent performance.

Pedigree: While Newspaperofrecord’s racing preference may match her real life namesake’s, her pedigree does not.  See Henty Beam above for a description of Shamardal.  Sadler’s Wells is the most popular sim cross for Shamardal, and it’s been used 32 times in the past 4 years, including 11 times in 2018.  The bulk of those horses have shown an affinity for turf, and while some of the older ones have been strongest going long distances, the younger ones have been equally adept at sprints and routes.  Among the 3yos of the group is Dreambot, who recently picked up a 3rd place stakes finish at 8.5f on the turf.  The full bloodlines of Shamardal x Sadler’s Wells x Blushing Groom has been used 3 other times in the past 4 years, with the filly among them just hitting her stride at the 7-8f range when she was retired, and the two colts doing their best running in the 9f-T range.

Expectations: Newspaperofrecord likes to have horses to chase, and it’s pretty likely that she’ll be placed toward the back here.  Her last race was arguably the strongest in the field, and if she can run back to that one, she’ll have a great chance here.  But there are a couple of questions: did she go too hard when trying to tackle males last time?  And will there be a pace to give her a chance to close here?  She comes back to the track after a month, which is far shorter than her first break of 2.5 months, but she’s already got a 3yo race at this distance under her belt, and that experience should help here.  A top contender.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Universal Strike (Australia x Universal Marvel [Smart Strike x Dynaformer]) – Owned by intheirons2 – 9/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $36,938

Race History: Universal Strike enters this NW2L after finally breaking through her maiden in her 4th try, at today’s 9f-T distance, in her first race of 2019.  Her first 3 races, as a 2yo, saw her struggle to get the route distances, as she tired in each effort and faded late.  In the second of those 3, she trailed today’s rival Sea Cry, finishing 8th to Sea Cry’s 4th. But in her most recent race, Universal Strike struck, sitting just off the pace early and then grabbing the lead and holding on to win by ¾ lengths.  She earned a career high 89 SP for the effort.  Only one horse from her last race, the 8th place finisher, has come back to the track as of yet, but that horse managed to break her maiden at next asking.

Pedigree: Australia, an expert at 10-12f on the turf, currently stands for $35,000 and was the #4 ranked first crop sire in Europe in 2018.  In the sim, Australia’s 2018 crop is currently ranked #115 and includes 88 runners, of which 39 have won at a 16% rate (slightly below his 19% average).  One of those 39, So What’s The Plan, is the only stakes winner, but that stakes was The Wooden Reserve-G3 (8.5f-T), and she followed that up with a 2nd place finish in The Saint Cloud-G1 (10f-T). The significant majority of his sim progeny prefer turf, with 86% of earnings coming from the sod, while 68% come from routes; however, the speed figures for his progeny have been better in sprints than in routes.  Universal Strike is the first foal from 6yo mare Universal Marvel, a 3-time winner in 30 career races.  Those 3 wins came in an 8.5f-T MSW, an 8f-T $100K claimer (from which she was claimed), and a 6.5f-T NW3L allowance.  Universal Marvel often struggled at the 8-8.5f distances while being forwardly placed, but found her groove at 7f, where she could sit off the lead and still have a little left at the end.  A Smart Strike mare has been sent to Australia 5 times in the sim, with two success stories to date.  One, 5yo Nightcliff, is a winner everywhere from 6f-12.5f on the turf, though she has done her best running (and is stakes placed) at the 7.5-8f range.  The other, 5yo Western Australia, is G3-placed on the dirt, loving as much distance as he can get, with his best races (and his G3 placing) coming at 11-12f, though he has not raced in 2 years so we will never know what his best distance or surface really was.

Expectations: Universal Strike is going to try and get out of the gate pretty quickly and sit close to the lead, though probably not on it.  She looks like she may have turned the corner as a 3yo, finally showing the stamina that her pedigree suggests she should have and withstanding the 9f distance.  Her last race was a nice improvement from the race before, and if she can make a similar improvement here, she’s got a strong chance.  Her chances get even stronger if the pace is as weak as expected.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Hushwing Accolade (Acclamation x Hushwing Lily [Dalakhani x Storm Cat]) – Owned by hushwing – 23/1

Race Record: 7:1-0-1; $33,410

Race History: Hushwing Accolade has spent most of her 7 race career in routes, but it took her 6 tries to finally break her maiden.  She was given 2 months off at the end of 2018 but has been pushed pretty hard in 2019, as she’s already raced 3 times this year.  The first try of the year saw Hushwing Accolade finish an even 3rd, and she came back 10 days later to finally break her maiden at 8f-T, winning a head-bob photo and earning a 77 SP.  2 weeks later, she was back for her first NW2L effort at 8f-T, but after breaking towards the back of the pack, she never showed any interest, running a well-beaten 11th.  Even though she was well beaten, she did earn a career high 79 SP, which was pretty consistent with her other 3yo efforts of 77 and 78.  Hushwing Accolade will enter the starting gate here off of another 2 week break as she tries to show more effort here.

Pedigree: One of 2 sim sires with the same name, this Acclamation was the #17 ranked EU sire in 2018 and currently stands for $40,000 in Ireland.  A sprint sire in real life, in the sim his progeny are also turf sprinters, with 70% of earnings coming on the turf and 65% in sprints.  His 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #83, with 46 winners from 87 runners.  Among those winners are 2 stakes winners: Memory Queen, who is a G3 winner at 7f on the turf, and Acclaim The Cold, who is a stakes winner and G2-placed at 8f on the turf.  Hushwing Accolade is the 3rd foal from 10yo mare Hushwing Lily, a mare who earned 2 wins in a 52 race career.  Her best race was a 3rd place finish in a 9f dirt stakes back in 2012, which was her only time placing in 11 career stakes efforts.  She bounced around distances and surfaces, generally running every 2-3 weeks, but her best distance seemed to be in the 9-10f range on dirt.  Her first foal, 6yo Hushwing Peach (Shanghai Bobby), is her most decorated, as she was stakes placed at 11f on the dirt (though, like her mother, that was her only placing in 14 career stakes efforts).  Hushwing Lily’s other foal, Hushwing Heart (Heart’s Cry (JPN)), has done his best running in sprints.  Acclamation has been bred to a Dalakhani mare 4 times in the past 4 years, with the most successful being 5yo Fist Fighter, who has found his stride at the 7-8f turf distance.

Expectations: Hushwing Accolade will stretch out to her longest race here, but she made need a break if she’s going to be able to get the distance.  She struggled to keep up with the field in her last race, at a shorter 8f-T distance, so there’s some question as to whether she’ll be able to keep up here.  Some time off might help, but she looks in over her head in this race.

Watch Level: Low

#11 – Star Rock (Star Witness x Zero Rock [Galileo (IRE) x Duke of Marmalade]) – Owned by michaelb9 – 36/1

Race Record: 8:1-0-0; $32,283

Race History: One of the veterans of this field with 8 career starts, Star Rock has been struggling at the allowance level since breaking her maiden at 5f-T back in race #4.  In 4 races since, she has finished no better than 4th, and no closer than 4 lengths from the winners of those races. Her most recent race, her first as a 3yo, was a toss-out, as she finished last in a 4 horse field, 9-1/2 lengths back in a 5.5f-T open allowance.  The most instructive for this race though was her start 2 races back, her only route attempt to date.  There, Star Rock earned a career high 76 SP and set the pace early, but didn’t have the stamina to keep it up and faded to 11th, 10 lengths behind the winner.  That NW2L is a key race here, as 2 of Star Rock’s rivals in today’s race also competed there; Navy Blue Barbara (6th) and Realistic Shot (8th).  Star Rock will give it another shot here.

Pedigree: Star Witness, who currently stands in Australia for $22,000, struggled a bit in 2018, ranking #69 in Australia (after ranking #18 and #21 in his 2 previous seasons).  The sim version of Star Witness hasn’t had quite the same success that the real life version has, nor has he been given much of a chance.  His 2018 sim crop consists of 18 runners, of which 10 have found victory at a 17% rate.  But while the numbers might be small, that hasn’t prevented success, as one of those 10 winners, Second Island, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf.  Star Witness’s sim progeny prefer the turf, with 61% of earnings coming on the surface, while they are also more likely to be sprinters, with 62% coming in sprints (and likewise, the speed figures are usually better in sprints). Zero Rock, the 8yo dam of Star Rock, was a winner of 2 races in her 23 race career.  Both of those wins came at 10f on the turf.  A closer by trade, Zero Rock did her best running at that 10f distance, but that was also the farthest she could run, as she struggled to show any closing speed beyond that.  Her first foal, Last Furlong (Siyouni), took after his mother, as a deep closer who likes longer races (though he’s been able to put up decent speed figures as far out as 12f). Zero Rock’s second foal, 4yo Rocky Highway (Black Minnaloushe) is a turf sprinter who is typically towards the front of the field.  Star Witness has been used with a Galileo mare 3 times in the sim, though the other 2 were bred at the start of the new sim, so they’re not very instructive (neither was successful on the track, as they went a combined 1 for 23 lifetime).

Expectations: Star Rock looks like she is going to battle for the lead here, as she’s got some early speed and likes to use it.  Unfortunately, that will likely be the only time that Star Rock is on or near the lead in this race.  She’s raced a fair amount since debuting in June 2018, but she looks like she has distance limitations and her speed figures have not been progressing in the way that you would want to see for a strong 3yo competitor.  I’ll pass here.

Watch Level: Low

#12 – Cat Skoozie (Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Sappho [Dynaformer x Kingmambo]) – Owned by quivertree – 8/1

Race Record: 6:1-0-2; $37,660

Race History: Cat Skoozie broke her maiden at 7f-T at 2nd asking, but has struggled in 4 NW2L allowances since.  She picked it up recently though, and comes into this race off of 2 straight 3rd place finishes.  Her speed figures have been improving in every race, and Cat Skoozie comes here off of a career high 88 SP at 8.5f-T.  The winner from her last race, who she finished 2 lengths behind, came back to win an allowance next time out, and the winner from 2 back (where she also finished 2 lengths behind) followed up that win with a 2nd in a stakes race.  This will be her first race of 2019.

Pedigree: See Navy Blue Barbara for a description of Fastnet Rock.  Cat Skoozie is the 9th foal from15yo mare Sappho.  In her 53 race career, Sappho managed 6 wins, including 4 at the stakes level, and another 7 stakes placings throughout her career.  All but one of those came in turf sprints, primarily in her 2yo and early 3yo campaigns.  Her 8 previous foals to date have all showed strong abilities on the track, and particularly on the turf.  The best of those is 7yo Landlubber (Sea The Stars), a 3-time G2 winner at 7-8f-T and a winner of 7 total stakes races in his 39 race career.  But 5 of Cat Skoozie’s other 7 siblings are also stakes winners in turf sprints and routes.  They seem to generally excel in the 7-9f range, though the speed figures have generally been the fastest in routes.  Fastnet Rock has been bred to a Dynaformer mare 26 times in the past 4 years, with 4 of those (including Cat Skoozie) being the full Fastnet Rock x Dynaformer x Kingmambo cross.  None of those 4 is among the 5 stakes winners of the group, though the 3 others all seem to prefer longer distances.

Expectations: Cat Skoozie is a dead closer who will be looking for a quick pace here.  She has broken in the back in each of her 4 route efforts, and her late closing kick has been getting stronger and stronger in each race.  In her last 2 races, she closed 6-7 lengths in the stretch (and 9 lengths total each time), and she should relish the extra ½ furlong here.  A real contender.

Watch Level: High

#13 – Sea Cry (Sea The Stars x Street Cry x Nijinsky II) – Owned by dreaming – 11/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-2; $39,628

Race History: Sea Cry took 3 tries to break her maiden, finally pulling through in a 6.5f-T MSW in November 2018.  In that race, she closed from midpack early to pull away, winning by 1 length.  In her first effort at the allowance level, an 8f-T local NW3L to end 2018, Sea Cry sat much further back early, hanging out at the back of the pack, and closed to finish 3rd, though she was still 6 lengths off of the leaders.  She earned a career high 85 SP, a 9 point jump from her maiden win, and comes into this race on a high note.  Of note, her 2nd career race (and first attempt in a route) saw her finish 4th, beating today’s opponent Universal Strike, who finished 8th that day.  This will be the longest attempt for Sea Cry, and her first race of 2019.

Pedigree: “Sea” Sea Da Bears above for a description of Sea The Stars.  The Sea The Stars x Street Cry cross has been used 26 times in the past 4 years, including 9 times in 2018 alone.  One of those 9 is stakes placed at 7.5f-T, and 4 of the 26 overall have gone on to pick up a stakes victory.  The cross largely produces turf runners, with long distances (especially over 11f) seeing the best results.

Expectations: Sea Cry is yet another horse that will be duking it out…towards the back of the pack.  Her pedigree indicates that she’ll love longer distances, but her previous 4 races hint that she may be a sprinter.  At 6.5f, she was able to show a solid kick to outrun her opponents, but at 8f, she’s struggled to really gain any ground, merely passing horses that are more tired than her and racing evenly.  That indicates that Sea Cry has some stamina, but doesn’t really have the speed to back it up.  She might improve in her first 3yo effort, but she’s drawn a tough field for that to succeed here.

Watch Level: Medium

#14 – Tete Crick (Kodiac (GB) x Tete Dinaal [Iffraaj (GB) x Forty Niner]) – Owned by anothercrick7 – 12/1

Race Record: 4:1-2-0; $54,149

Race History: It took 4 tries, but Tete Crick comes into this race off her maiden score.  After coming up just short in her 2 prior races in turf sprints, she stretched out to 8f-T and joined 3 other fillies taking on 7 colts in a local MSW back in December 2018.  There, she sat towards the back early before flying late, getting up by a head and earning a career high 86 SP.  The runner-up from that race came back to break his maiden next time out with a 97 SP.  This will be Tete Crick’s first 3yo start.

Pedigree: Kodiac, the #10 ranked European sire of 2018, currently stands for $65,000, and in real life he is primarily a sprint sire.  In the sim, Kodiac is also a turf sprint sire, with 66% of earnings coming in the short races and 68% on the turf.  Kodiac’s 2018 sim crop hasn’t quite jumped like his real life counterpart, but it is his best to date, ranking #78 thus far with 51 winners from 90 runners (winning at a 19% rate, well above his 13.5% average).  Among those are 7 stakes winners, one of whom, Justice My Way, is G3-placed at 7f-T. Tete Crick is the first foal from 5yo mare Tete Dinaal, who was claimed for $2K in early 2018 and then pushed into the breeding shed after only 1 start for her new owner.  That start was her career best effort, in which she earned a 102 SP while coming up 1 length short in a 9f-T $2K starter allowance.  She was a late bloomer, but looked to be turning the corner once she hit 4 years old, enjoying the 8-9f races.

Expectations: Tete Crick changed up her running style when facing males last time out, as she sat much farther off the pace than she had in her previous 3 sprint efforts.  It’s the opposite of her mother, who was a deep closer when sprinting but leveled out a little more in routes.  Regardless, that running style worked to perfection last time out, and I would expect her to do try something similar here.  She’ll look to take the 3yo leap here.

