ANAL­Y­SIS

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Aqueduct -

BEST BET: RACE 2, RIDE ON FAITH

FIRST RACE

IN­FAT­U­A­TION by a good sire and from a dam who was a quick dirt sprinter in her ca­reer; de­buts for a tag for an ex­cel­lent first out trainer and her most re­cent breeze from the gate matches up with Quick Con­nect, who won first out for En­gle­hart for this same $30k tag last Sun­day with a 58 Beyer. CON­GRATS ELLEN de­buted over a sloppy track at Parx and chased wide be­fore tir­ing over a tough dis­tance; took some money in that spot and put her ex­pe­ri­ence to use for a trainer who is 24% over the past five years with sec­ond-time starters in maiden claim­ing races ($2.02 ROI). ASH N’ EM de­buts for Rudy from a nice out­side post; first foal from this un­raced dam, who is a sis­ter to Grade 1 win­ning 2yo Ap­peal­ing Zo­phie, who also hap­pens to be the dam of Bel­mont win­ner Tap­writ and Grade 2 turf horse Ride a Comet.

SEC­OND RACE

RIDE ON FAITH had been in good form for Nick Zito be­fore go­ing back to back upon ar­rival in NY ear­lier in the year, then got held up be­hind horses as the field raced in a tight pack two starts back; good ef­fort last time for 2nd to an im­proved Truly a Moon Shot (83 Beyer). GO BIG OR GO HOME made an im­me­di­ate pos­i­tive im­pres­sion when switched to dirt ear­lier this year but he couldn’t keep that mo­men­tum go­ing through the sum­mer; win last time was more game than any­thing else but he showed a will­ing­ness to fight af­ter get­ting in­volved early. FIL­LET OF SOLE earned a string of com­pet­i­tive fig­ures over a variety of dis­tances be­fore get­ting dusted by bet­ter horses off a short lay­off at Parx most re­cently; back to the right level for a trainer who is al­ways dan­ger­ous and off to a good start at the meet.

THIRD RACE

ONE RIVER PLACE has to get seven fur­longs but he has shown that he fits in the claim­ing ranks with two wins from four starts for a tag and he is per­fectly drawn out­side with a ver­sa­tile run­ning style; new trainer has been solid off the claim from a lim­ited sam­ple (past five years, 11 for 38, 29%, $1.96 ROI). ASTERISK gave way to Gun­n­ev­era two starts back then tried a tougher spot in his first NY start and first for Rudy last month; drops sig­nif­i­cantly with the back races to be tough here. HEAVY MED­DLE has an even run­ning style that leaves him vul­ner­a­ble to bet­ter horses, as ev­i­denced by his strug­gles to break through his NY-bred con­di­tions over the past cou­ple of years; class re­lief helps and he did make a pre­ma­ture move into a good pace three back in an un­der­rated ef­fort.

FOURTH RACE

WAY SMART just 1 for 7 so far but she has run well in some tough spots, in­clud­ing that race two back at Saratoga when taking over the lead in the stretch ahead of a pair of bet­ter horses; sup­posed to be tough in this spot, as­sum­ing we are on the turf. AL­LEY TO CAL­VARY un­der­rated on the turf and right back at the right level af­ter even­tu­ally get­ting through in­side and just miss­ing at a price last time; han­dled yield­ing ground two back when chas­ing a fast pace and just get­ting out­fin­ished at the end. MIL­LIE’S JOUR­NEY didn’t han­dle dirt last time vs. a bet­ter field; has the pedi­gree for turf as she switches over for the first time (dam was a Grade 3 win­ner on grass) while drop­ping in to face claimers.

