BEST BET: RACE 2, GLOBAL POSITIONING
MICOZZI returns for what is ostensibly his 3yo debut while dropping in class for the first time and adding blinkers for his first start for Michelle Nevin; wouldn’t appear to have had to improve all that much during his time off to impact this field and he is nicely drawn on the outside. Four starts and four runner-up finishes so far for REFINANCE, who has yet to make it really close at the end of any of those races, and who was last seen proving no match as an odds-on favorite over a mile; drops again off the claim, but turning back to sprint can help. ARCHIVAL was edging away late last time when a bit of careless riding cost him a win in what was his first start odd the Jacobson claim; likely tough right back if just able show up with a similar effort.
GLOBAL POSITIONING facing a rival or two who are eligible to reach back and find a race that would be too much for him, but he is a bit better than he may appear at first glance, and he is eligible to fire his best shot first off the Rudy claim (past year, first off claim, dirt sprints: 17 for 38, 45%, $3.49 ROI); last seen tiring off a fast pace going seven, but his speed projects to play well in this field, and he doesn’t need the lead to be effective. PEDRO CERRANO was not as good as DROVER CRAZY out in California, but that rival has not yet managed to bring his good form East, while PEDRO CERRANO will enter this race with the top last out Beyer Speed Figure by a clear margin earned in winning effort at Del Mar while facing a field of similar quality; seems a big threat as he makes his first start for Jacobson. DROVER CRAZY has managed only two starts since shipping over from California in good form, and he did not run well either time while facing some better horses; takes big drop off the Diodoro re-claim.
BUILD TO SUIT has hit the wire first in four of his five career starts, with the lone loss coming over a mile behind subsequent graded stakes winner Giant Expectations; no figure edge on this field, but he has looked good defeating solid older rivals over this distance in his last two starts. TRUE TIMBER hasn’t quite class-up vs. stakes competition this year, but he has improved his form, and think turning back to sprint for the first time since posting his maiden win early on is a good thing for him; worth pointing out that that love career win came in a race that completely melted down off a fast and contested pace, and he was there to take advantage. CINDERELA EL CROME a classic overachiever stepping up off big upset win in starter allowance company last month, for which he earned a new top figure; don’t discount as he steps up in class.
Turf improvement possible for SKYLER’S LIL CUTIE, who is a half to two-time turf winner Cloud Control landing in field lacking for any kind of compelling grass form; 3yo filly has raced greenly in her three main track starts, especially when she has been forced to race through kickback, which isn’t an issue now, and she is putting races together for the first time here. OUT OF NOWHERE tough to have too much confidence in at current 0-15 on turf, but she is better sprinting, and her lone start for a tag on grass thus far came going longer; repeat of effort three back vs. MSW company would make her very tough in this spot. STARSHIP ROCKETTE doesn’t have much early speed, but she is an improved horse since switching to turf, and she may have waited a bit too long to get going in that last one before finishing gamely for 3rd; think the shorter distance of this race helps her, but she needs some pace.
Interested to see what SETHARY does as a followup to course-record performance over this distance last month, which was contested over a very firm turf course; reasonably spotted for first
start out of the maiden ranks, and he clearly won’t have to run quite that well to win right back, but there is other speed in this race. FORGE made lone start on turf as a 2yo, and he did not run poorly that day after having some trouble at the start and then trying to get in all through the stretch; back to grass second off the claim after putting up solid figure in blowout maiden win on dirt two starts back. VENTRY BAY dropped to win shorter sprint at Saratoga with an improved figure, then backed that race up well when just missing at Kentucky Downs last month; threat in current form and he has speed. BAD GUY adding Lasix and getting a positive trainer change as he drops in class after landing in four pretty tough maiden races throughout the summer; figures tough if any one of the three positive changes makes the difference for him, though he is not the only one dropping in this field. FIVE STAR BUNT trying for a fourth time over this short sprint distance, this time with maiden claimers, though he is facing several others who are also dropping in class; good effort in that last one when contesting the pace all the way before getting run over late, and he had no chance with Aveenu Malcainu one start prior. Like the top two MR. HOT ROCKS was looking for class relief dropping on for $50k, but he may not have found enough if it; game finish for 3rd behind his sharp and heavily-bet entry mate last time.
ALTAR BOY was taking a significant drop in class when picking up first win of 2017 last month, but he won that race much easier than the final margin may suggest while under confident handling, and he projects to be tough right back as he goes off the claim for an underrated trainer. UNCLE SIGH needs some pace to develop in order to have his best chance, but his recent form is solid, and he was a bit unlucky last time when getting in tight and having to steady on the turn, and then having to swing widest into the stretch. SOUPERFAST came with a nice run to close down a solid pace over this inner course in June, and he has since landed in a pair of races that were taking wire-towire, including a very fast race upstate (103 Beyer for the winner); projects to have a fair pace to run at here, but he can stay close if he has to.
MONSTER BEA was an improving 3yo turf horse last year, and don’t think he has been given the best chance to improve on that form from only four starts so far in 2017 while shipping around; finished gamely to just miss catching an in-form Zennor over this turf course back in June and he then went back into graded stakes company to no avail, but he can impact this kind of race at a price. A LOT making belated 2017 debut following a long layoff; think he is a better horse than stablemate TOMBELAINE, and he is likely too good for this kind of field with his best race, but it’s not like he is a prolific winner, and the layoff has to be something of a concern. TOMBELAINE back to a more appropriate level after taking Grade 2 shot at Woodbine last time; game win over a good field over course and distance prior to that one, and this mile is just about his limit.
THREE GOALS isn’t exactly by a sire known for early success on dirt, but he does have speed on the dam side being out of a mare who won four of eight sprinting on dirt, and she was fast early; trainer quietly does a solid job with first-time starters. JUSTIFIABLE by a sprint sire and from the family of the multiple graded stakes winner Humble Clerk on the dam-side as he debuts for capable first out trainer; gap in the works following spin over turf on 8/7 a concern. PANAMA ED has done nothing special on the track so far, but he owns valuable experience in field comprised mostly of first-time starters, and he is dropping in class for this after apparently being gelded since his last start. EQUAL THE SCORE one to use in this spot as he has the best pedigree in the field for an excellent trainer, though Rice does tend to give them a race to get ready.