Thoroughbred Racing
American Turf - Horses to Watch

Brought to you by
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, February 20
LAUREL

B E BOSTON STRONG: Is now 0 for 5 over the Laurel main track, lacked early speed, raced near the back of the pack before coming five wide into the lane to finish fourth at 17-1, tab with conditioned $5k claimers.

IN FREE: Was outrun as is his normal running style, started to move on the final turn and finished well for second, is a threat right back with similar off that effort.
V PHOTOGENIC: Was claimed out of a conditioned $5k claimer, moved up into a NW1X allowance race, broke slowly and then steadied at the start but did close some ground for fifth at 31-1; tab this one right back on the drop.

SPECIAL RUSH: Was off since October, was going turf to dirt and was dropping in class into a $20k maiden claimer, was sent off as the longest shot in the race at 58-1 and ran on well to finish third behind the two favorites, must respect right back.

STARDUST LIL: Had the 10 pound bug up for her last start, came out running for the lead, opened up a big lead into the lane but couldn't hold off the favorite late checking in a close-up second, tab with NW3L $5k claimers.

BEST BET: ELEVATED: Four year old colt came out running but was chasing a runaway leader through solid fractions but couldn't finish it off checking in a close-up third, must respect this runner right back, stay close.

LONGSHOT: HAVE WE MET: Has been off since December and hasn't run a good race in five tries, was sent off as the 67-1 longest shot in the race and closed well for second, stay close at a big price.

FAIR GROUNDS

HOLD MEDAL: Six year old mare broke her maiden at Delta Downs in November against $10k maiden claimers, broke through the gate prior to the start, got away chasing the pace, dropped back a bit but then came again to finish fourth at 16-1; all set next out.

JA QUELLIN: Tried the turf for the second time last out, came out running for the lead, opening up a big lead through a solid half mile but tired in the lane checking in fifth at 27-1; the value is there.

JACKSON'S G G: Showed improved speed in her second start and her first over the turf, was there from the start to the top of the lane but tired late to finish fourth, all set now.

KAT BITE: Made his second start off the layoff last out and his second start against winners, was sent off at 10-1, got away in sixth last out over the turf and finished up well for third, fits with conditioned claimers, stay close.

SURF CLASSIC: Was sent off as the slight 2-1 favorite last out, got away in midpack behind moderate splits and closed well to finish third behind the two speed horses, follow with conditioned claimers right back.

BEST BET: BIG PEPS: Louisiana Bred was a good second two back when sprinting over the turf, stretched out in distance last out, battled head to head on the lead but couldn't finish it off in the lane checking in fourth at 3-1; can bounce back at a better price.

LONGSHOT: TOP FIGURE: Came off a fifth place finish over the dirt against $20k maiden claimers at Delta Downs, moved up to face maiden special weights when moving to the turf last out, came out running for the lead, battled through a sharp half mile but tired late to finish fifth at 27-1; should move forward, follow.