Falls City Handicap
Panty Raid is ripe for an upset in my opinion. Her dirt form is nothing to write home about, in fact it's worse than many of the alternatives. At 6/5 Panty Raid is fool's gold. She's been phenomenal on all other surfaces and just average on dirt. Tessa Blue could be the lone speed unless Lampoon is sent. Tessa Blue however is going to be bet down off that monster race last time out. That race was no where near as good as it looks on paper. But she still has a great chance to win this race and if pressed for a selection I would likely name her as mine. Since stretching out and changing tactics she has been an absolute bear. I'd be shocked if she missed the frame however she at the price I'm not sure if she's worth playing in straight wagers. I'm thinking she'll be about 2/1 at post time. I'd like someone who pays a little better. For a closer like Kettleoneup it's hard to get favorable pace scenario's on a consistent basis. She outclassed her rivals last out but is far more likely to plod up for a 3rd place finish in this spot. High Heels is just very inconsistent. She can be phenomenal or terrible. They seem to be dedicated to going to the back with her but I'd love to see her put into the race earlier like she was in the spring. Delicate Dynamite looks very enticing as a longshot play to augment Tessa Blue. She has tactical speed and can hopefully stay in touch with Tessa early on. She is on a 6 race losing streak and has been losing ground in the stretch in almost everyone of those races. That is definitely a bad sign but if you look deeper at her performances you'll notice that all her last 7 races have come on off tracks or on different surfaces. Delicate Dynamite is at her best on a fast dirt track in my opinion. Her last race suggests at least that she is near top form, as does her solid bullet workout. If she gets ideal conditions for the first time since February she might be very tough . Tessa Blue will still have a pace advantage and Panty Raid a class advantage but I think she might be worth a tilt at 8/1.
Fall Highweight Handicap
The optional claimer at Belmont on Sept 19th will likely turn out to be a key race. City Attraction held off Grand Champion that day and will look to repeat the feat in this spot. Grand Champion since went out and took a minor sprint stakes at Laurel while City Attraction has been sitting on the bench. I prefer the Dutrow trained City Attraction to confirm the form of the optional claimer and once again fend off Grand Champion. Dutrow is great with sprinters and excellent bringing them off the shelf. There should be a good amount of pace but City Attraction can easily adapt to any scenario. Grand Champion on the other hand seems to hang a bit and has a habit of finding trouble in running. I would love to see Around The Cape pull this one off and had he raced more recently I'd take him on top in a flash. But the year layoff scares me. Don't be surprised at all to see this horse run a great race but just come up short. Mott is not usually this aggressive in his placement with horses coming back so he must really be impressed with him. Use Around The Cape in the second and third spots with Grand Champion underneath City Attraction.