Friday, May 22, 2015

Horses to Watch May 2015

United States:

Ahh Chocolate -- Lightly raced daughter of Candy Ride has done very little wrong in her three races to date. After winning her first two races, she ran a troubled third behind a very slow pace in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in which she broke slow and had to be swung very wide after she appeared to struggle with kickback. She should move forward with that experience under her belt.

Speightster -- Mott trained three-year-old won his debut in a big way at Keeneland and looked a horse who could be anything. Has since resurfaced working at Saratoga, so expect big summer plans to be in place for this WinStar owned half sibling to stakes winners Paiota Falls and West Coast Swing.

Eastwood -- It's not often you see a five-year-old on a "horses to watch" list, but this son of Speightstown is relatively lightly raced for his age and despite appearing to have had some setbacks in his career, he's currently running better than ever. In his only race this year, he won a nice allowance race over Schivarelli, who made a splash in New York last year, and Sandbar, who flattered that form when coming back to win the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap. More importantly, Eastwood appears to be healthy as he's working regularly at Saratoga.

Global Strike -- He wasn't a factor on last year's Kentucky Derby trail, but Global Strike looked to have found a home on the turf when reappearing this season in an allowance at Gulfstream Park. The turf mile division isn't particularly strong at the moment, so there's plenty of opportunity for him to make an impression should he move forward off that performance.

UK/Ireland:

Round Two -- Two-year-old Round Two looked promising when winning his debut over six furlongs at Naas, and looking every bit a Coventry horse while doing so. Being by Teofilo out of a Kingmambo mare, the Godolphin charge has every right to progress with added distance, as well.

Tendu -- She may be only a maiden winner in five starts, but the company she's kept is top class, including running behind the star of the 1000 Guineas -- Tiggy Wiggy -- back in September before finishing second behind quality sprinter Limato. She most recently finished a troubled second in a listed stakes, but she was always a step behind the winner following a slow start and five furlongs isn't her ideal trip. Expect her to step back up to six furlongs soon, perhaps in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Hong Kong:

Smart Delight -- Formerly known as The Bounty Hunter in New Zealand, Smart Delight broke his maiden by seven lengths in the easiest of fashions despite running greenly at times. Now a three-year-old, he's shown his talent in flashy works with the 117 rated Domineer and when recently travelling very well when easily finishing first in a barrier trial.

Accepted -- He may only have one run in Hong Kong under his belt, but that was a nice second behind Tango Fire (who clearly relished the wet conditions). That's not a bad debut for a horse who won his first two starts in Ireland and was third in last year's Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.

Happy Agility -- A winner in his HK debut, Happy Agility tracked a slowish early pace and running greenly and fighting his jockey at times, his raw ability showed when he cleared the field late. A wide draw second time out forced him to push forward early, which ultimately proved to be his undoing. Regardless, he did make the lead well late in the running, showing an ability to accelerate in spite of the large amount of weight carried. Plus, the winner Thewizardofoz looks a nice one in his own right, so no shame losing to him under those circumstances.

France:

Night of Light -- Listed winner Night of Light, a daughter of Sea The Stars out of Sunday Silence mare Celestial Lagoon, has some muddied up form, but is another who has faced top class company -- including Found and Ervedya -- throughout her career. Given her pedigree, she's one who you'd expect to thrive over further than the seven and eight furlong races she's contested in her career to date.

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