AGOS Horses to Watch – Sept. 4, 2017

Horses to Watch for AGOS Visitors

Saratoga

8/15/17

Race #6 – Mdn Claiming – 1 mile on the turf

New Canaan = Jose Ortiz in the saddle for Linda Rice (23%), and they were dropping in class and going from 5 1/2f – 1 mile. She was sent off the odds-on chalk and was forced to check up sharply at the break. Sometimes a bad start can end the race before it begins, and this race needs to be kept in mind as a very good excuse.

Race #7 – The Yaddo Stakes – 1 1/16 on the turf

Ack Nasty = Joel Rosario in the saddle for Chad Brown. This gal was making her 2nd off the layoff (21%) and 5/6 ITM at the Spa. She stalked at the rear of the field and was blocked badly down the lane this day.

Race #8 – Seek the Ante Stakes – 6 1/2f

Newport Breeze = Jose Ortiz in the irons for Peter Eurton. They were coming off a win at Del Mar moving up the class ladder. Ortiz had her moving around the far turn this day and looked to be running “green” as a youngster sometimes does. She was forced to settle for 2nd money this day and she’ll only benefit from this effort moving forward.

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Saratoga

8/26/17

Race #10 – The G1 Sword Dancer – 1 1/2 on the turf

Money Multiplier = Javier Castellano aboard this son of Lookin At Lucky making his 2nd start of the season. He was 3/3 ITM at the Spa and probably on the same plan as last year heading into the Breeders’ Cup. He’ll most probably move to Belmont putting the finishing touches on his plans. This plan looks exactly like 2016 and could be a good time to be on the watch. He swung out 6 wide at the top of the lane and started to pick up ground getting bested at the finish. This race is a good sign of things to come.

Race #11 – G1 Travers  Stakes – 1 1/4

 Gunnevera = Edgard Zayas aboard for Antonio Sano. This son of Dialed In was making his second off a break from the Triple Crown run. He scored easily in a $100k stake at GP and owns a bullet work coming into this race. He was bumped hard at the start and rebounded nicely looking the major danger. The freshening and maturing may be coming at the right time for a fall campaign. He looked very good this day but caught a tiger named West Coast.

Race #13 – Mdn Claiming – 1 1/16 on the turf

Admirals Cove = Manny Franco in the driver’s seat for David Donk. This son of Hat Trick has been off for 3 months and dropping down in class (20%). – He stumbled badly at the start and finished with a good late kick showing promise for his next effort.

AGOS Horses to Watch – August 10, 2017

Saratoga Racecourse

7/29/17

Race #7 – Alw – 1 1/16 on the turf – Mom’s On Strike

#7 – Mom’s On Strike = Filly by First Dude and she came flying late last in the $200,000 Pebbles. They made a rider change from Rajiv Maragh to Luis Saez who is winning (16%) on the turf and making her first start in 9 months. She was dropping in class and saw every bit of the track this day getting caught 4 wide on the first turn and 5 wide on the final turn. She closed like a downbound train getting beat by a 1 3/4. She’ll get into gear and rebound greatly off this race.

Race #9 – G2 Bowling Green – 1 3/8 on the turf – Sadler’s Joy

#4 – Sadler’s Joy = Son of Kitten’s Joy was making his first start off the shelf in 49 days for Thom Albertrani. He was exiting the G1 Manhattan and looked to fit like a glove in this race. Javier Castellano was weaving in and out of traffic getting caught wide a few times. Once he shook free and started to roll he was inhaled by the top two down the lane. I’m tossing this one to “race-rust” and we’ll look for good things to come on the next outing.

Race #10 – G1 Jim Dandy – 1 1/8 – Pavel

#4 – Pavel = Trainer Doug O’Neill shipped in from California off an impressive 6 1/2f mdn win. This son of Creative Cause may be a good runner to follow as he had to show the connections he has the makings but he may need a little more time. From a maiden score to a G1 across the country may have been too much to ask. Keep your eyes peeled for him next time out as I think he’ll reward his backers coming soon.

Saratoga

7/30/17

Race #8 – A.O.C – 6f on the main – Duquesne Whistle

#3  Duquesne Whistle = Son of Posse from the Linda Rice barn had the services of hot rider Ricardo Santanna. He was making his third off the shelf (25%) and had a bullet work on 6/25 before his victory on 7/1/17 at Belmont. He looked like a good play at (12-1) and he lost his footing at the start and then had to be “snatched” up by the rider to keep off of another runner. Once he got moving he made a solid effort running 4th this day.