Watch Level: High

That’s the full field for this week’s NW2L.  Interestingly, when it comes to pace, it looks like the biggest battle is going to be for who can sit in last early.  Very few of these horses want anything to do with the pace, and one of the few that might actually take the lead, 36/1 Star Rock, doesn’t look like she has the stamina to make it count.  But she may be the wildcard, because without her, it’s Henty Beam’s pace to set (Universal Strike and Sea Da Bears look like the only other two that could be close).  If Star Rock pushes the pace, Henty Beam might end up running a little faster up from than she wants to.  But if she doesn’t push, the race setup would allow Henty Beam to set whatever pace she wanted to, and she’s got the stamina to withhold some of the late charges from the closers.  Ultimately, I think the pace plays a big role in this one, and the closers just won’t have the chance to get there.  I’m going with (1) Henty Beam, (2) Cat Skoozie, (3) Tete Crick.  But don’t quote me on that.

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Indiana – Alw NW3L @ 8f

2)      Ontario – Alw NW3L @ 9f-T

3)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 9f-T

4)      California – Allowance @ 9f

5)      Victoria-AUS – Alw NW4L @ 6.5f-T

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

7)      Arizona – Alw NW4x @ 8.25f

8)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f-T (Fillies)

9)      Oregon – Alw NW1x @ 6.5f-T

 

Views (245)

Feb 162019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  Rain came and turned the dirt track good, but that didn’t affect Simply Golden.  The horse that I expected to be setting the pace, Simply Golden actually sat 4th early, a couple of lengths off of pacesetter American Trumpet.  But while American Trumpet had the skill to outlast most of the other competitors, Simply Golden was simply too much, as he grabbed the lead in the stretch and never looked back, winning by 1-1/2 lengths at 6/1 and picking up a 99 SP.  American Trumpet held on for 2nd (with a 97 SP) as the 7/2 favorite, and Aldarity closed from 10th early to edge out Cryptic Sunshine for 3rd at 7/1 (a 96 SP).

—-

This week, the Future Stars Series heads back to the female ranks and back to Louisiana, where 11 3yo fillies are preparing to compete in a NW3L Allowance at 8 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Carson’s Prayer (Songandaprayer x Carson City x Hennessy) – Owned by maverick – 10/1

Race Record: 5:2-2-0; $82,715

Race History: A 2 time winner on the local circuit, Carson’s Prayer made a jump from the local races to an open stakes in November 2018 and held her own, finishing a closing 5th at 7.5f on the dirt.  Stretched out to 8f in an open allowance to kick off 2019, she caught a 4 horse field and sat 3rd early before moving and coming up just short at the wire, earning a career high 90 SP for her first route effort.  Normally a deeper closer, Carson’s Prayer may have been hurt by the short field in that race, where there was absolutely no pace.  She has seen SP improvements in each of her 5 races and looks to improve again with a larger field here.

Pedigree: This Florida-bred was bred to be a speedball.  Songandaprayer, pensioned to start the year, was the #5 ranked Florida sire in 2018.  Historically in the sim, he has only had 1 graded stakes winner, 19yo mare Pray For Me, who was a G1 winner at 7 furlongs in the Dancer Cap back in 2004.  Much like her, Songandaprayer produces mainly dirt sprinters, with 75% of earnings on dirt and 63% in sprints.  His 2018 crop includes 29 runners, of which 17 have found the winner’s circle at a 15% rate.   Carson’s Prayer is the best of those, as she is one of only 2 to have won a non-hot allowance. Songandaprayer has been crossed with Carson City 3 times in the past 4 years (and 3 more times between 10 and 15 years ago), and Carson’s Prayer is definitely looking to be the best of the crop.  The cross has produced primarily dirt sprinters, but of the recent three, Carson’s Prayer is the only one with a win above the hot level.

Expectations: Carson’s Prayer is one of those horses that seems to be running well beyond her pedigree, and it’s interesting to see how she’s been doing on the track.  Unlike what you would expect from the pedigree, she’s shown to be a closer that loves the route distances, and unlike her last race, she’ll get a pace that she will love to run into here.  It’s always nice to have those Florida local races to fall back on, but Carson’s Prayer looks like she should be able to fit in just fine in open company here.  A real contender.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Safety Guide (Bernardini x Kingmambo x Storm Cat) – Owned by harrylanlow26 – 9/2 (f-t)

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $62,940

Race History: Safety Guide’s 6th place finish in race #2, her first try at the NW2L level, looks to be a blip in her form, even though she only finished 1 length back in a blanket finish.  She comes into this race off of a very strong victory in a NW2L allowance at 7.5f back in December 2018.  In that race, she battled for the lead early, then grabbed it and never looked back, cruising to a 1-1/2 length win and earning a career high 89 SP (her 2nd consecutive SP increase).  The second place horse in that race came back to win an allowance next time out with a 96 SP, and 5 of the other 7 horses in that race to have come back to the track also hit the board in allowances (1 of those 5 also earned a victory).  Safety Guide will add an extra ½ furlong here to try routing for the first time in her first race of 2019.

Pedigree: Bernardini, the #33 ranked US sire in 2018 and winner of the 2005 Preakness Stakes, currently stands in Kentucky for $50,000.  In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #39, with 87 winners from 168 runners to date (winning at a 14.5% rate, well below Bernardini’s average of 20.5%).  The class includes 4 stakes winners but no graded winners as of yet, with those 4 spread across turf routes, dirt routes, and dirt sprints.  Overall, Bernardini foals find dirt routes preferable, with 70% of earnings in routes and 67% on dirt (though in general, Bernardini’s turf speed figures are slightly better than the dirt SPs, relative to the competition).  The Bernardini x Kingmambo cross is pretty popular, having been used 17 times in the past 4 years.  Among those 17 is 4yo G2 winner Outback Balkan, a horse that has found most of her success in dirt miles similar to today’s race.  Although she is the only stakes winner from the group of 17, the cross does seem to excel in 8-9f races (both on dirt and turf).  In addition to Safety Guide and Outback Balkan, one other horse from those 17 also share Storm Cat as a DDS, 3yo Bernastorm, who unfortunately has not done more than break her maiden in 7 career starts to date, doing most of her running on the turf.

Expectations: It’s been a solid start to a career for this blueblood, and Safety Guide is looking to continue that trend here.  She’s very likely to sit close to the lead early, and possibly push the pace.  But if there are a lot of other horses doing the same, she may not have quite the same burst as some of the others.  Her second race is a bit of a caution tale, as she only sat 1-1/2 lengths off the pace but had 6 horses in front of her, and she was never able to break through that pack.  Unfortunately, this race looks to be setting up similarly, but may with an extra ½ furlong Safety Guide will have a little more time to push forward.  She’s got a decent chance here.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Dilys Price (Quality Road x Mambo Town [Street Sense x Kingmambo]) – Owned by cwk3 – 7/1

Race Record: 5:2-2-0; $68,815

Race History: Dilys Price didn’t like losing a nose photo 2 back, so she comes into this race off of a dominant 1-3/4 length win in a NW2L Allowance at 7f.  In that field of 8, she sat 4th early, 3 lengths back, before turning on the jets in the stretch and pulling away, picking up a 92 SP for her effort.  She has seen her speed figures improve in each of her 5 races to date, and has progressed in distances to lead to the 8f effort today.  The horse she defeated in her last race came back to win an allowance next time out with an 89 SP.  3 races back Dilys Price struggled in her first allowance try, finishing 7th and trailing today’s competitor D’Oro Cookies (who finished 4th), but she moved forward in her two most recent tries and brings that momentum into this, her first race of 2019.

Pedigree: Quality Road, standing for $150,000 in Kentucky, has moved up the real life ranks 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 #110 with 46 winners from 93 runners (winning at a 15% rate).  Only one of those 93 is currently a stakes winner, and that horse, Quality Killer, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf, though his best race to date was a recent 3rd in a stakes 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).  Dilys Price is the only foal of 7yo he-mare Mambo Town.  Mambo Town was very successful in his own racing career, with 6 wins in 32 races, scoring at the stakes level and G2 placed, all at 9f on the dirt.  He did his best career running at the 9f dirt distance, though he ended his career showing some solid efforts on the turf as well.  Street Sense mares have been sent to Quality Road 3 times in the past 4 years with moderate success; one of the others has picked up a couple of allowance wins in short (5f) sprints, whereas the other, 3yo Outlaw Road, has done her best running on the dirt as distances increase.

Expectations: Dilys Price has really come on strong in her last 2 races and is certainly trending in the right direction.  Expect her to stalk the pace here, though if she’s not prepared for her first route race, she may end up closer to the pace than she would normally want.  If she’s able to settle, Dilys Price has shown the ability to pass those horses in front and draw off.  She’s faced strong competition in the past, has a solid career high SP, and has a strong chance in this race…as long as she can get the distance, which could be a concern given her sire.

Watch Level: High

#4 – Need Jumper Cables (Jump Start x Latchkey Kid [Rahy x Broad Brush]) – Owned by scrapmetal – 22/1

Race Record: 2:2-0-0; $39,780

Race History: Need Jumper Cables is one of only 2 undefeated runners in this race, but undefeated may be a little misleading for this miss.  Debuting in a 4.5f local MSW back in July 2018, she beat a 4 horse field (including 1 *CPU horse) by ¾ length with a 68 SP.  Then following a sale at auction, the current owner ran her back at 5f in a local NW1x in December 2018, and again she found a 4 horse field (including 1 *CPU horse) that she soundly defeated, winning by 1-1/2 lengths with a 71 SP.  Need Jumper Cables enters this race off of that win, but this is a monster jump in both class and distance, up to an open company NW3L with 11 horses.

Pedigree: Jump Start, currently standing in Pennsylvania for $10,000, was the #2 ranked Mid-Atlantic sire and #42 ranked overall US sire in 2018.  His sim rankings have not been as strong, and his 2018 crop currently ranks #142, with 26 winners from 49 runners (winning at a 15.5% rate).  Jump Start’s progeny have a preference for dirt, and historically have been pretty evenly split between sprinters and routers, though over the past 3 years they have tended more towards sprints.  His progeny tend to do a lot of racing at the local level.  Need Jumper Cables is the 6th foal from 12yo mare Latchkey Kid, who managed a G2 win among her 8 wins over 32 starts.  That G2 win, as well as her other career stakes win, both came at the 8f dirt distance of today’s race, and she clearly excelled as a miler (primarily on dirt, though she did manage a couple of turf mile victories as well).  Her other progeny have not quite taken after her stakes success, though all 5 prior progeny have managed at least 1 non-local, non-hot allowance victory.  Most of those horses have similarly found success in dirt routes, mainly at the 8-10f distances.

Expectations: It’s tough to tell exactly what to expect from Need Jumper Cables here.  On the one hand, she’s 2 for 2 lifetime.  On the other, it was two very weak fields, and she didn’t put up particularly impressive speed figures to land those victories. She dueled for the lead in both of those races, though at 4.5 and 5 furlongs, there’s isn’t much time to do anything other than duel for the lead.  My take is that she seems like a decent local runner for the PA-DE track, but she looks to be in over her head here.  I expect her to break towards the back and stay there; but who knows.

Watch Level: Low

#5 – Street Sense Lady (Street Sense x Seattle’s Giant [Giant’s Causeway x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by ddkstables13 – 9/2 (f-t)

Race Record: 5:2-0-3; $73,390

Race History: Never off the board in 5 starts, Street Sense Lady comes into this race off of back-to-back 3rd place finishes in 8.5f allowances, earning a career high 94 SP in her most recent race.  That most recent race, a NW3L allowance in January, saw Street Sense Lady set a slow pace early, but she couldn’t fend off 2 other horses, one of whom was a previous stakes winner and one that was second in the G1 Breeders Bowl Juvenile Filly.  Street Sense Lady showed her talent in that race, however, and finished ahead of today’s opponent D’Oro Cookies (who ran 6th).  She has spent most of her 5 race career at the 8-8.5f distance, and in her best runs has sat a couple of lengths off of the leaders before cruising to victory late.  She’ll try that again here.

Pedigree: Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner and #17 ranked US sire in 2018, stands for $50,000 in Kentucky.  In the sim, he’s been a pretty consistent sire, and his 2018 crop is no different, as it currently ranks #37 overall.  That crop is comprised of 123 runners to date, with 64 winners winning at an 18% rate, and among those winners are 5 stakes winners.  Street Sense’s progeny prefer dirt routes (67% of earnings on dirt, 61% in routes), though the stakes winners from the current 3yo crop are evenly split among dirt/turf and sprints/routes. Seattle’s Giant, a 5yo he-mare, struggled on the track, but with the Giant’s Causeway x Seattle Slew bloodlines, it was pretty much a guarantee that he’d head to the breeding shed.  Seattle’s Giant only won 1 race in his 19 race career, in career race #16, but that win came at 8.5f and was a career high speed figure.  With that said, he retired just as he started to get in the swing of things in the 7-9f range (though 9f may have been his limit) and may have been a horse that got better with age (he only ran once after 3). Very surprisingly given the bloodlines, Seattle’s Giant never tried turf.  Giant’s Causeway is one of the most popular damsires for Street Sense in the sim, with the cross being used 18 times in the past 4 years, resulting in 2 graded stakes winners (1 in turf routes, 1 in dirt sprints).  The dirt sprint winner, 6yo Fifty Sense, is similarly a Street Sense x Giant’s Causeway x Seattle Slew, as are 3 others (one is merely a maiden winner in 18 starts, while the other two are each also 3yos with only 3 career starts).

Expectations: If the pace ends up non-existent, Street Sense Lady could be out in front, but that’s unlikely in this field.  So it’s a little more likely that Street Sense Lady will be sit midpack early and try and use an extra gear to catch the leaders at the end.  It’s hard to look away from a horse that has not yet finished off of the board, especially when that horse has these bloodlines.  And Street Sense Lady comes into this race off of a field-best 94 SP, indicating that she moved forward when maturing to a 3yo.  She ran respectably against 2 stakes caliber horses last time, and she’s got the ability to get the job done here.  Solid chances.

Watch Level: High

#6 – D’Oro Cookies (Goldencents x Madam D’Oro (Medaglia D’Oro x Unbridled) – Owned by gangly2 – 5/1

Race Record: 7:2-2-0; $87,562

Race History: D’Oro Cookies comes into this race, her second of 2019, off of a fading 6th place finish in a NW3L allowance at 8.5f, where she trailed today’s opponent Street Sense Lady (who finished 3rd), but earned a career high 89 SP.  Her speed figures have stayed consistent since reaching the route distances, putting up 87-89 SPs in each of her last 3 races.  Her last win was 3 back at 8f, where she sat just off the leaders early and managed to grab a photo win.  Of note, she finished ahead of today’s opponent Dilys Price in a NW2L allowance at 7f back in September 2018, finishing 4th (with a 79 SP) to her opponent’s 7th place finish.

