May 102019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Medium

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Low

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Medium

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: High

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Medium

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: High

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Medium

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: High

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: Low

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: High

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Level: High

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

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

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

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway, the #19 US sire in 2018, passed away in 2018.  His 2018 sim crop currently has 405(!) runners to date and ranks #1 overall.  That class includes 264 winners, which have won at a 20.5% rate.  Among the winners are 25 stakes winners and 8 graded winners.  His sim foals are typically routers, aligning with his real world 8.09 AWD, and his sim foals are evenly split among dirt and turf, though the 2018 crop is favoring dirt thus far, with 66% of earnings on dirt (boosted by a certain Bluegrass Derby winner).  Only What You Do is the first of 2 foals from 5yo mare The Black Wolf, winner of 6 from 20 career starts.  One of those wins, her best career race, came in a 6.5f dirt stakes, where she battled for the lead and then pulled away to win by 1.  She did spend some time on the turf, though her best performances all came on the dirt, and she was a sprinter through-and-through.  Although Only What You Do is the first foal from The Black Wolf, it’s interesting to note that her second foal, Like An Angel (Pivotal), broke her maiden at first asking at 6f on the turf in March, and then went on to a 3rd place finish last week in a 6f turf stakes race, where she stalked the pace early and was moving up at the end.  Giant’s Causeway has been bred to a War Front mare 9 times in the past 4 years in the sim, with 3 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners among the bunch.  One of those graded stakes winners is Giant’s Kash, the winner of the 2019 Bluegrass Derby-G1, while the other, Every Atom of Me, is a G3-winning turf miler who just ran 2nd in the 2019 The 2000 Guineas-G1.  Both of those graded stakes winning 3yos share the full Giant’s Causeway x War Front x A.P. Indy cross with Only What You Do, as does 1 other turf sprinting allowance winner.

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

Watch Level: Medium

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

Other races to watch this weekend:

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

2)      Pennsylvania – Alw NW3L @ 9f

3)      Virginia – Allowance @ 8f

4)      California – Alw NW4L @ 9.5f-T

5)      Kentucky – Local ALW NW2x @ 8f

6)      Paris – Alw NW3L @ 9f-T

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

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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)

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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


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Aug 272015

The Sim Bracket Challenge

Ireland (IRE) | August 29, 2015 | 12:50 PM EST | Maiden Allowance
$50,600, 2000 & 10000 Credits | 3-Year-Olds | First Time Starters | 8 Furlongs | Firm Turf

This is a contest hosted by the generous Smokeglack, where the faster winner of the two divisions will win 10,000 credits (with the slower winner getting 2,000). Forty Thirty-eight entrants, two divisions, three year old first time starters, 10,000 credits up for grabs, let’s do this!

Division A (the Ace Of Spades Division):

   1a    HENLOPEN CADET is by CAPE CROSS, a capable sire with an 82% winner rate, but 32% currently this year adding DANZIG to his 5x chart. His dam-sire is the good DYNAFORMER, ranked 25 in the DS ratings and used quite possibly the best sire ever, NORTHER DANCER as a DDS. This makes for a strong turf router and this horse has a good chance too. So far, a great competition. This is Cadet’s entry. He’s 13-1.

|  2a  |CHAPARRAL HANOVER is my own entrant, and the first time I’m writing about one of my own horses. I used a S/DS combo that worked for me recently, and am hoping it will work again. I started with HIGH CHAPARRAL, a sire which has done well twice for me so far, and has a 81% winners rate adding SADLER’S WELLS and KRIS to this colt’s lineage. His dam-sire is RAHY, who is capable and good with turf routers, and I’m hoping he can help me out again, also giving a BLUSHING GROOM bloodline. I used DANSILI for a DDS who is another great turf sire and I think he can help out this breeding, also adding DANEHILL and DANZIG. I know this one isn’t stellar, but he has a good chance. He’s 22-1.

   3a     C’MERE STAY is by STAY GOLD, who shows a 70% winners from starters rate all-time but a much lower 38% this year. He’s a turf router by SUNDAY SILENCE. The dam-sire is EL PRADO, who is scoring well as a DS- his winners-runners percentage is 81%, and is by SADLER’S WELLS. Finally the DDS of this filly is MILL REEF, a stallion we’ll see a lot as a DDS in this contest. This filly is Beisbol’s entrant and is 19-1.