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AGOS Horses to Watch – August 7, 2017

Saratoga

7/22/17

Race #7 – AOC $62,500 – 5 1/2f on the turf – #10 – Vici

Vici = Irad Ortiz for Ben Colebrook as they brought a son of War Front to post. He made a flying move going 6f on the sod getting beat at the wire. They dropped him back to 5 1/2f on the weeds and he was 3/3 ITM going this distance. He came into the race with a bullet work at Keeneland and tipped off going four wide to get rolling. The four wide trip became 7 wide and was beaten by a head in a photo by his ultra talented brother Jose. This wasn’t the first Ortiz brother exacta, and it surely won’t be the last. But this guy will come guns blazing next out at the Spa.

Race #9 – The G3 Sanford – 6f on the main – #4 – Free Drop Billy

Free Drop Billy = Robby Albarado in the saddle for Dale Romans. This son of Union Rags was (15-1) on the morning line and was sent off (3-1). – He was an impressive winner at first asking at CD and had a blistering work over the deep Louisville track two works back in 1:00.03 1/32 for the day and distance. The public hammered him at the windows and so did Admiral Jimmy leaving the starting gate. Once he got rolling he went 4 wide chasing down the leader only to settle for the place spot. – Kentucky runners are doing well at Saratoga and you can’t keep Romans off your ticket if you want to cash it right after the race.

7/23/17

Race #7 – Claiming – 6f on the main – #6 – Nisha

Nisha = Irad Ortiz in the irons and was shooting for three-in-a-row. He stumbled badly at the start and recovered his action only to slam into Courtmewithcarats. After that little smash-up, he was pinched back and made a stout five wide move to be third. He’ll come back nicely and probably it will be on the Saratoga lawn.

Race #11 – Mdn Claiming – 1 mile on the turf – #11 – Prognostication

Prognostication = Jose Ortiz for Chad Brown and is a good stalker. Ortiz sensed average fractions and made a quick move and jumped into 2nd keeping an eye on the leader. He was a beaten chalk last out and was sent off the odds-on choice today as well. – He couldn’t have looked any better with the talented Ortiz aboard but got leg weary down the lane getting the show dough. Next out he’ll be a major player.

 

Belterra Park

7/23/17

Race #8 – Claiming – 6f on the main – #4 – Super Franchise

Super Franchise = Gabriel Lagunes for Webster Rosello (28%). He was dropping down from condition $10,000 to condition $7,500. – He hopped at the start and was off poorly. Lagunes had him in high gear and put together a late rally that really caught my eye as he finished a solid third.

7/29/17

Race #3 – Mdn Sp Wt – 1 1/16 on the turf – #6 – Grey Queen

#6 – Grey Queen = Shipping in from Indiana Grand for the Calumet Farm connections. Edgar Paucar was the rider and trainer Jose Fernandez is winning (20%) on the year. – This daughter of More Than Ready was blocked, shuffled back and still came flying very quickly to be a bridesmaid this day. – She gets her picture taken next out with a cleaner trip.

Race #4 – Starter Alw – 1 3/16 on the main – #4 – National Defense

#4 – National Defense = Solid gelding shooting for three-in-a-row. He was 6/8 ITM over the track and made a perfect stalking move under Euclyn Prentice Jr. – He made a ground saving move against the rail and tried to tip off for clear sailing. He was impeded and blocked and was forced to settle for 3rd until a DQ placed him 2nd. I spoke with the riders after he had a meeting with the stewards over this incident and the rider felt he had the best horse by far and lost much of his momentum after being forced to check up off heels. – He’ll be a tough guy next time to the races.

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – August 2, 2017

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

Belmont Park

7/8/17

Race #3 – Maiden Sp Wt – 5 1/2f on the main track

Roaming Union = Mike Smith was aboard for Kelly Breen. He was forced to check up strongly at the break and fanned out 6 wide at the top of the lane. This race should be a great learning tool for races ahead.

Race #8 – G1 Belmont Oaks – 1 1/4 on the turf

Uni (GB) = Irad Ortiz in the saddle for Chad Brown making her first start in 58 days after shipping over from France. Brown has been winning at (27%) at the meet and she broke slow at the start and was in tight along the hedge. She was closing stoutly and will be fun to follow right back for good things to come.

Race #10 – G1 Belmont Derby – 1 1/4 on the turf

Good Samaritan = Joel Rosario for Bill Mott. 3rd off the layoff for this son of Harlan’s Holiday and hit the gate at the break. He was three-wide turning for home and dove to the rail trying to save ground. He opened at (12-1) and was bet down to ($5.60-1) as the public saw the value in this runner. He’ll bring plenty of good runs in days to come.

7/9/17

Belmont Park

Race #3 – Allowance – 7f on the turf

Rubilinda = Jose Ortiz in the irons for Chad Brown. This daughter of Frankel is bred to relish the turf and was taking the next step up the ladder. She broke inward at the break and steadied twice hard during the race. I would use this effort as a learning tool for the future. She’ll reward her backers next time out.