Pedigree: Goldencents, a 2-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, was the #2 ranked first-crop US sire of 2018 and currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky.  His 4th sim crop, in 2018, currently ranks #114, with 35 winners from 67 runners scoring at a nearly 18% rate.  His progeny are principally dirt sprinters (70% earnings on dirt, 68% in sprints).  He has not yet had a graded stakes winner in the sim, though he has had 9 total stakes winners from his first 3 crops to date.  The 2018 crop is stakes-less thus far, with 2 horses stakes placed in dirt sprints.  D’Oro Cookies is the 8th foal from 13yo mare Madam D’Oro, a winner of 3 from 17 races in her career.  Madam D’Oro was multiple stakes placed in dirt sprints as a 2yo (in fields of 4 and 7), but did her fastest running in turf 8-8.5f races.  Her best progeny to date, 10yo Indioro (Indian Charlie), is a stakes winner at 7f, but he is stakes placed at 8.5f and was pretty consistent at any distance up to 8.5f on the dirt.  Madam D’Oro’s only other stakes placed foal, Compasso D’Oro (Pure Prize), was most successful in dirt sprints, but most of the rest of her progeny have done their best running in dirt routes.  Medaglia D’Oro mares have been the most popular cross for Goldencents in the sim, with 10 such pedigrees in the sim, of which 2 are stakes placed and in general, those horses find the 8f distance on the dirt to be an ideal place to race.

Expectations: D’Oro Cookies is likely to try to sit just off the pace in this race.  She’s been pretty consistent at this distance, but her last race leads to some concern that other 3yo fillies may have taken a jump that she didn’t, as it’s the first time in her career that she fell off as far as she did.  There’s a chance, though, that 8.5f was a touch too long for her (and the competition in that race was tough, as the top 2 were a G1-placed filly and a stakes winner, respectively, coming into that race), which gives her an excuse.  But you only get one of those; she’ll need to prove here that she has improved with the rest of her 3yo class.  If she does, she’s got a shot.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – Henty Kelee (Awesome Again x Finke Leeton [Uncle Mo x Smart Strike]) – Owned by chatham01 – 5/1

Race Record: 2:2-0-0; $62,940

Race History: The sponsor of this race, Henty Kelee comes in as one of only 2 undefeated horses here.  But those 2 prior races were very impressive.  In her maiden score back in November 2018 at 5.5f, she sprinted to the lead and never looked back, easily winning by 1-1/2 and earning a 77 SP.  Stretching out to 6.5f in her next race, she decided to sit a length off the leaders early, but exploded in the far turn and pulled away to win by 1-1/4, seeing a massive 14 point jump in SP up to a career high 91.  The only drawback is that only 2 of her previous 19 competitors have come back to the track to win a race (and one of those was in a claimer), and the horse she beat last time out could only manage a 5th place finish in her next race.  Henty Kelee will stretch out another 1.5 furlongs here for her first 2019 race.

Pedigree: Awesome Again, who stands for a private fee, was the #50 ranked sire in the US in 2018.  In the sim, his #12 ranked 2018 crop includes 178 runners, from which 102 have won to date at a 19.5% rate.  The 3yo crop includes 4 graded stakes winners – among them is My Awesome King, the 2yo Turf Male Sim Eclipse Award winner (who appears to be trying out the Bluegrass Derby trail) – and 8 other stakes winners.  Overall, Awesome Again’s sim foals tend to prefer dirt routes (68% earnings on dirt and in routes).  Henty Kelee is the first foal from 5yo mare Finke Leeton, who was sent to the breeding shed early.  Finke Leeton was a winner of 3 from 21 career races, with her best coming at 7-9f on the dirt.  She did manage a 4th place finish in a stakes at 8f early in her career, but she also showed some distance limitations beyond 9f.  That should be fine in this race, but it’s something to consider for the future.  Uncle Mo mares have been sent to Awesome Again 7 times in the past 4 years, and although none have yet achieved stakes success, 2 of the other 6 are allowance winners and 2 others are 3yos with only 2-3 career starts.

Expectations: Expectations are sky-high for this blueblood 3yo, and Henty Kelee has lived up to expectations thus far.  She showed that she can sit off the pace in her last race, but she’s got speed and the real question is how hard she wants to push it.  She’s got the talent, but she’s facing a field that has more experience, and with the quality in this one, that could be an issue.  But the added half furlong here should help and she’s got the ability to get the job done.  She’s definitely got a shot in here.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Banished From Hell (Bernardini x Deputy Minister x Distorted Humor) – Owned by buffalosteve2 – 7/1

Race Record: 4:2-0-1; $72,940

Race History: Banished From Hell is the most decorated horse in the field, picking up a 3rd place in a residency-restricted stakes race at 7.5f 2 races back.  She comes into this race off of a nearly 4 month layoff, where back in October 2018 Banished From Hell picked up a 1 length win in an 8f NW2L Allowance (in her first allowance run after some stakes efforts).  In that race, Banished From Hell battled for the lead early and won the battle, prevailing with a career high 85 SP.  Unfortunately, that NW2L race doesn’t look too strong, as none of her 11 competitors came back to a better than 4th place finish next time out.

Pedigree: Bernardini is described above under Safety Guide.  The Bernardini x Deputy Minister cross has been used 14 times in the past 4 years (not including 2yos).  Among those, only 1, Il Danzatore, has picked up a stakes win, completing the feat at 9.5f on the dirt, though one of the 3yos, Pirate Minister, is stakes placed in a dirt sprint (and seems to be improving with distance).  In general, the cross seems to most prefer dirt classic distances.

Expectations: Banished From Hell has some early speed and can challenge the pace up front.  The good news for her is that she doesn’t need the lead, and is content to merely push the pace.  She may need to sit close, as race #3 of her career saw her try to stalk from lengths behind, but she was unable to make up ground on the 2 ahead of her (which included a maiden).  The speed figures are moving in the right direction, but there might be a little too much pressure up front for a horse coming off of a 4 month layoff.  Banished From hell has some solid potential, especially as she spends more time in routes, but she might need a race here before really ramping back up.

Watch Level: Medium

#9 – Battle Thy Mom (Battle of Midway x Honour Thy Mom [To Honor and Serve x More Than Ready]) – Owned by ehteam9 – 10/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $43,449

Race History: Battle Thy Mom has shown exactly what you would want to see out of a horse with only 3 career races.  After easily breaking her maiden in start #1 at 6.5f in August 2018, she took 3 months off and came back with a solid 4th, seeing a 10 point SP jump.  In her first try of 2019, at today’s 8f distance in a NW2L, she sprinted out of the gate, grabbed the lead, and never looked back, opening to win by 2.5 lengths and earning a career high 92 SP (another 10 point jump).  The second place horse in that race came back next time out to run 3rd with an 87 SP.  Battle Thy Mom will try to make it 3 for 4 here.

Pedigree: Battle of Midway, winner of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, is an interesting tale as he was retired after the 2017 season, but due to a missing gene in his DNA, he turned out to be subfertile, and returned to racing in 2018.  But he got 5 real life mares pregnant, which was enough to establish him as a 1 year sim sire, and that 1 crop currently has 71 runners, of which 26 have found the winner’s circle at a 12% rate.  One of those 26, Torpedo Strike, is a stakes winner at 8f on the turf, but it’s hard to tell whether his progeny would have preferred dirt or turf, or the ideal distances for them to run. Battle Thy Mom is the 4th foal from 8yo mare Honour Thy Mom, a stakes winning mare.  Honour Thy Mom won 3 of 16 races in her career, with her stakes win and other stakes placing coming in owner-restricted stakes races at the 8-9f dirt distances.  Her other 2 wins came in dirt sprints, but she was able to run well anywhere from 7-9f on the dirt.  Her first foal, 6yo Challenge Coin (Goldencents) is an owner-restricted stakes winner and 2-time open stakes placed horse, all in dirt sprints.  Honour Thy Mom’s 2 other foals to date have also managed to run their best races in sprints (one on dirt, and one, to the extent there was a “best” race, on turf).  Shockingly (to me), Battle Thy Mom is only one of two 3yos from Battle of Midway bred to a To Honor and Serve mare; the other has not run past 5.5f on dirt yet, and is 0 for 2 at the MSW level.

Expectations: Battle Thy Mom has speed, and a lot of it.  She’s gonna want to blast out of the gate and try to set the pace, and if her last race is any indication, she’ll be able to set a very fast pace with something left in the tank.  If she can run back to that last race, she’s got a great chance in here.  But it’s interesting to note that her only loss came in the only race where she didn’t have the lead early; so she may need the lead in order to win.  She does have the speed to get that lead though.

Watch Level: High

#10 – Xeromoz (Flatter x Black Tie Affair x Riverman) – Owned by legends4 – 12/1

Race Record: 7:2-1-3; $81,324

Race History: Xeromoz has only missed the board once, in her second career race (where she finished 4th), but it took her 6 tries to break her maiden.  But once she did, the flood gates opened, and she comes into this race on a 2 race winning streak, running nearly identical races at 7f on the dirt. In both, Xeromoz sat 3/4 length back early, pounced in the far turn to grab the lead, and then maintain her speed throughout, winning by 1-1/2 each time.  She comes into this race off of a career high 88 SP from her NW1x try, consistent with her maiden-winning 87 SP (which was a big jump over her prior 75).  The 2nd place horse from her last race came back to run 3rd with an 88 SP next time out.  This will be Xeromoz’s first try in a route.

Pedigree: Flatter, the #10 ranked US sire in 2018, doesn’t get the same sim acclaim that his real life counterpart does.  His 2018 sim crop is currently ranked #125 (trailing only his 2017 crop, ranked #97), with 80 runners and 35 winners, winning at an 18% rate (well above Flatter’s 14% average).  Flatter’s progeny find themselves at their best in dirt sprints (69% earnings on dirt, 58% sprints), exemplified by the best of the 3yo crop, Flat Flap, who is G2-placed and a stakes winner at 6f on the dirt.  But that doesn’t preclude route success, and Flatter The Lady, his other 3yo stakes winner, has done her best running at 8-9f on dirt thus far in her career. Flatter was bred to a Black Tie Affair mare once in the sim, but that occurred back in 2005, so it doesn’t really help analyze Xeromoz here.

Expectations: The nice things about Xeromoz is that her running style has been consistent, so you know what to expect.  She should sit somewhere around 1 length off the pacesetter early, regardless of how many other horses are around her, and then try to grab the lead late.  She may be a little more forwardly placed with that same sprint speed in this route effort, but looking at the pacesetters here, Xeromoz might find herself in familiar territory.  Coming off of 2 wins is nice, and the improvement she saw in breaking her maiden against a decent field is promising.  The only question is whether the 8f will be problematic, and the sprint pedigree scares me a little here.  She’s got a good case to make, but I’ll take this as a “watch, don’t bet” race for her.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – A Queen Is Born (More Than Ready x Heavenly Touched [Street Cry x Theatrical]) – Owned by stormbound – 21/1

Race Record: 8:2-0-1; $15,966

Race History: After struggling since breaking her maiden on the turf in race #4, A Queen is Born finally broke the slump in a Hot Allowance in her first race of 2019.  Catching 3 *CPU horses at 7.5f on the dirt, she let the pacesetter get away on a loose lead early, before reeling her in and easily winning by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 75 SP (tied for a career high with an 8.5f effort).  Although her maiden score was at 8f on the turf, her two prior dirt efforts at the 8-8.5f distance saw her sit towards the back early and stay there throughout the race.  She’ll try to improve off the win here.

Pedigree: More Than Ready, the #8 ranked US sire in 2018, currently stands in Kentucky for $80,000.  In the sim, his 2018 crop is stellar so far, currently ranking #7 with 90 winners from 140 runners (winning at a nearly 22% rate).  Those 90 winners includes a G3 winner at 6f in More Than Regal, and 8 other stakes winners, primarily sprinting. More Than Ready’s progeny have a strong preference towards dirt (67% of earnings on dirt) and favor sprinting generally (58% sprints).  Heavenly Touched, the 8yo dam of A Queen is Born, was a G2 winner in during her 28 race career, which ended with 9 wins (3 stakes and 1 G2), primarily on the turf at 8-9f.  Her biggest victory was in the Celine Stakes – G2 (8.5f-T) back in 2014.  The bloodlines look strong initially, as her first foal, 5yo Cry From Above (Mastercraftsman (IRE)) is a G3 winner herself, also finding most of her success (which includes 3 stakes wins and 3 more stakes placings) on the turf at the 8-9f distances.  The second foal, 4yo Dreaming of Jen (Oasis Dream (GB)), has been better on the dirt, indicating some multi-surface ability in the bloodlines.  The More Than Ready x Street Cry cross has been used 13 times in the past 4 years, leading to two stakes winners, the most promising of whom is 3yo Ready For A Forty, who is G2-placed at 7f and has won 3 straight stakes races at 8-8.5f on the dirt.

Expectations: It’s nice to see A Queen is Born pick up a win after 3 very disappointing allowance tries, but that enthusiasm is tempered a bit by the win coming in a 4 horse hot allowance against 3 *CPU horses.  It’s certainly possible that she just needed a tune-up and will blast ahead here.  But her past performances haven’t really put her in the same class as some of her competition here.  Her 75 SP career high is well off the best here, and she’s struggled mightily keeping up with other competition at this distance.  I’ll need to pass here.

Watch Level: Low

—-

That’s the field for this NW3L allowance.  There are a lot of talented fillies here, and most of this field has a real chance to win.  On paper, there looks to be a lot of speed in here.  My guess is that the most speed belongs to either Battle Thy Mom or Henty Kelee, so I expect one of them to be the pacesetter, while Safety Guide and Banished From Hell may push them as well.  But that kind of pace sets up well for those coming from the back.  I think Carson’s Prayer, who should be flying from way back late, will get a good trip, but ultimately I’m siding with Street Sense Lady here, who I think will get first run.  My predictions are: (1) Street Sense Lady; (2) Carson’s Prayer; (3) Battle Thy Mom.  But this is anyone’s race.

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Berkshire (ENG) – Alw NW3L @ 7f-T (Division 1) (Division 2)

2)       New York – Alw NW3L @ 7f

3)      Italy – Alw NW2L @ 7f

4)      Kentucky – Local Alw NW4x @ 8f

5)      New South Wales – Alw NW2L @ 9.5f-T

6)      Pennsylvania – Alw NW3x @ 8f-T

7)      Florida – Alw NW3y @ 9f-T

8)      Louisiana – Alw NW3L @ 9.5f

Views (168)

Feb 082019
 

First, a quick recap of last week’s race.  I finally got something right!  Giant Pioneer was much the fastest out of the gate and busted out to a 3-1/2 length lead, but couldn’t hold off the late charge of Serve of Honor.  Serve of Honor was victorious, 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Giant Pioneer.  Rained For Forty stalked the pace and hung in there, finishing a solid third.

This week, the Future Stars Series checks in on some allowance winners for the first time!  We head to the state of Kansas, where 11 3yos compete in a NW3L at 8 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – I Want Money (Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence x Fappiano) – Owned by ashokfarms1 – 25/1

Race Record: 8:2-1-0; $16,014

Race History: One of 5 geldings in the field, I Want Money is the only one that has seen a change in ownership.  Originally bred and campaigned by harrylan5, after 3 poor MSW efforts, I Want Money was gelded and dropped into MCL races.  His first effort there, at 5f on the turf, wasn’t much better, but his second MCL try, this time back at 5f on the dirt in September 2018 for a $5,000 tag, finally saw him break through.  In that race, he once again got away from the gate slow and started last, but unlike his previous 4 efforts, he showed a solid closing kick and closed to win by ½ length, earning a 70 SP.  He took a shot at the starter level but wasn’t able to keep up with the better horses, so he went back to the claiming ranks and tried a $3,000 NW2L at 5f on dirt, where he again broke slow but beat the field of 5 by ½ length.  That win earned him a career-high 79 SP.  Ashokfarms1 claimed him out of that race and tried to stretch him out beyond 5f for the first time, running an a $60,000 NW3L claimer at 8.25f on the turf.  I Want Money was no match for the winner there, but held his own in 2nd, picking up a 74 SP.  He heads back to the dirt for his first dirt route effort, and first 3yo race, here.

