Greg Melikov’s Horses to Watch

Horses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov, should do well next time out. These thoroughbreds won five times, finished second eight times and ran third once since Oct. 13. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for YouWager.

AQUEDUCT

  • Cousin Adam: Broke on top, took control, led by 3 ½ lengths after a half-mile, increased margin under a brisk hand ride and win easily by 7 ½ lengths, covering the six furlongs in 1:11 on Nov. 16.
  • Pearl of Wisdom: Pressed pace a head back after a half-mile, dropped to third in stretch, rallied to make up almost 1 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 2.
  • In Speight Ofitall: Tracked pace in fourth more than two lengths behind after a half-mile and rallied a bit on the stretch to finish third beaten three-quarters of a length for second at a mile on Nov. 10. (Tracked pace in third 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, taken back to fourth after six furlongs, rallied along rail in stretch, dueled with winner from sixteenth pole and finished second beaten a nose at 1 1/16 miles on a good surface Nov. 15.)

CALDER

  • Rapid Distinction: Broke sixth and last, steadied, trailed by more than four lengths after three-eighths of a mile, lost ground swinging out for stretch run, rallied from third to make up nearly 4 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on Oct. 28.
  • Starship Zorro: Bumped between rivals at break, steadied, raced sixth early, dropped to seventh more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, steadied again to avoid foe on far turn, rallied in stretch to make up nearly two lengths and finished second beaten a head at a mile on a yielding turf course Oct. 17.
  • Bad News Captain: Stalked pace more than 1 ½ lengths behind in fourth third after a half-mile and rallied a bit in stretch to gain third by a neck at a mile on a good surface Oct. 13. (Bumped with rival at break, raced fourth early, steadied on first turn, dropped to fifth five lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch from fourth to make up three lengths and finished second by a nose at a mile and 70 yards on Nov. 1.)
  • Tinitus: Pushed inward at start, raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, circled four wide into stretch, lugged in under right handed pressure bothering third place finisher, rallied from fourth to make up four lengths and finished second beaten a length at seven furlongs on Aug. 5; disqualified to third for causing interference in stretch. (Steadied soon after start, raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to gain lead by a head, bumped with rival and drew clear by 2 ¼ lengths at seven furlongs on a sloppy surface Oct. 19.)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

  • Vuitton: Raced six lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, steadied while in tight, split rivals entering stretch, rallied to make up nearly three lengths and finished second beaten a head at five furlongs on Nov. 10.
  • Dancinginthecircle: Broke 10th and last in tight, steadied early, raced sixth 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide from third in stretch to make up nearly 1 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at seven furlongs on Oct. 28.

DELTA DOWNS

  • Moreno Star: Raced more than seven lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, lost ground to seventh after six furlongs and rallied four wide in stretch to gain third by three-quarters of a length at a mile on Nov. 15.
  • Bluegale: Off a bit slow eighth and last, raced sixth more than 6 ½ lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, rallied outside from fourth in stretch to make up almost five lengths and finished second beaten a neck at five furlongs on Oct. 27.
  • Jonesy Boy: Tracked pace 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, angled to middle of track in upper stretch and rallied to win by three-quarters of a length at a mile on a good surface Oct. 31 at Delaware Park. (Raced five lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile and rallied four wide from fourth in stretch to gain second by a length at seven furlongs on Nov. 17.)
  • She Loves Runnin’: Tracked pace a length behind in second after a half-mile, dueled in stretch, but couldn’t catch winner and finished second by three lengths at six furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface on Sept. 27 at Remington Park. (Stalked pace a length behind in second after a half-mile, dropped to third in stretch and rallied to gain second by 2 ¼ lengths at a mile on Nov. 17.)

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS

  • Hollanita: Broke alertly, led by a length after a half-mile, increased margin to five lengths in stretch and won ridden out by nine lengths covering the six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 on Nov. 11.
  • Hey Cowboy: Broke eighth and last, trailed by more than 10 lengths after a half-mile, rallied widest of all in stretch to make up more than 5 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 19.

HAWTHORE

  • Princess Freebie: Ducked outward at break, raced seventh and last early, advanced to fifth 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied from fourth between rivals in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a length at six furlongs on Nov. 11.
  • Saint Patty Ann: Raced seventh along rail more than 12 lengths behind after a half-mile, shifted out four wide for drive, rallied from fourth in stretch to make up seven lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Oct. 26. (Raced more than 13 lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile and rallied from fifth in stretch to dead-heat for second at six furlongs on Nov. 9.)
  • The Best Option: Broke ninth and last, trailed by more than eight lengths after a half-mile, shifted out for drive, rallied between rivals from fifth in stretch and won by a length at a mile on the turf Oct. 12. (Broke ninth and last, trailed by more than 9 ½ lengths after a half-mile, rallied from seventh in stretch to make up 5 ¼ lengths and gained second by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 31.)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

  • Rock Off: Broke a bit slowly, raced sixth more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, steadied twice in tight on turn, came out for drive, rallied in stretch to make up five lengths and finished second beaten a length at 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 11.

