Aug 15, 2008
HORSES TO WATCH
By: AMERICAN TURF CLUB
BENNY’S BENCHMARK: Got hooked in a two-length-gap speed duel but still outran 8-1 odds for third, just a length behind the 6-5 favorite. Owns dangerous speed vs. maidens.
BOOT CUT: Had no early speed but made a huge middle move before getting caught late. Looks good in next.
BRAVE JUSTICE: Hit the side of the gate in an awkward start and could not make up enough ground fast enough in a 5 1/2 furlong race. Worth another shot.
CORPORAL TILLMAN: Set a pressured pace and never got a breather up front, yet still held on well for third, just a nose out of second.
COVER GIRL ELLE: First starter set a fast and pressured pace and did the best of any of the front runners to hold on for fourth. Has a future here and/or at Fairplex.
DEL CONTE: Chased a front-running first starter and the 8-5 favorite and settled for fourth after a rough start and a bad trip.
DULCE MARIA: Jockey backed her out of a battle for the lead and then couldn’t get her back into the fray in a race where the speed held. Could be sweet in second off the four-month layoff.
EMMY DARLING: Ran a big race in the Sorrento, coming again late despite being interfered with in the stretch. Just missed second and should stay close on your stakes radar.
FOUL PLAY: Got caught in a four-way battle for the lead and emerged best of the early speed horses. Can win off the claim by Morey.
GREY CHATELAINE: First starter passed eight horses en route to a third-place finish in a 5 1/2F race. May not be a maiden for long.
LITTLE DUDE: Showed good speed but got hooked in a two-length-gap duel for the lead and could not shake loose. Try again.
MATCHING WHITES: Passed 10 horses en route to a runner-up finish, which is a big accomplishment for a maiden claimer first starter. Won’t remain a maiden for long.
PERFECTLY SWEET: Continued to fight on gamely in the stretch after the rider lost the whip. Must respect in second race off the seven-month layoff.
WILD AND READY: Was steadied and forced out wide on the first turn and lost too much ground early to be able to contend late. Wild and ready back on grass with a better post.
YEARLY GIFT: Closed from 12th to 5th but lost by only a length and a half, and might have been closer if not for traffic trouble in deep stretch.
BEST BET: BEST MUD: Broke poorly at 19-1 odds and then rushed up into a three-way duel for the lead and still held on for third, just a half length out of second behind a runaway winning 3-5 favorite.
LONGSHOT: CEE BARGARA: Steadied on the first turn, but went on to run a good race for third behind the early leaders in a race where no one else made up any ground from off the pace. Don’t overlook.
AIMEE’S HONOUR: Was the only front-runner still around at the finish in a race that set up for closers. Ready to graduate in second off the layoff.
BOFFO: Toss out last-place finish when she was unprepared for the start. Can rebound.
CAPT. BULLET BOB: Was bumped at the start and then rushed up into a three-way speed duel in a race that set up perfectly for the 8-5 favorite. Can shake loose vs. maidens.
DANCY’S ANGEL: Broke slowly and had to rush up, but had no chance chasing a loose lone speed wire-to-wire winner. Don’t overlook.
GENTLE LANA: Got bumped at the start to break two lengths behind the rest of the field. Ran well for fourth, just a head and a nose out of second behind a winning favorite.
HEAVENLY DUE: Was shuffled back at the start, but his late rally was good enough for fourth, beaten only three lengths at 14-1 despite the early troubles.
LEAPING LILY: Lacked room in the stretch when running up on rivals’ heels behind a loose lone speed wire-to-wire winner. Too early to give up on her.
MACADAMIA NUT: Set a fast pace and held on well for second in-between two deep closers in return from an eight-month layoff. Ready next time.
MINIMITE: Emerged from a four-length-gap speed duel in fast fractions to finish second behind a perfect-trip closer.
NOW: Was taken up sharply when interfered with in the stretch. Just needs a clean trip.
SHAPE: Stumbled badly at the start and could only make up enough ground for third. In better shape next time with a better start.
SWIFTBROOKBDANCING: Got hooked in a four-length-gap speed duel and held on for second while more than 20 lengths ahead of her early challenger.
BEST BET: SEASPEAK: Had a terrible trip in return from an eight-month layoff, getting steadied at the start and then rushing up toward the pace until eventually getting boxed in behind horses in the stretch to lose all chance. May not be denied with a better trip in second off the layoff.
LONGSHOT: ROBOPONI: Had things working against him early when bumped at the start and then wide and losing ground on the first turn from post nine. Can improve in second off the layoff.
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