Horses to Watch

Horses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov that should improve significantly or do well next time out, won seven times, ran second seven times and finished third three times since Dec. 16. These thoroughbreds are worth considering when developing your betting strategy.

       

AQUEDUCT

 

Chaysen’ Alex: Broke slowly seventh and last, raced five lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, advanced three wide to third in stretch, closed willingly to make up three lengths and finished second beaten a length at six furlongs on the inner track Jan. 7; ran final quarter in 44 2/5.

 

Fortyninegeorgest: Raced sixth early, dropped to seventh more than nine lengths behind after a half-mile, split rivals in upper stretch, finished strongly to make up nearly 6 ½ lengths and ran second nosed out at six furlongs on the sealed fast inner track Dec. 26. (Raced more than four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied three wide enter stretch and won going away by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Jan. 10.)

 

Quiet Mover: Raced in traffic two lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, split rivals enter stretch and finished second beaten 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 6. (Raced more than three lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied three wide to third in stretch, but couldn’t close gap and finished in that position at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 13.)

Check It Twice: Raced eighth more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out in upper stretch, rallied belatedly from sixth to make up more than 3 ¼ lengths and gained third by a half-length at six furlongs on the good inner track Dec. 3; ran final quarter in 23 4/5. (Raced fifth more than 1 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, awaited room on turn, closed strongly in stretch and won going away by 2 ½ lengths on the inner track Jan. 10.)

 

Upper Gulch: Raced 14 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung four wide for drive, rallied belatedly to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished third beaten a nose and a length at 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course Nov. 29.

 

Chestoria: Raced sixth more than 13 lengths behind after a half-mile, launched three wide bid entering stretch, closed fast from fifth to make up 6 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Nov. 12; ran final 2 ½ furlongs in 29 4/5.

 

Kissa Melissa: Tracked pace in third a head and a length back after a half-mile, swung three wide on turn, threatened in stretch, but could close gap and finished in that position beaten a neck for second at six furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface Dec. 13. (Stumbled at start, raced 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied three wide in stretch and finished second beaten 1 ½ lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 7.)

 

DELTA DOWNS

 

Haggis: Trailed early, raced eighth more than seven lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, closed fast from sixth in stretch to make up 4 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a length at five furlongs on Jan. 6.

 

Carson Connection: Raced sixth more than eight lengths behind after a half-mile, saved ground around far turn, made up two lengths in stretch and gained second by a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 22.

 

Superior Thief: Raced more than three lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, dropped to sixth after six furlongs, closed fast late to make up nearly three lengths and finished second beaten a neck at a mile on Dec. 3. (Pressed pace early, grabbed lead by a head after a half-mile, dueled with winner down the lane and finished second beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on a sealed muddy surface Dec. 30; returned $9.20 for place.)

 

Anna’s Glory: Raced eighth early, dropped to ninth and last more than 12 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied to fifth in stretch and finished third by a head at a mile on Dec. 10. (Raced more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out for the drive and rallied from fourth in stretch to win by two lengths at a mile on Jan. 6.)

 

FAIR GROUNDS

 

Dawn’s Tribute: Raced more than three lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, split foes to take over by 1 ½ lengths in early stretch and cruised to a nine-length victory ridden out at six furlongs on Jan. 8; ran final quarter in 24 1/5.

 

New Elite: Raced sixth more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed gamely in stretch to make up two lengths and gained second by two lengths at a mile and 40 yards on a sealed good surface Dec. 17.

 

Sunny Lights: Raced more than 2 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, lost ground steered to outside in mid-stretch, made up more than 2 ¾ lengths and finished third by 2 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Nov. 29.

 

Eat N Run: Raced ninth and last more than nine lengths behind after a half-mile, switched to outside in stretch, rallied from seventh to make up more than 2 ¼ lengths and finished second by a half-length at a mile on the turf Nov. 27.

 

GULFSTREAM

 

Summer Flight: Broke a step slowly, raced sixth early, dropped to seventh more than four lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, eased out in stretch, made up 3 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at five furlongs on the turf Jan. 13.

 

Alluring Power: Raced fifth early, dropped to seventh more than 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, lost ground on turn, rallied in stretch to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths and gained second by 4 ¼ lengths at a mile on Jan. 3.

 

Surround: Raced third early along rail, dropped to fourth more than 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, lost ground angling out for stretch run, rallied to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second nosed out at 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course Dec. 12 at Calder.

 

Ms. N. Tarsia: Broke slowly, raced more than 12 lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, closed fast from fourth in stretch and won by a nose at six furlongs on Nov. 28 at Calder. (Raced 12th and last early, advanced to eighth more than seven lengths behind after a half mile, eased for stretch run and finished second beaten a neck at a mile on a good turf course on Jan. 18; returned $14.40 for place.)

 

LAUREL PARK

 

Stellar Ambition: Raced more than two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, eased out for the drive losing much ground to fourth, closed steadily to make up more than 3 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished third beaten a neck and a nose at a mile on Jan. 9.