LAUREL PARK

  • Three o’Clock Rock: Raced 11 lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, rallied in stretch to make up five lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on Nov. 14.
  • Embarr: Raced 7 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung five wide for drive, rallied to make up more than 2 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished fourth beaten two necks and a nose at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 27; ran final 2 ½ furlongs in 28 1/5.
  • Bakyt: Raced seven lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung four wide for stretch run, rallied from third to make up nearly 4 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a nose at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 17.
  • Morning Cigar: Stumbled leaving gate, raced sixth and last early, advanced to fourth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 3 ¼ lengths and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 28.
  • Joribe: Raced more than seven lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, angled seven wide for the drive and drew clear in stretch to win by 2 ½ lengths at a mile on a good surface Oct. 20. (Raced 7 ½ lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, rallied six wide to take lead in stretch by a half-length, weakened and finished second beaten a half-length at a mile on Nov. 9.)

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

  • Howmuchthebestishe: Impeded leaving gate, trailed 12th and last early, moved to 10th very wide 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, angled in for stretch run, closed strong along rail from sixth to make up more than six lengths and gained third by a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 11.
  • Ms. Tiptaptoe: Broke 10th and last, raced extremely wide in sixth more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed well from fourth in stretch to make up two lengths and finished second beaten a length at six furlongs on Oct. 28.
  • S S Skittles: Tracked pace more than a length behind in fourth after a half-mile, blocked at top of stretch, altered course, lost ground, rallied to make up more than 1 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at about a mile on a good turf course Oct. 14.
  • Jet Set Vinny: Off slowly, raced eighth and last more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, eased out for drive, rallied to make up more than 4 ¼ lengths in stretch and gained second by a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Sept. 29. (Tracked pace more than three lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled out for stretch run and rallied from third to win by three-quarters of a length at seven furlongs on Nov. 6.)

REMINGTON PARK

  • Sooner Superstar: Raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied from fourth along rail in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished second by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Nov. 14.
  • Little Sis: Raced more than six lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile and rallied five wide from fifth in stretch to finish second beaten a neck at a mile and 70 yards on Oct. 27. (Chased pace 8 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch and rallied from third to gain second by 1 ½ lengths at a mile on Nov. 15.)
  • Accent: Raced 14 lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, dropped to seventh after six furlongs, came five wide into stretch, rallied from fourth to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at a mile on the turf Oct. 20.
  • Never Say No: Stalked pace outside more than six lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, dropped inside for drive, rallied in stretch to make up nearly 4 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on a sealed sloppy track on Sept. 29.

SUFFOLK DOWNS

  • Tobacco Fox: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, angled out for drive, bore out in upper stretch, straightened, rallied to make up nearly 4 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a nose at about 7 ½ furlongs on the turf Sept. 26. (Broke on top, led by a head after a half-mile, dueled into stretch and won by 2 ¾ lengths at a mile on Nov. 2.)

TURF PARADISE

  • Green Meadows: Raced eight lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, blocked in stretch, found room outside, rallied from fifth inside eighth pole to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at a mile on Nov. 16; ran final quarter in 24 3/5.
  • La Pinot: Went to the front, led by 2 ½ lengths after a half-mile, increased margin to 5 ½ lengths in stretch and won by 11 ¼ lengths under mild urging covering the six furlongs in 1:09 1/5 on Oct. 26. (Led early, increased margin to a half-length and drew off in stretch to win by 3 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on Nov. 9.)
  • Winter Canyon: Broke sixth and last, bumped, trailed by more than six lengths after three-eighths of a mile, closed well in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished second beaten a nose at five furlongs on Oct. 16.

WOODBINE

  • Trail of Letters: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, rallied from fifth to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths in stretch and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 16.
  • Bobcaygeon: Raced seventh early, dropped to eighth more than four lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied five wide from seventh in stretch to make up three lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at seven furlongs on Oct. 27; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 27 seconds.
  • Give a Prize: Tracked pace 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, lost ground going wide into stretch, rallied from fifth to make up more than 1 ½ lengths late and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at seven furlongs on Oct. 17.
  • Unwinding At Work: Tracked pace more than 2 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, lost ground to sixth after six furlongs and rallied a bit in stretch to gain third by a half-length at a mile on the turf Oct. 5. (Raced more than five lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile and rallied from seventh to finish third by 1 ¼ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 10.)
  • Portland Point: Pressed pace more than 1 ½ lengths behind in third, rallied to second in stretch, weakened and finished third by four lengths at seven furlongs on Sept. 9. (Raced seven lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, roused for the drive, advanced to second in stretch and rallied to win by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 13.)
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