AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – July 26, 2018

DEL MAR

OPUS WON (Race 4 at DMR, 7/18/18) – first time starter from barn that only wins 7% with debut runners also broke from a tough outside post.  Rated off the pace and when moved into the top of the stretch and the rider Flavin Prat asked her, she exploded in the final furlong, finishing willingly on her own and just missing 2nd.  Cal-bred daughter of Eddington has talent.  She’s a half to two winners including a nice stakes winner.

FINGER LAKES

SHAKESPERIAN DREAM (Race 8 at FL, 7/18/18) – this veteran mare was set to run a big race but lost all chance behind as slow a pace as you’ll ever see.  No match for the odds-on favorite who won but rallied gamely to be in a photo for 2nd after having to alter course around that rival.

LOUISIANA DOWNS

CULP’S HILL (Race 4 @LAD, 7/16/18) – gelded son of Eddington was the controlling speed on the drop to the $5,000 level and he ran a winning race, finishing 2nd to another dropper from the red hot Broberg barn.  This LA-bred four year old loves the grass, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the blinkers removed on this speedy runner.

THISTLEDOWN

I’M IN A HURRY (Race 7 at TDN, 7/18/18) – odds on favorite returning off a layoff suffered a terrible trip.  He was stuck inside of horses on the backstretch and had no where to go behind a trio of runners turning for home.  Jock decided he wouldn’t take chances going between runners and he wrapped up on him in the final 1/8th.  Should bounce back in a big way with that race under his belt and get his 18th career win.

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – July 5, 2018

Horses to watch to put into your stable alert or email service, compliments of AGameofSkill (AGOS).

BELMONT PARK

LOVE AND LOVE (Race 1 @BEL 6/29/18) – first time starter was the only one to make a run at the gate-to-wire winning favorite in the Friday opener.  She’s by the freshman sire Goldencents and out of a Giants Causeway mare who has produced a turf winner, so this New York-bred filly looks to have some talent.  Trained by Mike Miceli.

LOS ALAMITOS

INSTAGRAND (Race 4 @LRC, 6/29/18) – No secret with this 2yo first time starter from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn.  The son of Into Mischief toyed with the field and when jockey Drayden Van Dyke asked him, he responded by exploding away from the field and coming home in 11.1.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – June 29, 2018

Put these free horses to watch in your Stable Alert or Virtual Stable Mail

Belmont Park

TAKE CHARGE AUDREY (Race 6 @BEL, 6/15/18) – this New York bred filly was making her third lifetime start for trainer Bruce Levine and her first start going long. Into the far turn she navigated her way through traffic to sit a close fourth behind a trio of runners, while she waited for room.  Once a hole opened up on the inside, she exploded under David Cohen and drew off to a devastating 9-length score.  Could have a bright future for Levine and Glencrest Farm.

Churchill Downs

DIVISIDERO (race 6 @Cd, 6/16/18) – Churchill Downs horse for the turf course suffered a brutal trip en route to a sneaky good 4th place finish in the $200k Wise Dan Stakes.  Javier Toledo gave an amateurish ride as he had him in all sorts of trouble before finally getting clear about 100 yards from the winner.  Came flying late to just miss 2nd and 3rd.   Wins back at Churchill, where almost all his wins are, with a new rider.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – June 8, 2018

Belmont Park horse racingBELMONT PARK

MANGO M (Race 1 @BEL, 6/7/18) – returned off a layoff and was well meant in his turf debut for trainer Shug McGaughey.  He was making a winning move on the far turn when he got boxed in and shuffled around by Whiskey Run.  Ducked to the inside and tried to win the race up the rail, but meanwhile the winner got a clear run on the outside to easily grab the victory.  Son of Tale Of The Cat wins back at this level next time out.

GULFSTREAM PARK

MASCARPONE (Race 4 @GP, 6/7/18) – jockey Jilver Chamafi was asleep at the wheel aboard this turf horse who had a lot of ‘run.’  Made his move way too late, and in the process, got the runner into some trouble turning for home that cost him all chance for the victory.  Finished a sneaky good 2nd behind the 6/5 favorite in a race he could have won.

PIMLICO

FLASH ATTACK (Race 1 @PIM, 5/19/18) – this gelded son of Harlan’s Holiday has been very consistent since moving into the barn of trainer Michael Stidham.  In the opener on Preakness Day he closed well for third against an impossible early speed bias.  Can win back on a fair track, going short or long.

STILL HAVING FUN (Race 8 @PIM, 5/19/18) – this was another one that was up against trying to rally from off the pace but he did so en route to a solid 2nd place finish behind the heavy favorite. Son of Old Fashioned is really good at 1 mile or less.

TENFOLD (Race 13 @PIM, 5/19/18) – in only his fourth career start this guy ran a very good race in the G1 Preakness Stakes.  He rebounded off a poor showing last time out at Oaklawn Park to be beaten less than one length to Justify.  Son of Curlin has a bright future for barn that is masterful at managing careers.  He could play a major factor in the Belmont Stakes.

 

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – May 20, 2018

Put these runners in your Stable Alert or Stable Mail service.

