This update is a bit delayed, but here are the new Horses to Watch from the previous racing week (4/11 to 4/15):
Pervis is making it onto the list for having had two bad trips in a row now. On Wednesday, April 11th, he was entered way over his head in the fourth race, a Starter optional claiming $50,000 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. He went off at a pretty legitimate 60-1, but actually didn’t run a bad race. After being gunned the lead, which is not usually his style, through blazing fractions of 22 3/5 and 47 1/5 seconds, he hangs on pretty well at the end to finish fourth. The time before that, when entered in a more realistic $20,000 claimer on turf, he was rank for most of the race and steadied badly at the top of the stretch. The jockey never really got an opportunity to make any sort of run with him and he finished last. So this horse has now run two races in a row that are not nearly as bad as they may look on paper and I’d be very interested in betting him back next time at the $20,000 level.
Typhoon Teri (#3) was making her first career start in that same Wednesday’s fifth race, a New York bred maiden special weight at six furlongs. After breaking fairly well, she got squeezed back slightly about a furlong out from the gate and then continued to be shuffled back through the pack until she found herself about seven or eight lengths from the lead by the far turn. At first sticking to the rail, jockey Rosie Napravnik began to really get into her at the top of the stretch. Typhoon Teri responded to the urging, but was forced to change paths multiple times throughout the stretch due to her competitors drifting about badly. Once she finally found a clear lane, she made a nice late surge to take third. There is no doubt Typhoon Teri was much the best of this group and we may get a decent price on her next time since this race didn’t come up very fast.
Pocket Cowboys (#3) and Indy Scent (#6) were both victims of a glacially slow pace in Friday, the 13th’s second race, the Three Coins Up Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Pocket Cowboys’ fate was decided out of the gate when he broke a step slowly and was squeezed back to last when the two horses adjacent to him came together. Pocket Cowboys from there was able to secure a decent position in behind the leaders albeit boxed in on the rail. Indy Scent, meanwhile, is a one-run closer, and he willingly took up his position at the back of the pack. The real story of this race, however, is what transpired at the top of the stretch, as odds-on favorite Mahubo had clear sailing to the outside and was able to make first run on the leaders. Pocket Cowboys, on the other hand, was still stuck inside and he could not commence his rally until the field had entered the stretch and the race had already been decided. Indy Scent was similarly compromised having to make his run from last, but he actually really fired in the stretch and nearly ran down Mahubo late. Pocket Cowboys may have needed this race as he was coming off a lengthy layoff and I’m very interested in betting him in a similar spot next time. Indy Scent is probably one of the most regally bred horses on the New York circuit, being by A. P. Indy out of champion mare Escena, and it’s certainly taken him a long time to figure the game out. However, as a 5-year-old, after starting the winter struggling in $20,000 claimers, he is now in the best form of his career for trainer Leah Gyarmati I predict he will be a factor in many stakes throughout the year on both dirt and turf.
Half Lucky was making his first start on turf and first start in a route in last Saturday’s first race, a Starter optional claiming $65,000. Half Lucky was stepping way up in class here after breaking his maiden for $25,000 in February on the inner track. After rating nicely just off the pace Cornelio Velasquez asked him for running coming off the far turn and Half Lucky gave him a burst of speed. It looked for a moment as if he’d be an easy winner, but he was completely used up by the eighth pole and essentially stopped, eventually finishing seventh. All in all, this was not a bad effort considering the circumstances. This horse obviously handles turf, but just not the added distance, which is no surprise seeing as he is by sprinter sire, Half Ours. Trained by Linda Rice, I predict we’ll see him in a turf sprint once racing switches to Belmont.
Reflecting (#4) was making his debut in Saturday’s fifth race, a tough maiden special weight spot at six and a half furlongs. He ran a pretty even race finishing fifth, but I’m really putting him on the list more for his pedigree than his trip. A Phipps homebred, he is by Elusive Quality out of multiple graded stakes winner, Daydreaming, which makes him a half brother to G1-placed Imagining. Daydreaming is impeccably well bred, by A. P. Indy and a half or full sister to such top performers as Girolamo and Accelerator. She is also the sibling of Supercharger, the dam of Super Saver, and She’s a Winner, the dam of Bluegrass Cat. Basically, female families do not get better than this and I can’t wait to bet Reflecting back when he stretches out in distance, or better yet, gets on the turf.
Ruthless Alley (#3) made his first turf start in Saturday’s sixth race, a maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles. He was very rank early in the race and became involved in a duel, laying down fractions of 23 flat and 46 4/5 seconds. Obviously tired at the top of the stretch, Ruthless Alley was quickly passed by eventual winner Reserve Currency. He had every right to fade to the back of the pack, but he fought on all the way to the wire, just losing second by a length and a half. This was a nice performance for a turf debut and he should be tough with an easier pace setup next time.