ANAL­Y­SIS

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Aqueduct -

BEST BET: RACE 6, VARI­ANT PER­CEP­TION

FIRST RACE

Ag­gres­sive tac­tics didn’t work with LIT­TLE SCHMO tir­ing af­ter cut­ting the pace at this level last time, but he was still el­i­gi­ble to have needed that race af­ter fail­ing to get much run­ning done in that first start off the long lay­off; threat this time, if he can get back to the from he was in prior to hit­ting the side­lines. CANI FORM had no ex­cuses last time af­ter tak­ing over to a clear lead in the stretch, though he was run down by a back-classer who came right back to win again; projects for an­other nice trip in this spot. Haven’t been a fan of the races that HARD HIT­TER has been com­pet­ing in since start­ing back ear­lier this year, but he was setting a solid pace two starts back be­fore tir­ing, and he is a threat to im­prove while adding blink­ers off the Rudy claim.

SEC­OND RACE

ODE TO THE HUNT has been a frus­trat­ing horse to fol­low, but he did run well in both starts up­state off the lay­off, and this class re­lief is likely what he needs more than any­thing else; should have some pace to run at, just needs a trip into it. RAPPEL also drop­ping for the first time af­ter fail­ing to de­liver on some early prom­ise; tough post, but he is sup­posed to fac­tor here with his typ­i­cal race. ONE OF A KIND has been even on turf so far, though most of those races came early on in his ca­reer; threat to im­prove quickly as he makes first start on grass since be­ing claimed by Maker, and he is well drawn in­side.

THIRD RACE

CAUSE FOR SUR­PRISE took the early ini­tia­tive when dropped in class last time, and he looked home free late be­fore weak­en­ing and just get­ting nailed at the end; can re­vert to stalk­ing tac­tics in this spot as he goes off the claim for top con­nec­tions. GIANT IN THE MOON LITE is an in­fre­quent win­ner look­ing for his first win in over two years, but he tends to fire ev­ery time and there is pace in this race to set him up; good ef­fort keep­ing af­ter the ta­lented Mr. Buff be­fore once again fall­ing short last time. BRIM­STONE up off the claim af­ter get­ting wired by a fast horse on a class drop last month, but he has the back races to han­dle the rise; best races have come when he can be part of the pace, but he is ef­fec­tive from stalk­ing range.

FOURTH RACE

MORE THAN A SAINT a More Than Ready half to two-time turf sprint win­ner, and de­but win­ner, Saratoga Dreamer de­but­ing for a trainer who has put up some strong num­bers with 2yo first-time starters on turf (past five years: 12 for 38, 32%, $3.51 ROI); tak­ing him in ab­sence of any com­pelling turf form from the ex­pe­ri­enced horses. Ques­tion­able whether COL­LEC­TIVE EF­FORT can trans­fer his form to turf, but he is a bit un­lucky to still be a maiden con­sid­er­ing how well he has run in his main tracks starts; dam was a dirt sprinter, but her ca­reer never re­ally got off the ground, but she has dropped a turf sprint win­ner al­ready, and the sec­ond dam here, The Rodeo Ex­press, was a four­time turf win­ner sprint­ing on grass. PA­GANINI from a fe­male fam­ily that was all dirt, but he is a Freud and he de­buts for a trainer who is un­der­rated, es­pe­cially with his turf sprint­ers.

FIFTH RACE

Well-bred TRO­PHY AS­SET put in a de­ter­mined late run to close down a loose leader in his ca­reer de­but at Bel­mont, and he was clearly best at the end of that race at a short price; hasn’t found the tough­est 1x field in the world as he takes the next log­i­cal step. CLUTCH CARGO got the right trip and did his best with it while no match for re­peat win­ner Red Knight (now 3 for 3 on grass) off the short lay­off last month; still look­ing for first win since his truf de­but at the end of last year, but he has been fac­ing tougher at this level re­cently, and he ap­pears to be a horse who can ben­e­fit from the ad­di­tion of blink­ers her will be get­ting here. MASCARELLO was sit­ting on a win in the re­stricted claim­ing ranks all sum­mer, and he de­liv­ered in blowout score with a new top fig­ure last time; steps back up at the right time.

SIXTH RACE

VARI­ANT PER­CEP­TION fin­ished be­hind his sta­ble­mate AL­LURED as they made their re­spec­tive ca­reer de­buts at Saratoga back in Au­gust, but he ap­peared to be a 2yo who could re­ally ben­e­fit from the ex­pe­ri­ence while rac­ing a bit green from in be­tween horses in the stretch of that race; was given a lit­tle more time than his mate fol­low­ing that race, and the added fur­long of this con­test can ben­e­fit this horse. AL­LURED chased that quick front-run­ning win­ner when tak­ing 2nd ahead of VARI­ANT PER­CEP­TION up­state, and he had no chance with the im­pres­sive Mon­tauk in his sec­ond start; horse to beat on the way in. VINO ROSSO bred to go long as a Curlin colt from the fam­ily of Bel­mont Stakes run­ner-up Com­mis­sioner, but he ap­pears to be train­ing well up to his de­but for Pletcher.

SEV­ENTH RACE

TOUGH­EST ‘OMBRE may be an un­likely win­ner of this race, which ac­tu­ally came up pretty tough for the level, but he can go with these horses with his best race, and he is ex­it­ing a pair of races where he ran well with no real chance to win; would like to see him get for­ward in this race, which does not con­tain much pace. SOUPER TAPIT faded to last in his turf de­but last month, but he was only de­feated by a cou­ple of lengths vs. stakes ri­vals, and he was rank early in that race, which was his first start back from a long lay­off; bet­ter spot for the sec­ond at­tempt, and he ap­pears to have plenty of abil­ity. CLAS­SIC COVEY tak­ing on tougher now af­ter go­ing back-to-back in first two starts as a 3yo, in­clud­ing a strong late run to close that field down late time; this race is tougher, and he may not have much pace to run at, but he ap­pears to have some po­ten­tial for a top trainer.

EIGHTH RACE

MESSI can af­ford no mis­takes from post 12 in the Red Smith, but feel like I have to give him one more chance fol­low­ing a cou­ple of very dif­fi­cult and un­lucky trips two and three starts back, and it’s easy to toss that last one where he was sent along to the lead over a boggy course; his time may have passed, but I’ll stick with him for one more run at a price. CALL PRO­VI­SION also stuck to­ward the out­side, but he has re­ally im­proved with dis­tance and he steps back up at the right time fol­low­ing a strong last-to-first win over this dis­tance last month in a race where he was the only one clos­ing ground. GET JETS tried to stretch it out again af­ter suc­cess­fully get­ting nine fur­longs last time, and out fin­ish­ing CALL PRO­VI­SION in the process; handy run­ning style is key for 4yo who has made no mis­takes on turf to this point.

NINTH RACE

PIMM’S CUP didn’t run par­tic­u­larly well in his fi­nal three starts prior to the lay­off, but he is the kind of newer face I want in this field, and he does have a race that will make him com­pet­i­tive here in the form of that 53 Beyer ef­fort in his first start at this level, which also came off a lay­off. MY DAD FLOYD looks like the one to beat as he makes his sec­ond start for the tag, de­spite be­ing de­feated as the favorite first time around; would like to see him get a more ag­gres­sive ride this time. GIANT ROCKS now 0-12 af­ter just miss­ing at this level last time; earned a cou­ple of dirt fig­ures that stand out in this field as a 2yo, and he will be hard on this field if man­ag­ing to get back to that level as he makes his third start off the lay­off.

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