Horses to Watch – 8/31/15

The racing world can take a deep cleansing breath knowing everything is going to be alright. American Pharaoh has been a blast of wind that carried the sport into the pages of history. – That will never change, and years from now when you read his name in some “remember when” article, you can think back to 2015, and how the sport was re-awakened by this son of Pioneer of the Nile. – The excuses and second guessing are not needed. There will be talk of retirement, the Breeders’ Cup, and what happens after racing. You can talk about how the Zayat family was  sky high on running, or about Bob Baffert’s hesitation for the Travers journey. – Either way, it is now a part of history. We applaud the winners, console the losers, and hope there will be a last attempt at setting the record straight in Lexington, Kentucky for the Breeder’s Cup.  – Around the nation there were plenty of top notch races taking place, and here are a few runners who need a little extra consideration before making your way to the windows.


Gulfstream Park – 8/29/15 – Race #7 – #9 – 7 1/2 on the turf

Imaginethatmom = Eddie Castro was reserved off the early running and circled six wide around the far turn. He broke from the #9 post and was wide. That had this guy somewhere between Miami and Cuba. He was picking them up and laying them down pretty quickly and we need to look for a favorable pace scenario to set him down the lane. Overall, this was a very good showing of things to come.


Saratoga – 8/29/15 – Race #1 – #3 – 1 3/8 on the turf

Good Response = Luis Saez had his mount taking flight and came up a dirty nose short of getting his picture taken. he took his time and waited, and did nothing wrong in this race. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is doing very well at Saratoga this meet, and maybe his return to the races gets him in the winner’s circle with a similar effort.


Saratoga – 8/29/15 – Race #3 – #6 – 1 1/16 on the turf

Neck of the Moon = Irad Ortiz for the Chad Brown barn has been as good as gold. She ducked out leaving the gate and never seemed to gain full composure. Ortiz did an excellent job keeping her from impeding other rivals, and when you’re busy fighting to stay out of trouble, you can bet we’re not seeing your best effort. All things considered, this was a strong effort that will be a sign of things to come. You can rest assured Chad Brown will have all the kinks worked out before post time.


Saratoga – 8/29/15 – Race #7 – #5 – 7f on the dirt

Kiss to Remember = Irad Ortiz bobbled at the start and settled out his mount. About the 5/16th’s pole he gave his cue and she found her high cruising stride. He had just past the leader and had the whip knocked from his hand by Room for Me. Rolling down the lane she looked as good as gold but was passed by Unbridled Forever. – The little things make up all the difference, and Ortiz is a strong finisher that may have needed to have his encourager to get that little extra step or two.


Saratoga – 8/29/15 – Race #8 – #4 – 7f on the dirt

Watershed = Joel Rosario had the call and was off a beat slow and had to drop back behind the field. He saved all the ground skimming the rail and tried to weave through traffic to find daylight down the lane. For this handicapper, the race appears to be a perfect excuse laden trip that left him plenty in the tank for his next out effort.


Belterra Park – /8/29/15 – Race #2 – #6 – 6f on the dirt

Star of Aspen = T.D. Houghton was in town to ride the stakes race, and was tabbed to be the rider for this day. “Star” broke much closer than usual, and the fractions were a bit faster. Good riders put themselves in a good striking position, but on this day she may have been a little too close to the lead. Her rally into the stretch was perfect, but came up just a bit leg weary to finish a solid second. They were shooting for three-in-a-row on this day, and she should benefit greatly from this “close but no cigar effort.”