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Feb 19, 2010

HORSES TO WATCH

By: AMERICAN TURF CLUB


HAWTHORNE

COMMANDER AKBAR: Battled for the lead while racing in between horses, gained a slight advantage after a half mile but couldn’t outlast the odds-on favorite settling for a game second, ready to graduate.

DECENDANT: Stalked the leaders while racing in the second flight, made a move on the far turn to get into second but couldn’t get to the loose on the lead favorite and had to settle for a clear second, follow closely with $4k claimers.

JUMPIN AIRE: Shipped in from Turfway for her last start, was bumped soon after the start, rushed to the lead, held that lead into the lane but couldn’t finish it off tiring to third, get on board.

MICHALINA: Put in a huge effort last out finishing a solid second after setting some quick fractions easily outlasting the other pace rivals; follow with $4k claimers right back.

SWIFTBROOKBDANCING: Broke running from the inside while setting solid fractions, drew away into the lane but couldn’t hold off the late charge of the odds-on favorite in a sharp time; follow right back at a reasonable price.

BEST BET: BELLA’S CASTLE: Got away near the back of the pack while racing inside, trailed the field for half mile, swung six wide into the lane and closed well for third at 7-1; should improve off that effort.

LONGSHOT: STRAIGHT SCOOP: Was outrun and trailed the field of eight last out while racing behind some very quick splits, closed well through the lane to finish fourth at 29-1 over a speed favoring track, moves forward over an even strip.

 

SANTA ANITA

 

ACE OF ACES: Broke slowly and then rushed up to the lead and held on well for second to be beaten only by the odds-on favorite. Must respect.

BEACHROCK: Ran well in career debut at 10-1 odds, finishing a clear third in a race where two heavy favorites ran 1-2. May not be a maiden for long.

BEST PLAN: Threat vs. cheap maidens after running a better than expected fifth, beaten just a half-length for second and 1 1/2 lengths for the whole enchilada in return from an 11-month layoff.

BLACKMAN BAY: Bobbled at the start and broke poorly but then regrouped for a third-place finish, losing by only a neck and a head. Ready to roll with a clean start.

INDY RIDE: Had his head turned at the start and broke slowly, yet went on to make two different moves as the only real off-the-pace threat in the race to be up for third on 2/10. Just needs a clean start.

LEASE OF LIFE: Was the only horse to gain appreciably from off the pace in return from a five-month layoff in a race ruled by front-runners. Prepped and ready for second off the layoff.

LIFE BY R R: Got softened up dueling for the lead. Still a threat to shake loose up front.

LIONS STORY: Came back running from a six-month layoff, finishing third while ahead of the race’s 1-2 favorite. Can win second off layoff.

MISS SEAMLESS: Broke slowly and then pulled her way up to the pace and still held on for second. Can graduate off the claim by O’Neill.

SQUEEZE ME TIGHT: Chased the front-runner around the track and settled for second in return from a nine-month layoff. Needed the race, but looms a live threat in next.

SUPER SOPHIE: Returned from a six-month layoff with a late rally and just missed second behind a runaway pace-setter. Keep her on your list for her second off the layoff.

T. D. VANCE: Old pro is now eight and may have lost a step, but it’s been a mistake to count this guy out in the past, pulling off several high-odds victories in his career against quality horses. Stick with him.

UR TURN DUBAI: Got squeezed back at the start and never recovered on 2/12. Deserves another shot.

USUALLY SUPER: Broke slowly and ran into multiple traffic troubles along the way to another off-the-board finish. Just needs a clean start and a better trip.

VALID MECKE: Failed to hit the board, but nevertheless ran big off a year+ layoff when fourth, beaten less than a length for second after drawing the rail in off-the-turf return from the sidelines.

BEST BET: ERIC’S REVENGE: First starter broke slowly, but then flashed a ton of ability, getting up at 5 1/2F for a clear second while four lengths ahead of the third horse when beaten only by a loose lone speed wire-to-wire horse. Ready to graduate.

LONGSHOT: EMPRESSIVE LADY: Reared at the break and lost all chance at the start, finishing ninth at 5-2 on 2/12. Can rebound as an overlay in next.

 



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