Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, September 29, 2017
It’s the last Friday of September today, and Belmont’s got a nine-race card on tap. As usual, the first race will be at 1:30 PM EDT.
We’ve got FREE picks & analysis for today’s card from Jason Perry (@jmanmetsfan1)! Jason was a contributor to Scott Shapiro’s site, shapperdacapper.com, in the past, and has also written for Danonymous Racing before. He wrote about Saratoga Thursdays for the site, and we’re happy to have him as our Belmont Park guy every Friday! Give him a follow on twitter when you can.
Take it away, Jason!
There is nobody here you can get behind with confidence. These are amongst the worst animals in training at Belmont. The colossal disappointing son of Scat Daddy, Caniform (7) fetched $360,000 at auction, but was offered up for 30K in just his third start. He obviously never realized his talent, but has hit the board in six of seven starts while managing a couple wins against fellow weak rivals. He’s the horse that you can probably count on to show up.
Abdaar (1) races first off the claim for the hot David Jacobson. He began his career racing for Chad Brown, so the fact he broke his maiden for 12.5K illustrates that things did not go as planned for this Hard Spun gelding. He ran poorly at this level last out for Diodoro. I cannot understand why the connections have opted for another sprint race. He has been beaten over fifty lengths combined in his three lifetime sprint races.
Swift One (2) has not moved forward since his claim from the Jacobson stable. In his last start he failed to make headway in the stretch despite having plenty of pace to run at.
Fortuitous Path (4) races for the ice cold Rudy Rodriguez. He’s hard to get excited about after losing at 3-5 odds in a 6,250 claimer at Suffolk.
Ethan Hunt (5) gets into the non winner’s of three lifetime condition. I hold a grudge against anyone that shows “previously trained by Todd Pletcher” in their past performances. He could work out a nice stalking trip though in a race that has some speed on paper. Noneedtoflatterme (6) was sacrificed in his last start on the front end with a rail draw, and should be better served with this post that would allow him to track. He will race first off the claim for a capable low profile trainer Mike Miceli. I like seeing Rosario take the call since he’s won in two of four starts for Miceli. Hard Hitter (3) struggled to get through conditions for Linda Rice, and I don’t know why there would be improvement for Kimmel second off the claim. It’s noteworthy that both of this gelding’s wins came over an off track. He adores the soft footing, but won’t get that on Friday.
Christophe Clement saddles a pair of logical contenders. Discreet Marq’s little brother Discretionary Marq (7) did not step forward after an encouraging debut, once again settling for a distant second. It’s dubious if he has similar talent potential since I would have expected the screws to be tight last out. I’m certainly not impressed by the horse that defeated him returning later on.
It should be noted that the third place finisher in his last race, Space Key (10) finished just a head back, and had been away over a year, likely needing the race. After a pair of races last year against bottom level claimers, his new trainer Patrick Kelly protected this gelding against maiden specials. I would surmise Kelly didn’t want to risk losing this guy, even though he probably wouldn’t have in my opinion.
The other Clement trainee Summer Mischief (4) should appreciate the distance relief. In his last start he was used hard carving out fast fractions going two turns. Clement boasts strong numbers route to sprint, and three back this colt turned in a pretty good effort encountering significant trouble. While I’m fine with John Velazquez riding, I assume Irad Ortiz had a choice of mounts and opted for the stable mate.
Gosilently (6) enjoyed a perfect trip last out. He has some route speed, but I’m not sure how that will translate here. This race is light on front end type, but I think this horse is starting to look like a “hanger” that might not have the will to win.
Slewacandy (3) turns back to a sprint after a useful route debut. He adds blinkers, but Michelle Nevin has not had success with that move. The sample size is small though, so it’s probably not worth putting any stock into. I like Nevin’s number here with applicable stats, and there is plenty of value.
Pocket Player (5) might be alright for new trainer Tom Bush, but he also may be pace compromised in this spot off the layoff. He hasn’t shown any early interest in his three career starts. I don’t see anyone coming from far back here, despite the way the Belmont turf course has played.
Givetheman a Cigar (2) might work out a nice trip. In his lone two starts he broke well, but was taken back a bit. With an inside draw Manny Franco might opt to have him forwardly placed. He’s bred well enough for the grass, and Klesaris has had good success when he uses Franco.
