ANAL­Y­SIS

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Fair Grounds -

BEST BET: RACE 8, TOUR DE FORCE

FIRST RACE

Blink­ers on and eye-catch­ing re­cent works for last-start claim WIN­NING AR­GU­MENT. Could lead all the way from rail if he breaks alertly. First-timer QUICK GRAD­U­ATE is by sire with listed $2.5K stud fee and de­buts with en­cour­ag­ing drills for a $12.5K maiden-claimer. QUEEZEE PROUD was a close sec­ond (nearly 6 clear of third) when dropped to this level last out, but ben­e­fited from rac­ing on a slow pace. Sup­pose MODISTE also has to be though he is dropped in class off a claim.

SEC­OND RACE

SCATMEIFUCAN was a good 2yo grass horse but never got any bet­ter last year at 3. She was a close fourth over this course Dec. 31 in a race she might have needed fol­low­ing a break, and should be very com­pet­i­tive here rac­ing for half that claim­ing tag. The 7.5 fur­long dis­tance also a plus. ILLUSIONOFREALITY won an N2L claimer over the FG lawn for this tag two back, and was dis­ad­van­taged by wide draw and ground loss when in for $30K last time. She fin­ished eighth there but was beaten less than four lengths. LOU found the right level last time — this one — when she was sec­ond be­hind win­ner who got a huge jump on her.

THIRD RACE

GIMME YO NUM­BER had trou­ble at the start in a race at this class level last time, then had to rally from sev­enth into a very slow sprint pace. She has a good record at 5.5 fur­longs, prob­a­bly still fits at this level even if di­min­ished since win­ning at FG last meet­ing, and could get a much bet­ter pace setup this time. Likely never com­ing close to her top pre-lay­off form, but signs of life last time from MISS BETTY BOO, who should be a big price again. Only once in eight short-sprint starts has DUENAY fin­ished worse than third.

FOURTH RACE

Main-track-only HARLAN PUNCH never re­ally de­vel­oped much af­ter his third in the 2015 Delta Downs Jack­pot, but he should find these $30K N2L claimers to his lik­ing if the race is rained off grass. TIZ TOWN took a step back while wide last time, but a re­turn to the form her showed two and three races back — and, for that mat­ter, in most all his grass races — should suf­fice with this group. CORTEGE’s form is kind of all over the place, but a rea­son­able sec­ond-af­ter-lay­off for­ward move fol­low­ing a close fifth at this class level last time puts him in the mix.

FIFTH RACE

GEN­TLE­MAN LEN comes out of two turf sprints, is drawn in­side, and prob­a­bly only has Kayne’spotof­gold to out­run for the early lead. Last March at FG he led all the way in a $20K N2L claimer in which You’ve Got a Friend, a bet­ter horse than most here, was sec­ond. That was a mile, but think he can find enough to stay one mile 70 if he can shake loose. 4yo INDY IDE was much im­proved from May through Septem­ber and has more up­side than any­one else in this field. Shows one work for come­back run, but there’s not al­ways a clocker “across the lake” at Fol­som. TEN TO MID­NIGHT has run well enough around two turns in the past and stretches out with good sprint form, but don’t quite trust him to fol­low through on it, espe­cially us­ing the reg­u­lar fin­ish line.

SIXTH RACE

PINCH OF CAYENNE had good early speed but only ran evenly while wide in his de­but, fin­ish­ing sixth in sprint race won by in­side speed. Worked back since, and guess­ing the de­but run as much as any­thing was a prep for this two-turn try. Speak­ing of preps, JUS CLEVER does not have a turf pedi­gree and was started out last time in a turf mile. Might have been get­ting a race for this move to dirt. As­mussen at a price. SAVED AT SEA could well be the win­ner here off a very de­cent two-turn Delta sprint de­but, but there’s a great chance that he’s bet way be­low fair value.

SEV­ENTH RACE

DIG CHAR­LIE DIG han­dled turf just fine in his ca­reer de­but, then was third on dirt at CD in a very pro­duc­tive maiden sprint. Like the re­turn to grass here, and he looks ready for some­thing rep­re­sen­ta­tive off the work pat­tern for ca­pa­ble lay­off out­fit. Guess­ing he’s more like 6/1 than 12 how­ever. Would also strongly con­sider first-timer TRANSAT­LANTIC KISS for the top slot, and took the other horse on top more as a value propo­si­tion since Kiss, with those works and con­nec­tions, could well get pounded in the bet­ting. The sire is strong with turf sprint­ers. STEAMROLLER had noth­ing more than some early gas in his three NY dirt starts late last year, but he’s by Street Boss and out of a Bro­ken Vow mare, and is a can­di­date for sur­face-switch per­for­mance boost at a price.

EIGHTH RACE

TOUR DE FORCE caught the eye last out when sec­ond-start maiden grad­u­ate on stretch-out from sprint and switch to turf. Con­nec­tions are con­vinced he’s a bet­ter fit for dirt, and they only ran him on grass last time to get the route. One look at the horse and you can see why he fetched seven fig­ures at auc­tion. From the look of his work pat­tern, he con­tin­ues to come for­ward. Will not how­ever of­fer any value. CHICORY BLUE 21 races into ca­reer still was rank last out. Per­haps he didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing held off a walk­ing pace. Rider change, for what it’s worth. Can do bet­ter than last. New owner-trainer As­mussen raises re­cent claim GRIT from $20K LA—breds to an open N1X al­lowance, an en­cour­ag­ing move.

NINTH RACE

GEE WHIZ LIL came back from a long lay­off in good form, but had re­ally lousy trips in her two turf races at this class level. Clean run and she prob­a­bly breaks through now. CA­JUN ENGLISH has ap­peal at any­thing close to morn­ing-line odds. By BC Turf win­ner & out of a stakes-class turf mare, and she nearly won her ca­reer de­but in a grass race at this level last sum­mer. All her turf starts were solid, and she moved for­ward when blink­ers were added. Solid work pat­tern for come­back run, but won­der if she might “need” first start back. LADY LORETTA fell apart when last seen Dec. 15 but has a de­cent chance of re­bound­ing and should ap­pre­ci­ate re­turn to turf.

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