AGOS Horses to Watch – Aug. 10, 2016

“Off the Charts” Trip Notes

Horses to Watch

You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for some runners who didn’t get the kindest trips. Just follow them right back, and a big payday could be just around the corner.

track announcer with binoculars

Ed Meyer is the track announcer at Belterra

Belterra Park

Pepite (BTP Race #4, 8/7/16 – #1 – – 1 1/16 on the turf) – Fresh off the claim for “Chip” Brownfield, and for a turf course that plays kind to speed. This son of Pulpit was fanned eight wide at the top of the short stretch and got up in the shadow of the wire. They haven’t gotten to the bottom of this guy yet, and he looks like a turf runner that has the ability to move up in class. – For what its worth. The same winning connections claimed Aesop from the race who had a bad day and turned in a lackluster performance. His barn is on a mission and after talking with him last night there might be some more claims to come.


Brooklyn Bobby (SAR 8/6/16 Race #1 – #1 ,  1 1/16 turf) – This son of super horse Frankel shied inward at the start and was checked up sharply. Good works and great connections with Joel Rosario and Brian Lynch have us looking forward. The well-bred two-year-old has the makings of something very good as his sire wins 64% with his first time turfers. We’ll toss this one and file it under being a youngster.  This guy has something special and needs to be followed right back.

Sport (SAR Race #5 – #5,  1 1/16 on the turf) – jockey Irad Ortiz in the irons with a freshened son of Hard Spun. He had been away from the races for 55 days and has solid works to signal his readiness. He bumped around leaving the gate and stuck behind a wall of horses under a hammer-lock waiting for room. He was full of run and had no place to go. He has the look of a runner who may wheel right back and score.

Comfort (SAR Race #10 – #2 – Comfort – (G-1) Whitney – 1 1/8) – Johnny V and Pletcher brought this son of Indian Charlie to the paddock. He was facing a monster in Frosted but what he showed gives me great hope moving forward. He checked leaving the starting gate and while in the two path he showed great late acceleration. Maybe facing anyone but Frosted would be a blessing or could he be that upset runner in the wings ?  Time will tell and he’ll give em’ fits next with a clean trip.

Anchor Down (SAR 7/30/16 – Race #9 – #1 – 6f on the dirt) – Jose Ortiz had the call for Todd Pletcher and was coming off a 49 day layoff and turning back from a string of mile of races to go six panels. Now he has two starts with two ITM finishes at this distance, but this race looked like they have something in mind later in the season. – He was bumped soundly at the start and just mailed it in from there. – I can’t wait to him return to the races as his works were strong coming in and a little bad luck dampened his day.

King of Spades (SAR 7/28/16 – Race #6 – #9 – 1 mile turf) – Florent Geroux was far  back with slow fractions. He came rolling late in the lane to catch the eyes of handicappers far and wide. Fresh off a maiden win and maybe a little more ground could be in his future. Either way, if he finds a way to stay in contact with the field he may be one to get some good payback.

El Talento (SAR 7/30/16 – Race #1 – #3 – 5 1/2f turf) = Johnny V aboard this first timer for the Pletcher barn and was bumped at the gate break and stalked just off close to the leaders. Once the rider settled his mount he had to check off heels at the 3/16 th’s pole and  still managed a solid effort for third money.


Moonshine Promise (MNR 8/6/16, Race  #1 – #8 – 6f on the main track)  – DeShawn Parker had the Cleveland invader in the catbird seat and rated well. He fanned out six wide making a late bid and his late turn of foot is what caught my eye.  He may pop up at Thistledown, or right back Mountaineer. I’m looking for a mid-range stake that will have him in the right place ready to roll.




Birdatthewire (MTH 7/31/16 – Race #10 – #6 – 1 1/16 dirt) –  Victor Lebron had the call and hesitated strongly going into the starting gate. This was her second start off a brief layoff and all systems looked go. Maybe she didn’t favor the track as it was her first effort over the slop. She exited a beaten favorite in the (G-1) Princess Rooney, and the drop in class had heavily backed at the windows. Give her a fast strip and the outcome may be a whole new game.

