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Turfdom Horses To Watch for February 19, 2020

SILK FROM HEAVEN (February 14): Four year old filly for Hector Palma made her 2nd start off of a layoff on Friday in a first allowance Cal bred condition for older fillies and mares at ¾ on the main track. Off at a whopping 35/1 in just a six horse field, she showed much improved early speed and dueled for the lead from the inside down the back stretch. She opened up a length and a half at the 3/8 pole and still had her head in front at the top of the lane. The heavy odds on favorite out gamed her down the lane, but she held second and it was another 3 lengths back to the third horse. Her next start will be her 3rd off the layoff, often a horse’s best race, and that combined with the new found early speed, make her a soon winner for a barn having a very good meet. This one will still offer good wagering value, if they return her at this level for the low profile connections. Be ready.

OUR ROMANCE (February 14): Four year old filly for Phil D’Amato had a pretty rough trip of it in Friday’s finale, a mile on the turf for Cal bred special weight maidens four and up. Off at 8/1 in a full field, she checked right after the start when the outside horse came over on her. She settled in third down the back side, stayed on the rail under Velez, and was loaded when turning for home. She tried to find a seam to get through but no hole was available. She checked again at the rail, swung to the outside, lost her momentum for a few yards, then rallied late but the race was over. She finished third beaten two at the wire. This was her first start off a 3 month layoff and she should be all set next out, providing she gets a clean trip. The D’Amato barn has been racing in tough luck throughout this meet and they are due for some trips going their way. Tab and follow.

JURGEN (February 15): Three year old Kitten’s Joy colt got his 2nd start in this country, and third of his career, in Saturday’s finale, and ran huge to get his diploma in a maiden special weight event at 8 furlongs on the lawn. Off at co-choice at 5/2 in a full field of 12 runners, yes I said 12, he broke a step slow under hot rider Rispoli from the 8 hole, and he promptly took him to the rail to save ground. He was 7 back of the leaders down the back side, stayed on the fence turning for home, found a seam on the inside at the top of the stretch, and exploded down on the poorer part of the course to win off by a length. He ran the final quarter in 23.64, faster than any horse in the field, and was on the softer portion of the course. This Kentucky bred looks like a stakes horse down the road and should have little trouble winning the first allowance condition. Up the ladder.

CHARLATAN (February 16): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his debut in Sunday’s 4th, a sprint on the main track for maiden special weights at six furlongs. Off as the second choice in the wagering at 6/5, he broke a step slow under Van Dyke, then quickly went to the lead on his own and set crisp fractions of 21.89 and 44.72 to the half. He had a length on the field turning for home, then shut the door on the small field with a sharp 24.13 final quarter. He won off by seven under a hand ride and the final time was 1:08.45, the quickest six furlongs of the meet. Ho hum, just another high quality sophomore colt for Baffert. This one had a perfect trip, but the time was fast, and he was visually impressive. He could be any kind.

LIGHTHOUSE (February 16): Three year old filly for Simon Callaghan tried the Grade 3 Sweet Life stakes on Sunday at five and a half on the turf. Off at 6/1 in a field of 7, she made the running right from the get go and dueled for the lead from the inside. She put the other speed away at the ¼ pole, dug in gamely when confronted by the odds on favorite, and didn’t give in until the last 50 yards. She got beat ¾ but it was a superb effort. This was just her 4th career start and she still has the first allowance condition available. Her other route try was not good, but she didn’t handle the softer turf. She is probably best as a sprinter, but can win at a mile if in the allowance conditions. Tab and follow.

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