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Belterra Park

7/9/17

Race #2 – Maiden Special Weight – 5f on the turf

As You Do = 1st time starter by Colonel John for the red-hot barn of Dane Kobiskie (43%) at the meet. He was working well and weaved through traffic like a professional. He’ll be effective sprinting or getting more ground adding to this win.

7/8/17

Race  #5 – Claiming – 1 mile and 70 yards – (Originally scheduled for 1 mile on the turf )

Gem Digger = Odhair Mayta aboard for Stephanie Preston an (80%) winning trainer with only 5 starts this meet / 4 wins and 1 third place finish. This daughter of Tale of Ekati  was fresh off a maiden win and three off the shelf. She reared at the start and made a strong effort to get back in the game. With a little racing luck she’ll be a major player.

 

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – July 6, 2017

7/1/17

Belterra Park

Race #4 – Mdn Sp Wt – 5f dirt

Tempestuous Amy was a 1st time starter by I Want Revenge. She was sent off the odds-on choice and ran an even third place finish. Trainer Bill Connelly wins (20%) with his 2-yr-olds and does very well for the second trip to the races. She’ll be a major player next out.

7/3/17

Belterra Park, Race #7 – Allowance Optional Claiming – 1 mile  turf

Princess Drossie was making her 3rd off the layoff move for Phil Sims. She was 1/1 at BtP and had Cory Orm back in the saddle. There was a greast deal of traffic problems resulting in a DQ.  She circled the field in a 7 wide bid getting beat 1/2 length at the wire for everything.

7/1/17

Belmont Park

Race #7 – $100,000 Perfect Sting – 1 mile turf

#8 – Ancient Secret was making her 2nd start of the 2017 season. The Chad Brown trainee was 4/5 ITM coming into the race was in the 3 path most of the race. When they turned for home she was carried out into the 7 path running 3rd this day. – With a little racing luck she’ll be tough next out.

Race #8 – Allowance – 6f on the main track

#3 – Wicked Macho is a son of Macho Uno. He had Jose Ortiz in the saddle and was exiting the $150,000 Easy Goer. He was odds-on favorite this day and shied at the start, checked off of heels, and weakened down the lane. I am tossing this race as a “bad hair day” and look forward to his next. He looked good coming onto the track and should give a better account next out.

7/2/17

Ellis Park

Race #4 – O.C. 20,000 – 6f on the main track

Bourbon Cowboy shipped in from Arlington and was making the poly-dirt switch. The 3rd off the layoff looked solid as the barn wins (28%) on this move. He broke slow and once he got back on track he finished up with good late kick.

Race #7 – Mdn Sp Wt – 5f on the main track

Party Club was a first time starter by Sky Mesa. She came in for D. Wayne Lukas off a bullet work and looked good on the track. She came running late and was forced 7 wide at the top of the lane gaining ground rapidly. She’ll get better with each start and should come rolling late in the lane next out.

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – 2017 Belmont Stakes Day

Horses to Watch for AGOS (AGameofSkill.com) visitors.  Four horses to enter in your Stable Mail from Belmont Stakes 2017!

Belmont Park

6/10/17

Race #2 – You’re to Blame –  The Easy Goer – 1 1/16 dirt

Javier Castellano in the irons for Chad Brown, and they have been winning (46%) of the time. 1/1 at Belmont and shipped in off a closing effort in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs. Bumped at the start and spun 6 wide turning for home managing to be second this day.

Race #4 – Sweet Loretta – G-1 Acorn – 1 mile dirt

Javier Castellano for Todd Pletcher brought a daughter of Tapit who was away from the races for two months. She stumbled badly at the start, and this was a pretty tough bunch. She managed a 4th place effort and should rebound greatly off this awkward beginning.

Race #7 – Petrov – G-2 Woody Stephens – 7f dirt

Ricardo Santana in the saddle and was making his first start in 56 days since the Arkansas Derby. Santana was caught 4 wide in the turn and 7 wide at the 1/8th pole. He will improve for a summer campaign and Santana is going to ride in New York this year.

Race  #10 – Time Test – G-1 Manhattan – 1 1/4 turf

Castellano in the saddle for Chad Brown and was a beaten favorite shipping in from Arlington. He made a strong effort going 6 wide and is just getting started on a summer campaign.

 

Belterra Park

6/10/17

Race #7 – Lethal – 1 mile and 70 yards

John McKee was rolling late in the lane shipping in from Arlington Park. He finished second this day and was 3/4 off the winner. Improvement is soon to arrive the next time he loads in the starting gate.

Race #5 -Steph and Me – 6 1/2f dirt

John McKee rode the Fairmount invader for trainer Dan O’ Halloran. He drew off easily and is eligible for the same conditions next out. A duplication of this race is not out of the question.

