Greg Melikov’s 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
eight times, ran second four times and finished third five times since May
13. These thoroughbreds are worth considering when developing your betting
strategy.

ARLINGTON PARK

Iron Vow: Broke sixth and last, trailed by more than 3 ½ lengths after a
half-mile, advanced along inside to fourth in stretch, rallied to make up
more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at 6 ½ furlongs June
19; ran final 2 ½ furlongs in 30 4/5.

Nan Ann Rocks: Broke slowly 10th and last, trailed by 10 ½ lengths after a
half-mile, swung wide for the drive, rallied from sixth in stretch to make
up more than 2 ¼ lengths and finished third beaten three-quarters of a
length and a nose at a mile on the turf June 6; ran final half in 47 1/5,

The Foundry: Broke 12th and last, trailed by more than 11 lengths after a
half-mile, saved ground advancing to eighth in stretch, closed fast to make
up more than six lengths and finished third beaten a neck and a nose at a
mile on May 22; ran final quarter in 24 3/5. (Raced seventh and last more
than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out widest for drive,
rallied from fifth in stretch and gain third by 1 ¼ lengths at 1 1/16 miles
on June 14.)

Jilly From Philly: Broke seventh and last, trailed by more than six lengths
after a half-mile, angled out for the drive, closed with a rush from fifth
in stretch, made up 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at six
furlongs on May 3; ran final quarter in 24 seconds. (Raced fifth early,
dropped to sixth more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a half mile, lost ground
turning for home and rallied from fifth in stretch to gain third beaten less
than three-quarters of a length at a mile on June 7.)

Opportune Moment: Raced nine lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile,
rallied wide to second in stretch, but couldn’t catch winner while securing
place by 8 ¼ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on May 22. (Raced fifth more than 2 ½
lengths behind after a half-mile, slipped through on the turn to take lead
in stretch and won by a length at a mile on June 13.)

BELMONT

Hurricane Heat: Gained lead soon after break, was two lengths in front after
a half-mile, discouraged pair of pursuers increasing margin to six lengths
in stretch and won by 8 ½ lengths ridden out at 7 ½ furlongs on June 19.

Kitty Nip: Raced ninth in traffic early, advanced to eighth seven lengths
behind after a half-mile, angled four wide for the drive, closed from sixth
in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished third beaten a neck
and 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on the turf June 3; ran final quarter in 23
1/5.

Lisa B: Raced 10th and last more than seven lengths behind after a
half-mile, blocked behind a wall of rivals on far turn, angled out in
mid-stretch, rallied from seventh to make up more than 4 ½ lengths and
finished second beaten a head at 1 1/16 miles on May 21.

Half Metal Jacket: Raced 11 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile,
taken outside in stretch and closed fast to win by 2 ¾ lengths at seven
furlongs on April 18; returned $15.20 on front end. (Led by a half-length
after six furlongs, fought gamely through stretch and finished second beaten
a half-length at a mile on May 20.)

CALDER

Rock a Tong: Broke slowly, raced more than four lengths behind in fourth
after a half-mile, angled outside leaders in stretch, steadied behind
winner, dropped to fifth, recovered and rallied to gain second by a neck at
5 ½ furlongs on June 18.

Straight Thunder: Raced 8 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung
out for the drive, made up nearly 3 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished third
beaten a head and three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on a sealed
sloppy surface June 5.

Dancer by Night: Raced eighth and last more than 7 ½ furlongs after a
half-mile, angled from three wide for drive, closed well in stretch to make
up more than 3 ¾ lengths and finished fourth beaten two necks and
three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on a sealed sloppy surface May
23. (Trailed in sixth more that 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile,
advanced to third in stretch and finished in that position by 3 ½ lengths a
mile on a sealed sloppy surface June 6.)

Peruano Smoke: Raced 2 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, rallied
in stretch to make up 1 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length
at a mile on May 8. (Chased pacesetter five lengths behind in second after a
half-mile, took command on far turn, led by seven lengths in stretch and won
easily by 14 ½ lengths at 1 1/16 miles taken of the turf June 12.)

CANTERBURY PARK

Justa Streak: Tracked pace in second 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile,
angled three wide for the drive, couldn’t close gap, but held place by 1 ¾
lengths at six furlongs on May 29. (Raced third more than 5 ½ lengths after
a half-mile, shifted outside in stretch, closed gap and finished in same
position beaten a head and 1 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on June 13.)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Zone Buster: Raced four lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, waited
behind rivals on turn and rallied from fifth in stretch to finish third
beaten a nose for second at seven furlongs on June 19; ran final three
furlongs in 36 2/5.

Pure Clan: Raced sixth and last 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, angled
out four wide on far turn, rallied between horses in stretch from fourth to
make up nearly two lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 1 1/16 miles
on the turf June 6.

DELAWARE PARK

Burrowing Owl: Raced 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, lost
ground going four wide in stretch, rallied to make up nearly three lengths
and finished second beaten a nose at six furlongs on June 16.

Evonne: Broke eighth and last, trailed by more than 9 ½ lengths after a
half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up more than 5 ¾ lengths and finished
second beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on a wet fast
surface June 3.

Gray Might: Chased pace in second 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile,
failed to close gap in stretch and finished in that position at six furlongs
on a wet fast surface June 14. (Raced fourth more than six lengths behind
after a half-mile, advanced to second in stretch and drew off to win by 2 ¼
lengths at six furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface June 20.)

