ANTONE SUAVEY: Finally broke through with a maiden win at ninth asking, and following a troubled start at $20k, outran his 19-1 odds with a very respectable fourth-place finish at $16k on quick notice. Hard to dismiss at a price versus a similar bunch of grass sprinters.
BALANCE THE BOOKS: Flashed plenty of potential on the grass as a juvenile--including a strong third in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita--and just never looked comfortable in a pair of Triple Crown preps on the Poly earlier this spring. Got back on track on the lawn with a rallying third after being compromised by a slow early pace in the Solar Splendor S. at Belmont July 13. Loves the grass course at the Spa (won the GII With Anticipation S. as a maiden last term); GII National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame S. Aug. 9 seems like a perfect fit.
BILL OF RIGHTS: Claimed by Steve Asmussen for $20k off Eoin Harty back in April, the full brother to Colonel John never fired in a $30k maiden claimer after a stumbling beginning in his first attempt for his new connections at Churchill June 16. Returned to $20k, the bay exploded with second-time Lasix, running away to an impressive front-running tally over the Belmont grass July 13, good for a career high 70 Beyer. Can handle a bump up the ladder for sharp barn.
MAGNIFICENT SHIRL: Continues to pile up excuses in each of her three starts since transferring to the Michelle Nihei barn. Up against it while trailing a field of six in the seven-furlong Diamondrella S. through easy fractions of :23.64 and :46.88, and veered in sharply once finally uncorking in the stretch. Ran much better than that fourth-place finish looks on paper.
MENTOR CANE: A debut second behind the talented Flashback (Tapit) at Hollywood in December, the son of Mizzen Mast fired fresh off the bench with a visually impressive five-length graduation at Belmont July 6, good for a 97 Beyer. Geared down late after flashing :44.66 speed to boot; very promising sophomore for the relocated Shirreffs barn.
SHARPANDWITTY: New York-bred needed 11 tries to exit the maiden ranks, but ran a big one against open company in her first attempt against winners after getting bumped at the break. Did all of the heavy lifting on the front end with company that day, and reported home a clear-cut second at 10-1. Has longshot appeal for low-profile connections.
SUPREME COMMANDER: Made a solid middle-move from the back of the pack while racing very wide in his unveiling behind the impressive Touchofstarquality at Belmont July 6. Son of the lawnmower Perfect Sting should move forward nicely with that well-beaten fourth-place finish under his belt for the very patient John Shirreffs.
YOU SO SMART: Not exactly Rosie Napravnik’s shining moment aboard this New York-bred last time. Making her grass/route debuts and receiving first-time Lasix for the dangerous Maker barn, the daughter of Jade Hunter was bumped at the break, and was hard-held in fifth through a very easy half mile in :50.96. The 8-1 shot remained all dressed up with nowhere to run throughout the stretch until finally finding some room late to finish fifth, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths. Will be very tough with a clean trip next time.
Click here to see who made the July 1 NY Watch List.