   4a    DINO ZOFFY is of an interesting breed. By ZOFFANY who is currently only 100 credits and a 27% yearly win rate but has DANSILI, MACHIAVELLIAN and MR. PROSPECTOR with the DS of THEATRICAL almost at 1000c who adds NUREYEV and NORTHERN DANCER. KRIS is the DDS who is also at 100c for the DDS usage. This colt doesn’t look like a chalk but definitely has potential and very few nicks. This is
Kimugle’s entry and is the longest shot of 60-1.

   5a    GIGGLING GAL has an interesting mix of EXCELEBRATION, LYPHARD (DS) and DUBAWI (DDS). EXCELEBRATION has to offer a decent 46% winner rating this year as a third year sire. As a DS LYPHARD has an 80% winners from runners percentage but also adds NORTHERN DANCER in the third column. Finally DUBAWI is the eighth ranked 2015 sire and should help in adding a little spice to the breeding. This is Handshobby’s bid and looks okay. This filly is 16-1.

   6a    EVERYDAY EDDIE is no everyday horse. His sire is GALILEO, who has been fantastic up until now. He is having a slow start in 2015 at a 35% winner percentage, but does add a few great stallions in SADLER’S WELLS, NORTHERN DANCER and MR. PROSPECTOR. The dam-sire slot gives him a Rasmussen Factor in SPECIAL (4Sx5D) (correct me if I’m wrong) and that DS is KINGMAMBO. An 89% winner rate as a dam-sire and again adds more great horses (along with several nicks) including RAISE A NATIVE and NUREYEV (not including the nicked sires). As a DDS Russrob has chosen DANEHILL, which strengthens the turf breeding and looks good on paper, as well as adding DANZIG to the lineage. He’s 9-1.

   7a    MEZTLI VABEE is by SAVABEEL who has a 41% rate this year- not the best of all entrants but still okay. More importantly his bloodline includes ZABEEL, who was a fantastic Sim sire in his day. In the dam-sire category this filly gets LYPHARD, a good DS with an 80% winner from starter rating, and also gives him a closer NORTHERN DANCER relation. Finally, MILL REEF completes this filly, who was a good horse and is another turf router. This one could be a surprise if he wins at 14-1 for Daniel.

   8a    DUBAI ODDYSEY is another colt by HIGH CHAPARRAL. He adds a few good bloodlines and his starters win at a 81% clip all-time. As a dam-sire Gcliffo adds DUBAI MILLENIUM, adding a little more turf and distance, also offering SEEKING THE GOLD and a 79% progeny winning rate as a DS. IRISH RIVER is the dam-dam-sire who is still a nice horse and again adds more grass potential. Another good entry, he’s 23-1.

   9a    OUR WAY OR DUBAWI is quite obviously by DUBAWI, a great sire who is ranked eighth this year despite his 46% winners rate. For a dam-sire, Steve555 uses DANEHILL, a very good horse with a good percentage, and adds several good horses to the blood including DANZIG and BUCKPASSER. A great completion to the breeding is KINGMAMBO, who needs no introduction. This horse is looking good, and he’s 9-1.

   10a    ORFEVRERIE is by ORFEVRE, a second-year sire who has 23 winners from 62 runners this year (37%) and is only 117 credits at the moment but does give SUNDAY SILENCE to his roots. As a dam-sire Elenalag chooses the strong DUBAI MILLENNIUM, who a 79% winner rate as a dam-sire, and adds NORTHERN DANCER. MR. PROSPECTOR and SEEKING THE GOLD to his colt’s DNA. For a DDS he uses CAERLEON, giving a little more turf route ability, and has NIJINSKY 2ND as his sire. A strong competitor and is 18-1.