Pedigree: Wicked Strong, a real life dirt router, currently stands for $7,500 in Kentucky but has not yet had any foals make their racing debut.  In the sim, he has a little more history, and his third-year crop of 2018 currently contains 86 runners, of which 32 have achieved victory, winning at a 13% rate (lower than his 18.5% rate for older horses).  As a sire, Wicked Strong’s progeny prefer dirt (77% of earnings on dirt) with a very slight preference for sprinting (59% sprints, 145 vs. 143 SP index).  His 3yo crop, meanwhile, has not seen any stakes winners yet, though 2 are stakes placed (one graded) in dirt sprints.  The only other horse with the Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence cross was unsuccessful in 4 career races, with only a 3rd place finish to show (he is still active, but has not raced since 2016).

Expectations: The new owner clearly felt that I Want Money needed to stretch beyond the 5 furlong distance, and I don’t disagree.  He’s a horse that showed slow gate speed but was able to close a bit, and it’ll be very interesting to see what he does with some extra distance on the dirt for the first time.  If he was coming back in a $5,000 NW3L claimer, I’d love his chances.  But this is a huge class jump for a horse that hasn’t been successful above a $5K tag, and thus far he’s been a cut below the best of this field.  There’s definitely some unknown, and potentially untapped, ability in dirt routes, and the Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence cross certainly indicates he might like some distance, but I think he’s probably overmatched here.

Watch Level: Low

#2 – Carson Day Ted (New Year’s Day x Blackwatch Plaid [Carson City x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by tcopyright – 6/1

Race Record: 8:1-1-0; ($24,166)

Race History: Carson Day Ted began his career back in April 2018 and was immediately successful.  Debuting in a 5.5f MSW, he sat midpack early before turning on the jets and picking off horses one by one.  He would go on to win the race by ½ length, earning a 70 SP.  That was good enough for his owner to try a stakes race next time out, but Carson Day Ted never stood a chance in that one, only gaining slightly while staying in the back of the back.  Dropping back to the allowance level, Carson Day Ted has been struggling a bit ever since, and comes into this race as the only entrant eligible for a NW2L race. However, while the results have not been there (other than a very close 2nd, after getting caught at the wire in Race #6, by a horse that would go on to post a 99 SP in a 9f allowance win in his 3yo debut),  Carson Day Ted showed a significant improvement is speed figures once he hit the routing distance back in Race #5.  In that race, his 4th place finish in an open allowance earned him an 82 SP, and he has been improving ever since.  He comes into this race off of a solid stalking race where he finished 4th, picking up a 90 SP (a career high) in his 2019 debut.

Pedigree: The 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, New Year’s Day was the #23 ranked second-crop sire in the US in 2018, before relocating to Brazil for the 2019 breeding season.  His 2018 sim crop consists of 25 runners and 13 winners to date, picking up victories at a 16% rate.  His progeny, meanwhile, have been pretty ambivalent about where they run, with relative earnings splits (52/48 turf/dirt, 58/42 sprint/route) across categories. His 2018 crop is likewise split, with his only stakes placed foal most successful in turf routes, but his top earner being a dirt router.  New Year’s Day has a lone graded stakes winner through 6 crops thus far, 7yo Danish New Year, who struck it big in the 2017 Movieland Turf Cup - G1 (10f-T)..  Carson Day Ted is the 7th foal from 17yo dam Blackwatch Plaid, who was 3 of 40 in her career.  Those 3 wins include 2 dirt route allowances (at 8.5f and 10f), where she showed her top abilities.  Her 6 other foals have also shown affinity for the dirt (none of the 16 collective wins from her foals have come on turf), with some preferring routes and some sprints.  The most impressive, Black Days Ted (Harlan’s Holiday), is a 5 time winner (all non-maiden wins at the allowance level) in dirt routes, all at 8-8.5f who has broken a 100 SP 15 times, including a max of 111.  Unfortunately, he could do no better than 5th in 5 career stakes efforts.  New Year’s Day has been paired with a Carson City mare one other time in the sim, but that pairing did not end well, with the horse being a career claimer with only a single win in 11 races.

Expectations: Carson City Ted is going to sit a few lengths back in this race and stalk the pace, but he’ll probably try to stay in the top half of the field.  After losing ground towards the end in his first few route efforts, it appeared that he matured a bit as a 3yo and showed some speed at the end.  But that may have been the result of a pace setup that was unsustainable, which kept Carson City Ted a little further off the pacesetter early than he normally sits, and then left him helpless as some of the closers in the field blew past.  He’s shown some nice progression recently, but he may be up against it here with a jump in class to horses that have already won at this level.

Watch Level: Medium

#3 – Hyperkinetic (Honor Code x Mystic Freak [Unbridled’s Song x Kris S.]) – Owned by amity – 10/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-1; $70,660

Race History: Hyperkinetic will look like a brand new horse here in his 3yo debut, as this will be his first race following his gelding.  Back when he was whole, he began his career sprinting, but after settling for 4th in his debut, he came back at 7f on the dirt in June 2018 and broke through.  Sitting just 2 lengths off the pace early, Hyperkinetic had no interest in sitting back and grabbed the lead as they hit the far turn, grabbing the lead and the holding off a late run by the deepest closer.  The win saw his SP actually drop to 69, but a win is a win, and Hyperkinetic continued to be stretched out.  After a 3rd place run at 7.5f, he finally reached the full mile in his 4th career race and engaged a new gear.  In that race, he sat midpack early, 3 off the leaders, before moving in the backstretch and grabbing the lead, never looking back and pulling away to win by 2-1/2 lengths.  Hyperkinetic earned a career high 81 SP there, but unfortunately the field looks a little suspect, as the competition has combined for 2 wins in 32 collective races following that September 2018 race.  Hyperkinetic comes into this race off of his second 81 SP at 8f, this time in an open allowance where he seemed either overmatched or very distracted, finishing a well beaten 5thAmity hopes that the recent procedure keeps him more focused here.

Pedigree: Honor Code is one of my personal favorites (watching him inhale Liam’s Map in the 2015 Whitney at Saratoga was the single most unbelievable race I’ve ever seen in person)…but if you’re still reading this, you’re not interested in my favorite horses, you’re interested in facts.  Honor Code stands for $40,000 in Kentucky, but his real progeny have not yet hit the track.  In the sim, his #26-ranked 2018 crop includes 126 runners to date, with 54 winners winning at a 19.5% rate.  Of those 54, only 1 3yo has reached the stakes winner circle, in a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f.  Honor Code’s sim progeny have a strong preference for dirt, with 82% of earnings on the main track.  His foals seem to 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). Unlike Hyperkinetic, 8yo Mystic Freak was not gelded and therefore was bred as a he-mare to Honor Code to produce this lone foal.  In his 33 race career, Mystic Freak picked up 9 wins, 6 of them at the allowance level.  He also managed a 2nd place finish (in a photo) in one of his 5 (4 non-residency-restricted) stakes races, finding success on the turf at 8.5f.  In general, he was successful on both turf and dirt, and showed ability everywhere from 6.5-8.5f, though his best overall races came on the turf.  As a 4th year sire, it’s interesting to see that sim players LOVE the Honor Code x Unbridled’s Song cross.  27 horses have been bred over the last 3 years with that cross.  Those 27 horses include Unbreakable Code, a G3 winner at 8f on the dirt as a 3yo, and one other stakes winner.  The cross seems to strongly prefer dirt overall, with most of the runners finding most of their success in sprints (though that could be a function of age).

Expectations: Gelding is a relatively new concept in the sim, and one that I have not personally used, so I’m not sure how significant of an impact it makes on a horse.  Hyperkinetic is expected to sit several lengths off the leaders here, probably midpack.  The question is whether he gets a boost from the gelding, his 3yo debut, and/or his 3.5 month layoff.  His last race was a little concerning, but he was facing an open allowance field that he may not have been ready for just yet.  In addition, he seems to be on a pattern; he wins even numbered races.  This is race #6, so can he do it again here?  I think it comes down to the impact of gelding, but if it pushes Hyperkinetic up to the next level, he’s definitely got a shot in this field.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Magnolia Barbara (Quality Road x Please Applaud [Street Cry x Jump Start]) – Owned by bjbarn – 8/1

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $35,280

Race History: Magnolia Barbara, one of the least experienced horses in this race in terms of racing frequency, is one of the most experienced in terms of racing quality.  He began his career back in September 2018 in a 5.5f dirt MSW, and after stalking the pace from 3rd early, he moved forward late and grabbed the lead, drawing off to win by 1 length and earning a 79 SP.  He came back 1.5 months later, this time in a NW1x at 6f, and did it all over again.  Magnolia Barbara stalked the pace early, sitting 3 lengths back in 4th and biding his time, before finally kicking into gear deep in the stretch and grabbing the ¾ length victory, picking up an 82 SP for the effort.  Going 2 for 2 put stars in the eyes of owner bjbarn, who then sent Magnolia Barbara to the 6f Asherons Call Dirt Juvenile stakes, where he took on today’s competitor Simply Golden (who ran 4th).  Unfortunately, Magnolia Barbara showed no interest in the race, earning a career high 84 SP but never firing and finishing 8th of 11.  The 3yo will get his first chance of 2019 here after 1.5 months off in his first route attempt.

Pedigree: Quality Road was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in G1 winners) and currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky, after siring a number of real life successes.  His sim success has not quite matched that of his real life success however, as his 2018 crop currently ranks only #104, with 46 winners in 93 runners to date (his smallest crop, and worst ranking, in the last 5 years, though it may grow).  The 3yos have won at a 15.5% rate, and among them is G3 winner Quality Killer, the only stakes winner of the crop, who found success at 8f on the turf.  Unlike that horse, however, Quality Road’s sim progeny typically prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), including 2 other stakes placed horses from his 3yo crop.  In terms of distances, Quality Road’s progeny are pretty evenly split in terms of success, though the speed figures tend to be slightly higher comparatively in sprints. Please Applaud is the 11yo he-mare of Magnolia Barbara.  His pedigree may have been strong, but his racing career was anything but.  Part of that may be a symptom of his ownership.  He debuted in 2011, where he ran in 6 races, with the best SP coming at 10f on the dirt.  His owner took time off and came back in 2013, running Please Applaud twice in sprints, before leaving the game again.  Please Applaud was picked up again in 2018, but by then he was already 10 years old, well past his prime.  His last owner got him a cheap Hot Allowance win to bring the breeding costs down, but unfortunately his racing career was so sketchy that it’s hard to really know what he could have been on the track.  Quality Road has been bred to a Street Cry mare 7 times in past 4 years, producing 2 stakes winners, both in sprints (one on turf, one on dirt).

Expectations: This is Magnolia Barbara’s first route effort, and so it’s a little tough to figure what he is going to do in this one.  The stalking trips in sprints worked out for him in his first two efforts, before he was outmatched in his last stakes effort.  There’s definitely a possibility, on the pedigree side, that he can get 8f, but it’s a big jump to go from 6f to 8f for the first time, especially with only 3 career races.  The horse needs to learn how to save some of his speed for the longer races, and if anything, he was struggling to keep up in his last sprint.  But 2019 is a new year, and with a new year comes maturity.  I’m going to guess, probably incorrectly, that Magnolia Barbara tries a new tactic here and ends up sitting towards the back of the pack.  Then the only question is whether that stalker move that he made in his first 2 races can become a little more pronounced at 8f.  I’m a little skeptical.  I think Magnolia Barbara has some definite promise, but I think this race will really be the best guide for determining his future.

Watch Level: Medium

#5 – Kymarc Fiat (Munnings x Outback Fiat [Unbridled’s Song x A.P. Indy] – Owned by kymar22 – 5/1

Race Record: 4: 2-1-0; 70,315

Race History: Kymarc Fiat came out of the box strong.  Debuting at 6.5f on the dirt back in April 2018, Kymarc Fiat bolted out of the gate and never looked back, seeing his lead continue to widen until he hit the wire 2-3/4 lengths in front, earning a 75 SP in the process.  But after that race, Kymarc Fiat hit the shelf.  He came back 5 months later, trying a NW4L Allowance, where the time off took away his first step and he settled for sitting just off the pace.  He briefly grabbed the lead before settling for 2nd behind a horse in Mission of Peace (Texas Red) that has gone on to be multiple graded stakes placed in dirt sprints.  That 2nd place finish saw a big jump to an 87 SP, and Kymarc Fiat came back to a NW2L race at 6f, where he battled the pace the entire way and ended up taking the win in a blanket finish by ¼ length.  Trying one more race as a 2yo, Kymarc Fiat struggled in his most recent race at 7.5f, as he was never able to get the front and finished a disappointing 5th, though he earned a career best 88 SP in the race (2nd and 3rd from the most recent race both came back to win allowances in their next race).  This will be Kymarc Fiat’s first race in 2019.

Pedigree: Munnings, the #48 ranked US sire in 2018, currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky.  Predominately a dirt sprinter in real life, Munnings’ sim progeny have followed suit, with 67% of earnings coming on dirt and 75% in sprints.  The 2018 crop is currently Munnings’ best ranked class, at #65, with 42 winners from 80 runners to date.  None have yet reached the winner’s circle at the stakes level, though Taylor Shepard is multiple-G3 placed at 8f on the dirt and I Ate To Wynn is stakes placed in both turf sprints and routes.  Notwithstanding those oddities, Munnings’ progeny are typically sprinters.  Overall, Munnings has sired 3 graded stakes winners in his sim stud career. Kymarc Fiat is the 6th foal from 10yo mare Outback Fiat, a winner of 2 of 11 races in her career.  Outback Fiat’s best races were in the 8-8.5f dirt range, though she may have been retired before she hit her ultimate stride.  Her best foal to date has been her second, 7yo mare Dapto Fiat (Unusual Heat), who found success with a stakes win when cutting back to a 6.5f dirt sprint.  Most of Outback Fiat’s progeny have done their best running in dirt sprints, though stakes placed Gutha Fiat (Speightstown) has actually excelled in 9-12f dirt races, indicating that there’s at least some stamina in the bloodlines.  Munnings has been bred with an Unbridled’s Song mare 4 other times in the past 4 years (including 2 others to Unbridled’s Song x A.P. Indy mares), but to the extent that any of them have been successful, it has been sprinting (primarily on the dirt).