Well apparently I misspoke in race one because we’ve officially hit the bottom of the barrel. Wow, this group is awful. Don’t look to see anyone claimed out of this heat.
Making Havoc (2) will have the advantage of being out front against a group that is without much speed, and don’t like passing horses. She should be part of the picture.
Lil Renegade (5) has a win last out and four back at big odds at this level. There is also a pair of poor tries sandwiched in between. Forget about the race three back as she has never run well over an off track. She also likes it here at Big Sandy so I suspect she will run her race.
Jemmabelle (6) rallied from far back to finish second in her last two starts against similar. She gets a different apprentice rider on Friday, which is good since the last one did her no favors.
Palladian Bridge (4) is the X-factor. She didn’t run a step in her last start for 25K as my top choice. Now she drops again, to a new career low where she will face far weaker competition. I’m concerned though. Her form has gone backwards since moving to the Gary Contessa stable four back, and Contessa’s top rider is off in lieu of a jock he has far less success with.
Causeway Cutie (3) surprised a really lousy group in her last start, and I think a repeat is unlikely. It took her twenty-two starts to break her maiden, but at least she sports a solid record over the track. Indeed, she has all three of her wins here.
Double Cast (3) has had plenty of tries at this level, but actually makes sense. I think someone will find a way to beat her, but you must include her in exotics for obvious reasons. I’m not big on the Chad Brown pair.
Silver Shaker (2) got a late start and shows a layoff line after all three career races. Clearly there is soundness concerns. Her deep closing running style looks awful in a spot without any apparent speed.
Barn mate Fast Mama (6) looks like a carbon copy. Three underwhelming races after a late start to career, and a layoff line between each race. The lackluster race two back at Monmouth going off at 11-1 is deeply concerning. Misericordia (8) has shown speed before, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her forwardly placed. I don’t know if she can stay ten furlongs, but I like her chances to fire at a nice price.
Ormolu Lu (5) has raced at long odds three times for good connections. That’s likely a problem, but she does have a bit of early speed potential. This is a bad group for the level, so if she can find a way to be on or near the lead than who knows?
Naples Parade (1) had an encouraging debut, but has been away a while. If she can build off that start this is her race to win or lose. She has big pedigree power as her mother is a half sibling to millionaire Balance as well as the great Zenyatta. The 6-1 ML seems very unrealistic given her powerful pedigree and her solid first race performance. The biggest problem is that she races in a small field without any speed.
Royal Inheritance (1) draws inside in this compact group while making a huge class drop. She could be compromised drawing inside of the more gate savvy and speedy Run and Go (2). These fillies both have speed, and both have shown they can win on the lead or from just off the lead. In a scenario like this I prefer the filly to the outside, especially since she appears to have the most talent.
In both career starts Run and Go (2) won going away. This is a logical pick five single.
Should these two aforementioned fillies hook up and mutually self destruct Cursor (3) could spring the upset. Throw out her last race when overmatched in the GI Test, and forget about her route races. Her sprint efforts have been solid, and she likes this track. One of the two outsiders will run fourth, in what looks to be a “formfull” optional claiming event.
Wicked Macho (1) has the best speed in this field, and probably must use it with a rail draw. He races as a first time gelding, so perhaps he will be focused enough against a group he’s more than capable of handling. I wasn’t impressed much last out, but I’ll give him one last pass. Linda Rice saddles a pair of contenders.
Speightful Kitten (7) got it done in his fifth career start, but he made the lead against lesser, and will be further challenged today. The added distance coupled with the fact he faces winners for the first time is cause for concern. barnmate Psychic Energy (9) doesn’t excite me much either. His lone win came against $40K claimers, and he couldn’t have worked out a better trip than he did last out.
Outrageous Bet (5) is not quick on paper, but he likes this Belmont turf course, and has a win and a second at the distance. There’s value here in exotics racing over a course that is more kind to closers than Saratoga was.
I keep wanting to get Peek Performance (8) into the number. I know his turf races were awful, but one came routing, and the other came with lack of experience. He’s a three time winner with good turf pedigree that is in good form. 15-1 makes him worth a look for capable connections.