Sunny Ridge (MTH 7/31/16 – Race #12 – #2 – 1 1/8 on the dirt) –  Nik Juarez had the call in the Haskell Stakes and his mount was 2/2 with wins over the course. He also owned two nice second place finishes on a soft track. Go back and really watch the race closely. He may not have beaten the fast closing Exaggerator on his favorite type of track,  but he was behind a wall of horses at the top of the lane with no place to go. Once they squared away for the stretch the drive the tempo quickened and he had angle out and found late energy to finish a game third.  Maybe this level was a notch above his liking,  but play this one back with full confidence if he finds himself in a (G-2) or (G-3) effort. Go back to the Delta Jackpot and you see him rolling late in the lane getting beat by Exaggerator.

Mountaineer Runner is a Home-grown Special

Mountaineer racetrack     By Bill Mooney for MNR

     In regards to racehorses, Jasizzle is as home-developed a product as you’ll find. The seven-year-old gelding is co-bred, raised, trained and owned by Tommy R. Mills. He’s the 5-2 second choice in the morning line for Saturday’s $25,100 Welcome Back Dash, the five-furlong, opening night feature at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort.

     In last year’s edition of the Welcome Back, Jasizzle took the lead right out of the gate, shook off a couple of challenges and prevailed wire-to-wire by 3 ¼ lengths. That was a snowy night in March. Saturday promises to be a warm night in April. Not that it matters to Jasizzle. He’ll run anytime, anywhere.

     Jasizzle has made 49 career starts, and he’s picked up a paycheck in every one of them. They have ranged in value from $143 he earned when finishing sixth in his career debut at Keeneland back in 2011; to the $37,500 he picked up when winning a turf allowance sprint at Churchill Downs at age three.

     “He has been a dream for me,” said the 53-year-old Mills, who bases his seven-horse string at the Kentucky Training Center near Lexington. “Jasizzle is just as sound today as when I started with him. He’s something of a fan favorite at Mountaineer, and the horsemen there have a big appreciation of him too, although none are particularly anxious to run against him.”

     There are nine victories on Jasizzle’s career resume (including at least one every year he has campaigned), along with 17 placings. He has accumulated a career bankroll of $388,669. Jasizzle has won on fast tracks, tracks rated good, a muddy track, a pair of synthetic surfaces (at Turfway Park and Presque Isle Downs) and a firm grass surface. He has proven to be a horse for many a course.

     “But he especially seems to like Mountaineer,” Mills said, and past performances lend credence to that belief. Jasizzle has made 14 career starts at the Hancock County track, winning five of them and placing in seven others.

     Four times, Jasizzle has been second in black-type company. He finished in front by a length in the 2013 edition of the Senator Robert R. Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer on the West Virginia Derby undercard, but was disqualified to the runner-up position for sharply veering in on another horse at the break.

     So, that elusive black-type triumph has yet to be added to Jasizzle’s record. But he was second, missing victory by just a neck, in the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes at Churchill at age four. That makes Jasizzle graded-stakes-placed, and he was also the runner-up in the Sophomore Sprint in 2012 at Mountaineer as well as the 2015 edition of the ‘Byrd Memorial.

     His pedigree includes impressive components. Jasizzle’s sire, won the 2006 Belmont Stakes. Jasizzle’s dam, Silky Bay, registered maiden, allowance and a pair of claiming scores from 18 career starts. Those are modest credentials. But Silky Bay lists the Hall of Famers Northern Dancer, Seattle Slew, Secretariat and Buckpasser in her family tree. There’s some royal blood flowing through her veins.

     Mills claimed Silky Bay for $10,000 at Ellis Park in August of 2006. “I initially had a couple of partners in her, but then Silky Bay got injured and I bought them out for $13,000,” Mills said. Twice, Jasizzle has been consigned to auctions. He fetched a $29,000 bid at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale in 2010, but was not sold. And he was put in, then taken out, of the Keeneland January Sale in 2012.

     Sprinting is strictly Jasizzle’s forte – five- to 6 ½-furlong distances. Early in his career, Mills tried stretching him out to 1 1/8 miles on the grass at Keeneland, but after vying for the lead early, Jasizzle finished well off the board.

     Luis M. Quinones has the mount on Jasizzle Saturday. Quinones has won with him four times in the past. “I’ve been aiming for six months for this race,” said Mills. “And after it’s run, I might retire Jasizzle. Maybe make him a lead pony. He’s done everything for me I could ever ask.”

     Mountaineer Notes. Tuesday. April 26, will be “Help a Horse Day” at Mountaineer. Contributions will be solicited for the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (also known as CANTER USA), which provides Thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers.