RACE 1- TURF ONLY
7- SPUN SPECIAL- Set a fast pace, before getting late in the final furlong when 4th in a filly Sp. Wt. going this six furlong distance when tried on the turf in fourth career start last November at Aqueduct. Was put away for the winter following that and returned in a Sp. Wt. at Monmouth going six furlongs on the dirt last month, where she was a well beaten 3rd after never factoring during the running. I don’t believe she was cranked for that return race and she should have the screws tightened much more for her return to the grass in this filly Sp. Wt. at six furlongs. Expected significant improvement off that first run back makes her a strong threat in the opener.
A- 7- Love to Shop, 3- Roman Goddess
B- 5- Accept the Outcome, 11- Riviere
RACE 2- TURF ONLY
5- U SHOULD B DANCING- Came with a nice stretch kick to take a starter allowance in a six furlong turfer here last summer, before missing the next nine months. Has finished mildly in her two return runs at this state bred filly 1x allowance level since returning to the races in April and will stretch out to seven-eighths for her third race back. Has run well in defeat in two prior starts at this trip over this turf course and should be sitting on one of her better races today. Get’s the hot J. Ortiz back, will be moving in the right direction in the final furlong and is a serious contender in here.
A- 2- Solib, 7- Royal dancer
B- 6- Lisa’s Vision, 8- Silver Skillet
5- STROBE- Looked good running through his 2x and 3x conditions going this six furlong distance at the Fair Grounds late last year and earlier this year. Tried stakes competition for the first time in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint going six furlongs at Oaklawn in his latest, where he gave futile chase through the stretch to finish 2nd behind the equine bullet known as, Skelly, who has since won two more sprint stakes. Has been given 8 weeks since his latest and should be sharp for this today. Gets another tough test with ELITE POWER in here, but this horse is no slouch and should give the favorite all he can handle in the True North.
A- 4- Elite Power
B- 6- Fearless
1- AMERICAN LAW- Finally got that elusive maiden win when taking a Sp. Wt. at this seven furlong distance at Aqueduct in January. Following a brief freshening, he was a decent 2nd in his first try with winners in a 1x allowance again going seven-eighths in the mud in April, before chasing home two solid horses in a 3rd place run at the same level going six and a half furlongs at Belmont in latest 5/6. Despite only having the maiden win so far, he has held good form for some time and he fits nicely with this field. Should have a strong say in the outcome of this.
A- 7- Life Changer, 8- Asmodeus
B- 2- Shipsational, 9- Twelth Man
RACE 5- TURF ONLY
1- CHEZ PIERRE- Looked like the best turf miler in the world when smoking the field, including a couple of good one’s, in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark at Keeneland in April. There is some concern that he could regress a bit today from that run, but he has been given plenty of time coming up to this. Gets a good inside draw and anything in the ballpark of his previous race is going to make him very tough once again in the Poker.
A- 6- Emmanuel
B- 2- Emaraaty
4- BRIGHT FUTURE- Lightly raced four year old was a strong winner of a 1x optional claimer going one mile at Gulfstream when making his first start in ten months in April. Followed that up with an okay 3rd in a 2x optional claimer going one mile at Churchill on Derby day, where he swung wide for the stretch run to put in a grinding rally, before galloping out strongly past the wire. Stretches out to uncharted territory in the 1 1/2 miles Brooklyn today, but he looks like a horse that will stay on and get the trip. Should be set for a big run in his third race back and is a serious danger in here.
A- 2- Red Run, 7- Warrant
B- 5- Next
4- SECRET OATH- Came back off a much needed four month freshening to take the Grade 2 Azeri in her first start as a four year old going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn in March. Looked like a sure winner, but was run down when nailed on the line by, CLARIERE, in follow up run in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom in April. Got shuffled around a bit on the first turn, before settling and putting in an outside move on the turn, only to get out gamed to the wire in close 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 La Troienne at Churchill on Oaks day in latest. Although she has been beaten in her latest two, she has returned a better horse this year and she just might relish this one turn 1 1/16 miles she’ll get an opportunity at for the first time today. Lukas still thrives on being involved on the big days and he’ll have her ready to run big in the Ruffian.