  11a   LUCKY KASH is the second GALILEO entrant of this contest. His breeding looks great on paper, and if GALILEO can hold up to his past glories than this is yet another youngster with a shot at the prize. That sire also adds SADLER’S WELLS and MISWAKI His dam-sire, A.P. INDY is one of the best in Sim (and reality for that matter) history. His 89% winners-starters rating is superb but this stallion does have a better likeness to dirt. A. P. INDY also adds SEATTLE SLEW and SECRETARIAT to the pot. As a DDS Kashbarn chose ROBERTO, who was one of the most popular sires in his time. He was extremely successful and even contains the also popular HAIL TO REASON. This colt looks great as well at odds of 9-1.

  12a   TRUST THE PROCESS is definitely one of the favourites in this contest. By the leading 2015 sire GIANT’S CAUSEWAY who gives STORM CAT, RAHY, BLUSHIG GROOM and the great mare MARIAH’S STORM. He uses the sixth rank dam-sire SADLER’S WELLS who adds NORTHERN DANCER and BOLD REASON to his lineage, and using the capable MILL REEF as a dam-dam-sire, he gives Psyduck a great chance to recoup the cost of this horse and possibly more. Foaled in Kentucky he’s a ridiculous 10-1.

  13a   STREETSCAPE is a good entry and actually has a 5Sx4D Rasmussen Factor with NATALMA I believe. By STREET CRY, the top ranked sire of 2014 with an overall 92% winners from starters percentage, this horse actually seems to be more suited for dirt, as we look at the dam-sire of DANZIG who was himself a dirt horse, but still a great horse and still makes this a fantastic filly. Lastly her DDS is SADLER’S WELLS, a great turf horse, but I still think this one would have a natural aptitude for dirt running. If Tenpoint’s turf training has paid off, this one could be dangerous and is 9-1.

  14a   THE AXE FELL has one of the deadliest S/DS combos in the Sim currently. Another favourite by GIANT’S CAUSEWAY with top dam-sire KINGMAMBO (adding MR. PROSPECTOR, great mare MIESQUE, and NUREYEV), and has the talented dam-dam sire DANZIG adding the third NORTHERN DANCER nick. This colt certainly cost a small fortune and gives Masterm a great shot at 10000 credits which may not even cover the cost of this horse. Nevertheless this is another fierce competitor and a favourite at 9-1.

  15a    I MUST BE LONELY is by one of the most popular sires in the challenge HIGH CHAPARRAL, whose horses are winners 81% of the time. The DS is ZABEEL and around three quarters of his fillies’ foals are winners. He’s got the NUREYEV bloodline and is a good turf horse. The DDS is DANEHILL, a very good horse and sire, who helps out any breeding. The filly is 15-1 and is Liam’s bid for the prize.

  16a   GENETICALLY GIFTED is Summerset’s entry, and is name is true to an extent. By LEMON DROP KID, a sire with a 40% winners rate this year, he injects all sorts of great sires into this filly’s ancestry including KINGMAMBO, SEATTLE SLEW and BOLD REASONING, among others. Her dam-sire of DANEHILL (which is still a great horse and sire on his own) adds even more great stallions such as DANZIG and NORTHERN DANCER. Finally her DDS of DYNAFORMER gives her more talent and liking to grass. This one’s sire isn’t the best of the bunch but if he works out, this is yet another good horse. She’s 11-1.

  17a   JULIE VENDREDI represents one of the nine fillies in the race (half and half, actually), and has another good breeding. By DANEHILL DANCER who has a good 78% winner percentage this year, and is a great sire all around. In the dam-sire slot we have MISWAKI, the 33rd ranked DS, but is more than capable and adds MR. PROSPECTOR and BUCKPASSER. Another good turf router and has an 82% winning rate as a DS, he strengths this mix. Newmarket uses BLUSHING GROOM to complete his breeding who was a great horse, and who compliments this horse even more. His odds are 13-1 and, he’s certainly up there with the rest.

  18a   THAT’S CHOICE AS is fueled by popular stallion REDOUTE’S CHOICE who has a 43% winners from starters percentage this year as I’m writing this, which isn’t too bad. He also puts DANEHILL and NIJINSKY 2ND into the bloodline. As a DS, Rharfo chooses the top ranked sire in Sim history- MONSUN. His 75% foal winning rate (DS) is nothing to sneeze at and is another good turf router. He adds very popular German sire KONIGSSTUHL and is a great horse. As a DDS we have MINESHAFT, a great all-around horse and horse of the year 2003. He also adds A. P. INDY and MR. PROSPECTOR into the bloodstream. This is another horse with a great chance at 13-1.

