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.

“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.