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – Sept. 12, 2016

track announcer with binoculars

Ed Meyer is the track announcer at Belterra

“Off the Charts” Trip Notes and Horses to Watch

Belmont Park

9/10/16

Race #5 – #6 – Afleet Martini – 6 1/2 f dirt

Stumbled badly at the start and Manny Franco recovered nicely and was roused to make a solid bid for 2nd money.

Race #9 – #2 – Data Driven – 7f turf

Joel Rosario saved ground for most of the race and tipped off the rail at the top of the lane. Six wide into the lane producing a late lick down the lane  for the Chad Brown barn.

9/11/16

Race #2 – #6 – Adulation – 1 mile dirt

Tracked under the guidance of Manny Franco and loomed boldly around the far turn. He turned in a top effort for the Ian Wilkes barn his rally was enough to show promise for his next outing.

Race #4 – #2 – Jamyson N Ginger – 6f dirt

Stumbled badly at the start, and recovered to uncork a rally showing promise for the next effort.

Kentucky Downs

9/10/16

Race #3 – #6 – Dahlia’s Foxy Lady – 1 mile turf

Florent Geroux’s mount was a first time starter who was off slowly and put in a bid to come up short down the lane. She’ll only get better off of this race and good things are just around the corner.

Race #6 – #2 – High Noon Rider – 1 mile turf

Joe Rocco’s mount came away from the gate in an awkward fashion and made a striking move at the 5/16th’s pole to finish a solid 4th place effort.

Race #8 – #1 – Fleet Bernie – 1 mile and 70 yards  turf

Brian Hernandez in the irons and he settled his mount to track nicely. Upon giving his cue for more run he was blocked badly and had to settle for 3rd money.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #35 – Start at the Start

by Art Parker

Saratoga starting gate

Good horseplayers investigate troubled trips when trying to determine the truth about a horse’s past. The best way to do this is by watching video tape replays. The best place to start watching and begin your analysis of a troubled trip is the start of a race. The first three seconds of a race can mean everything. A horse may be prohibited from his usual running style. A slight squeeze at the start can cost three-four lengths. Trouble can be found at any point in a race, but more trouble occurs at the start than anywhere else. And, when you view the start of a race try to get a view from every angle possible.

Related Article:

Racing’s Most Important Moment is When the Gate Opens – great insight on this topic

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.

Saratoga

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.

Mountaineer

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.

 

 

Monmouth

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.

AGOS Saratoga Horses to Watch – July 27, 2016

“Off the Charts” Trip Notes for AGameofSkill.com visitors

Saratoga

Our Stormin Norman (SAR 7/23/16 – Race #2 – #7 – 1 1/16 on the turf) = Julien Leparoux in the irons, and his mount was bumped soundly and squeezed back at the start. This son of Blame will have much more to offer with a cleaner trip and hopefully the odds board will be very kind for some payback.

Bronson (SAR 7/23/16 – Race #3 – #4 – 6f on the dirt) = John Velasquez in the saddle for Todd Pletcher. This was the (G-3) Sanford Stakes, and this son of Medaglia d’ Oro broke his maiden at Monmouth Park in fine fashion as he stepped up the ladder. – It was a compact field of five and he was pinched back at the start and never got back into stride. – Team Pletcher will work out the kinks, and you can bet he’ll receive some strong gate work to have him ready to roll.

Recepta (SAR 7/23/16 – Race #10 – #7 – 1 1/8 on the turf) = Johnny Velasquez was the pilot and his filly came in 1/1 (ITM) over the Saratoga strip. She was three wide on the first turn, three wide on the far turn, and four wide into the stretch to be beaten by a nose. – She had a great sightseeing trip of The Spa, and dollars to donuts next out she’ll be more focused on getting her picture taken.

Grassarla (SAR 7/24/16 – Race #4 – #8 – 6 1/2 f on the dirt) = Luis Saez in the saddle for Chris Englehart. This daughter of Bluegrass Cat was 2nd in her first attempt getting off slowly brushing against the gate upon leaving. – She was the odds-on favorite this day and had the same troubles when they sprung the latch. Saez did his best to help her overcome the tardy beginning, but it was just too much to overcome. – If she comes out clean, you may cash at a very handsome price.

Llanita (SAR 7/24/16 – Race #6 – #3 – 1 1/16 on the turf) = Irad Ortiz had the call for Chad Brown, and this daughter of Rock of Gibraltar is bred to love the greensward. – Since she shipped in from France last September, she has been a fast closing machine. Her connections are red-hot and it is only a matter of time before she sees the winner’s circle.

Romans Paradise (SAR 7/24/16 – Race #11 – #4 – 1 mile on the turf) = Javier Castellano was aboard, and this was his second start of the year. He is 2/2 (ITM) at Saratoga and was taken up sharply to avoid running up on the heels of rank horses. Once he found clear sailing, he was a day late and a dollar short getting his momentum rolling. – Maybe a little better trip may be just what the doctor ordered.