Two entries were not fulfilled.

To be honest, you can probably just roll an 18-sided die and come up with the winner, by here are my Division A selections.
1-   14a   THE AXE FELL
3-   13a   STREETSCAPE

Division B (Ace Of Diamonds Division):

   1b    HICKORY HOLLOW is by top sophomore sire DAWN APPROACH who has an average 51% W/S (I’ll abbreviate winners from starters percentage like this from now on) rate in 2015. CAERLEON is a good turf sire and has a good 80% W/S percentage as a dam’s sire and has the NIJINSKY 2ND pedigree in his veins. The dam-dam-sire is the GOAT, SECRETARIAT, and he was a good broodmare sire, so the hypothetical dam’s dam should be hypothetically good. This one has a fairly risky breeding, but it’ll pay dividends if it works. This one races for Lenny and is 13-1.

|  2b  | THE GOLDEN ROAD looks good with second ranked sire OASIS DREAM as the father, with a 2015 winners percentage of 61%. This one should have some speed as his sire favoured the sprint distance. Again we see SEEKING THE GOLD as the dam-sire, who again adds a good percentage on winners from runners. He adds some distance to the colt, while the DDS STORM CAT adds even more speed to the breeding. Looks like a strong colt, if the animal has the stamina for Pointblank.

   3b    FOR DA SMOKE is racing for Desertdog and is sired by DEHERE, a solid sire with solid stats including a 65% winners from starters percentage so far, and has DEPUTY MINISTER as her sire. The dam-sire of this filly is ZABEEL, who was very good in his day, and still does fairly well as a DS. Finally, the DDS is FASTNET ROCK, a sire who has been good recently. She’s got a dirt-favouring sire, but her breeding is good if this filly turns out to like the grass.

   4b    HIGHONMAMBOSREEF is not only a spectacular name, he also looks like a fierce competitor. By good three-year-old sire HIGH CHAPARRAL, with an 81% W/S rate he’s backed up with legendary stud KINGMAMBO for dam-sire services, with an 89% W/S as a dam-sire. The strong MILL REEF is the DDS and helps this breeding. Not only do I feel sorry for the announcer, I think this one could take down the field. It’s Bbt’s entry and he’s 12-1.

   5b    GILA MONSTER is Roys’ entrant. This colt is ironically bred by his Bird stable and is sired by RAVEN’S PASS. He’s a moderately young stallion with an overall 83% winners from starters rate. Another turf router, he hasn’t been brilliant this year so far, but he’s got ELUSIVE QUALITY as his sire. For the dam-sire Roys chose DANEHILL DANCER who has a 79% on winners from starters which is quality. For the dam-dam-sire is AWESOME AGAIN, an aging but still prominent sire, and despite his dirt roots, I think his talent should help this colt. His sire isn’t the absolute best, but this entry has definite potential. He’s 17-1.

   6b    WEST SIDE KID is the contest owner’s own bid. While he said that he won’t be taking the credits if he wins, let’s review his horse. By STREET CRY, the best sire of 2014, he’s still available for three year old breeding after his passing in September last year. He’s a very strong sire and adds the MACHIAVELLIAN bloodline. In adding NUREYEV as the dam-sire, Smoke added a Rasmussen Factor (4Dx5S) of NATALMA. NUREYEV also obviously adds NORTHERN DANCER into the blood. The dam-dam-sire is super-sire GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, who is a good turf runner and adds STORM CAT, MARIAH’S STORM, and RAHY. This is an overall excellent breeding, and Smoke might possibly win his own challenge. This entrant is 8-1.

   7b    OUTBACK OPALTON is by super-sire SEA THE STARS, ranked third in the active sires list. That alone makes him one of the top entries, and made even better by the dam-sire SADLER’S WELLS, a great turf horse and amazing sire with an 85% W/S percentage. For a DDS, BROAD BRUSH was used, a top sire in his career and had a fantastic racing career. This should be another favourite and he’s 8-1 for Tulloch.