 

Sleep Out: Stalked pace a length behind in third after a half-mile, lost ground circling rivals into stretch, made up nearly 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at six furlongs on a good surface Dec. 3. (Chased pace 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, raced evenly throughout the seven furlongs and finished in that position on Jan. 7; returned $8.60 to show.)

               

OAKLAWN PARK

 

Deputy Sreva: Ducked out at start, raced sixth in traffic more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, shuffled back on far turn, roused for the drive and made up more than 3 ½ lengths in stretch finishing second full of run beaten a length at a mile on Jan. 15. 

 

PHILADELPHIA PARK

 

Kansas Kitty: Raced third early, dropped to fifth more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed from fourth in deep stretch to make up nearly 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at six furlongs on Jan. 10. 

 

Liger: Raced seventh and last early, moved to sixth more than six lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied widest from fifth in stretch, made up more than 2 ¾ lengths and finished third beaten a head and three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Dec. 7. (Went straight to the front, led by a head after a half-mile, gave way grudgingly in stretch and held second by 1 ¾ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 12.)

 

G’day Mate: Pursued pace more than four lengths behind in third after a half-mile, moved to second in stretch and closed gap but couldn’t catch winner at six furlongs on Dec. 28. (Raced more than 2 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, dropped to fifth going wide in stretch and rallied to gain third by three-quarters of a length at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 11.)  

 

SANTA ANITA

 

Remus: Broke slowly 10th and last, raced more than nine lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied outside from fifth in stretch to make up more than 6 ¼ lengths at about 6 ½ furlongs on the turf Jan. 10; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 27 4/5.  

 

Alphie’s Bet: Broke 10th and last, trailed by more than 10 ½ lengths after a half-mile, rallied wide from fifth in stretch, made up more than 1 ¼ lengths and gained second by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 26. (Squeezed after breaking slowly, raced eighth and last more than six lengths behind after a half-mile, came four wide into stretch, closed fast to make up more than 3 ½ lengths in stretch and drew clear under strong handling to win by 1 ¼ lengths at a mile on the turf Jan. 15.)

 

Lady Alex: Raced four lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, came out off heels of rival in upper stretch, closed willingly to make up three lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Dec. 2 at Hollywood Park; ran final quarter in 24 2/5. (Pressed pace a length back in second after a half-mile, grabbed lead by a half-length in early stretch and inched away to win by a length at a mile on the turf Jan. 13.)

 

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

 

Lupo: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, split rivals entering stretch, made up nearly 3 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 10.

 

Flatter This: Raced more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, weaved through traffic on far turn, rallied outside to make up 1 ¾ lengths in stretch and gained second by 1 ½ lengths at a mile on the turf Dec. 26.

 

Apple Charlotte: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, blocked and steadied in upper stretch, dropped to 11th, recovered quickly, closed like a rocket to make up more than 10 ¼ lengths and gained second by a nose at a mile on a good turf course Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs. (Raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, made a quick move inside on far turn, angled out to take lead after entering stretch, drew off while racing greenly and won by 5 ½ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 16.)

 

TURF PARADISE

 

Coach Pete: Broke seventh and last, raced fifth more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, lost ground moving further out for the drive and finished a game third making up more than 5 ¼ lengths in stretch beaten a head and 1 ¾ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 8.

 

Panamanian Playboy: Raced more than four lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, eased out in stretch, made up 1 ¼ lengths and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at five furlongs on Dec. 26. (Pressed pace two heads behind in third after a half-mile, advanced to second in stretch, closed gap a bit and held that position by 1 ¾ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 10.)

 

Highland Games: Raced fifth more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, came four wide into stretch and rallied to finish second nosed out at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf Jan. 2. (Raced fourth more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, dueled in stretch, put head in front briefly and finished second beaten a head at a mile on the turf Jan. 16; returned $7.60 for place.)

 

TURFWAY PARK

 

Dee for Three: Raced three lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, lost ground to fifth after six furlongs, closed well three wide in stretch to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at a mile on Jan. 9. 

 

Footlongkorn: Tracked pace two lengths behind in second after a half-mile, lost ground dropping to fourth in stretch, rallied willingly to make up more than 1 ¾ lengths and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 28.

 

Victory Sign: Broke in air, lost ground, raced sixth more than 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out to clear rivals, came five wide into stretch, rallied from fourth to make up 3 ¾ lengths and gained second by 2 ¼ lengths at a mile on Dec. 12. (Raced sixth more than 12 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out for the drive, rallied from fifth to make up more than 5 ½ lengths in stretch and finished second beaten a length at a mile on Jan. 3.)  

 

Lion’s Den: Hopped at start, raced more than 6 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled out entering stretch, made up 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 29. (Stumbled at start, recovered quickly, pressed pace a head back after three-eighths of a mile, took lead by a half-length in stretch and won by a head at 5 ½ furlongs on Dec. 17.)