NOVEMBER 16, 2012
by John Mucciolo
There was a single graded race during the second week at the Big A.
Long Island H. (G3): Juddmonte Farms' homebred STARFORMER (Dynaformer) took the lead soon after the start and held gamely late to post a neck win in this grassy affair under Edgar Prado. The Bill Mott blueblood went 1 1/2 miles on the soft turf oval in 2:33.
A total of 27 races were held at the Jamaica, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 30 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 56 percent of the wins during the week. From 25 races on the main oval, three animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (12 percent), while one of the two races on the lawn was taken all the way on the front (50 percent).
Inclement weather saw the Wednesday and Thursday cards canceled at Aqueduct.
Speed was not great with just three wire-to-wire winners on the main strip over the weekend, but many winners were forwardly placed, especially on the Sunday card. All posts had basically similar success, but we prefer a pace pressing or stalking trip a path or two off the rail with our selections.
HORSES TO WATCH
2ND -- SAGE VALLEY (Discreet Cat) looked good in this one, sprinting clear through rapid early splits and pulling clear to a decisive tally for conditioner Rudy Rodriguez. The sophomore colt didn't come home that fast, but he was so sharp early that he had the race won in early stretch.
6TH -- Conditioner Todd Pletcher had UNLIMITED BUDGET (Street Sense) cranked up pretty well in her debut run on this occasion, as the juvenile miss destroyed this field at first asking. We're not sure what the lass beat in this one, but she showed good speed and a nice turn of foot, and it's not easy to win at a mile first time out. She could be any kind going forward.
1ST -- It took a while for RELOAD (Hard Spun) to switch leads in the lane, but the sophomore colt did appear to accelerate some once he did and he should improve once he does so sooner in his races for trainer Shug McGaughey.
3RD -- JOR JAH (Street Sense) gave us a fine impression in this debut run today, as the filly broke a touch slow, made a big middle move to take a short lead and powered home a two-length winner in posting a swift final time of 1:09 1/5 over the fast main oval. The Tony Dutrow trainee topped what we thought was a fairly nice maiden field and could be of stakes quality with steady improvement.
2ND -- BELLAMY BREW (Bellamy Road) ran a fine one to take down this talented allowance field, spurting home a sharp winner in a sharp 1:34 2/5 for the mile. The Mott trainee should be stakes-bound in the near future.
6TH -- MASASI (More Than Ready) was a solid third in this swiftly run contest for a trainer, David Donk, who is not known for his prowess with first time sprinters. We'll surely keep an eye on this juvenile miss, especially if she tries the lawn in the near future.
A Look Ahead
The Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery Handicap on Saturday is the lone graded race this weekend at Aqueduct.
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