Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Today’s a big day at Belmont: it’s New York-bred Showcase Day! All 11 races are for New York-breds, including seven stakes races. First post time is scheduled for 12:25 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 covering Belmont Park today! Give him a follow on twitter when you can.
Take it away, Jason!
Most of these have had their chances. Most notably, Appealing Briefs (7). I’ve run out of patience, but he can, and should be keyed underneath or used in exotics. He had no excuse when last seen when he hung despite a favorable pace scenario.
Gosilently (2) has also had his opportunities, but he has more upside at a better price. Three back he lost to a pair of next out winners, and two back he was beaten a nose at this level. Then in his last start he was wired by an improving horse that was left alone. He’s probably better going a mile as well. He will race for a new barn on Saturday, and I see it a positive barn switch. Robert Falone has really strong numbers with horses new to his stable. He dead-heated with Summer Mischief (8) who is also running out of excuses himself. Clement trainees tend to be ready to go, so I don’t know why we would see improvement.
I’ve been on Catch a Cab (4) in both starts off the layoff. I can make excuses for him however, and am willing to take him seriously one last time. A similar effort against these could be enough. Rosario sticks around, and should have this gelding forward enough in a race pretty light on speed.
Heart in Hand (5) made a lot of sense in his second start, but offered little resistance despite establishing a slow pace. You could do much worse than landing here.
Barn mate Grand Velour (3) debuted against claimers so I’m not inspired despite the decent try second out versus straight maidens.
Pure Silver (4) is supposed to dispose of these. After three straight wins she was dueled into defeat in the GI Spinaway. Seperationofpowers, also sacrificed that day, has already returned to make amends. So to me the biggest question will be if eight furlongs is too far. It’s still a one turn race though.
Her thorn could be I Still Miss You (3) adding blinkers and stretching out for Englehart. I really don’t see that filly conceding anything. Two back she ran second to Pure Silver sitting just off her throughout. The subsequent effort was a true clunker, and has me thinking they are going to be committed to the lead.
If a speed duel ensues it could work out for Held Accountable (6). She’s really showed me she can run with a win on dirt first out followed up by a win on grass. In her last start she stumbled at the start but still won easily despite relatively slow fractions. The track favored closers that day, but she still showed versatility. I don’t care for the horses out of the Seeking the Ante run at Saratoga.
It was an odd race run in slow time and both Newport Breeze (2) and Miss Mystique (1) underwhelmed in their returns.
The winner that day Cause We are Royal (5) merits the most respect. Her ability to rate is a plus, but she seems slow on paper as well.
Droselmeyer’s Smile (7) won a maiden event in which the returning runners have stunk. The horrid effort second out at Finger Lakes further proves that.
Berning Rose (8) is not without hope, but after being handled by my top choice rather easily I can’t get behind her in the top slot.
Picco Uno (1) likes to win races and looks well spotted to do just that. She’s won six of twelve lifetime for the assassin Jason Servis, and likes this track and distance. She also loves breaking from the rail, and will look to make it four for four breaking from the one post. She’s versatile and can win from on the lead or just off of it. This small field has a lot of speed in it though, and she runs the risk of being further back than normal. I think she can overcame that, but it is a bit of a concern.
Quezon (3) has not been the same horse in 2017, having yet to post a victory. She had two wins and three thirds in 2016 for trainer Robert Ribaudo, who has done an excellent job lightly racing this mare and thereby keeping her sound. Big Sandy is her favorite track, and she dominated in this race last year albeit over an off track. She really hasn’t gotten a speed duel to run at recently, and she ran a big race last out against better horses. After all she was beaten less than a length by Highway Star, and that mare would be a colossal favorite against these.
Royal Inheritance (2) is the lone X-Factor. She had a bad break last out against open company, and I can forgive the bad try two back on a wet track against better. I don’t think she is good enough, but she can lead a long way with the addition of blinkers.
I gave Wonderment (5) a shot against these two back and she failed to make serious headway. Last out she was life and death to win at odds on at Finger Lakes. In her defense she likes this course, and should get a favorable pace scenario however.
The Baker trainees Absatalootly (4) and Cozzy Spring (6) look too slow to factor much. 4-1 on the ML is laughable on the latter.
Barrel of Dreams (2) has increasingly garnered my respect, and she actually ran well last out when sacrificed through torrid fractions by Joel Rosario. She may be the lone speed in here, and Rosario has been replaced by John Velazquez. I’d take note of that since Velazquez has won seven of sixteen starts for Charlie Baker. Look for a much more “heady” ride. I was very disappointed with the relatively low ML odds, but suspect we get better than 4-1. Feeling Bossy (6) loves this course and distance. She was claimed out of her last victory by Jason Servis. I know that former trainer James Jerkens is an excellent conditioner, but right now it seems to be Servis’ world and we are just living in it. Jason is winning at staggering 46% clip first off the claim with a gaudy $3.12 ROI. Further improvement would be little surprise. The 10-1 ML odds are a joke. No way this horse is even close, if so empty your pockets.