   8b    PETE’S CILLA is another by HIGH CHAPARRAL, who has an 81% W/S rating on average, and produces some nice grass racers. For the DS you’ll find IRISH RIVER, whose W/S rate is 75%, better than as a sire, and is another good distance turf horse. Finally for the DDS is MAJESTIC LIGHT, but simply looks to strengthen the turf aspect of the colt. This equine should be good on the lawn, and his breeding looks pretty good. Pekay’s bid is 27-1.

    9b    CALVES PEN is Given’s entry, and he selects as his sire DANSILI. This sire has had a 90%+ winners percentage since at least 2011, but currently has 55% this year. He’s still very good at producing turf runners and with the addition of SADLER’S WELLS this colt should be even more potent. Finally as a DDS we have KRIS S. who is very capable and strengthens this breeding. He’s 8-1 and looks like one of the top contenders.

  10b   ESPRIT WELLS is another pretty interesting one. By BEL ESPRIT, sire of the spectacular BLACK CAVIAR, a mainly mixed sire but generally favours turf routers in the Sim and has a 73 W/S rate overall, but only a 29% this year. Followed up with amazing grass sire SADLER’S WELLS, this could make for a deadly combo and with the good addition of HABITAT (the 43rd ranked DS), this one looks like feast or famine.He’s 15-1 and is the entry for Quilly.

  11b   DARK NUMEROUS is a filly with a curious pedigree, starting with GOLD ALLURE as the sire, with a less than stellar 42% W/S digit. He’s got some speed, and is backed up with distance from KAYF TARA in the DS spot, with a 62% W/S percent, and does have a SADLER’S WELLS bloodline in him. The DDS is NUMEROUS, adding a little more speed and the good MR. PROSPECTOR bloodline. I’m not sure about this filly, but she has a few good bloodlines and this breeding could pay off. Lightng99 owns this filly at 56-1.

  12b    UNREDOUTABLE is obviously by REDOUTE’S CHOICE, a popular sire with an 84% winners from starters percentage while he does have a smaller 44% rating this year. Jacklad uses the great SEEKING THE GOLD, who has an 89% winning progeny rate and is good for distance. With the addition of NIJINSKY 2ND, a Rasmussen factor of 5Sx5D has been created with NATALMA, however it also creates many more nicks. This horse looks like yet another worthy contender, and he’s 8-1.

   13b   ROCKY RAINBOW is by FASTNET ROCK, where his starters are winning at a 44% clip this season, with most of them being turf sprinters. He’s by DANEHILL, a fantastic stud, and is complimented by RAINBOW QUEST, a distance turf runner, and has a W/S percent of 78% and makes quite a few turf route runners as well. ROBELLINO (by ROBERTO) who produced mostly turf routers until 2005 when he was pensioned, and I think helps this breeding a little. Another good one, this is Dhret’s runner.

   14b   TURF TORNADO is looking like one of the top competitors. By very prominent sire SEA THE STARS, this horse has high expectations off the bat, and the name alone should be enough information. The dam-sire only heightens expectations- MONSUN. The great German horse mixes the excellent sire KONIGSSTUHL with MISWAKI and CAPE CROSS. A very potent mix, finished with the strong THEATRICAL, he was a great horse and adds NUREYEV. A definite favourite at 13-1 for Padrebri.

  15b   HI IQ is by third year sire IQBAAL. He’s got four winners from twelve starters this year and a 60% winners from starters percentage all-time. His sire is MEDAGLIA D’ORO and has STORM CAT in him too. Lindsypark uses DANEHILL DANCER for the DS, who is more than capable, and also gives this filly a bit of the DANEHILL bloodline. Finally, the DDS is OASIS DREAM, the second ranked sire of 2015. This adds a little speed and also some DANZIG and MILL REEF. This isn’t one of the best this contest has to offer, but he still has a shot. I’m interested to see what she can do and she’s 27-1.

