BEST BET: RACE 5, HOLY GIACOMO
BOYFRIEND’S BACK is dropping to a new low off a 14-length loss for $12.5K, from which the sharp winner exited to beat trounce state-bred optional claimers (92 Beyer). He can get back on track with Panici taking over. REMARKABLE TALE rallied for second in each of his last two outings, but there’s not much speed in this field. MASS APPROVAL wasn’t far behind the latter in fourth after a mounting a mild inside bid from sixth in his latest.
PRINCE OF ENGLAND possesses the best Beyers and form in this inflated $25K seller. He has tactical speed and a new rider, the capable Vasquez, who’s 1 for 1 at the meet for this barn. EQUITY is halving in price for his third race off the sidelines, and should be a factor in his second onemile attempt. FLATTERONI, by Flatter, is bred to be a late bloomer. He’s stretching out with ample stamina in his pedigree, while making his second start with Lasix.
FLORIDA FABULOUS is by a pretty good debut sire, and her dam dropped two route winners from four starters, including stakes-placed Sweet N Discreet. She’s worked quickly for a trainer who’s 2 for 9 with first-timers in dirt routes over the past five years ($1.37 ROI). HELEN VIRGINIA vied up front through soft posted fractions before holding on for second over COTTON TOOYAH in her improved second start. MOST PRIVILEGED is by classic winner Lookin At Lucky, who’s gotten nearly 15% debut winners. Her dam, a route winner, has been a poor producer. This highprofile barn scored with a first-timer going long last Saturday.
HUNDRED YEAR STORM could take advantage of the notion that there’s very little speed in this seven and a half-furlong conditioned claimer. Expect the daughter of War Front to lead the way on the stretchout under leading rider Saez, who’s 5 for 11 at the meet for this live barn. Stretch-runner SASSY ASTRAY got up for second in her first try at this level Jan. 20. She should hit the ticket with Castellano taking over. Use PAT M’S IMAGE and BULL EMPRESS underneath in the exotics.
HOLY GIACOMO is shortening up a furlong off a flat third, and seven-eighths figures to hit her right between the eyes. Top jock Saez is sticking with the daughter of Giacomo, who should be dead fit in her second race after a break. TANYAS PRIDE is getting a rider switch to a hot Paco Lopez following a narrow loss traveling three-quarters in the slop. CHOCOLATE BOURBON is moving from turf to dirt, and could hang on for a share after flashing speed.
COOL improved significantly second-time out, when she was a prominent second at a notch higher, from which the trailer exited to topple $25K maidens. She could wire this field with Paco retaining the mount. MY SISTERSLEDGE is descending from the maiden special weight ranks following a layoff, and should be in the hunt with the accomplished turf rider Rosario aboard. CAN’TCATCHTHERAXX ran well for second in a recent $20K turf sprint, and the third-place finisher came right back to graduate for $20K in the slop.
MARKET MONEY didn’t have the smoothest of trips at first asking on the grass, but managed to salvage fourth in a 12-horse field. She subsequently finished a chalky second in the slop, and shouldn’t be held off much longer. BIONDETTI SONG made the board in three of her seven outings, and is probably at her best going fiveeighths on the lawn. DADDY’S HEIRESS could be less aggressive with blinkers off, in her first try off the claim. Also eligible BALLYHOO MOON is another possibility.
TRANQUILO defeated two next-out winners while winning a recent $16K sprint, when he was claimed by a capable conditioner. The son of top sire Malibu Moon is going long on dirt for the first time, and is bred for the task at hand. OVER LIMIT was a wide fourth behind the top pick in the aforementioned event. He’s bred to go long on the dam’s side, and could make some noise at a square price with the bug picking up the mount. COLONEL SWINSON came wide from left field to finish a lapped-on second in his first start outside the maiden ranks three weeks ago.
ITALIAN CHARM is among a host of contenders in this third-level allowance/optional claimer. The Gio Ponti colt is unbeaten following a layoff, and has been laid up since a bit of troubled trip in the Nov. 24 Gio Ponti Stakes at Aqueduct. CONQUEST TYPHOON ran well for second in a recent N3X/$100K optional claimer, in his first start since going through the Keeneland November Sale as part of the Conquest Stable dispersal. The 2014 Canadian champion male 2yo is eligible to improve in his first race as a gelding. AMERICAN PATRIOT would prefer nine furlongs over a mile and a sixteenth, but the G3-winning comebacker is hard to ignore with JR riding for Pletcher. Off a troubled fourth, SAHAM is also worth a look in his second try off the bench.
STOLEN SUNDAY is adding blinkers off a closing second in his second start, and should appreciate the slight increase in distance from seven and a half furlongs to a mile. The talented Juarez teamed up with trainer Jane Cibelli to win with Starship Thor on the grass last Sunday. AWESOME REKHA was claimed for $25K while placing in each of her excursions. Wolfson has a 20% strike rate firsttime off the halter switch going back five years ($2.46 ROI). GOLDEN nd TREASURY is also experimenting with blinkers. Use her underneath in vertical bets, along with CONQUEST RAPIDUNO.
ROL AGAIN QUESTION is dropping off a fade job in which he went too fast up front vs. $50K maidens, to the $20K level at which he ran second in his opener. His outside draw is a negative, but he might be good enough to overcome it. MOJO RISING has gotten closer to breaking through with each subsequent appearance at the meet, and should hit the ticket with Paco climbing aboard. REDISCOVER, another long-time maiden, has been knocking on the door under Lanerie. CHARLIE ATLAS is a wild card in his first start beyond five furlongs.