On paper Carbon Data (4) is clearly the horse to beat. He races for high profile connections, and has the highest speed figures in the group. I’ve never trusted this horse though. He was a $275,000 son of Birdstone that debuted for $50,000 maiden claimers. That’s not something you want to see for a Chad Brown trainee. His lone win came at ten furlongs, and I feel he’s better going further than he will on Friday. But all of that said there is only one horse I can make a legitimate case to beat him, simply because this group of 40K claimers is really bad.
That horse is Baseline (2). He just missed last out first off the claim for Cox, and will get back on turf now. Two back he faced a group where the top three finishers all returned to win. He’s versatile and in good form. Luis Saez will once again be aboard, and he and Brad Cox have had incredible success together.
Passport To Chaos (5) comes in off three straight narrow losses at Monmouth for Jason Servis. I don’t like to get behind a runner that can’t close the deal for a strong trainer at his home track.
Do you really want the 1-17 Son of Oahu (10) at anything near the 5-1 ML? I don’t, but I suppose he could get a small piece.
Jo’s Bold Cat (9) is likewise unappealing, leading me to believe one of the top two picks can’t lose here.
Black Sea (1) is well spotted for Chad Brown dropping in class after failing to improve here in the States. He exits races against much better. In his last pair he faced Manitoulin, Infinite Wisdom, and Muqtaser, whom all returned to win. This is not a suspicious drop in class, it’s a necessary one.
I slightly prefer him over the other logical contender Tathqeef (4), a pricey Tapit colt that has relatively underwhelmed. But, he’s one for one at Belmont, he has a little tactical speed at times, and seems to prefer this longer distance on grass.
The old form of Roman Approval (3) would be enough to beat these. However, we’ve seen virtually nothing from the Tom Morley assistant Breed thus far while Thomas waits out a suspension. This gelding’s early speed in a race without any of it to oppose him makes him a live runner.
Soluble (6) has one victory at Laurel to account for his lone state side score. His poor record at both Belmont and the distance are troublesome despite the decent second last out to the Chad Brown trained Call Provision.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of La Moneda (4). I liked this filly in her debut despite the poor numbers first out for trainer Brendan Walsh. She ran really big that day getting involved a bit early racing up close to fast fractions, then was forced wide on the turns, took the lead into the stretch, and subsequently tired for obvious reasons. Now she will go second out, and Brendan is really dangerous with this type winning at a 21% clip with a $3.43 ROI. He once again gives the leg up to Javier Castellano who has won three of eight starts for Walsh. Indeed, Walsh posts big numbers across the board with all relevant stats. She has some pedigree appeal too as all three of her sibs are winners including the turf stakes placed Palace Dreams ($170K). Bottom line, I love this horse. The James Bond pair of Tizway second time starters both look formidable.
If able to draw in Way Smart (1A) would have to overcome a tough outside draw. Keep an eye out if Bond scratches her entry mate so this filly could draw in. If that happens definitely move her up for obvious reasons.
Tiz R Bella (1) had a rough trip in her lone start, and has every right to improve. It’s difficult to win first out routing, so I will certainly give her a chance.
Dream Passage (2) had a slow start in her most recent start against open company. She returns to face state bred restricted foes, gets first Lasix, and draws well to the inside. In a race light on speed she should have every opportunity under Irad Ortiz.
Her biggest problem should come from the sprinter Gypsy Joe (8) stretching out for Rick Violette. This filly was bet in both starts where she demonstrated some good early zip. I like her grass breeding, and whenever you see Jose Ortiz riding for this barn you had better take notice.
Daniele’s Pride (7) will be happy to get back on grass for a low percentage barn. I think her surprising second place finish two back at long odds was the result of a fast pace that came apart late. She could be a nice inclusion in exotics at a price though since she should have a fair shake from a pace standpoint. It’s interesting that Javier Castellano saw fit to ride first out for the Metvier barn that rarely wins races.
You know what you will get from Piquet (11), probably another small award without having enough to finish the deal.
Bayshore Beauty (12) has a little appeal as a lightly raced runner that probably gained good experience going nine furlongs in a wash-off. The post stinks, but there’s possible value in exotics.
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