Expectations: Kymarc Fiat has been consistent since coming back to the track, and has made some promising runs.  He learned that he didn’t need the lead in order to win, though he does like to be close.  But even though the open allowance attempt in his most recent effort was a sizable class jump from the NW2L ranks, and the field seems to have been strong, I’ve got a red flag or two from the race.  Unlike his prior sprint efforts, Kymarc Fiat never challenged, or even stood a chance at getting to the front.  Furthermore, he never passed any horses in that race.  Combined with the pedigree, I can’t help but wonder if Kymarc Fiat is more of a 6f sprinter.  It’ll be very interesting to see what he does here (it’s always possible that the pull-back in the last race was jockey instructions rather than horse ability), but I’m a little worried that he doesn’t have (or want) to use the speed to get to the front here or the extra kick at the end to propel past those frontrunners.  Still, this horse is only in his 5th race and has some solid potential.

Watch Level: High

#6 – Aldarity (Aldrin x Similarity [Smart Strike x Summer Squall]) – Owned by plano25 – 7/1

Race Record: 6:2-0-2; $52,798

Race History: Aldarity enters this race as the horse of the sponsor, so one would expect big things.  The bargain bred gelding debuted in a hot race, finishing 3rd at 6.5f, and then dropped back to 5.5f where he proceeded to set the pace and fade in his next 2 races.  But when Aldarity was stretched out for the first time, in race #4 back in October 2018, he showed a quality that he had never revealed before.  Taking on a field of 12 in an 8f MSW, Aldarity battled for the lead early, then put away his challenger and the rest of the field, opening up to a 2-1/2 length win and earning an 87 SP, a 14 point jump over his prior race.  Trying winners for the first time back at 8f, he again battled for the pace but faded well back to 4th, finishing 8 lengths behind the winner and dropping to an 83 SP.  The winner from that race tried (and failed) at stakes company next time out, while 3rd came back to take an allowance with a 96 SP next time out.  Aldarity, meanwhile, rested for the rest of 2018 and came back as a 3yo in January 2019 in a  NW1x allowance, where he let another horse have the lead and sat 1 length off the pace early, before blasting past the pacesetter and opening up to win by 1-1/2 lengths.  He earned a career high 92 SP in the win (and the 4th place finisher from that one came back to take an Allowance next time out by 2 lengths with a 90 SP).

Pedigree: Aldrin, a ¾ brother to Tapit, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands in West Virginia, opening up Aldarity to the local level of races.  A freshman sire in 2018 in the sim, Aldrin’s 2018 crop includes 25 runners and 6 winners, who have succeeded at a 7.5% rate.  3 of those 6 have been successful in allowances (including Aldarity), and 75% of the earnings from the crop have come on the dirt.  It’s too early to tell distances, but the speed figures of his progeny were comparatively better when routing thus far than they have been sprinting.  Similarity, the 11yo mare, was not a great runner on the track, as she managed a single win from 16 career starts.  That win came in a 8.5f maiden effort, but there wasn’t much else to write home about.  Her 4 other foals have been a little more successful, as the 3 oldest have each picked up multiple allowance level wins.  Those three each had their own favorite distances, but it was all within the 7-10f range on dirt.  The fastest of them, Past Event (Langfuhr (CAN)), cracked the 100 SP barrier 22 times in his 36 race career, primarily at 9.5-10f, picking up 8 allowance-level wins in his career.

Expectations: The pedigree of a basement-level West Virginia sire with a maiden winning mare doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in Aldarity’s abilities.  But through 6 career races, he has shown that it’s not always about pedigree.  He comes into this race off of a field high 92 SP (no other horse in this field has cracked 90 yet) and he looked very strong in that last race.  The key question is whether he can sit off a fast pace here and not get locked in a duel for the lead.  If he gets tangled up early, he’s shown that he’s likely to fade.  But if he can run his own race and sit just off of any horse that wants to duke it out up front, Aldarity has a gear that some others in this field have not yet shown, and he can kick into that gear to grab a piece of the pie.  Aldarity is already the 2nd best foal of Aldrin in the sim, and he might move into the #1 spot after this race.

Watch Level: High

#7 – Private Outerview (Private Interview x Madam Glacken [Smoke Glacken x Dayjur]) – Owned by 1stclass – 28/1

Race Record: 5:2-0-2; $26,250

Race History: This is a sizable class jump for Private Outerview, the longshot in this field.  He began his career in the maiden claiming ranks, debuting in turf sprints.  After 3 tries there, earning him 2 3rd place finishes, Private Outerview was shifted to the dirt where he found a very soft spot in a *150 Hot Allowance in November 2018.  He was forwardly placed in that race and grabbed the lead, pulling away in the stretch and seeing a SP jump up to a 73 SP in the 1-1/4 length win.  Deciding to stay on the dirt, Private Outerview was stretched out to 7f in a $50K NW2L claimer, and although it was only a field of 4, Private Outerview dominated the race from gate to wire.  He set the pace and kept his 2 length lead the entire way around the oval, seeing his SP jump by 13 points to a career-best 86 SP.  That run led to the class jump here for his first race of 2019.

Pedigree: Sadly, Private Interview passed away in December 2018, so the 2018 sim crop will be the last of his sim career.  He previously stood in New Jersey where he was #10 ranked NJ sire in 2018, making Private Outerview a prime local race competitor in the sim.  Private Interview is not the most popular sim sire…his 2018 crop, which is his largest since 2015, matches his real life production and currently consists of 4 runners.  Impressively, 3 of those 4 have already earned victories (winning at a 13.5% rate), one better than the real life counterpart.   He has not sired any stakes winners in the sim.  To the extent his 64 total progeny have shown any preference, it’s been in turf races (59% of earnings on turf), though the speed figures on both turf and dirt have been similar, and his progeny are pretty evenly split in sprints and routes, though his most recent foals have seemed to like to sprint.  Madam Glacken, a 19yo mare, did the best running of her 48 race career on dirt and spent most of her career running in the 7-9f range, though her best races seemed to be over a mile.  She won 6 races in her career, 5 of which came in allowances (one was CPU Value limited), and although she never hit the board in a stakes race, she finished 4th or 5th 3 times (a dirt sprint, a turf sprint, and a dirt route).  Madam Glacken’s first 3 foals, all campaigned in the old sim, were all moderately successful, with the best, Silver Smoker (Silver Train), being stakes placed in dirt sprints.  Her fourth foal, Delta Smoke (A.P. Delta), is a 4yo that has won twice in 13 starts, but has been running at the claiming level and has yet to really show a preference for any particular distance or surface.

Expectations: It’s interesting to see how Private Outerview has been campaigned thus far, and he definitely deserves a chance at open company in this NW3L allowance.  With that said, this is a huge jump in class, and his success at the claiming and hot ranks haven’t seen large fields.  He’s coming into this race off a career best run in his longest race to date, and that bodes well for getting an extra furlong here.  But that last race was a 4 horse field where no one battled Private Outerview for the lead.  There are a lot of questions from those past races, and unfortunately we don’t really have a strong pedigree to lean on and get an idea of what to expect here.  My pure guess is that Private Outerview doesn’t have the same speed as some of the others in this race that will go to the front, and so he’ll have to sit midpack or worse here.  And if he does that, I just don’t think he has the closing kick to get to the front.  But regardless of how he does in this race, this is one horse that has local races calling his name, and I can see some future success at that level.

Watch Level: Low

#8 – Simply Golden (Tapit x Golden Element [Medaglia D’Oro x Forty Niner]) – Owned by 1styearflag – 6/1

Race Record: 6:2-0-1; $99,987

Race History: Simply Golden is the most decorated horse in the field, as one of his 2 prior wins came in a residency-restricted stakes race.  After getting tired in his first race, Simply Golden came back strong in his second career race, a 6.5f MSW on the dirt in June 2018.  There, he sat just off the pacesetters early before powering through the stretch, pulling away to win by 1-1/2 lengths with a 75 SP.  He came back for 2 NW2L allowances, first at 6f and then at 8f, where he sprinted for the lead before tiring in each.  A 4th place finish in the 8f race led Simply Golden to head to a residency-restricted stakes at 7.5f for Vermont.  Against 5 other horses, Simply Golden once again rushed for the lead and got it, never looking back and pulling away to win by 1-3/4 and earning a career-best 90 SP.  Both 2nd and 3rd from that stakes race have come back to place in non-residency-restricted stakes races.  Simply Golden, meanwhile, took a shot in an open stakes race at 6f.  Once again, Simply Golden set the pace, but was unable to hold off some of the others and finished 4th (today’s competitor Magnolia Barbara trailed, finishing 8th).  The top 3 from that stakes all followed up with their own stakes efforts, with 1 win, 1 4th and 1 5th among them.  Simply Golden heads back to routing here for his first 3yo race.

Pedigree: Tapit shouldn’t require too much introduction to sim players, as the $225,000 stud fee for the #5 ranked US sire in 2018 is the fifth highest in the world (and that’s down from $300K in 2018, when he ranked #2 on the list!).  Sim players love this sire too, as his 2018 class that currently numbers 275 runners is also the #1 ranked sim class of 2018.  Among those 275 runners are 166 winners (winning at a crazy 21% rate) and 12(!) stakes winners.  Only one of those 12, however, has achieved Graded Stakes glory, and it took until Legacy of Evil’s most recent race, last week in an 8f dirt G3, to finally break that 0-fer.  Tapit children in the sim 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. Simply Golden is the first progeny of 6yo mare Golden Element, a 3-time stakes placed mare.  Golden Element raced 28 times in her career, winning 8 (7 at the allowance level).  She checked all of the boxes, winning in dirt sprints, turf sprints, dirt routes, and turf routes, with her highest speed figure coming in an 8.25f turf allowance, but her best results (2 stakes placings) coming in dirt miles (the third came in a 7.5 turf stakes).  Most of her wins came in dirt races in the 8-9f range, though she clearly had ability on all different surfaces (including off-tracks, where she was 2nd in her lone attempt).  Tapit has been bred to a Medaglia D’Oro mare 23 times in the past 4 years, including 8 times in 2018 (including Simply Golden).  Those 23 foals include 1 graded stakes winner, Rubinetto, winner of The Princess Looney – G1 at 6f on dirt.  Most of the success from that cross has come in dirt routes.

Expectations: Simply Golden has a ton of speed, and he’s more than happy to use it.  The only races in which he hasn’t set the pace were his two maiden attempts, and with more experience and longer racing, he’s had no problem getting out in front.  The concern is that his only prior attempt at 8 furlongs, in a NW2L allowance, saw him give all he had to get to the lead, and by the time they reached the far turn it was clear that he didn’t have anything left in the tank.  Simply Golden looked like he had something left at 7.5f, however, so it’s possible that getting that race in gave him the experience he needs to better carry his speed.  Simply Golden will be the pacesetter here; I’m just not sure if he can sustain it for this whole race.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Blue Py (Dandino (GB) x Fourth O’July [Pyro x Bluegrass Cat]) – Owned by oldmoonfarmsde – 19/1

Race Record: 7:2-2-1; $56,764

Race History: One of the number of geldings in this race, Blue Py was gelded before he ever hit the track, but that strategy proved effective early on.  In his debut race, an MSW at 5.5f on the dirt back in February 2018, Blue Py stayed focused and stalked the pace early, slowly finding his way to the front and then continuing on, earning a 1-1/2 length victory and a 66 SP to make his owner happy.  His next 2 races, at 6.5f and 6f on the dirt, saw him run a similar race but never quite able to grab the front.  That third race, in which Blue Py finished 4th, has turned out to be a key race, as the 1st and 2nd place finishers have both gone on to be stakes placed (one on turf, one in dirt routes).  Blue Py jumped over to the turf next, but his first two tries at 5.5f saw him struggle to keep up with the winner.  He finally took a NW1x at 5f on the turf in career race #6, beating a field of 5 by ¾ length in a race with limited pace (2nd in that race came back to run last in a 5 horse stakes as the 7/1 longshot).  Blue Py comes into this race off of a 4th place finish in a return to dirt at 6f, where he ran evenly throughout but never pressed the winners, finishing 4 lengths back and earning a career high 83 SP (2nd from that race came back to win an Allowance next time out).

Pedigree: Dandino (GB) spent a number of years racing, and winning, at 12-14f distances in GB, Canada, the US, and Australia.  He entered stud in 2017 and currently stands in Australia for $5,500.  He has been lightly used in the sim and sits at a bargain-basement price, with only 34 runners in each of his first 2 crops.  The 34 in his 2018 class includes only 8 winners, none of whom have reached stakes caliber (and only one other than Blue Py has won a non-Hot Allowance).  Thus far, 76% of Dandino (GB)’s progeny’s earnings have come on dirt, with 55% in routes, though it’s a little early in his sim sire career to get a real sense of where his foals prefer to run.  Blue Py is the 4th foal from 8yo mare Fourth O’ July, who was 2 for 20 in her career.  Those 2 wins both came in dirt sprints, which is where she did her best running.  However, she never tried routing in her career.  Her other progeny have, and her best foal to date, 6yo Pyros Moon (Denis of Cork), put up her best performances in turf miles (though most of her racing came at the claiming and starter allowance level).  Neither of Fourth O’ July’s other progeny to date have done much of note (3yo Pyros Cat (Five Demon Bag) is now *CPU owned, and as a result, has raced 40 times through the end of his 3yo season).

Expectations: Blue Py is stretching out for the first time here, and we’ll see what that means for his typical stalking style.  Will he still try to sit off the pace, or will he end up challenging the pace here?  I think, if left to the jockey, it’s likely that Blue Py is going to battle on the front end.  I’m not sure if that would be a good thing for this gelding, however, as he looks to have struggled in a couple of races when he tries to hang with faster horses up front.  This is his first race as a 3yo, so he may be a little mature now and be able to rate a bit, but I’m not convinced that Blue Py wants a full mile.  With that said, if he can rate a bit, he’s got some experience passing horses from just off the pace, and he may be able to use that experience here.

Watch Level: Low

#10 – Crypto Sunshine (No Nay Never x Keeper of Sunshine [Dawn Approach (IRE) x Danehill]) – Owned by lawdro9 – 5/1

Race Record: 6:2-1-2; $78,686

Race History: Crypto Sunshine debuted in turf sprints, where in his first two starts he battled for the lead before tiring.  But stretching out to 7.5f on the turf in his third race turned out to be the key.  In that race back in October 2018, Crypto Sunshine sat just off a hot pace in 4th, but pounced as the pacesetters tired out.  He poked his nose in front on the backstretch, and pulled away to win by an easy 1-3/4 lengths with an 84 SP.  He came back in NW2L allowance at 7.5f on the turf, and again found success, again sitting just off of the pacesetter (this time in 2nd) and then pouncing on the backstretch, pulling away to win by 2 lengths with an 85 SP.  Those two efforts led to Crypto Sunshine trying 8f, but he struggled to keep up in his first try, never contending and fading to 8th.  His most recent race, his first try as a 3yo back at 8f, saw an improvement as he kept up with his competition, but he never challenged the winner and finished 3rd, 3 lengths back.  He comes into this race off a career high 89 SP, and has seen his speed figures improve in each race of his career, a positive sign for a next step as he tries the dirt for the first time.

