Monday, July 1, 2013

NY Watch List

TDN’s Racing Editor and handicapper Steve Sherack reveals his first horses-to-watch list for the upcoming action at Belmont and Saratoga this summer.

BOURBON TWIST: Visually impressive debut winner at Saratoga last summer has disappointed in a pair of paceless races since returning from the shelf in April, including a May 19 effort over a saturated Belmont turf course. New York-bred from the Chad Brown barn can get back on track with the proper set-up.

CAPO BASTONE: Unlike Pletcher stablemate Forty Tales, he was unable to overcome the speed-favoring strip on the GI Belmont S. undercard in the GII Woody Stephens S. Training well for a switch to grass--4f in :49.21 BEL (IT) June 23 and 4f in :49.20 BEL (IT) June 30--and certainly has the pedigree/proper running style [Street Boss half-brother to GIII Regret S. runner-up C J’s Leelee (Mizzen Mast)] to take to the green stuff. Best two races have come over the Del Mar Polytrack and Churchill main track, which both play kindly to grass types.

CAPTAIN GAUGHEN: His overall record isn’t pretty, but this son of Disco Rico has really stepped up his game since kicking off his sophomore campaign with a runaway maiden win at eighth asking against older horses May 24. Left himself a little bit too much to do after racing in 12th for most of the way in the New York Stallion Spectacular Bid S. June 30, and held his own with a strong second-place finish behind the back-classy West Hills Giant. Never been better.

FOREVER FOR ALWAYS: Frost Giant filly took a major step forward with a switch to grass to outrun her 19-1 odds with a solid third-place finish at the Big A Apr. 5. Can fire fresh off the bench versus state-breds for low-profile outfit.

GO ON MURT (IRE): Euro-import ran a big fifth after racing a bit headstrong early and enduring a wide trip in a key heat while making his U.S. bow at Belmont June 2, then flashed good speed and stayed on stubbornly in the stretch when just tagged for second on the turn back to seven furlongs June 27. Third try will be the charm versus a similar bunch of $35k beatens.

IRISH WHISPER: New York-bred looked like a future stakes horse while beating up on a big field in her unveiling at Belmont May 5, then had plenty of excuses (lunged at break/wide trip) when a well-beaten sixth after making a solid middle-move in her first attempt versus winners as the heavy favorite June 12. Langfuhr filly deserves another chance.

RED SUPREME: Made up some nice ground after getting a bit roughed up at the start in his grassy unveiling at Gulfstream for Tom Bush to finish a quietly good fourth at 63-1, then switched to the Mike Miceli barn to place a rallying fourth after receiving somewhat of a questionable ride most recently May 4. Waiting patiently for his return.

SUNLOVER: Needed six tries to exit the maiden ranks last term, but really turned it on nicely late in the year, capped by a solid third-place finish at 30-1 in the Super Mario S. at Belmont Nov. 23. Transferred to trainer Eddie Kenneally for his sophomore season, the GoldMark colorbearer never got a chance to run while a nightmare fifth--beaten only two lengths--going six furlongs on the Belmont lawn June 23. Should take a nice step forward with that one under his belt.

TOWN EXTENSION: Fipke homebred showed some promise at two, but has failed to take the next step forward with a pair of disappointing efforts over wet tracks this term. A switch to grass may be all that this son of Speightstown from the extended family of Warning Zone and We Can Seek (Chi) needs to finally put it all together.

YOUR LION EYES: From the dangerous Michael Mareina barn, this Lion Heart filly flashed some potential while making her debut in a grassy $25k maiden claimer. Last of 12 after missing the break, the 4-year-old came alive in the stretch to report home an educational sixth, beaten only 4 3/4 lengths. Looking good.

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