Paul Quigley's American Racing Preview

    Paul has selections with analysis for Saturday night's Stateside action from Belmont Park, Keeneland and Laurel Park - Live on At The Races
  • Friday 20 October 2017
  • Tipsters

PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Belmont Park, Keeneland and Laurel Park
Saturday 21 October 2017


As is always the case, the nearer you get to The Breeders’ Cup the genuine stakes races begin to dry up. The state breds in New York and Maryland have bailed us out on Saturday. Eight stakes at Belmont and seven at Laurel are carded. Two from the latter venue are previewed after the evening action has finished from Wolverhampton. In theory these stakes are below the graded standard. There are graded stakes performers in the line ups. With purses of up to $300,000, it is easy to see why.

There is also a Grade 3 from Keeneland included, making eleven in all. Chalon may head the market. She chased home Breeders’ Cup bound Finley'sluckycharm in a Grade 2 at The Kentucky venue at the start of the month.


Belmont Park Race 2 (5.55pm)
The Maid Of The Mist – A stake for New York bred 2 year old fillies – 1 Mile - Dirt

Virtually all of these fillies come out of a pair of state bred stakes run here and prior to that at Saratoga. The main exception is Pure Silver (4). She suffered her first defeat when a fading fourth in The Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga last month. Prior to that, she won a Grade 2 at the same venue by nine lengths. If as expected she clears early here, she’s very likely to go wire to wire. I Still Miss You (3) who ran her to a length and a half in July, ran too bad to be true in the stake won by Cause We Are Loyal (5) at Saratoga in August.

Held Accountable (6) who beat Berning Rose (8) and Newport Breeze (2) in a stake here last month runs as if she’ll improve for the extra distance of this event.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Pure Silver (4)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 3 (6.28pm)
The Iroquois - A stake for New York bred fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt

Quezon (3) won this race in 2016 by five lengths from Wonderment (5). That was in the slop but she handles a dry track also. She’s had a similar preparation this year, going close again in the same Grade 2 over course and distance. At Saratoga in August, she was second best to the much improved Picco Uno (1) with Absatootly (4) in third. That four year old was better placed in an evenly run event. There is speed in this contest to set things up better for the defending champion.

The hat-trick seeking Cozzy Spring (6) has won back to back allowance events in wire to wire fashion. She’s well worth her place in this line up. Her chances improve no end if she can avoid a speed duel with the pacey Royal Inheritance (2).

PAUL'S SELECTION
Quezon (3)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 4 (7.01pm)
The Ticonderoga – A stake for New York bred fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/16 Miles - Turf

Tizzelle (8) has only had five career starts. She comes off a career best effort when runner up in a stake here last month. The winner is a talented graded stakes calibre New York bred. Tizzelle was a little flattered, sat well back off very quick fractions for the distance. Barrel of Dreams (2) set that strong pace and was only beaten four and a half lengths into fourth. She is a progressive five year old who went into that event on a hat-trick. She’s now ridden by John Velazquez who has ridden her to success many times. If he is less aggressive than Joel Rosario was last time, she may last home.

The winner of the stake Tizzelle and Barrel of Dreams contested last time is trained by Chad Brown. He is double-handed here. Ancient Secret (7) a Grade 2 winner routing last year has been trying one turn racing lately. She has the tactical speed to get a good position. Barn mate Fifty Five (5) is a three year old. She’s ran well in a trio of graded events since her belated 2017 comeback in June. The one knock on her is the likelihood of getting behind is an evenly run event. This race seems to set up better for Ancient Secret and Barrel of Dreams.

Last time claim Feeling Bossy (6) now runs for a powerful trainer and owner combo. It will be no surprise if she outruns her odds.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Barrel of Dreams (2)
EXOTIC BETS
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Barrel of Dreams (2) and Ancient Secret (7)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 5 (7.34pm)
The Empire Classic Handicap – A stake for New York bred 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt

Royal Posse (9) won this race in 2016 by three and half lengths from Governor Malibu (8). He’s ran way below that form since, particularly in his last two starts. Governor Malibu has not won in over year but at least he’s showed this term he retains plenty of ability. He ran second in a similar event at Saratoga in August with Papa Shot (1) back in third.