Pedigree: No Nay Never was a sprinter in real life and currently stands for $100,000 in Ireland, where he was the #85 ranked EU sire overall (and #1 first-crop sire) in 2018.  In the sim, No Nay Never’s 2018 crop currently ranks #18, with 70 winners from 107 runners to date (winning at a borderline-ridiculous 21% rate).  Those 107 runners include 3 stakes winners (including Pound The Rock, winner of the End of the Line Futurity – G1 at 8.5f on the dirt and currently the #3 ranked dirt route 3yo).  Overall, No Nay Never’s sim progeny strongly prefer sprinting (76% of earnings in sprints), with a slight preference for turf racing (58% on turf).  5yo mare Keeper of Sunshine was retired and bred early to produce her first foal, Crypto Sunshine.  In her solid career, Keeper of Sunshine ran 18 times, picking up 5 wins, including a stakes win and 2 more stakes placings.  Those efforts all occurred at 8.5-9.5f on the turf, where she seemed to do her best work (her max SP of 110 came in a 3rd place finish in a 8.5f turf stakes) as a horse that set the pace, or at least stayed close.

Expectations: Crypto Sunshine is an intriguing looking horse, and there’s always the turf to dirt bump to look for with a horse like this.  He hung with a 2 time stakes-placed horse in his last race, finishing only 1 length behind that horse.  But everything in his race history is on the turf, his dam loved turf, and his sire prefers turf.  All of that explains why he’s already had 6 races on the turf, but it also suggests that the turf is where he belongs.  I’m also curious if he’s a one-turn horse; the speed figures have been fine at 8f, but he dominated two fields at 7.5f, and even if those fields may not have shown much talent yet, one has to wonder if 7.5f is really his distance.  We’ll get a solid idea of if he takes to the dirt here (and if he does, I’d love to see him try 7.5f on the dirt next), but I’ll wait and see before backing him on the new surface.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – American Trumpet (American Pharoah x Demona Trumpet [A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by danger – 7/2 (f)

Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $62,940

Race History: The other horse competing for most lightly raced in this field, American Trumpet didn’t debut until November 2018.  But when he finally hit the track, he was a monster.  Debuting at 7f on the dirt, American Trumpet sat towards the back early, slowly moving forward over the course of the race, and then exploding in the stretch to pull away for a 2 length victory, earning an 88 SP.  He came back one month later and repeated the performance, sitting back early and then getting first run on one of the stalkers in the race and outdueling him to a ¼ length victory, picking up a career high 89 SP.  Unfortunately, his first 3yo race saw him take a step back in a NW3L allowance at 8f, where he found himself midpack early but never really got settled, and didn’t have the bottom under him to get the distance, falling 8 lengths back behind the winner and regressing with an 83 SP.  He comes back here on 2 weeks rest to try another 8f dirt race.

Pedigree: We don’t know how much American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown Winner, stands for in real life and his real progeny have not yet hit the track, so all we really know is that his 2018 yearlings sold for an average of $453,273.  In the sim, he was added in 2016 at the Frankel level but not quite as high as the sim’s “elite”, though that hasn’t stopped him from cracking the top 11 every year, with his 2018 crop currently ranked #3 overall.  That 3yo crop includes 197 runners to date, including 110 winners finding success at a wild 21.5% rate. Among the 110 winners are 9 stakes winners, and although none have found graded success just yet, one of those stakes winners is graded placed, as are 2 other fillies.  Expect those numbers to rise though, as most of those winners have done so only recently, as they finally stretch out into route races.  The sim progeny of American Pharoah, much like their sire, have found most of their success on the dirt (78% of earnings on dirt) in routes (59% in routes).  American Trumpet is the second foal from 18yo mare Demona Trumpet, who was a solid racehorse back in her day.  She managed to find the winner’s circle 6 times in 18 career starts, all coming in dirt sprints at the allowance level.  But more impressive than her own career has been the racing career of her only other foal to date, 5yo Indy Street Pro (Street Sense).  Much like her mother, Indy Street Pro has found her stride in dirt sprints, winning 9 of her 18 career races to date.  Unlike her mother, those dirt sprints include 5 stakes (3 graded) wins, culminating in her victory in the 2018 Breeders’ Bowl F and M Sprint – G1.  Indy Street Pro is currently the #2 ranked older mare dirt sprinter in the sim.  The American Pharoah x A.P. Indy cross is the most popular one for American Pharoah, as it has been used 49 times since he entered the sim breeding shed 3 years ago.  Those 49 foals include 6 stakes winners (including multiple graded stakes winner Finally The One), with most of the success of these foals coming in dirt routes.

Expectations:  American Trumpet has a ton of promise, and he’s the favorite in this race for a reason.  His father was a Breeders Cup (and Triple Crown) winner.  His half-sister is a Breeders Bowl winner.  He had a monster debut, and he’s 2 for 3 lifetime.  That all adds up to a horse with a very bright future.  And even this race, with a field that includes a number of horses that want to be forwardly placed, seems to set up well for him.  But I’m not sure this is the best race for him.  First of all, the bloodlines on his dam’s side strongly favor sprints.  Second, he’s coming into this race with only 2 weeks off from his first route effort.  And 3rd, that route effort was a step backwards from his sprint races.  It’s certainly possible that the last race was a bounce race, and that he’ll be back to normal here.  And if that’s the case, he’s a strong contender here, as the race sets up very well.  But I’m worried that it wasn’t so much a bounce race as a distance limitation.  I’m not convinced yet that American Trumpet can get the 8f distance.  If I’m wrong, he could easily win.  If I’m right, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the sprint division.

Watch Level: High

There is your field for this NW3L.  The race sets up with a lot of horses preferring to be forwardly placed, but interestingly enough, very few who have shown the need to get the lead.  That should set up well for Simply Golden to set the pace early, trailed by Aldarity, Kymarc Fiat, Private Outerview, and possibly Cryptic Sunshine.  But will the pace be too hot?  My meaningless predictions are: (1) Aldarity, (2) Hyperkinetic, (3) Simply Golden.  I’m betting against the favorite here, so watch and see if I’m right!

Other Races To Watch This Weekend:

1)      Victoria (AUS) – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f-T

2)      Minnesota – Alw NW1x @ 7f (Fillies)

3)      Surrey (ENG) – Allowance @ 5.5f (Fillies)

4)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f (Division 1)

5)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f (Division 2)

6)      Louisiana – Alw NW2L @ 6f-T

7)      Surrey (ENG) – Alw NW2L @ 8f-T

8)      New York – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f-T

9)      Tasmania (AUS) – Alw NW2x @ 7.5f

Views (294)

Feb 022019
 

First, a quick recap from last week.  I may have actually gotten the pace situation right for a change, as the horses that ran 1, 2, 3 and 4 early finished 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 1st, respectively.  After Bomb Cyclone decided to take the front, Kymarc Cap got exactly what he wanted and sat just off a relatively slow pace.  He got first run in the stretch and pulled ahead, grabbing the lead and then holding off a late charge by Mean No Harm to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 92 SP.  Mean No Harm was the only closer to stand a chance in this one, as he finished second, and Bomb Cyclone, the pacesetter, held on for 3rd.

—-

This week, the Future Stars Series heads home to California.  A full field of 14 colts are looking to prove their route bona fides, as they take on this NW2L Allowance at 8 furlongs on the dirt.  The field is:

#1 – Shipping Tycoon (Written Tycoon (AUS) x No Shipping Cost [A.P. Indy x Deputy Minister]) – Owned by steller1 – 6/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 6:1-2-0; $37,961

Race History: Shipping Tycoon started his career on the turf before finally jumping over to the dirt in race #3.  In that race, a 6f MSW, he battled for the lead early before taking over the pace and trying to distance himself from the field.  He was eventually caught by one other horse, but Shipping Tycoon earned an 81 SP for the effort, which kept him on the dirt.  He stretched out to 8f for his 4th start, in a local MSW October 2018, and sat just ¾ length off the pace early, before pouncing in the backstretch and never looking back, opening up to win by 3 lengths and earning a career best 87 SP. Unfortunately, he struggled in his first NW2L test, unable to keep up with the pace and then falling to 10th.  His most recent start, at 7f in a NW2L, was a stronger effort as he stayed steady throughout the race, but was missing that final push and finished 5th, 2 lengths behind the winner.  Shipping Tycoon has, however, kept his speed figures in the mid 80s, as he heads into his first 3yo try here.

Pedigree: Written Tycoon, a G2-winning sprinter at age 2, currently stands for $110,000 in Australia (a significant increase from the $8,000 he initially stood for) and is the #8 ranked sire in Australia in 2018.  He was a little late to the sim party, but got a big boost in mares in 2018 and covered his largest crop to date, with 105 runners thus far.  That includes 56 winners, who are winning at a 17% rate, and the sire’s first 3 graded stakes winners in his sim stud career.  Their success has been on the turf (including 1 who missed by 1/2 length in the Breeders Bowl Juvy Filly Turf, and another who ran in the Breeders Bowl Juvy Turf), which is unsurprising, given that 71% of his progeny earnings have come on turf.  There may be a bit of a distance limitation on his progeny though, as 65% of earnings have come in sprints and only 1 of the 3 graded winners has been successful at 8f.  Shipping Cost is the 9th foal from No Shipping Cost, an incredibly successful 14yo dam, both on the track and in the breeding shed.  The G2-placed, 2-time stakes winner won 7 of 23 races in her career, at was stakes placed an additional 4 times.  Her success came primarily in dirt routes in the 9-10f range, though she was also excellent on the off-track, picking up a 12f stakes and running 3rd in the 9f D-Day Distaff-G2 as a 4yo. Meanwhile, No Shipping Cost’s progeny include 4 Graded Stakes winners and 1 more graded placed horse (and 6-time stakes winner).  Among those are G1 winner Low Shipping Cost (Street Cry (IRE)), winner of the 6f The Double F Memorial (and 2nd in the Breeders Bowl Sprint) in 2012, and the G1 winning Ship It Here (Medaglia D’Oro), who won the 9f-T Princess Di Cup in 2016.  Her progeny seem to take after their sire when it comes to best abilities, though 3 of the graded stakes winners scored in dirt sprints.

Expectations: Shipping Tycoon seems to have found his home on the dirt, and now the only remaining question is the distance.  His maiden score was very impressive and shows that he can get the 8f distance, the only question is how critical the pace situation is to his success.  If the pace were soft, he’s have a great chance here, but with some other speedballs running, there’s a bit of a concern that he might get caught up.  With that said, he’s got a lot to live up to with his pedigree, and he may see a jump here in his first 3yo effort.

Watch Level: High

#2 – Maximum Fees (Will Take Charge x Unbridled Storm TB [Dehere x Unbridled]) – Owned by adschus03 – 8/1

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

Race History: Maximum Fees may be 1 of only 3 in this race that has run a single time, but he did everything you would want a horse to do in one race.  Debuting on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2018, in a 7f dirt MSW, Maximum Fees stalked the pace early, sitting 3 lengths back, before being urged forward and drawing off, cruising to a 1-3/4 length victory.  He earned an 88 SP in the victory.  Maximum Fees will stretch out a little bit here for his first start as a 3yo.

Pedigree: Will Take Charge, a real-world freshman sire in 2018, ranked as the #5 first crop sire in the US.  In the sim, Will Take Charge has been breeding for a few years, but his 2018 crop looks to have taken a bit of a drop from his previous few years, currently ranking #163.  He has 96 3yos that have hit the track to date, with 31 winners succeeding at a 15% rate.  A dirt sire (77% of earnings on dirt), Will Take Charge’s sim progeny have shown a slight preference for sprinting (57% of earnings in sprints), and that evenness is exemplified by his 3yo crop.  His 2018 foals includes one stakes winner, See The Wonder, who picked up a stakes win at 7.5f on the dirt in her first time stretching out in distance, and 2 stakes placed horses, the best of which, Charging Bernie, was a close second in stakes at both 7.5f and 8f on the dirt. Unbridled Storm TB, the 7yo dam of Maximum Fees, was a very impressive horse during her career.  She won 12 races in her 32 race career, including two G2 victories (both at 6.5f on the dirt as a 2yo) and 3 other stakes wins (2 of which were part of the Likin’ It Local series in 2015).  Although she was excellent in dirt sprints as a 2yo, she actually found her best running at 8.25-8.5f later in her career, a distance where she picked up 5 wins and saw her speed figures crack 100 22 times.  Her only other foal to date, Dehere Today TB (Tamarkuz), has also done her best racing in 8-9f dirt routes, where she has won 4 of 19 races (though her last few efforts, including 2 wins, have been in the claiming ranks).

Expectations: With only 1 race in his past, there’s a little bit of unknown when it comes to Maximum Fees.  Will that one race turn out to be his career best?  Was he an early bloomer who excelled as a 2yo?  Was that race just the tip of the iceberg for what he can do?  We really won’t know until we see him race some more.  But one thing is pretty clear, and that’s that his maiden win was a solid score and an impressive race.  And his stalking style fits into this race very well.  There’s a bit of a pedigree question on the sire side as to whether he can get this 8f distance, but based on his first run, I’m going to guess that 8f won’t be an issue.

Watch Level: High

#3 – Left Off (Tale of the Cat x Mu Shu Shi Shi [Super Saver x Tiznow]) – Owned by mpm12 – 8/1

Race Record: 10:1-4-2; $67,809

Race History: The most experienced horse in the field, Left Off will be running in his 11th career race here.  After 2 2nd place finishes in the MSW ranks at 5f (one, a hot race), Stuck in a Trappe was dropped into a $100K 5.5f dirt MCL, where he stalked the pace early before running on to win by a widening 1 length.  That win in April 2018 earned him a decent 68 SP, and also a new owner.  That new owner moved him back into the NW2L allowance ranks, where he struggled in some dirt sprints.  He finally hit the board in a 5f turf NW1x, which got him back on track.  He was shifted back to dirt and saw an impressive 11 point SP bounce in a 2nd place finish in a 7f dirt NW2L, before stretching out to 8.5f and running 2nd (in a race where today’s competitor, Mastery of Humor, finished 5th) and 3rd in career races 8 and 9, earning a career high 88 SP 2 races back while stalking the pace in both efforts.  His most recent race, however, at 9f, saw him struggle a bit, as he was unable to keep up with the competition and, after starting off mid-pack, dropped to the back of the pack, finishing 11th.  He still earned a respectable 85 SP, but he’ll look to bounce back here as he cuts back to 8f in his first 3yo effort.

Pedigree: 8yo dam Mu Shu Shi Shi was the winner of 6 races in her 28 race career, all of which were in dirt routes, primarily in the 8-9f range.  She spent a decent amount of her career in claimers, though she did manage one allowance score.  Her only other foal to race to date, Reason To Say No (Century City (IRE)), has been a successful Indiana-bred, winning 11 of 24 races thus far (mostly in the claiming, hot, and local levels).  The wins have varied on surfaces with most coming in sprints, but her best efforts and speed figures have actually come in routes.  She seems to be running in whatever local races are available, but it wouldn’t surprise me if her preferred distance was 8-10f on the turf.

Expectations: If you ignore the last race, Left Off has really turned a corner over the past 4 races.  The oddsmakers agree, making this former claimer an 8/1 choice in a solid field.  The good news for him is that he tends to sit off the pace, so he shouldn’t get caught up in the speed duel up front.  The bad news is that he hasn’t shown much of a finishing gear in his route efforts thus far, and because of the speed up front, he may be farther back early than he’s used to.  In his first 3yo effort, he showed that he doesn’t really like being behind a lot of horses.  That could be an issue here.

