I will update this post upon the announcement of scratches and changes.
Race 1: America’s Kitten, Global Entry, Sir Hannoun. Largely a race devoid of value. America’s Kitten hasn’t finished well since claim from Chad Brown last year. 2 races back on 12/16, he posted an 87 BRIS number, a small lifetime best. Followed up with an 82 on 12/29 slightlly wide in that race. This deep closer has the best tactical speed of the field. 35% of races on turf at 8.5 furlongs have been won with a deep closer, 16% from posts 1-3.
Overlay: Sir Hannoun bounced from 82 to 63 last time out 3 weeks ago here. Since then, he posted one bullet work. Pattern of figures suggest a return to running in the 80s.
Race 2: Antoaneta, Awesome Rekha, My Ekati Cat. Some value here, but not much.
2 places in 4 races for Antoneta, both in last 2, one right after claim. Score of 86 two races back represents best GP and distance speed plus best for turf. Undeniably the speed of the field. Bounced to 76 last time out, managing a wide trip.
Overlay: Raining Lemons has waited the longest to strech out of this field. From his debut race on 11/18 at the maiden filly 40k level, she finished 9th of 11. She posted an impressive turn time of 23.6, best of this field.
Race 3: Makarios, Gasprom, Expedition .
After debuting at Saratoga at the 83k maiden level at 8.5 furlongs, Makarios was given a 5.5 month-long layoff, returned to finish 2nd in a 7.5 furlong race. Speed increased from 74 to 85; he persevered while getting bumped at the start, and reserved his energy for the finish. Generally the speed here, along with best turn time. As with America’s Kitten, Makarios receives the same sort of track bias. Overlay: Gasprom makes his 16th try to break maiden status. The main reason I like him is because he comes out of a small lifetime best of 70.
Update: Hedge Fund replaces the now-scratched Expedition.
Race 4 (Kitten’s Joy Stakes): Sir Sebastian, Holiday Stone, Kitten’s Cat. Top 2 definite overlays.
Sir Sebastian won his last 2, both at the 25k level. 83 for that race is a small new top, only such horse with exploding recent pace numbers. One of 2 horses who did better at 1st call than previous while running first race after layoff. Also gained a length on the leader by the 2nd call.
Race 7: IC Lightning, Perfect Tay, Rock Eagle. IC Lightning the lone overlay has run mainly in the 25-35k class for the last 15 months with just a few podiums. Fastest overall speed figures (last 3 races: 82, 82, 88, a good pattern). Gained a length on leader first race after layoff on 1/13 here. Also improved on 1st and 2nd call speed since prior.
Big Venezuelan has no finishes in 5 races in the money. Gained strongly from 32 to 60 last time out, first race after 2 month layoff. Returns to 25k claim level for the first time since claim from Bruno Tessore 9/24. 2nd call speed rating of 69 much better than 60 in race prior to layoff. Lil’ Charlie has 1 show in 5 races himself. Best rating on turf of the field, 76, was that show finish. He gained 2 lengths on the leader in that race. This closer has best tactical speed. Lone late closer in the field.
Race 9: Blame The Law, Quebec, Fear No Evil. Another good race for value. Top 2 are overlays.
Blame The Law ran 2nd in November at the 58k maiden level. He bounced from 78 down to 46 after layoff and his initial appearance at GP. That is the best score for the distance, in a race with very few runners with any experience. Pattern suggests she should run about 70 Brisnet this time. No time in the front of the field despite his early-speed reptutation. Trip in last race was somewhat eventful, ran rather rank. Did better at 1st call than last, gained on the leader by half a length from 1st to 2nd call.
Quebec ran once in October at Belmont, 52 Brisnet. Blinkers go on for the first time. Best turn time of the field among the small sample.
Race 10: Summersault, Inside Out, Seeking Treasure. Summersault and Okana are the overlays.
Summersault returns from 6 week layoff. 4 works since then, all at GP. Won last out, gained half length on leader by 2nd call. 2 2nd place finishes prior. Owns a prior win straight off layoff.
Race 11 (Sweetest Chant Stakes): Bahama Halo, Rymska, Tamit. Bahama Halo is the lone overlay. Won twice at the 75k level, not well placed in all filly stakes efforts. Prior win while stretching out, waiting since 1/7 to do so. Gained 1.6 seconds in turn time, best gain of the field.
Race 12 (Holy Bull Stakes): Irish War Cry, Talk Logistics, Gunnevera. Top 2 are overlays. I expect good value here.
Irish War Cry won his debut at maiden 40k level, then the Merrylander on New Year’s Eve. Speed figures were 99 then 100, definitely the speed horse here. First time Lasix helps his chances. 23.4 turn time is best of field. I’d root personally for Gunnevara, another Future Wager selection.