This may be an event to side with the younger brigade. The three year old Twisted Tom (3) won back to back stakes at Laurel before being pitched in at the deep end in The Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. He’s won both his starts since, stakes against fellow New York breds. In the latest, he ran a career best over course and distance. He had Can You Diggit (6) over four lengths back in second. He has tactical speed and shouldn’t sit too far behind likely leader Becker's Galaxy (2).

Control Group (4) is another improving three year old. He is on a four timer. The former claimer was an easy winner of an allowance event at Saratoga in August. He may have been kept fresh for this event. He gets 8lbs from Twisted Tom and 10 from Governor Malibu.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Twisted Tom (3)
EXOTIC BETS
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Twisted Tom (3) and Control Group (4)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Twisted Tom (3) and Governor Malibu (8)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 6 (8.07pm)
The Sleepy Hollow – A stake for New York bred 2 year olds – 1 Mile - Dirt

This race could look differently with key scratches or if one runner misses the break but on paper the leading pair may duel hard for the early lead. Wes Ward’s Battle Station won on debut on the turf but looked even better on the dirt second time out. He destroyed a stakes field in wire to wire fashion. Runner up Inalienable Rights (7) was beaten nine lengths. His likely market and pace rival toney Bennett (1) has only had one start. She was the subject of a gamble here last month and drew off to win by nearly four lengths. Both he and Battle Station are bred to handle the extra ground here but maybe not if they go at from the get-go.

We Should Talk (8) outfinished a talented maiden by almost three lengths on his debut. He is bred to stay well. He’s not far off the inside drawn pair speed figure-wise and could be the trip horse. So could Analyze the Odds (10) who beat Mr. Pete (5) by a neck to win a stake at Finger Lakes last month.

Big Gemmy (3) broke his maiden second time out at Saratoga. He didn’t run to that form in a Grade 3 over an extended mile at Churchill next time. He could be suited by the return to one turn.

PAUL'S SELECTION
We Should Talk (8)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 8 (9.13pm)
The Hudson Handicap – A stake for New York bred 3 year olds and upwards – 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt

Weekend Hideaway (3) has been a regular winner at this level but was beaten into second at 2/5 in this race in 2016. His colours were lowered at Saratoga when runner up to three year old T Loves a Fight (8). The winner ran a career best on his first start for trainer Michelle Nevin. Celtic Chaos (5) who had won a stake the time before ran third giving the form a solid look. He like Weekend Hideaway was in too deep last time in a Grade 1 here.

Ostrolenka (6) is a luckless type. He ran second to Celtic Chaos in July and has been bridesmaid in both subsequent starts. Suffice to say, he is a solid place chance in an open event. His former barn mate Sudden Surprise (4) won first time off the claim by Brad Cox last month. He seems back to his stakes winning juvenile form. A trainer change to Jason Servis could see Eye Luv Lulu (9) rebound at a price. It is worth noting he ran second in back to back stakes in the spring.

Like many of these if Gold for the King (7) runs to his best, he can contend.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Sudden Surprise (4) and Eye Luv Lulu (9)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Laurel Park Race 9 (9.40pm)
The Maryland Millions Ladies – A stake restricted stake – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf

I have made a case for Barrel of Dreams (2) in race 4 at Belmont. The purse is bigger in New York but the competition may be a tad tougher. If she runs here, she has claims as good as any. She may have at least one pace partner in Great Soul (8) whose chances improve no end if Barrel of Dreams is scratched.

Rocky Policy (7) has run solely in sprints since her belated 2017 return in July. She did finish third to Devilish Love (9) in this race last year but was vanned off ‘sore’ so may not have done her running. She has contending form in routes and gets a slight nod here.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Rocky Policy (7)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 9 (9.46pm)
The Mohawk – A stake for New York bred 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/16 Miles - Turf

Many of the usual suspects in this division over the last couple of years are missing. The one exception is Chad Brown’s Offering Plan (5). He lost narrowly to a runner being pointed to a graded stake in a similar event to this at Saratoga in August. His connections took a shot in a Grade 1 at Keeneland last time and he was far from disgraced. The deep closer is most definitely the horse to beat at a short price. Black Tide (7) finished almost two lengths behind him upstate. He went quick on the front end then and last time out when run down late. If Jose Lezcano can get him to relax on a soft lead, he may last all the way.