A- 1- Pass the Champagne, 2- Search Results
B- 6- Clariere
11- VICTORY FORMATION- After going 3 for 3 in his first three starts, which included a sharp score in the Smarty Jones going one mile at Oaklawn on New Years Day, this colt was thought highly enough of to be sent off the favorite in the Grade 2 Risen Star, where he chased from a far outside post and was finished on the turn to finish 9th. Set a solid clip and stayed gamely to finish 3rd in the Bath House Row at 1 1/8 miles at Oaklawn in subsequent and latest start in April and will now be shortened up to seven furlongs for today’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens. The ability is there in this colt and the cut back in distance should do him well. Has trained well for this and he should run a big one in here.
A- 3- Arabian Lion, 6- Harrodsburg
B- 4- General Jim, 2- Gun Pilot
RACE 9- TURF ONLY
10- BIG INVASION- Was nothing short of outstanding when winning five consecutive turf sprint stakes last year, before not firing in a well beaten 3rd place finish in the Grade 2 Franklin Simpson going six and a half furlongs at Kentucky Downs, where it isn’t a typical turf sprint. Got a break following that and returned to get up to win the Silks Run going five furlongs on the grass at Gulfstream in his first start back off the six month break in March. Had a tough go of it in the Grade 2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint when steadied on the rail going into and around the far turn, before continuing behind a wall into the stretch and being snatched up in mid stretch to finish 7th in latest on Derby day 5/6. Gets to go six furlongs for the first time today and he should love this trip over a turf course he is 1 for 1 on. Will be motoring in the final furlong and they have him to hold off in the Jaipur.
A- 3- Air Force Red, 11- Casa Creed
B- 5- Dr Zempf, 8- Arrest Me Red
2- SLOW DOWN ANDY- Got good last fall when wiring the field in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby going 1 1/8 miles on the grass in September, before he faced a good field of older horses in the Grade 1 Awesome Again going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Santa Anita in October, where he sat just off the eventual gate to wire winner, but would go on to weaken late to finish a good 3rd. Went on to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for his next start and again ran big in defeat against elders to finish 3rd, where he was beaten less than two lengths by CODY’S WISH. Has not run since then and has chosen a tough spot for his return and four year old debut in this Grade 1. However, he has stepped up to run big in spots where he wasn’t expected to last year and this feels like more of a confident move to run in here than a just taking a shot move. Can sit the right kind of trip and run a big race in the Met Mile.
A- 1- Cody’s Wish, 5- Charge It
B- 4- Hoist the Gold
RACE 11- TURF ONLY
8- UP TO THE MARK- Ran into a buzzsaw in his stakes debut when finishing 3rd in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark at one mile two races back. Was stretched out to 1 1/8 miles for his next start, where he was an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Turf Classic on Derby day. Will stretch out another furlong to 1 1/4 miles today and this four year old colt has really turned things around since being moved to the grass earlier this year. Don’t see any issues with him getting the added distance and he should be tough to beat in the Manhattan.
A- 3- Warren Point, 4- Ottoman Fleet
B- 6- Red Knight
6- FORTE- Might have actually had his stock improved by not even running after Mage won the Derby, who he beat twice and National Treasure won the Preakness, who he took care of in the BC Juvenile last November. Not overly concerned about the minor issue that kept him out of the first two legs of the Triple Crown and have to believe Pletcher has him breathing fire for this. This certainly isn’t an easy race, but he should run his usual big race to salvage a piece of the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont.
A- 2- Tapit Trice, 8- Angel of Empire
B- 7- Hit Show
RACE 13- TURF ONLY
2- LET’S GO BIG BLUE- Came from out of it with a wide move into the stretch to win his career debut in a state bred Sp. Wt. going 1 1/16 miles on the grass at Saratoga last August. Had some minor traffic problems in back to back stakes when 3rd in a turf stake at Monmouth, followed by a close 4th place finish in the Awad on the turf at Belmont, where he was placed 3rd after being slightly bothered by both the horses inside and outside of him in upper stretch. Threw in a clunker when last raced in the Central Park on the grass at Aqueduct in a race where blinkers were added for the first time. Returns off the six and a half month break for this state bred 1x allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, where he will get back with state breds for the first time since the maiden win last year. Will have the blinkers removed for this and the upgrade in rider to Lezcano won’t hurt, as this colt appeared to be a little difficult to handle in some of his races. Should return ready, gets a nice post and they have him to beat to close out the card.
A- 5- Sell Something, 10- Shpilkes
B- 1- Spirit of St Louis, 11- King of Comedy