CHURCHILL DOWNS

ANGASTON (Race 4 at CD, 5/10/18) – this 3yo gelding took to the turf like a duck to water.  His grandsire is Lonhro who is a top stallion ‘down under’ in Australia.  The Lon Wiggins trainee drew off and crushed this allowance field at huge odds.  He is now the 4th winner out of his dam (mother) who is by Marquetry.  Can handle all surfaces but is best at one mile or under on the lawn.

AWESTRUCK (Race 7 at CD, 5/10/18) – daughter of top sire Tapit has really come into her own for trainer Rusty Arnold.  Stretching back out, packing more weight, and stepping up into “two other than” allowance optional company was no problem for the 4yo as she absolutely crushed what looked like a good, competitive field.

MIDNIGHT TEA TIME (Race 4 at CD, KY Derby Day, 5/5/18) – lightly raced son of Midnight Lute looked like a winner in this maiden special weights event but was blocked badly in the stretch run, costing him the chance for the win. Out of a stakes winning Dynaformer mare.

BEHAVIORAL BIAS (Race 5 at CD, KY Derby Day, 5/5/18) – This Al Stall, Jr. runner made a bold, wide move at the top of the lane to hook the strong favorite McCracken and battled gamely with that runner in the stretch run.  This allowance race played like a stakes race.  Consistent, talented son of Shackleford will get a stakes win soon.

AUDIBLE (Race 12 at CD, KY Derby, 5/5/18) – Florida Derby winner was the best of the closers and he finished willingly up the rail to just miss 2nd to Good Magic in a very good performance.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – May 10, 2018

the Big A race horseKEENELAND

RIVERBOAT GAMBLER (Race 2 at KEE, 4/18/18) – this first timer by the speedy Justin Phillip was put in a difficult spot breaking from the rail going 7 furlongs in his debut.  Despite those obstacles the Barbara Minshall runner ran very well and got for second behind a runaway winner. He’s owned by Bruce Lunsford who has had a lot of talented runners.

PARX

SPARTAN PRIDE (Race 9 at PRX, 5/7/18) – rallied strongly against the bias and against a slow pace scenario to just miss in this claiming route race to the logical winner.  This was his second consecutive unlucky trip.  Impressive effort.

CHURCHILL DOWNS

WONDER GADOT (Race 11, KY Oaks, CD 5/4/18) – 3yo daughter of Medaglia D’oro ran a huge race behind the Brad Cox beast.  Looked like she had the winner collared in mid stretch but that one fought back gamely to win the G1 Kentucky Oaks.  This Mark Casse runner is bread to run all day, and she will be very tough to beat next time out.

BACKYARD HEAVEN (Race 8, CD 5/4/18) – trainer Chad Brown has a real nice one on his hands (what else is new?).  This 4yo son of Tizway stepped up from bottom allowance company and won the G2 Alysheba so easily.  He looks like he is going to be a major player in the handicap ranks this year.

BUGLE NOTES (Race 3, CD 5/4/18) – trainer Todd Pletcher debuted this 3yo son of Ghostzapper and the colt had every reason to lose.  He broke slowly and then raced wide on the backstretch, but then he made a menacing move to take the lead and draw off as much the best.  He is out of a Seeking The Gold mare who has produced two stakes from four foals to race.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 29, 2018

track announcer with binocularsGULFSTREAM PARK

OPTIMISTIC SHOT (Race 5 at GP, 4/20/18) – Trappe Shot made a nice run at the winner who got away with a slow pace in this 7 furlong sprint. Never gave up en route to a solid 2nd place finish for a high percentage barn.  This was a winning effort.

KEENELAND

SPIKES SHIRL  (Race 8 at KEE, 4/12/18) – Dallas Stewart runner appreciated the return to sprinting and getting the blinkers back on. The daughter of Speightstown unleashed a powerful late run to score the 11-1 upset in this entry level allowance race.  She’s best sprinting.

OAKLAWN PARK

CITY OF LIGHT (Race 10 at OP, 4/14/18) – this four year old son of Quality Road is probably the best miler in the country but he had little trouble stretching out to 9 furlongs in taking the G2 Oaklawn Handicap.  Post 11 and first start outside of California was no problem for the Mike McCarthy runner.

MAGNUM MOON (Race 11 at OP, 4/14/18) – The G1 Arkansas Derby winner was most impressive.  He faced pressure throughout, put away a solid horse in Quip (who did re-rally) and drew off in the stretch.   The drifting out is little concern to me.  Undefeated Malibu Moon runner will attempt to break the ‘Apollo curse’ in Kentucky Derby 144.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 21, 2018

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at Tampa Bay Downs paddock. Copyright AGOS

GULFSTREAM PARK

VIOLENT WAVE (Race 5 at GP, 4/6/18) – 3yo daughter of Violence closed willingly and sneaky good to just miss 2nd in a race won by the favorite.  Trainer Kathy Ritvo never has her firsters cranked up to win in their debut (5% win rate) so this was a very noteworthy effort by the well-bred filly.  Displayed some talent in the mornings, as well.

