Greg Melikov’s Horses to Watch

by Greg Melikov

posted on May 14, 2012 in Horse Racing, News | No Comments >>

Horses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov, should do well next time out. These thoroughbreds won seven times, finished second four times and ran third once since April 15. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

ARLINGTON PARK

Pryce’s Posse: Broke in tight quarters, raced fifth early, dropped to sixth 10 ½ lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, rallied from fourth in stretch, rallied to make up 2 ¼ lengths and gained second by a length at five furlongs on a yielding turf course May 9.

Faptitude: Raced more than 12 lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, angled four wide for stretch run, rallied to make up 5 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at about a mile on a good turf course May 5.

BELMONT

Sweet N Nutty: Raced ninth and last, 11 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied to make up more than four lengths in stretch and gained second by 1 ¾ lengths at a mile on a sealed sloppy surface May 9.

The Laurels: Raced eighth, more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied from sixth in center of stretch to make up more than 3 ¼ lengths and gained third by head at 1 1/16 miles on a yielding turf course May 6.

Escape Artist: Raced 10th and last early, advanced to ninth six lengths behind after a half-mile, moved up to third entering the stretch, rallied to make up nearly four lengths, and finished second beaten a nose at a mile on April 27.

CALDER

Joanie’s Image: Broke slowly, eighth and last, raced 7 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a quarter-mile, rallied from sixth in stretch to make up 4 ½ lengths and gained second by 1 ¾ lengths at 4 ½ furlongs on May 6.

Truly Distinctive: Steadied after start, raced more than five lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, moved up for drive, rallied from second in stretch to make up 1 ½ lengths and finished in that position, beaten a half-length at a mile on a good surface April 22.

Madness n’ Mayhem: Raced 9 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled out for drive, rallied to make up more than 4 ½ lengths in stretch and finished second beaten a neck at a mile on April 9. (Raced more than 6 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, split rivals in stretch and rallied to gain second by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on the turf April 27.)

Call in Rich: Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth seven lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 3 ½ lengths and gained third by 2 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on March 16 at Gulfstream Park. (Tracked pace 4 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, couldn’t gain on leader in stretch and finished second by a length at seven furlongs on May 3.)

DELAWARE PARK

Guam Typhoon: Pressed pace early, led by a head after tree-eighths of a mile and won by 1 ¾ lengths at five furlongs on the turf March 17 at Tampa Bay Downs. (Broke sharply, led by a length after a half-mile and drew off under a brisk hand ride to win by 5 ½ lengths at six furlongs on May 14.)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Party Hard: Off slow, raced more than four lengths being in seventh after a half-mile, bottled up in traffic on far turn, worked way to extreme outside in stretch and rallied to gain third by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on May 3.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS

Tropical Heat: Broke eighth and last, trailed by more than 7 ½ lengths after a half-mile, steadied and blocked along rail, swung out in stretch, rallied from seventh to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths and gained second by a nose at 1 1/16 miles on May 5.

My T Quick: Raced third early, dropped to fourth, more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied outside in stretch to make up 3 ¾ lengths and finished second by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on April 21.

Hard Spun Secrets: Raced third early, dropped to fourth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, closed gamely inside to make up two lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a neck at six furlongs on April 8. (Raced more than two lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, blocked behind leaders in stretch, angled out and gained second by 1 ½ lengths at six furlongs on May 3.)

Premium Quality: Broke fifth and last, moved to fourth more than 1 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, trapped behind leaders at three-sixteenths pole, raced in check until eighth pole, shifted out, made up nearly 1 ½ lengths and finished third beaten two necks at six furlongs on March 25.

Denim and Diamonds: Broke slowly, raced 9 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, gained command in stretch by three lengths and drew off to win by six lengths at a mile on March 25. (Chased pace five lengths behind in second after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to lead by three lengths and held on to win by a neck at a mile on April 15.)

FAIRMOUNT PARK

Rare Action: Chased pace more than seven lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied very wide to make up 3 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished third by 4 ½ lengths at six furlongs on April 1 at Hawthorne… (Tracked pace in fourth two heads and a length behind after a half-mile, roused for drive, took lead by 1 ½ lengths in stretch and drew off to win by six lengths at six furlongs on April 27 at Hawthorne.)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

Confucius Junior: Broke outward, raced 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came out entering stretch, rallied between rivals to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a head at a mile on the turf April 8 at Santa Anita. (Pressed pace a length behind in third after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch and finished second by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on May 6.)

Adam Suances: Raced seventh and last more than 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, split rivals in mid-stretch and finished third by a half-length at a mile on March 18 at Santa Anita. (Ran sixth early, dropped to eighth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, came out in stretch and drew clear to win by 2 ½ lengths at seven furlongs on April 29.)

LOUISIANA DOWNS

Can’touchthisgal: Raced more than five lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came four wide into stretch, rallied to make up nearly five lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf May 6.

MONMOUTH PARK

Dragonfish: Broke seventh and last, raced sixth 15 lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied from fourth along rail in stretch, made up more than three lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on May 12.

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Spin Zone: Grabbed lead by a half-length after a half-mile and drew off under wraps to win by 9 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on May 8.

Forest Machi: Raced more than five lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, closed fast between rivals in stretch to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on April 21.

Coffee Bar: Tracked pace two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, took lead in early stretch and drew off with speed to spare, winning by four lengths at seven furlongs on April 9.

Island Bound: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied wide from third to make up 3 ½ lengths in stretch and finished, second beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on March 27.

Empire Diva: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile and rallied a bit in stretch to finish third by 10 ½ lengths at seven furlongs on April 22. (Pressed pace a half-length and a head behind in third after a half-mile, eased out wider in stretch and won going away by 2 ½ lengths at six furlongs on May 8.)

Rock Ptarmigan: Raced 8 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied on far turn to take lead in upper stretch and drew off to win by 5 ¾ lengths at a mile on April 17. (Chased pace six lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to gain second by three-quarters of a length at a mile on May 5.)

PIMLICO

Super Chunky: Bumped with rival near turn, raced more than nine lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied in stretch to make up more than 5 ¾ lengths and finished dead-heated for third, beaten a neck and a head at five furlongs on April 21.

No Easy Answer: Raced more than seven lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, swung wide for the drive, closed fast from fourth in stretch to make up more than 5 ¼ lengths and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on March 30; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

Another Smokey: Broke sixth and last, trailed by five lengths after a half-mile and rallied from fifth in stretch to finish third by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf April 7. (Broke seventh and last, trailed by more than seven lengths after a half-mile, rallied a bit in stretch from fourth and finished third by 1 ½ lengths at a mile on the turf May 4.)

TURF PARADISE

Seven Tuff: Bumped, squeezed at start, assumed command on turn, led by three lengths in stretch and drew off to win by 11 lengths, ridden out at five furlongs on April 6. (Tracked pace a head and a half-length behind after three-eighths of a mile, closed fast in stretch and drew clear to win by 2 ¼ lengths at five furlongs on April 29.)

WOODBINE

Big Apple Red: Broke seventh and last, trailed by more than seven lengths after a half-mile, rallied from sixth in stretch to make up more than 6 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten a head and a neck at six furlongs on May 9.

Any Given Royal: Raced sixth early, dropped to seventh more than 4 ½ lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, lost ground entering the stretch, rallied from fifth to make up 4 ¾ lengths and finished second, beat three-quarters of a length at 5 ½ furlongs on April 22.

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