  16b   RHYTHMICALLY is by TEOFILO, who winners from starters rate is a good 82%, and Canyongate hopes he can get one first time out. TEOFILO only has 31% this year but has GALILEO, DANEHILL and the dam FAIRY BRIDGE. For a DS we have DANEHILL DANCER, and I similarly covered him for GILA MONSTER, and I don’t wish to be more repetitive as I am being already. A great way to cap off a breeding, we have KINGMAMBO, a legendary sire in sim history and strengthens any breeding in any position. This could be a good one but it’s up to how TEOFILO did- the rest is great. This filly is 10-1.

  17b   GETTING IN DEEP as you may have guessed by the name was sired by DEEP IMPACT, a reputable stallion with the SUNDAY SILENCE bloodline and an overall 88% S/W percentage with a 44% this year. The dam-sire is MACHIAVELLIAN, a good sire and good turf runner, and boasts an 81% W/S rate as a dam-sire. Finally the DDS is the great NORTHERN DANCER, who needs no introduction and caps off a turf horse nicely. This colt tries to get Desperado the cash, and looks okay at 12-1.

  18b   DESTINATION FIRST is Crandy’s entrant, and is by CAPE CROSS, an elderly but still capable sire. He only has 32% winners this year, but he could certainly have produced a good foal here. The dam-sire is DUBAI DESTINATION who sports an above averge 65% winners from starters rate as a dam-sire, and I think he compliments this breeding. He also adds KINGMAMBO and his bloodline. Lastly, the dam’s dam-sire is NUREYEV, who does create a 3Dx5D nick of himself and 4Sx4D nick of NORTHERN DANCER. Nevertheless he is a great racehorse and I think does good for this colt. This is another good one and can be the winner at a huge 33-1.

(Two entries not entered).

Again, you can probably just throw an 18-sided die, but here they are-
2-   14b   TURF TORNADO
3-    6b   WEST SIDE KID



I probably made a few mistakes and feel free to correct them, but please forgive me as I had to start writing on Tuesday to make sure I got this done. And yes I’m aware this isn’t how the 1/1a-2/2b-3/3c system works but I thought it was a good idea. Good luck all.

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The Irish Derby G1- $1.5 M

 Posted by at 1:20 pm  Previews
Jun 262015

The Irish Derby GI- $1.5M

Saturday, June 27, 2015 | 3:00 PM EST | Ireland (IRE)
Grade 1 | $1,500,000 | 3 Year-Olds | 12 Furlongs | Firm Turf

HAPPY ROCK BURG(1) is the unproven son of SOCIETY ROCK, and I say that because he’s a three time winner, none of which are stakes races or even unconditioned allowances. His speed figures are up to par however, his most recent race in the form of a one length victory in a NW4x allowance with a 99 rating. The colt is trying something new but isn’t the only competitor here trying the same thing. He’s hard to recommend but les111 is trying to see what the horse can truly do. He’s 18-1.

GOT THIS ON LOCKE(2) weakened late in the Irish 2000 Guineas to finish tenth by nine, probably due to the early speed duel he engaged in with EAT ‘EM UP YUM YUM. Looking at the speed here, he should get away clear and he’s hoping to score the early command with ease. We’ll have to see how the extra four furlongs affects his running style but the closers are very strong in this field. It could be tough for the son of ENGLISH CHANNEL to hang on for mtk even if the 7-1 shot manages slow fractions.

HOT COMEBACK(3) took five races to break his maiden, and finally did with a 92 speed rating. He came back and dropped a dud in his NW2, finishing third by four. He’s got the numbers of a GI winner, but it’s probably too soon for this son of PLEASANTLY PERFECT. An allowance win would be a step in the right direction before the graded stakes level for this one. Tullbrink throws this one in a test.

THE ONE TERMER(4) comes off a great two-hole trip but couldn’t seal the deal as late-closing ASPIRING SKIES beat him even after he passed the leader. He came second in that try, the Three Riders STK. After two consecutive seconds, the bargain bred son of WORTHADD shows that he was a pleasant surprise for meguire in what was not a guaranteed superstar to say the least. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won, but he probably won’t be one of my top three in a full field of 14.