Servis also saddles Broken Border (3), she’s not impossible but I think we’ve seen the best she has, and that wouldn’t be enough against a pretty salty group like this. Chad Brown also sends out a pair, but both could be underlays.
Ancient Secret (7) exits a pair of sprint races, and returns to a distance she’s had more success at. But, her 2017 campaign has not been impressive even if she has competed against open company. Look, this mare started her career with four straight wins and hasn’t found the winners’ circle since. I’m leery.
Barn mate Fifty Five (5) has also been tackling open company, and she too hasn’t had much success this year. This group is softer than she’s been facing, but her deep closing running style doesn’t seem advantageous here. I’ve been on Tizelle (8) in all three starts this year. She seems to be steadily improving, and she ran a good race last out moving into the fast fractions. I think she’s much happier going one-turn than nine furlongs around two.
I’ve never cared much for Flipcup (1). She’s one for fourteen in the last two years with plenty of clunkers in between.
Twisted Tom (3) was ambitiously placed three back in the Belmont, but has since raced twice against New York bred races and was victorious in both. Those were a pair of races against pretty soft rivals. I have to give it to him, he likes to win races, and he could work out another great stalking trip behind a reasonably quick enough early pace. Control Group (4) has won his last three starts, getting a little better each time. He’s obviously cheap, but also in good form. His running style looks ideal as well. I think him unlikely to win a fourth straight, but won’t rule him out.
He’s certainly more appealing than his millionaire barn mate Royal Posse (9) who won this race easily one year ago, but has fallen on hard times since, in 2017 he had just one third in six starts earning only $24,000. In 2016 he was first or second in all nine starts while earning over half a million dollars. I have no idea why there would be a form reversal either.
Governor Malibu (8) ran second in this race last year, and has not fallen off the map this year. He ran into the increasingly impressive Diversify in his state bred restricted races, and was overmatched in graded stakes races against open company. He’s starting to look like a hanger settling for second on so many occasions, but this seems a good spot.
Papa Shot (1) is hard to gauge, but he was ten lengths back of Governor Malibu two back, and then was oddly sent to South Korea to get hammered as an also ran third. Do you really want 4-1? In your pick five you need nothing more than 3, 4, and 8.
Battle Station (2) is not the program favorite but mark my words he will be at post time. After winning first out against a talented Pletcher trainee that returned to crush, he transferred that speed to dirt and blew out stakes rivals over this course. Win or lose expect to see him at odds on. He’d be a cinch here without a swift foe to his inside.
I eagerly anticipated the first start of Stoney Bennett (1), but it was anticlimactic when he was hammered down to short odds and won in wire to wire fashion. This is a really quick son of Bustin Stones that will be committed with an inside draw. That win must be downgraded a bit considering he beat Sea Foam, who is now 0-3 with three seconds. We Should Talk (8) was impressive at first asking for great connections. I’m cautious over who he beat that day since Smokin Platinum is simply not that good. The pace should set up great though, and his move was visually impressive in victory.
The one I would look to get in the number is Big Gemmy (3). He took significant money in his debut, but had trouble at the start and didn’t get involved. In her second start she closed nicely and won going away. The route try against open company in the GIII Iroquois means nothing. He may not be fast enough to win, but I love his value in exotics turning back and dropping to an appropriate level.
I have zero interest in the TAP trained Analyze the Odds (10) after beating four non Stable mates last April at Aqueduct, then underwhelming mightily since, before finally factoring again when victorious in slow time at Finger Lakes.
Inalienable Rights (7) can get a piece, but he’s not going to beat these.
Discreet Marq’s little brother Discretionary Marq (7) is supposed to win race seven. I say that despite the fact he was handed victory in his third life time start, and I can’t make a case for most of his rivals. He’s an improving well bred colt racing for a trainer that excels in turf sprints. This race is light on speed, and he should work out a great trip on or just off the lead. He’s a horse that I’ll look to beat later, but not on Saturday.
Expect a strong effort. The horse I’m excited about though is The Caretaker (2). Kiaran McLaughlin tried to get this son of Speightstown on grass in his debut, but the race was washed off. He ran a good third that day and was logically given another main track try, and he delivered with a win second out. Therefore, he has stayed on the dirt since, and had not raced badly before the layoff in January. His two tries this fall have been terrible. Now we get back on the surface the debut race was scheduled for, an angle I love. After all if McLaughlin thought he had a turf horse, who am I to argue. And since he ran well on dirt, it follows that he’s not had another chance since. I’m hoping we get a wake up.