Converge (6) made the running last time. That was a Grade 1 over a mile and a half. Prior to that, he’d finished behind the other Brown runner in here Nevisian Sky (2). He’s a progressive four year old who runs in a stake for the time. He’s not as good at this stage as his barn mate Offering Plan. Unlike him, he has some tactical speed to keep him in striking distance.

Cloontia (1) and All Is Number (3) ran nice races last time behind the runner that beat Offering Plan in August. They need the favourite to disappoint to earn more than a minor award.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Offering Plan (5)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Laurel Park Race 10 (10.13pm)
The Maryland Millions Classic - A stake restricted stake – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt

The six year old Admirals War Chest (1) is seeking his third straight victory in this event. He has questions to answer after a poor comeback run. It was his first start since November and he was used up in a speed duel. The latter could happen here. John Jones (2) who has five of his last six starts on dirt including a stake also has speed. He has stalked in the past which may be crucial to his chances.

Todd Pletcher’s Jerandson (3) is another who seems best on the front end. His barn mate Bonus Points (5) is a big player if he runs. He’s a stakes winner on dirt and drops in class from graded events. The fact that a rider is not jocked up suggests he may not run. Take a note if he does.

Ghost Bay (11) may be the best closer in this line up. In a race where the fractions could be fast, he may be heard from late. He ran second in a stake on turf last time but his form on dirt is just as strong.

PAUL'S SELECTION
John Jones (2)
EXOTIC BETS
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) John Jones (2) and Ghost Bay (11)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Belmont Park Race 10 (10.19pm)
The Empire Distaff Handicap – A stake for New York bred fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt

Jcs American Dream (1) was claimed last time for $25,000 by Linda Rice. Prior to that, she split the winner Literata (8) and Jc's Shooting Star (3) in a stake at Saratoga. All three gals are worth considering in a wide open event. So too is Pride of Saratoga (2). She’s won three of her last four starts at Finger Lakes. Her only loss came by a neck to Five Star Rampage (9) in August. That filly made a winning comeback under allowance conditions at Parx 11 days ago.

Verdant Pastures (4) made a super return to the races after five months away at Saratoga. She was put on the lead by Manuel Franco and drew off to win by almost 15 lengths. That run may have flattered her but if she can repeat it. She will be hard to deny.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Verdant Pastures (4)
EXOTIC BETS
No Exotics

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


Keeneland Race 9 (10.30pm)
The Lexus Raven Run (Grade 3) – 3 year old fillies – 7 Furlongs - Dirt

Chalon (8) is one of a trio of contenders from California based trainers entered. She finished behind Tequilita (7) in August but has ran two much better races since then. In the latest she ran second against a talented older filly in a Grade 2 here earlier this month. The worry is the step back up to seven furlongs. It is not an issue to Miss Sunset (11) who had Classy Tune (9) back in third when winning a stake at Del Mar last month. She won over today‘s distance prior to that and has run well over even further. The mount of Julien Leparoux has speed but her outside post gives him the option to stalk.

The first three finishes from The Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks renew rivalry. Tequilita (7) outfinished 75/1 shot Yorkiepoo Princess (1) with Overture (2) coming from a long way back to finish third. She is a real seven furlong specialist. Her only loss at the trip was when third in The Grade 1 Test at Saratoga (Chalon behind her). Overture may need a pace meltdown to run to her Grade 3 winning route form.

Nonna Mela (4) won over today’s distance before lacking the pace of the winner in a Grade 2 over a furlong shorter. Pinch Hit (3) is another with a fine record in elongated sprints. She won a stake at Churchill last month.

PAUL'S SELECTION
Miss Sunset (11)
EXOTIC BETS
Combination Exacta (6 Bets) Overture (2), Tequilita (7) and Miss Sunset (11)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
Betfair | William Hill | Sky Bet | Bet365 | Ladbrokes | Paddy Power |
Coral | Betway | Betfred | BoyleSports | RaceBets | Stan James


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