ALPTRAUM(5) is slightly more promising than others in the ALW-GI category, but it’s still not favourable form. The DALAKHANI colt looks to continue on a three race win streak which begun in his fifth maiden try where he got it done by about five. He continued with a win in his NW2 and then NW3. His best looking effort was his most recent, with a 104 rating and a three and a half length win. Another interesting fact is that for the past five starts, the colt has been at Queensland and returns to Ireland where his first two races were held. He’s not the best of this bunch but has a fair shake. 10-1 is the price if you’re looking to make a play.

CEFIRO(6) was my third choice in the Japanese Derby G1 and he proved me right, rounding out the triactor beaten six lengths. The GALILEO colt tried 12 furlongs in the Japanese Derby G1 for the first time, and might have gotten there if late closing AMERICAN ROUGE and MAGRIB hadn’t had so much left in the tank. This one is a nice play here, with a fair chance. He might end up in my top three again at the odds he’s ever hovering at- 6-1.

DUBRIC(7) surged late in the covenant Derby De English but fell short to finish fourth by seven, but achieved a lifetime best 107 speed rating. My biggest concern is the 19 days rest the son of DUBAWI gets here. It’s tough for horses to get out there and repeat or even improve on lifetime marks, especially on 19 days off. This one’s usual late charge may not be as effective here, but I hope he proved me wrong. You’ll find 6-1 on the stockton trained colt.

BEGIN THE GAMES(8) came on late for a two length win in the Italian Derby G1, which makes me want to consider taking a second look at the allowance steppers in this one. He came off a two and a quarter length win in his NW3L and had the same statistics in the Derby- win by two and a quarter and a 105 rating. It’s not easy to repeat win efforts from and allowance and a G1 consecutively. This is a great horse, ever-improving, and has a great chance for his second G1 win in a row, and millionaire status. Loving the 10-1 price.

MIGHTY IN BATTLE(9) made a late play in the Derby de English G1 but came up short to finish third by six. He’s among the most inexperienced with six career starts but has already been proven to be a good horse, with a win in the Benelux Colts Turf Final, a second place effort in the Derby Stud Trail G2 and a third in the Derby de English G1. This one has a good shot here, and the son of NATHANIEL should be in the thick of things in the stretch. A ridiculous 11-1 on this hills trained colt.

SINGIN’ N’ DANCIN(10) is another allowance stepper, and this one won his NW3 despite only having one win before that date. The son of DANEHILL DANCER was bred to be a champ, but it could be too soon for this magoo trainee. His most recent victory isn’t much to go on, but it is a good sign. He could be a surprise on Saturday but I’m under the impression that he’s currently not ready.

ZIM(11) also steps up from an allowance after winning his NW2 by two lengths with a 95 speed figure. On his fifth race, he broke his maiden with an 89 SP#. The son of GALILEO has a slightly nicked breed with NIJINSKY II as a DS and NORTHERN DANCER as a DDS, but nicked breedings do work out a lot. So, another case of non-readiness, and 29-1 odds on this allowance stepper.

CROSS UP MONTE(12) looks to improve on a superb career best 106 speed figure in his NW3 win by three and a half lengths. This son of CAPE CROSS looks to be the best of the allowance steppers and may actually be ready. While I don’t think he’ll win the race here, especially looking at his two bad stakes performances in a row four and five races back, I think he could get a check and might be a good bet next time. He’s 9-1 out of the calvin barn.

DOWNPOUR CAUSEWAY(13) represents the only filly in the race and the morning line favourite after her crushing performance in the Diana Grand Prix G1, winning by four and getting a 105 rating. That extended her three race win streak, previously winning the Mother Teddy Turf Filly Route STK and the Commander Jericho Turf Route STK and the POUR MOI filly looks to extend it to four in a win over the boys. She looks to be in top form and deserves to be the 5-1 morning line top choice. I’d even say 5-1 is an overlay.

SEA MY HORN(14) rounds out this full field after his lifetime best in his NW3 allowance. He won by over three lengths with a 102 speed figure and improves every time. But, I have to raise that ever present question of- is he ready yet? The answer could be yes like so many others, but like so many others I’ll say the SEA THE STARS colt needs a little more growing room. Another good bet next time, once we’ve seen what he can do. The 11-1 shot comes from the a2912 barn.



Longshot play- SINGIN’ N’ DANCIN(10)

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