Watch Level: Medium

#4 – Seattle Burner (Dialed In x Awesome Slewarooni [Awesome Again x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by trotking – 8/1

Race Record: 3:1-0-1; $35,230

Race History: Seattle Burner was successful for his owner right of the gate, battling for the lead in a 6.5f dirt MSW back in October 2018 for the first half of the race, before grabbing the lead and not looking back.  He would go on to win that race by 1 length with a 77 SP.  He tried to repeat at 6.5f in a NW2L allowance the next month, but used up too much of his energy trying to set the pace in a sprint, quickly tiring and ending up 8th, 6 lengths back.  So instead, Seattle Burner was stretched out to 8.5f for his 3rd and most recent race.  In that NW2L effort, he found it a little easier to grab the lead and set the pace, which he did for most of the race.  He couldn’t quite hold off one of the closers, and he fell to 3rd, 2.5 lengths back, but it was a very respectable performance that earned him a career high 90 SP, a 15 point jump over his previous race.  The 2nd place horse from that most recent effort came back in an 8f open allowance and ran 2nd with a 96 SP.  Seattle Burner also cuts back a half furlong here to try his hand at 8f for the first time.

Pedigree: Dialed In, winner of the 2011 Florida Derby, has been a relatively successful new sire in the real world, ranking #34 in 2018 (and the #3 third-crop sire).  Standing for $25,000, his sim progeny have not been quite as successful as their real world counterparts.  His foals ballooned in 2018, with 109 runners to date (well above his earlier numbers).  Those 3yos have won at a 13% rate, with 46 winners to date.  Among those are 4 stakes winners, all coming in sprints (3 dirt, 1 turf).  Much like those stakes winners, his progeny generally are dirt sprinters, with 67% of earnings on the dirt and 58% in sprints.  Thus far in his sim stud career, Dialed In has only had 1 graded stakes winner, MTK Is Dialed In, a G2 winner at 7f on the dirt.  It’s a little surprising, but Seattle Burner is only the first foal from 17yo dam Awesome Slewarooni, who was the winner of a 10f dirt residency-restricted stakes (and 5 other races) in her 31 race career.  She last ran in 2009, but has been sitting on the shelf since then, which is impressive considering her pedigree and on-track success.  That success was mostly achieved in 8-9f dirt routes, but she actually showed some solid ability late in her career on turf.  An Awesome Again mare has been sent to Dialed In 4 other times in the past 4 years, all but one of whom have seen their best runs in dirt sprints.

Expectations: Seattle Burner takes after his name.  He’s a burner, and he is expected to battle the hot pace in this race.  My thought, based on the fact that his maiden win came out of a 2nd place positioning early, is that he might not have the speed of another in this race, but he also doesn’t need the lead to win.  In fact, he may be better off trying to save just enough juice to pick off a tiring pacesetter or two.  The 90 SP that he put up last time is the 2nd highest in the field, I’m just worried that he’s gonna get too caught up on the front end and burn out here, and the sire side of his pedigree isn’t helpful there.  He’s got talent though.

Watch Level: High

#5 – Gray Alliance (Stephanoatsee x Gray Niner [Graydar x Forty Niner]) – Owned by gnokenny1 – 14/1

Race Record: 9:1-2-0; $42,233

Race History: Grey Alliance is one of the wise old veterans in this race, having run 9 times in 2018.  His maiden victory came back in his debut in January 2018 in a 4.5f MSW.  There, he took on a field of 11 and set the pace, holding his lead and pulling away at the wire to win by 1 length.  Since then, however, Grey Alliance has struggled at the NW2L level.  In 8 tries thus far, he has managed only 2 2nd place finishes.  On the plus side, he has seen a nice progression in speed figures since stretching out to routes, and 2 back posted a career high 86 SP in a 4th place finish (the winner from that race followed it with a 4th place finish in a G3).  He comes into this race off of a solid 2nd place finish in an 8f NW2L allowance, where he finished 2 lengths back after stalking the pace early and earning an 85 SP.

Pedigree: Stephanoatsee, a son of A.P. Indy and half-brother to Shackleford, currently stands in NY but entered stud in 2016, so he has not seen any foals hit the real track yet.  In the sim, the basement-priced sire has had 79 runners thus far, with 49 in the 2018 crop.  Of those 49, 18 have won races at an 11% clip.  Of all 79 runners, only 7 have thus far been successful at the allowance level, and only 1 of those has been outside of the Hot or Local levels.  Most of his earnings have come in dirt sprints (63% dirt, 74% sprint), though the best speed figures from his progeny have come in longer races.  Gray Niner, the 7yo he-mare of Gray Alliance, was the winner of 7 from 34 races in his career.  His best races came in the 8-9f range, and he was a 3-time residency-stakes placed horse in dirt routes, earning a max speed figure of 105 in one of those 2nd place finishes. As a he-mare, Gray Alliance will be Gray Niner’s only foal.

Expectations: Gray Alliance has stalked the pace in his 3 prior route attempts, but it wasn’t until his last effort that he found some success.  He might need a softer pace to keep up with the front and still have something at the end, but his improvement in speed figures over his last 2 races indicates some potential here.  The only question is whether he can take yet another jump as a 3yo.

Watch Level: Medium

#6 – Special Outing (Ad Infinitum x Ivoj Nob Noj [Special Week x Kingmambo] – Owned by magpies2 – 24/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $23,580

Race History: Special Outing is one of 3 horses in this race with only 1 career race, but he is probably the most inexperienced.  That 1 race was a 5 horse password-restricted MSW held by the URC residency.  The race required a sire whose damsire was Miswaki, which resulted in 3 horses by The Factor.  Of course, they were all upset by this Utah-bred who jumped out to the lead and never looked back.  He opened up a 2 length lead early and held it the entire way around the 8f oval, earning a career best 75 SP in the process at the end of December 2018.  Unfortunately, the field is a little suspect, as 4th and 5th from that race would each regress, running last and second to last in their next try at the MSW level.  This will be Special Outing’s first try against winners…or even non-first time starters.

Pedigree: Ad Infinitum, a winner of 3 races in 13 starts, stands in Utah but I can’t find much information about him in real life.  It’s a little easier in the sim, where his 3yo crop includes 13 runners to date.  7 of those have been victorious, winning at an 8% clip (well below his older progeny’s 15% rate), though none of those 7 have been successful above the HOT level.  His 233 career sim foals has produced only 1 graded stakes winners, but he seemed to peak in the 2014-15 years (where he crop ballooned to 81 runners, before dropping back down).  In the last 3 years, he has sired no stakes winners.  In general, his progeny tend to be dirt sprinters (70% earnings on dirt, 67% in sprints).  Special Outing is the 4th foal of 9yo mare Ivoj Nob Noj, a turf router who won 7 races in her 27 race career.  That includes 2 stakes placed efforts, the most impressive of which was a career best 110 SP in a 2nd place finish in an 8f turf stakes.  Her 3 older children have each taken down at least one allowance in their racing careers, but they’re all across the board when it comes to preferred distances and surfaces.

Expectations: Special Outing did exactly what he was bred to do – he won a residency race that clinched a competition for his owner, Punter34.  But the world gets a little more difficult when leaving the friendly confines of residency-restricted races.  And here, this is a tough field to test when tackling winners in open company for the first time.  Still, it’ll be very interesting to see how the race plays out.  Special Outing set a pretty quick pace in his maiden win, and although I’m guessing that he doesn’t have the same speed as a couple of others in this race, I could easily be wrong and he could end up as the pacesetter.  The benefits of this Future Stars Series are that when you’ve got a runner with only 1 career race, and that race was an easy victory, you don’t really know what’s going to happen from there.

Watch Level: Medium

#7 – Giant Pioneer (Pioneerof The Nile x Forty Niner x Giant’s Causeway) – Owned by ddkstables35 – 6/1 (f-t)

Race Record: 4:1-0-0; $36,642

Race History: Giant Pioneer scored as the favorite in his debut at 6.5f on the good dirt track at NY in July 2018.  In that race, he had no interest sitting in the gate, darting out as soon as the doors opened and continuing to widen his pacesetting lead, from ½ length, to 1 length, to 2 lengths, before finally easing up and winning by 1-1/4, earning a 77 SP in the process.  The 2nd place horse from that MSW would go on to break his maiden next time out at 8f.  Giant Pioneer, meanwhile, stumbled when taking a big leap into stakes company, battling for the lead in the 7f event early before faltering late and finishing 11th.  He took a drop in class and distance, trying a NW2L allowance at 6.5f next time out, where he again battled for the lead before dropping back to 4th.  Stretching out to 8.5f in his most recent race, Giant Pioneer was finally able to use his sprint speed to get in front, but the jockey couldn’t quite harness that speed and Giant Pioneer took off, opening up by 6 in the backstretch before faltering and finishing 3-3/4 lengths back in 4th.  His speed figures have been improving in each of his four races, however, and the most recent effort did earn him a career high 88 SP.

Pedigree: Pioneerof The Nile, who was a solid racehorse in his own right during his career, is probably most famous now as the sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, which led to a current stud fee of $110,000 for the #36 ranked US sire of 2018.  He has also been a solid sim sire, as his 2018 crop currently ranks #49, the worst ranking of the past 4 years for the sire.  That may change as his foals start hitting longer races, as 60% of his progeny earnings have come in route races, and the older progeny have seen much better speed figures in routes.  They also prefer the dirt, with 74% of earnings from dirt races.  The 3yo crop includes 136 runners to date, with 68 winners winning at an 18% rate, on par with Pioneerof The Nile’s average.  Among those runners are 3 stakes winners, all three of whom have found that success in route races (though 2 of those 3 horses earned those stakes wins on turf).  The Pioneerof The Nile x Forty Niner cross has been used 11 times in the past 4 years (13 times total), including 2 other 3yos.  Those 2 others have only won 1 combined race (from 10 races total), with one only having run in sprints and one finally hitting his stride in routes.  The cross has one graded stakes winner, Take What’s Given, a 4-time G1 winner who was 3rd in the Breeders Bowl Juvenile Filly in 2017 and threw a clunker in the 2018 Breeders Bowl F and M Sprint (though she came into that race having won her last 4, including the G1 Chestnut Stakes and 2 other G1s).

Expectations: Giant Pioneer has a lot of speed, and it’s pretty safe to say that he’ll be using it to set the pace here.  That’s where he’s had success in the past, and that’s where he wants to be.  The real question is whether he can settle down and save some of that speed for the final furlong.  O. Brim wasn’t able to settle him last time, but hopefully the jockey has learned from the last race as he gets the mount again here. He cuts back a half furlong in distance here, which should help him, and now that he has a route race under his belt, he may be able to more properly harness that energy as a 3yo.

Watch Level: High

#8 – Landeskog (Nyquist x Crestwood [Medaglia D’Oro x Roar]) – Owned by alohabold – 10/1

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

Race History: This race was made for Landeskog, as he is the horse that sponsor alohabold has entered here.  And, not surprisingly, he looks like a good fit for this one.  His 3 previous races have all been in sprints, and he started his career at 6.5f on the dirt.  In that MSW, Landeskog sat towards the back early before showing a closing burst, finishing ¾ length back in 3rd.  He stalled a bit in his second race at 7f where he caught a very solid field (the winner came back to run 2nd with a 91 SP in an allowance, and 3rd and 4th both followed up with MSW wins).  But that 2nd race may have been a blip, as he came back in a 7f MSW in December 2018 and took things up a notch.  He sat midpack early, about 4 lengths off the leads, before showing the same gear he had in his first race, closing, grabbing the lead, and then pulling away to win by 1 length and earned a career best 89 SP.  Few have come back to the track from Landeskog’s maiden victory, but the 4th place horse did break his maiden in his next race, at 4.5f on the turf.  Landeskog will try routing for the first time here in his first race of 2019.

Pedigree: Nyquist’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks 53rd, with 118 runners and 54 winners.  Those 54 winners have been successful in 17.2% of their races.  The 3yo crop includes 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Nadera, is a G1 winner who finished 6th in the 2018 Breeders Bowl Juvenile Filly and is currently the #1 ranked 3yo dirt route filly.  The progeny of Nyquist prefer the dirt (83% earnings on dirt), and he has seen success in both sprints and routes.  His highest speed figures have come in sprints for the 3yo class, though speed figures have improved at longer distances as his progeny age.  Crestwood, Landeskog’s 12yo dam, was a dirt sprinter through and through, winning 9 of 34 races in her career, all in dirt sprints.  The 6 other foals from Crestwood, of which 3 have picked up allowance-level wins, have varied in their preferred distances, though almost all have preferred dirt to turf.  Her best foal to date, Highpointe (JPN) (Empire Maker), did most of his best running at 10f, and is stakes placed at the distance (though he was beaten 14 lengths in that race).  The Nyquist x Medaglia D’Oro cross has been popular recently, used 5 other times in the past 2 years, and although none of those 5 have seen too much success on the track, there does seem to be an improvement as distances increase.

Expectations: The second race of Landeskog’s career is kind of a head scratcher, as he struggled to keep up with other horses, but when coming back at the same level 2 months later, he blew away his competition.  I’m left thinking that I should just ignore that race.  And if I do that, Landeskog looks very strong on paper.  He’s a horse that will sit midpack or towards the back, but has the speed to close, and he looks like he’ll get a hot pace in this race.  His pedigree also suggests that he’ll have no problem getting the 8f distance.  He seems like a solid pick here.

Watch Level: High

#9 – Rained For Forty (Bernardini x Forty Niner x Storm Cat) – Owned by zkingab2 – 7/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $40,535

Race History: If there’s one thing you can say about Rained For Forty, this scratch bred horse is consistent.  He went off as the 3/1 second choice in his debut at 6.5f on the dirt in July 2018 and bolted out of the gate, never looking back.  He opened up a 2 length lead late in the stretch before gearing down to win by 1-1/2 lengths, earning a 79 SP. The 3rd place runner from that debut came back to break his maiden next time out at 8f.  For Rained For Forty, however, the jump to allowance ranks wasn’t accompanied by a jump in ability.  He has run roughly the same race 3 straight times, including a dirt sprint, a dirt route, and a turf route, sitting just off the pace early and staying steady without really threatening the winner.  His most recent run, on the 6.5f turf, saw him earn a career high 82 SP in a 3rd place finish, but he has been in the 79-82 SP range in all 4 races.  He returns to the dirt here for his first race of 2019.

Pedigree: 2006 Preakness Stakes winner Bernardini was the #33 ranked US sire in 2018 and currently stands for $50,000.  His sim 3yo crop was not quite as good, currently ranking #51, which is one of Bernardini’s lowest rankings.  However, that may be due to the fact that his sim progeny love some added distance, with 70% of earnings coming in routes (and 67% on dirt), while the now-3yo crop has not had much of a chance to stretch out yet.  Of the 167 runners from the 3yo class to date, 82 have found the winners circle, scoring at a 14.5% clip.  That crop includes 3 stakes winners, two of which have been successful in dirt sprints. The third, Glaring Tide, also a Bernardini x Forty Niner colt, took home a turf route stakes.  Rained For Forty is one scratch bred that looks like he can run for days with the addition of Forty Niner in the DS slot.  Forty Niner is the 2nd most popular DS for Bernardini (trailing only Storm Cat, Rained For Forty’s DDS), with 71 sim horses being the product of that cross.  21 of those have been bred in the last 4 years, and 3 of those 21 are stakes winners (2 in dirt routes, 1 in a turf route).  In addition, 2 of the other 20 are also full Bernardini x Forty Niner x Storm Cat horses; 4yo Faces of Arya, a winner of 2 9-10f dirt routes from 10 races, and 4yo Mystic Number, a winner of 2 turf routes in 14 starts.

