Race by Race Analysis
Monday, September 3 – Race Day 29
FIRST – STELLA GREY adds blinkers, a 19% win angle for trainer Eric Reed, after a couple of good turf efforts, including a 2nd here against a little tougher group. Also gets the rail to save ground and finished 3rd two races back from that post. STOLEN RUBIES is another entered here that has shown aptitude for the surface, never worse than 3rd on the weeds in three races at three different tracks and Lebron was aboard for two of those efforts. BIRDIE BELLE finished just behind the top pick last race from well off the pace and BIG DEBBIE takes a class drop; 3rd in two races back in her most recent grass start.
SECOND – All the early speed in here comes from the outside posts and leaning to WILDANDCRAZYGUY who is going for a three-peat. He won the easier non-winners of two condition here with a gritty neck victory and broke his maiden at Prairie Meadows the race before. He’s lightly raced with only four starts and trainer has win and second in only three other starts here at the meet. He looks faster than the horses to either side of him, CHASE ME FOREVER, whose been in mile races last six starts and never won at this distance and AEGISADVANTAGE, off for a couple months but working well in the mornings and dropping down to this level for the first time.
THIRD – The Ellis Park traditional closing day feature, The Twice Around returns with a compact field and WEALTH TO ME stands out from a class standpoint even though never been close to going this two and a quarter miles distance before. He does have a come from behind style, no worse than 2nd in two starts here and jock Greta Kuntzweiler been regular rider. Stakes-placed a couple of times and blinkers come off after last race when he tried to go early. ROMANCE ARGENTINO is the only speed and he’ll be alone on the lead for a long time. YAROSLAV has actually won at the distance and longer the better. TIZ TO BE makes only second start of the year and actually was in a race way back with Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
FOURTH – GROVE PARK looks like a short price in here on the drop to $5,000 after a narrow miss for $7,500 last race. Clearly not the same as this winter when he won two turf races in New Orleans but third start after the layoff and class drop should get the job done. QUARTERBACK SACK won his last coming from far back and pace set-up here, with lots of early speed, gives him a chance for repeat. GRAND PIANO MAN won two back on the grass for this same claiming price, then a couple lengths behind the top pick last time. GOLD BELLS SPIN makes a significant class drop and wouldn’t be big surprise, but likely to be in speed duel up front.
FIFTH – One of only two in here to win at the distance, lightly raced HAMILTONIAN comes in off a 3rd going longer here last month, just a couple lengths behind an impressive next out winner. He looks plenty fast enough to get the lead and like the outside post at the tricky 7/8th distance. Opposite in many respects is the rail horse, IN THE BEAT who usually comes from way back. Adds blinkers today to get more involved early, the only other to win at the distance, but rail slot a negative for him. HE’S SO PROUD was just a length behind top pick last race; only bad beat this year was behind graded-stakes winner Neck N’Neck.
SIXTH – Tough maiden 2-year old turf race but give the edge to SUMMIT COUNTY making his third start for trainer Dale Romans. He improved in his second race, just missed by a neck and looks like the only early speed from those who have run before. His last race was at this distance and run at pretty fast time for maiden juveniles. Just to his outside is SAMMY’S BANDIT, moving from dirt to turf and stretching out from sprint to a mile, both positive angles for McPeek runners. CALL ME GEORGE makes his debut for trainer Tom Amoss, who is 26% with first timers, but does better in that category on dirt than turf. RIVALRY is worth a look at a price. He was in the same race as SUMMIT but had an outside post and wide trip.
SEVENTH – Six of the ten in here are making their first start and most of those are from barns that don’t have them really cranked up to win off the bat. UP FOR GRABS for Romans is a first timer, bred to win early by sire First Samurai who was 2-year old champ and gets top rider Brian Hernandez. DIG debuts for Larry Jones, who has started a lot of 2-year olds at the meet and though only one winner has had several more hit the board. JUSTICE JUDY ran evenly in her dirt race at Churchill and then was in a tough mile turf race; the distance turnback should help and picks up Lanerie. Trainer Ian Wilkes rarely wins first time out, but GIGGLIN GAL is bred to like the distance and hasn’t missed a workout all summer.
EIGHTH – FINAL COUNT has been up against tough company all year and exits the Grade 3 Arlington Stars and Stripes where the winner came back to run 2nd in a $400,000 stake and second place horse Musketier is a multiple graded-stakes winner. Before that, he was very competitive in the Indiana stake, tough allowance races in Kentucky and Lanerie knows him well. FORMAGGIO makes his second start after a long layoff and comeback race was a good one, just beaten by Ratatat at Arlington, a horse who has won three in a row and David Carroll trainee won his only previous start at Ellis last summer. THE PROGRAM weakened late in an off-the turf race here, but all three grass efforts solid. TILDEN LANE has a win here this summer.
NINTH – I’AM TOORIFIC makes the third start of her recent form cycle and both local races was beaten less than a length. Those last two races were both at this level and looks like the controlling speed again from a good inside post. TROIS FAMILLE was 2nd two races back here at this level, then tried a little jump up in class at Mountaineer. RED BEAN ICE CREAM comes in fresh and never tried the turf, but have to respect the class drop and two good synthetic races bode well for transition to grass. STORMIN BANDINI’s best recent race was on the turf here two back.
There is nothing here (yet).
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