KEENELAND

ELECTRIC  FOREST (Race 3 at KEE, 4/7/18) – well bred firster was bet down to 5/2.  She broke slowly from the outside post and raced wide on the backstretch.  That didn’t stop this daughter of Curlin from continuing on in the lane and running down a frontrunner who had a great trip.  Big future ahead.

ANALYZE IT (Race 9 at KEE, 4/6/18) – what a surprise.  Trainer Chad Brown has another superstar turf horse in the making.  This 3yo son of Point Of Entry made easy work of a very good Grade 3 stakes field in his comeback race.  He has now won all three career starts by open lengths.  Total beast.

WHEATFIELD (Race 8 at KEE, 4/6/18) – this six year old mare was well meant on the drop in class and shipping in from Fair Grounds.  Jockey Luis Saez didn’t anticipate the trouble this one would encounter down the lane.  She was badly shut off and lost all chance at the 1/8th pole.  Needs pace to close into but she can rebound in the right spot.  She’s best at 6 furlongs and against non-graded stakes or allowance company.

ALMITHMAAR (Race 7 at KEE, 4/6/18)  – gelded son of Tapit for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin ran a bang-up race second time out and appears to have a bright future for Shadwell Stables.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see this guy in stakes company in the future.

DANCELAND (Race 8 at KEE, 4/11/18) – sneaky terrible trip on this layoff returnee for trainer Shug McGaughey.  This daughter of Tapit had “run” but was never given a chance to get into the clear and unleash her finish.  A winner last summer at Saratoga, she ended up well beaten in an effort that can be easily excused.  Moves forward second start back.

LADY APPLE (Race 2 at KEE, 4/12/18) – 2yo daughter of star Curlin, out of a Clever Trick stakes placed mare, ran a winning race but was second best behind the well-meant Wesley Ward firster Dragic.  Great pedigree and solid barn.  Should be very tough in second career start, pretty much anywhere.

 

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 12, 2018

GULFSTREAM PARK

FERDINANDA (race 5 at GP, 3/31/18 FL Derby Day) – this daughter of Giant’s Causeway is a nose away from being three for three since trainer Barclay Tagg added Lasix.  Facing stakes company for the first time she flew home to just miss by a bob to the wire-to-wire winner who benefited from modest fractions.  This one will be tough next time out on the lawn.

STYLE ICON (race 7 at GP, 3/31/18) – trainer Graham Motion has a nice one in this Tampa shipper.  She was the only runner to close in this race and she encountered lots of trouble en route to her third place showing behind the Pletcher trainee.  The daughter of top turf sire Artie Schiller has finished well in both career races.

RHODE ISLAND (race 9 at GP, 3/31/18) – well meant second time starter on the grass for Shug McGaughey lost his best chance at the very start of this race.  He never gave up and continued on well.  This was only his second race and his first with blinkers on.  Half to four turf winners.

REP IPSA (race 10 at GP, 3/31/18) – despite her first race since October and facing a solid group in the G3 Honey Fox, this 5yo mare finished like a shot to just miss to the talented Lull, who took this field gate to wire.  Daughter of English Channel could be set for a strong year for Ian Wilkes.

KEENELAND

TRUE SAINT (Race 1 at KEE, 4/6/18) – the first race of the spring meet featured an impressive performance from this Bret Calhoun two year old.  The colt was steadied as they turned for home behind the even-money Wesley Ward frontrunner.  Lost nearly two lengths in momentum and then re-rallied to run that rival down in the late stages.  A lot of professionalism and talent from this baby.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 4, 2018

track announcer with binocularsGULFSTREAM PARK

MISS DEPLORABLE (Race 1 at GP, 3/21/18)  second off the layoff and first time of the turf runner was badly blocked from inside trip while turning for home in this 5 furlong turf sprint. When she finally got clear, she absolutely flew home to just miss.  Galloped out past the fortunate winner.

HOFBURG (Race 14 at GP, 3/31/18) – the Bill Mott trainee got the pace he needed and made a menacingly late move to finish a clear second to Audible in the G1 Florida Derby.  The winner came out on him slightly in mid-stretch, causing him to alter course.  Either way, he wasn’t going to get to Audible. This was only his third career start and the three year old Kentucky Derby hopeful is bred to run all day.  He’ll relish the long stretch in Louisville, Kentucky.

PARX

MR. BRIX (Race 9 at Parx, 3/19/18) – figured to get a perfect set up closing from off the pace in a race loaded with early speed. That is exactly what was happening until one of the horses in a three-way duel fell and caused all sorts of trouble for the runners behind him.  One of those was Mr. Brix who was taken way wide turning for home.  Remarkably, he finished very strong for the place spot.  Can win back in the right spot and with better luck.

Update: Sadly this was the race that was marred by the tragic spill involving veteran jockey Jose Luis Flores.  Please pray for his family and friends.

SUNLAND PARK

LAVISHLEIGH WILD (Race 7 at SUN, 3/27/18) – tough trip for this 2-1 shot in New Mexico in a state-bred for non winners of two races lifetime.  Was stuck racing inside, shuffled way back on the far turn.  He then came flying home up the inside like a real pro and just missed on the wire.