FIFTH RACE

JUST RIGHT im­proved with rac­ing up to his maiden win at Saratoga with a solid fig­ure and his start in the Bon­gard comes with some­thing of an ex­cuse af­ter get­ting caught up in a fast three­way con­tested pace; should han­dle the mile with a bet­ter trip. STRONG ONE de­buted over a sloppy track and failed to break sharply from the gate be­fore get­ting out­run; dropped for his sec­ond start and showed im­proved speed be­fore rolling away from that field in the stretch with a com­pet­i­tive fig­ure. RIKEN rode a good rail when break­ing his maiden in a race orig­i­nally sched­uled for turf in his sec­ond start but he backed that race up well last time when break­ing slowly be­fore work­ing his way into po­si­tion and taking over to a clear lead at the top of the stretch, be­fore weak­en­ing late;

moves out­side af­ter get­ting away last from the in­side in the Sleepy Hol­low.

SIXTH RACE

BRATTATA has been look­ing for a spot for a while now but hasn’t man­aged to get the weather to co­op­er­ate. en­ters at just 1 for 9 but she has had le­git ex­cuses along the way and think she is bet­ter than she looks on pa­per, but she has to prove it as­sum­ing she ac­tu­ally gets to run again some­time soon. TOO CHARM­ING pro­gressed nicely from race to race through­out the year and ran well when set­tling for sec­ond-best to the in-form Dark Artist in mi­nor Mon­mouth stakes two starts back; kept af­ter that pace from the out­side when last seen vs. a tough field. SHALAILAH mak­ing her 3yo de­but off a long lay­off with a switch to Chad Brown and as a maiden on turf, but she ran well last sum­mer when twice sec­ond-best to Hap­pily, who would go on to win a cou­ple for ma­jor Group 1 races over there, be­fore com­ing over to en­dure an im­pos­si­ble trip as the fa­vorite in the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Filly turf, and she was just beaten about three lengths in the Breed­ers’ Cup Mile last week­end.

SEV­ENTH RACE

LANGDARMA lost his best chance when stead­ied out to last at the start at Keeneland last month, but he ac­tu­ally made a game run into that race be­fore fall­ing short of 3rd; has more po­si­tional speed than that as­sum­ing a clean break as he goes off the claim for a good trainer. JOHN JONES drop­ping in for the price af­ter just miss­ing to a quality horse in off the turf stake last time at Lau­rel; had a good run of form in­ter­rupted so far this year but that last one was a step in the right di­rec­tion. OUT­PLAY was run­ning races last year as a 3yo that would make him tough in a race like this, but he has clearly gone off form since eas­ily win­ning his 4yo de­but with a new top fig­ure; drops off a dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort on the turn back last time.

EIGHTH RACE

RE­GAL GLORY steps right up off an im­pres­sive de­but win over this dis­tance at Bel­mont where she al­ways trav­eled strongly from off the pace, be­fore forc­ing her way clear and blow­ing out maid­ens with a solid fig­ure; well-bred filly ap­pears to have a fu­ture based on that ef­fort. DRAGIC has faced colts in both turf start so far and has ac­quit­ted her­self well in those races; case could ac­tu­ally be made that she was best in each of those turf starts, as she did the hard work on the pace over a mile two back be­fore fall­ing to closers, and she went first into a fast pace on the cut back last time, be­fore once again fall­ing to run­ners mak­ing the last moves from the back. MONETTE was a stakes win­ner in France prior to ar­riv­ing here and she ral­lied from out of it to fin­ish a close 2nd in the Grade 3 Ma­tron in her state­side de­but; should have some pace in front of her once again.

NINTH RACE

HIGH­WAY STAR back quickly af­ter run­ning her race but find­ing the Breed­ers’ Cup a lit­tle too much for her last week­end; 5yo has clearly lost a step this year but she re­mains hard on the NY-breds and fig­ures to be too much for this group with her good race. AUNT BABE is too slow for a field like this one on pa­per but she is a lit­tle un­der­rated and pro­jects to have some pace to run into in this spot; clos­ing sprinter will be a big price, and de­servedly so. BLUE­GRASS FLAG has aban­doned the take-no-pris­on­ers style that worked so well for her early in her ca­reer and hasn’t won a race since last April; turns back to sprint af­ter con­test­ing the pace and giv­ing way in the Empire Distaff and switches to an ag­gres­sive rider.

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