Thursday, October 4, 2012

Full Field of Fillies in Alcibiades Stakes

Champagne Stakes Bubbles with Talent at ThoroFan's Handicapper's Corner

by guest handicapper, Polytrack expert Steve Thygersen
Numbers after names are “polytrack score” derived from number of winners/itm finishers by sire's offspring.
#1 PURE INDY (56) – she won in her debut at Del Mar on Poly at 5 ½ furlongs and was brought back too soon at Fairplex where she didn’t run much. Dollase is a pretty good judge of horse flesh (especially freshmen), he is really high on her and felt that her performance at Fairplex was his fault, not the horse. She had one work at Hollywood before shipping and turned in a nice 1:00 flat drill. She has the Poly breeding and validated that with her debut win. Would prefer somewhere other than the rail but she is capable and shouldn’t have an issue with the distance but this is a three furlong stretchout. Solid.
#2 KITTEN’S DUMPLING (33) – comes into this off of two turf efforts, a win and a close up 4th in the GR-2 Natalma. Has not run on Poly, has not worked on Poly and the Kitten’s Joys are not world beaters on the surface. Connections are good for 33% at Keeneland and she is one of two in the field to win at the distance but the breeding makes you pause. I don’t think she can get past her genes but could hit the board.
#3 ROSE TO GOLD (24) – a Calder shipper coming in off of TWO 13 length wins with the immortal Jose Rios in tow… Very poor Poly sire and the dam don’t help. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt with these Calder types. Looks like the rocket ship will crash back to Earth. No way, Jose.
#4 ALMOST AN ANGEL (83) – has the breeding and her debut was here back in the Spring so there are some positives. She broke her maiden in a turf sprint at Belmont and didn’t do a lot in her run at Saratoga but she did have some significant trouble there. Comes in off of a snappy 1:12/3 work at Aqueduct and the trainer and team stats are all above 20%. Could be a surprise at big odds. Longshot possibility.
#5 FULLY LIVING (71) – a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, the surface should be a plus and she has been running against the best two year old fillies in the east in So Many Ways, Kauai Katie and Dreaming of Julia. Has been working like a champ all Summer. Don’t think she was wild about the good track last out but she still managed to hold second. Probably a cut below these but the new surface may give her a better chance. Minor award is really her ceiling.
#6 BROKEN SPELL (53) – pretty obvious that dirt wasn’t her thing and she performed well in three straight 8 ½ furlong turf races, progressing steadily from a 67 to a 78. She has the most experience in the field and shows no signs of regression. Live.
#7 GOLD EDGE (72) – she has Poly breeding in spades through Eddington and Pioneering, and she has already shown that going 2/2 at Arlington on the main track, including the GR-3 Arlington Washington Lassie last out. Her speed figures are nothing to write home about but she is 3/3 and manages to get the job done. Think the additional distance is a plus and I would ignore the Beyers and look at the performance. Contender.
#8 LA SONG (71) – another double Poly, from Unbridled’s Song and Forest Camp, she is 3-1-1-1 on the surface and was narrowly defeated by Gold Edge in her last. She is the probable pacesetter here and they are going to have to come and get her. Solid work on this track on the 30th and you can expect an improvement here. Sanchez and Catalano are 31% and this one looks to be fit and improving. Just another live filly.
#9 SPRING IN THE AIR (0*) – there are only three runs for her sire on Poly so far so not enough to make a call, but her grandsire is Silver Deputy (55) so there is probably a fair amount of potential here. She ran twice on Poly at Woodbine and finished 2nd in her debut and then won by 10 in her next in a straight maiden race. They tried her on turf in the GR-2 Natalma and I think she was the best looking horse late in that race. Lots to like.
#10 TARA FROM THE CAPE (60) – the third double Poly in the field through Leroidesanimaux and Saint Ballado, she debuted on Poly and won by four lengths and followed that up with a win at Delaware on the turf and a 3rd in the PG Johnson at Saratoga on the turf. She has progressed steadily since her debut and she has pretty standard Casse works. Think her second start on Poly could be worth the price of admission. Sure doesn’t hurt that Dominguez landed here. She also has some speed which should keep her away from trouble, a real plus with babies. I sound like a broken record but she is live as well.
#11 SKYFALL (55) – another double Poly, this one through More Than Ready and Lasting Approval, she has yet to race on the surface but did work last Saturday at Keeneland. Think she improves here but that probably won’t be enough to catch these. Pass.
#12 SPEEDINTHRUTHECITY (76) – a daughter of City Zip who had a very nice run on Poly at Del Mar finishing second to Executiveprivilege in the GR-3 Sorrento and then missed by a head on turf at a mile in the slowly run Juvenile Filly Turf to Renee’s Queen. I think the chances of her winning here are not high, but the chances of her hitting the board are.
#13 MAGICAL MOON (51) – Malibu Moon is a decent Poly sire, but the damsire, Lord at War, is a very good Poly sire (133) and this one torched the track in her first work here (:46/2). She ran a 1:02 flat in her last at Saratoga so she is no joke. Stall and Napravnik do well at Keeneland and this one could be a total beast on the surface. The one issue is the post; the three outside posts were a combined 2/28 on main track routes, but she does have tactical speed and Napravnik will have to use a dose of that to clear the field on the way out. The farthest she has ever been is 5.5F so that is a question mark but she was flyin’ in her last and the pedigree says more longer, more better. My pick.
#14 DANCINGINTHECIRCLE (ND) – nothing on Divine Park as a Poly sire but she was moving pretty good late in the GR-3 Arlington Washington Lassie, missing by a neck to Gold Edge and La Song after getting molested at the break. Like the other Arlington invaders her speed figures are light and she will have to navigate her way through the field but if you want a mortgage payer, she is probably worth a look.


Longshot: There are an awful lot of live entries here and some are going to be forgotten at the windows. The one that will probably be ignored is the predicted pacesetter LA SONG who should improve enough to carry them way farther than most expect and being up front with these juvenile delinquents is a distinct advantage.
Do I feel confident in this race? No chance, they are very evenly matched; there are four double Polys and 10 with superior Poly pedigrees. I am seeing this more and more as the years go on, not that I think the trainers get it yet about Poly horses, I think it is just a natural selection kind of thing. You will have to use the board as your guide and make some projections on expected performance improvements. The one run that sticks in my head was the 1:02 that Magical Moon ran and her breeding says she will take to Poly like a duck to water. She also has some serious works and won by ten last out despite a pretty tangled break. If she gets out in good order, look out.