Expectations: Rained For Forty had an interesting approach in his first 8f race, where he sat farther off the pace than he has in any of his 3 sprints.  To me, that suggests one of two things – either he’ll try to be more forwardly placed in this race, or he might not have the stamina to get 8f.  The pedigree suggests that stamina might not be a problem, so I would instead expect Rained For Forty to battle for the lead here.  But just because a pedigree suggests something doesn’t mean that it happens every time, so we’ll see if he’s able to succeed at this distance.

Watch Level: Medium

#10 – Gold Medal Champ (Best of the Bests  x Bilodeau [Medaglia D’Oro x Distorted Humor]) – Owned by boileau8 – 22/1

Race Record: 4:1-0-1; $27,960

Race History: After a 6th place debut in a local MSW, Gold Medal Champ actually jumped up to the local allowance ranks, and held his own with a 3rd place finish in a 5f NW1x. He returned to the MSW level and promptly struggled, finishing 7th at 7f, before stretching out to 8f in December 2018 and scoring in a big way, winning by 1-1/2 lengths and earning an 84 SP, a 15 point jump from his prior best effort.  That most recent effort saw Gold Medal Champ sit towards the back early, before moving up on the far turn and grabbing the lead in the stretch, pulling away from other closers.  This was his first time dropping that far out early, but he showed an additional gear in doing so.  Unfortunately, the field from his most recent race doesn’t seem to be the strongest, as 3 of his competitors headed the MCL ranks right after, and only 1 broke his maiden there.

Pedigree: Best of the Bests (IRE), a son of Machiavellian that died in 2015, was the #85 ranked Canadian sire in 2018.  He was a late removal in the sim, so the 2018 crop was his final one.  That crop includes 11 runners, and Gold Medal Champ is the only winner among them, leaving his 3yos at a 3% win rate.  Historically his horses have aged a little better, as the 3 previous crops have all seen 10 winners from the 12-13 foal crops.  Best of the Bests’ foals tend to prefer turf routes (64% earnings on turf, 58% in routes), though one of his 3 career graded stakes winners (of 302 total runners) did so on the dirt.  Gold Medal Champ is the second foal from 7yo mare Bilodeau.  Bilodeau was a multiple restricted-stakes placed filly in her racing career, winning 2 of 22 career races.  Both wins, and her best career races, came at the 8-9f distances on the dirt.  Her first son, Nile of Gold (Pioneerof the Nile), has yet to hit the board at the allowance level in 9 tries (12 career starts), though he has shown some of the same closing ability as Gold Medal Champ showed in his most recent race.

Expectations: Gold Medal Champ’s most recent race, his maiden breaking run, was a significant style change and one that worked out well for him there.  It was also his first route effort, so it’s possible that he just needed the extra distance to achieve his full potential.  However, I’m a little skeptical given the field that he was up against, and I think he’ll need to outkick some better horses here if he has a chance to win.  Still, if he can improve on his last race in his first 3yo attempt, he’s got a solid chance here.

Watch Level: Medium

#11 – Mastery of Humor (Mastery x Comare [Distorted Humor x Heatseeker]) – Owned by waiting – 15/1

Race Record: 5:1-0-0; $34,694

Race History: Mastery of Humor looked solid in his first effort at 7f back in July 2018, where he sat just off the pace early before pouncing and pulling away to win by 1-1/2 lengths.  In that race, he earned a strong 79 SP.  The horse he beat in that one would stretch out to take a MSW and a NW2L in 2 of his next 3 races.  Mastery of Humor, however, seemed to regress, first struggling in an 8f NW2L tiring to 6th, and then looking sluggish in a 5f NW2L, seeing speed figures drop into the 60s in both efforts.  He has tried NW2L races 2 more times since hitting rock bottom in that 5f race, once at 8.5f on the dirt and once at 7f on the turf.  The results weren’t there either time, finishing 5th in the 8.5f race and a dull 7th in the turf effort.  However, he earned a career high 82 SP in the 8.5f dirt try 2 races back (in which today’s competitor, Left Off, ran 3rd, and which saw the winner try, but falter, in a stakes the next time out), and an 80 SP in the turf race, so his trainer has done a good job getting Master of Humor refocused.

Pedigree: Mastery, a multiple G1 winner at 7f-8.5f, entered stud in 2018 so has no real life progeny to hit a track.  In the sim, however, his freshman year was a decent showing, as he has 66 horses to have hit the track to date.  From those 66, 31 found the winner’s circle, winning at a 14% rate.  None of those 66 runners has found the ultimate success in stakes races, but 2 have gotten close (one in a residency-restricted stakes).  Mastery’s progeny have earned 72% of earnings on dirt thus far, and the speed figures of his 3yo crop indicate abilities in both sprints and routes.  Mastery of Humor is the second foal from 8yo mare Comare, who was the winner of 6 from 32 races in her career.  Although she bounced back and forth between dirt sprints and routes, and has a 4th place finish in a 6.5f dirt stakes, her best races seemed to come at the 8.5-9f distance.  Likewise, her first foal, Active Shooter (Bernardini), has also found her best running in dirt routes (or longer), with the stamina to easily get the 10-12f distances.

Expectations: In an ideal world, Mastery of Humor would probably like to sit just off the pace.  But the pace in this race is going to be fast, and Mastery of Humor doesn’t have the gate speed of some of the others in this race, so he’s more likely to sit mid-pack here.  That could be an issue for him, as he has never really showed much of a second gear to get to the leaders, and will instead need them to come to him.  He’ll hope for a turf to dirt bump in this race, but the field here might be a little too tough for him at this early point in his career.

Watch Level: Low

#12 – Neptune Beach (Savabeel (AUS) x Thunda Tee Gee [Thunder Gulch x Bugatti Reef]) – Owned by gustav – 17/1

Race Record: 8:1-1-1; $55,076

Race History: Neptune Beach was eased into racing and has seen increasing distances for 8 straight races.  So it’s tough to tell how much of his early slowness was due to being a young 2yo or not having enough distance.  He frequently showed he had more stamina, but it wasn’t until race #7, an MSW at 8.5f and his second try at routing, that he finally broke through.  Following a 2nd place finish in an 8f MSW, he came back in November 2018 to show his extreme closing kick, dropping over 10 lengths out of the race early before flying home in the stretch and winning by 1-3/4, earning a career best 86 SP in the process.  3rd in that maiden would come back to break his maiden with a 93 SP next time out.  Neptune Beach’s first try at the NW2L level in his 2019 debut didn’t go quite as well, as he dropped back early and had no kick, beating 12 lengths.

Pedigree: Savabeel, the 2004 Cox Plate winner, currently stands in NZ for $60,000 and was the #27 ranked Oceanic sire in 2018.  He may be New Zealand’s leading sire in the real world, but his sim progeny have not fared quite as well. His 2018 crop is currently ranked #228, with 25 winners from 67 runners who have succeeded at a 10% rate.  The 3yo group includes only one stakes placed horse, Ryans Approach, who has been successful at the 5.5-6f turf distance, where he has missed in 3 ungraded stakes races by a combined 1-1/4 length.  The turf is unsurprising, as 75% of his progeny earnings have come on the sod, although his foals do see to get better with distance, as 58% of earnings have come in routes.  As a note, Savabeel is only 3 years removed from a #46 ranked crop in 2015, which includes 15 stakes winners (and 3 Graded Stakes winners) from 120 runners. Neptune Beach’s dam, 11yo Thunda Tee Gee, was a winner of 3 from 31 career races.  She was 5th in her only stakes try, at 9.5f on the dirt, but found most of her success at the 8-9f distances.  Neptune Beach is her 6th foal, and although none have reached the stakes level, 3 of the 5 have succeeded in the allowance ranks, and all three of those have found their best runs in dirt routes. Savabeel has been used with a Thunder Gulch mare 3 times (none in the past 4 years), and the 2 others are a combined 3 for 58 lifetime.

Expectations: Neptune Beach is going to need a fast pace to run into, as he is a deep closer.  He cuts back in distance here, which could be worrisome as it gives him less time to catch the leaders, but he’s shown some skill at this distance in the maiden ranks and may be able to do it again here.  There’s definitely a red flag from his first race as a 3yo, where he regressed from his 2yo campaign, but it’s possible that 9f is just too far for him, in which case this race sets up perfectly.

Watch Level: Medium

#13 – Serve In Honor (Nyquist x Lincecums Hair [To Honor and Serve x Medaglia D’Oro]) – Owned by revnhusker – 7/1

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

Race History: He may only have 2 races under his belt, but Serve In Honor comes into this race as arguably the most distinguished in the field.  He began his career in November 2018 in a 6f dirt MSW and sat about 4 lengths off a loose leader before his jockey pounced in the stretch, pulling past all of the other horses and taking the winner’s photo 1 length in front of the horse that sat 2nd early.  That 2nd place horse came back to break his maiden at 6f next time out, and then followed that up with a 3rd place finish in a 6.5f dirt stakes.  So it’s unsurprising that Serve In Honor earned an 88 SP for his debut win.  He was then stretched out to 8.5f in his 2nd race, a NW2L allowance, and he again sat about 4 lengths off of a loose leader.  That loose leader ran out of gas, but another closer had the first run and pulled away, leaving Serve In Honor to settle for 2nd, 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner, earning a career (and field) best 92 SP.  The winner from Serve In Honor’s most recent race, A.P. Exaggerator, is the 7/1 second choice in a 8.5f dirt stakes on Saturday.  Meanwhile, Serve In Honor will repeat at the NW2L level.

Pedigree: Nyquist is discussed above under Landeskog.  Serve In Honor is the 2nd foal from 8yo mare Lincecums Hair, a horse that spent nearly her entire career in dirt sprints.  That career included 12 wins in 32 races, though most of that time was spent in the claiming ranks (only 2 of those wins were in allowances).  Her first foal, M. H. Gilford (Shackleford), likewise has spent his time in dirt sprints, though only the only one of his 4 wins in 31 career starts that was at the Allowance level was in a NW1x.

Expectations: Serve In Honor may not have the flash of some of the other pedigrees in this race, and he might not have the gate speed of others, but this horse has some serious potential.  He has already put up two very strong races, and his running style where he sits several lengths off the pacesetter should help here.  In his last 2 races, he has had to deal with loose pacesetters, and he’s handled both of them.  This time, he should get a heated pace duel, making it even easier for him to catch those.  The only question is whether a closer will get first run over him.  But him hitting the board here is your best bet of the race.

Watch Level: High

#14 – Stuck In A Trappe (Trappe Shot x Charmed II [Silver Charm x Gone West]) – Owned by fabman49 – 15/1

Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $23,580

Race History: Stuck in a Trappe debuted back in December 2018 in a 5f dirt MSW.  In that race, like others in this field, he blitzed out of the gate and grabbed the lead, sitting 1-1/2 lengths in front the entire way around the oval.  He held on to win by 1-1/4, earning an 83 SP.  The pace in that 5f race may have been a little slower than some of the others put up in this field, or the field wasn’t particularly strong, as the 2nd place horse chased Stuck in a Trappe the entire way around the course and remained another 1 length clear of 3rd.  The only horses to have come back to the track from that race were ones towards the back of the pack, who repeated in back-of-the-pack performances in their next races.

Pedigree: Trappe Shot, a dirt sprinter in real life, stands for $7,500 but has really come on in the last couple of years, ranking #61 in the US in 2018.  A bargain sire, Trappe Shot was used as a sire 20 times in his 2018 crop, a drop of over 50% from previous years.  Of those 20, 8 have picked up a win (at a 13% rate), with the best thus far, Surprise Packet, being stakes placed at 8.5f on the dirt.  Trappe Shot’s progeny are primarily dirt sprinters like their father, with 77% of earnings coming on the dirt and 59% in sprints.  Historically, Trappe Shot has had 4 graded stakes winners in the sim, with his best, Silver Shot K, most successful in 8-9f dirt routes (she was 2nd in both the 2014 Bluegrass Oaks and the 2015 Breeders Bowl Distaff). It was an interesting journey to this breeding for 19yo mare Charmed II, as she was retired back in 2005, but Stuck in a Trappe is only her 2nd foal.  Her career included 34 races, of which she was victorious in 5.  She was a sprinter throughout her career, with 4 of her wins coming in dirt sprints.  Most of those were in the claiming and starter allowance ranks, as she only picked up 1 allowance win in her career (which came in a turf sprint).  Charmed II showed some ability on turf early in her career, but her fastest races came on dirt.  Her first foal, 16yo Crazyrider (Tapit), was much more successful in her career, winning 11 of 40 races, all in dirt sprints.  Crazyrider really loved the claiming ranks, as she was 6 for 6 in dirt sprint claimers, but those 11 wins do include 3 allowance-level wins.  Crazyrider has been a very popular mare in the sim, having been bred 10 times, but Charmed II got lost in the shuffle so it’ll be interesting to see if time has been generous to this mare.  The Trappe Shot x Silver Charm cross has been used 2 other times in the sim (both 5 years ago), and one of those, Ole Conrad Proctor, is a multiple stakes placed horse at 7f on the dirt.

Expectations: With one race under his belt, Stuck In A Trappe is a little bit unknown.  His first race was a solid victory, but the field looks possibly suspect and this is a big leap from 5f to 8f while taking on winners for the first time.  There are two main red flags here.  The first is that he looks like another sprint pacesetter in a field with several of them.  The other is that both his sire and his dam seem to prefer dirt sprints, making it very questionable whether he can get the distance here.  Stuck in a Trappe is definitely one to watch, but my uneducated guess is that he tires out in this race.

Watch Level: Medium

That’s your field for this California NW2L Allowance.  I’m notoriously bad at judging pace here in the sim, but this race looks to me like it sets up to be a fast one.  Giant Pioneer looks like he’ll do anything to be the pacesetter, but I can easily see Seattle Burner, Stuck in a Trappe, Rained For Forty, Shipping Tycoon, and Special Outing battling for it as well.  This race looks pretty wide open to me.  I’m gonna go with (1) Serve In Honor, (2) Landeskog, (3) Maximum Fees.  But if there’s one takeaway from these past few weeks, it’s that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to these predictions.

Other races to watch this weekend:

1)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 6f (Fillies)

2)      Florida – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f (Fillies)

3)      California – Allowance @ 8f

4)      Berkshire (ENG) – Allowance @ 8.25f (Fillies)

5)      Florida – Allowance NW2L @ 8f-T

6)      Kentucky – Alw NW2L @ 8.5f

7)      Thailand – Alw NW2L @ 7.5f-T

8)      Texas – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T

9)      New Jersey – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (Fillies)

Views (249)