Psychic Energy (8) should fire a similar effort. If so that would be another minor award.
Macho Miah (4) has improved since switched to grass, and may be the best speed. Nothing wrong with giving him a shot to wire out.
The warrior Weekend Hideaway (3) finds state bred’s again after being over spotted in the Vosburgh. He’s a millionaire that’s had an awesome double digit win career. You just have to wonder how many fights he has left in him. His best races have come when he’s on or just off the pace, and that should be the case on Saturday. Don’t forget just four back he bested Diversify. I think this race sets up beautifully for him with a glaring lack of good early speed.
You can count on Ostralenka (6) to show up and try hard, but also to not finish races. He’s just 2 for 17 over the last two years now.
Celtic Chaos (5) won three straight races benefiting from fast fractions, but has lost two straight since. I see a third straight loss in the cards.
Sudden Surprise (4) has won three straight races, and all of them surprised me admittedly. Brad Cox moved him forward last out off the claim from TAP, but can you expect him to move forward further?
Bust Another (1) can certainly outrun his odds. With a rail draw and Caramouche up, he’s probably going to be sent early. His better form has been at Parx, and the four most recent tries against NY state bred’s are poor, but he will be a big price, and could hang around on his best day.
T Loves a Fight (8) is in great form. He’s not a one run closer that benefits from fast pace. In his last start he was never far back of the fast fractions, and made an early move into the quick pace. He’s definitely improved for Michelle Nevin, and is not as “long in the tooth” as some of his rivals. John Velazquez rode him beautifully last out, and I’m foreseeing a repeat win.
Offering Plan (5) could be a late pick 4 single. He always runs well against state bred rivals, and he should have a lot of speed to run at. I don’t see a scenario he is not rolling late.
His stable mate Nevesian Sky (2) would have to improve quite a bit to get the job done. He’s been tackling lesser, and I find the necessary improvement unlikely.
Black Tide (7) will make sure of there is plenty of early speed. He always opens up a huge lead, and plays catch me if you can. I thought he ran his best rate to date last out when running a huge despite some trouble drifting wide on the final turn. He was run down by a pretty nice Chad Brown trainee.
Without this horse running I could have made a better case for Cloontia (1), who is at his best racing on the lead or tracking a reasonable pace. All four wins have come at this distance so I won’t rule him out over his favorite surface. All is Number (3) actually runs better from off the pace. He’s the value underneath in exotics.
This is clearly a race you want to have a few horses. I can make a case for half the field so let’s do that.
There is nothing wrong with Literata (8). She’s a consistent mare that’s had a good year. She’s not going to get better at this point so the fact Rudy Rodriguez has entered a stable mate attracts my attention. Her barn mate wasn’t bad as a two year old –
Bonita Bianca (6) ran some pretty fast races as a juvenile. She didn’t want any part of nine furlongs most recently, and returns to a track and distance she’s a perfect two for two at. With Irad up 10-1 is plenty of value, especially since he bails from a horse I was visually impressed by.
That filly No Hayne No Gain (5) beat a lousy group, but that doesn’t mean she can’t build off that effort. Irad is supposed to ride for Rudy even if he’s torn between mounts.
Five Star Rampage (9) took forever to graduate the N1X level, but has put back to back wins together. Admittedly those wins came at Parx and Finger Lakes, but she’s a five time winner that fits in this spot. This barn posts strong numbers second off layoffs of this nature, and they now give the leg up to Johnny V. She’s your most likely winner. Throw out the last romp by Verdant Pastures (4) and you are left with an outsider looking in. Sure the big speed figure looks good in her most recent try, but she was left completely alone up front.
Jcs American Dream (1) fits in every way. Rice is stellar off the claim, and this mare has yet to be off the board in seven starts this year. She cannot be excluded.
All of Jc’s Shooting Star’s (3) best races have come on grass.
Jeremiah Englehart has been real good of late with firsters, but Cosmoiselle (3) has been training at Finger Lakes so I’m a bit turned off. She also has no turf works to gauge for a barn that is better with dirt runners. Throw in the fact she will race against a stable mate Tizza Tempa (1) that has had her chances, and I’ll look elsewhere.
Way Smart (4) is the most logical winner with one good race to build on, and plenty of room for improvement. She has solid grass breeding.
Piquet (5) absolutely must be used. She just lost to a repeat winner, La Moneda, that I’m very high on, and absolutely flattered this filly with a big win last out. She may have hang in her, but anything less than a second or third would be a pretty big surprise. This barn is not afraid to drop to win, and she has been kept at this level. Lu Lu’s Pom Pom (9) probably won’t improve for a barn that brings them fit. I expect another paycheck without a picture.
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