Thoroughbred Racing
American Turf - Horses to Watch

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American Turf Club


RULES OF PLAY: In our opinion, each horse listed below (and in our 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 may want to 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 it.

Friday, January 30
AQUEDUCT

BEST PLAY: Has some backclass to call on a was coming off an early November layoff, raced in sixth early on, came wide around the final turn and finished well to just miss by a neck at 7-1; tab right back with NW3L $16k claimers.

GO GET THE BASIL: Took good money last out going off at 5-1 after a 20-1 morning line, likes the inner track and got a good trip last out but didn't have that punch late checking in third behind a runaway winner, follow right back.

JEALOUS: Was outrun early in against NW3L $16k claimers, was off a beat slow early on racing in sixth, started to move into the lane and finished well for third just missing the place spot by a nose at 15-1; fits right back at this level.

LADY LUCIANO: Was returning from an October layoff last out, was hustled out of the gate getting to the lead while under pressure, was still there into the lane but couldn't get it done tiring late to finish third, all set now.

MENTAL ICEBERG: Scored two back against NW2L $35k claimers back in November over Aqueduct's main track, returned last out against statebred allowance foes but could only manage an even fifth at 18-1; a drop will do.

MY TEE TIME: Moved way up in class last out, broke awkwardly from the rail and raced well back throughout checking in sixth late at 13-1; needs a drop back down the $25k claiming level.

SECOND CITY: Six year old gelding has the backclass to call on, was claimed two back for $8k out in California, shipped in here for David Jacobson barn, stalked from fifth early on, angled out and rolled on by for an easy win, look for him against better next out off the claim.

TESTOSTERSTONE: Returned from a November layoff last out, got away in fifth early on, moved into second into the lane and fought all the way down to the wire coming up just ?'s of a length short, tab.

THOMAS KNIGHT: Came out running in his debut last out, raced wide down the backside when sent off at 17-1, came wide into the lane but finished up well just missing by a neck against $20k maiden claimers, should move forward off that effort, solid.

BEST BET: FREE MUGATU: Hasn't been seen since the Albany stakes at Saratoga, chased the pace from the inside last out, was still in third into the lane and just missed by a neck at 8-1; needed that race and should be all set next out.

LONGSHOT: REAL ESTATE RICH: Stretched out to two turns last out, was outrun early on racing in seventh, made a big move to get up into contention and finished well checking in third, is better as a one run sprinter, tab on the turnback.

LAUREL

BLACK BULLET: Had a decent year last year with three wins, a second and four third place finishes, he has been off form for a few months but he did close last out to finish third behind a runaway wire to wire winner, must respect this runner right back.

FIRST BETRAYAL: Four year old filly came out of the gate running last out, set a sharp pace while well clear but couldn't hold on checking in second at 5-2; fits with $5k claimers, tab.

MAGINOT LINE: Showed good early speed last out, battled through a half mile but tired in the lane to finish fourth at 7-1; all set next out in her third start back off the layoff, must respect.

POT OF GOLD: Was outrun early on racing in 11th, came very wide into the lane and finished up well checking in fourth, a bit more distance will be right up his alley.

SPEEDING SPIKE: Shipped in from Charles Town in good form, with two wins and a second from three prior starts, was outrun early on behind some sharp splits and finished well for fourth at 29-1; tab.

BEST BET: SURFING U S A: Four year old gelding was making his first start as a gelding, chased the pace from the start but was tired after a half mile when returning from a September layoff as the favorite, should improve next out.

LONGSHOT: CHICA FABULOSA: Three year old filly was sent off at 79-1, was away in eighth early on, started to move up on the turn and finished well to finish fourth, should move forward off that effort and offers value right back.