|American Turf - Horses to Watch|
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RULES OF PLAY: In our opinion, each horse listed below (and
newsletter) has a reasonable chance to win or run well
for second. If there are two recommended horses running in the same race, play
both to win and place and in the exacta
and/or quinella. We suggest giving precedence to a selection in a more recent
report or, if you like, play the horse with
the higher odds.
NOTE: Our recommendations have a life of one month, so you
print this page to keep for your handicapping. If,
however, you find there are too many horses to watch simply discard the oldest
issue in the one-month cycle. Horses
switching tracks remain plays, and sometimes become our best plays as shrewd
trainers place fit horses in excellent spots
on other circuits, so keep an eye out in these instances. Good luck and always
bear in mind: Play with your head, not over
Friday, December 20
GREEN GATTO: Hails from a low profile barn and was making his first start since October while adding the blinkers back on, rushed up to take over the lead, held that lead into the lane and held on well for second at 28-1; price play with $50k maiden claimers.
INDY SEA: Four year old gelding was turning back in distance last out and taking a drop in class into a $35k conditioned claimer, got away in fourth, angled off the rail into the lane but couldn't finish it off checking in second at 6-1.
KING KONGRATS: Two year old colt took a drop into a maiden claimer, was outrun some early on, moved wide into the turn and took over to score despite lugging in late, can repeat with restricted winners.
LUDO BAGMAN: Was coming off a poor effort heading into his last start, was away in seventh, had to check around the far turn, got outside into the lane and closed well to finish third at 13-1; follow right back.
MANHATTAN GIN: Was an easy maiden breaker two back versus statebred maiden claimers, moved up to face winners last out and was sharp again scoring by two lengths, stays sharp.
PERFECT TRIPPI: Four year old gelding was coming off a September layoff last out, came out running for the lead, battled head to head for more than a half mile but tired in the lane to finish 9th, give him one more chance at the $12.5k claiming level.
PONTUS: Was not sent hard to the lead chasing the pace from fourth early on before finally tiring to finish sixth at 27-1; may need a drop in class to show his best, stay close.
RONNIE'S WHEY: Was sent off at 23-1 in his debut, got off to a very slow start and was outrun thereafter, caught up to the field around the turn and checked in a well beaten sixth, improves off that debut run and will offer value right back even with a drop in class.
TONY D: Was the best last out when checking in second despite racing very wide throughout when dropping back down into a maiden claimer, should prove tough right back with $50k maiden claimers.
VIOLET HOUR: Was coming off a July layoff when last seen racing in Ireland, came out of the gate running, set the pace from the start and drew away into the lane to score by almost six lengths, can repeat versus better.
BEST BET: BARATTI: Well bred two year old colt was sent off at 11-1 in his debut, was outrun early on while racing greenly, passed one rival in the lane to finish fifth in his debut but was running well in the lane, should improve with that race and more distance.
LONGSHOT: BURNED BRIDGES: Both of his wins have come over the inner track, was away in fifth last out behind some very slow fractions, made a middle move to get into third but tired some late to finish fourth at 19-1 in his first start since May, needs a bit more pace and should be all set next out.
ARRIVED HOME: Four year old gelding was sent off at 29-1 in an off the turf race last out, got away in fourth behind moderate early splits but did close some ground in the drive to get up for second behind the 1-2 favorite, tab.
HE'S SO FINE: Three year old gelding was outrun some early on and raced at the back of the pack, moved off the rail around the turn and finished well for third at 7-1; all set now versus NW2L $30k claimers.
ORIGINAL KITTEN: Four year old filly shipped in from Aqueduct for her last start at 5 1/2 furlongs over the turf, raced near the back of the pack early on and closed some ground to finish fourth at 7-1, moves forward off that effort, tab.
RIVERBOAT BANDIT: Is now 0 for 9 over the Fair Grounds, was away in third early on, made a move to take over the lead past the 1/4 mile mark, was still there into the lane but tired late to finish third at 25-1; the value is there.
TOUGH JEANS: Three year old filly shipped in from Delta Downs, was away in 7th, started to move up wide around the turn, got into second but couldn't go with the front running winning favorite; must respect next out.
BEST BET: AT THE PULPIT: Four year old gelding was away in fourth last out behind moderate splits over the turf, made a move to get into second at the top of the lane but couldn't go with the runners checking in third, may have needed that race, his first since July, all set now.
LONGSHOT: SHE'SABREES: Four year old filly was coming off a February layoff last out against NW2L $30k claimers, broke from outside post 7, moved up three wide on the turn to get into second but tired some late to finish third at 27-1; can improve next out at a square price.