EVANGELINE DOWNS

Fiber Core: Broke 14th and last, moved to 12th early, advanced to seventh
more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied from sixth in
stretch and gained second by a neck at seven furlongs on June 19.

Bust a Groove: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in ninth after
three-eighths of a mile, angled out in the lane, closed fast from fifth in
stretch to make up 4 ½ lengths and finished second by a neck at five
furlongs on the turf June 5.

Nine Free: Raced four lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile,
steadied leaving the turn, recovered to rally from fourth making up nearly
four lengths and finished second beaten a neck at five furlongs on April 24.
(Raced fourth early, dropped to fifth more than 2 ½ lengths behind after a
half-mile, rallied three wide to gain a half-length advantage in stretch and
finished second edged by a neck at six furlongs on May 20.)

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS

Welken: Raced more than 9 ½ lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, came
out three deep in stretch and closed willingly to finish second beaten a
neck at a mile on the turf May 21 at Hollywood Park. (Tracked pace in fourth
more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, moved up in tight quarters
behind a wall of horses, gained command in stretch and won by a length at 1
1/16 miles on the turf June 14.)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

Trevor’s Clever: Broke slowly ninth and last, trailed by more than 13 ½
lengths after a half-mile, came out in stretch, closed fast to make up more
than five lengths and gained second by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on June 21.

Scofield Barracks: Broke 12th and last, squeezed at start, raced ninth more
than 8 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, came out in upper stretch,
rallied from fifth to make up more than five lengths and finished second by
1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs June 6; ran final quarter in 23 seconds.

Warren’s Tony R.: Raced more than three lengths behind in seventh after a
half-mile, closed willingly from fourth in stretch to make up nearly 2 ½
lengths and finished second beaten a neck at seven furlongs on May 22.
(Stalked pace 2 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, came out in
upper stretch, gained narrow lead in mid-stretch and won by three-quarters
of a length at mile on June 18.)

Reba Is Tops: Pressed pace less than a length behind in third after
three-eighths of a mile, gained advantage in stretch by a half-length and
won by a length at five furlongs on the turf May 15. (Duel for lead a head
in front after a half-mile, edged away in mid-stretch to lead by 1 ½
lengths, but was nipped at the wire by a nose to finish dead-heated for
second at six furlongs on the turf June 19.)

LONE STAR PARK

Dance Till Six: Raced fourth early, dropped to sixth 3 ½ lengths behind
after a half-mile, lost much ground after six furlongs, roused on far turn,
rallied in stretch to make up four lengths and finished third beaten a
half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf June 19.

Dakota Gypsy: Raced seventh and last more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a
half-mile, rallied from third between rivals in upper stretch to make up
nearly 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a nose at a mile on May 16;
ran final quarter in 24 2/5. (Raced seventh and last more than eight lengths
behind after a half-mile, rallied to second on far turn, grabbed lead in
stretch and drew off to win by six lengths under strong urging at 1 1/16
miles on the turf June 21.)

Our Story: Raced more than six lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile,
swung out in fourth at top of the stretch, closed fast to make up 4 ½
lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at seven furlongs on a
muddy surface May 3.

LOUISIANA DOWNS

Dance Till Six: Raced fourth early, dropped to sixth 3 ½ lengths behind
after a half-mile, lost much ground after six furlongs, roused on far turn,
rallied in stretch to make up four lengths and finished third beaten a
half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf June 19.

Belfast: Broke slowly 10th and last, trailed by more than 13 ½ lengths after
a half-mile, swung five wide into the stretch, rallied from fourth to make
up more than two lengths and finished second beaten a length at 1 1/16 miles
on the turf April 23 at Lone Star Park. (Broke slowly, steadied, raced more
than seven lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, came five wide out of
far turn and rallied in stretch to gain third by 2 ¼ lengths at a mile on
the turf June 20.)

MONMOUTH

Celestial Flight: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile,
closed well outside in stretch from fifth to make up more than three lengths
and finished second beaten a length at a mile on June 19.

Ridin Shotgun: Bumped leaving gate, rider lost left rein briefly, raced nine
and last more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied from sixth
in stretch to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths and gained second by 1 ½ lengths
at six furlongs on June 3; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

MOUNTAINEER

Farleyshelonwheels: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a
half-mile, advanced very wide to sixth in stretch and finished strongly to
gain third by three-quarters of a length at seven furlongs on April 5 at
Charles Town. (Raced more than five lengths behind in eighth after a
half-mile, rallied to third in stretch and finished second by 2 ¼ lengths at
a mile on May 16.)

PENN NATIONAL

Stay Safe: Raced 1 ½ lengths behind on third after a half-mile, grabbed lead
in mid-stretch and drew off to win by 2 ¼ lengths ridden out at a mile and
70 yards on March 16 at Philadelphia Park. (Stalked pace in second through
turn, grabbed lead by a head in upper stretch and drew clear to win by 5 ½
lengths at six furlongs on May 13.)

PHILADELPHIA PARK

Minor Issues: Hesitated at start before breaking eighth and last, raced 4 ½
lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 2
½ lengths and gained second by three lengths at six furlongs on June 16.

Jaunty Gale: Raced more than 6 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile,
closed strongly to make up nearly four lengths in stretch and finished
second beaten a neck at a mile on the turf June 2; ran final half in 47 1/5.

Mr. Congeniality: Grabbed lead early, led by a length after a half-mile,
gradually edged clear in stretch and won by 1 ½ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on
May 30. (Raced third more than 1 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied
to second in stretch and edged ahead to win by a half-length at seven
furlongs on June 7.)