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Greg Melikov’s Horses to Watch

Horses worth watching compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov won four times and finished second three times since April 1

1. ARLINGTON PARK African Sunrise: Raced four wide more than 1 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch after losing ground, made up more than 2 ½ lengths and lost by a neck at six furlongs on May 1

2. BELMONT Pennyrile: Raced fourth more than 8 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to third making up more than 4 ¼ lengths and was nosed out at six furlongs, running the final quarter in 24 1/5 on May 11. CALDER Pinchnicholas: Raced seventh early, dropped back to eighth more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, swung out for stretch run in fifth, bothered late, but made up 3 ½ lengths and lost by a length at 1 1/8 miles on the turf May 1

3. Staria: Steadied at start, checked early, raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide in stretch, made up more than four lengths and lost by a head at a mile on the turf April 30. Fortunate Code: Bumped at break, raced tenth early, advanced to fifth eight lengths behind after a half-mile, swung out for stretch run, rallied from fourth to make up more than 5 ¼ lengths and lost by a head at six furlongs on April 25. (Chased runner-up from onset, wore down rival in stretch and won by a length at seven furlongs on May 12.) CHURCHILL DOWNS Handlewoman: Broke in air, landed badly to trail early, raced ninth more than 8 ½ lengths behind after three-sixteenths of a mile, raced near hedge around turn, angled out eight wide into lane, bumped late by winner, made up more than two lengths and lost by a length at five furlongs on the turf May 13. Kin to the Wind: Stumbled after start, trailed early, raced ninth more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, advanced to seventh on far turn, gained more than 2 ¾ lengths in stretch and lost by three-quarters of a length and a neck at 1 1/16 miles on the turf March 26 at Gulfstream Park. (Sluggish at start, settled in seventh after a half-mile, edged up between rival on far turn, awaited room at quarter mile, angled out five wide in stretch and drew clear by 1 ¾ lengths at a mile on the grass May 10.) HOLLYWOOD PARK Iza General: Raced in fifth between horses more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, came out in stretch, made up three lengths and lost by a head at six furlongs running the final quarter in 24 1/5 May 12. Lucky Stab: Trailed early, raced 6 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, came out wide into stretch, rallied from fourth to make up 3 ½ lengths and lost by a head at 6 ½ furlongs on April 28. Midnighter: Chased pace more than five lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, split rivals twice on turn, came out wide bumping with winner in mid-stretch, made up 2 ½ lengths and lost by a head at seven furlongs on April 2 at Santa Anita. (Broke slowly, trailed inside by more than five lengths after a half-mile, advanced four wide off turn, drifted in a bit in stretch and gained second by 4 ½ lengths at seven furlongs on April 27.) INDIANA DOWNS Buster Bailey: Broke from outside post, raced seventh more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, came five wide into stretch, made up nearly 2 ½ lengths and was nosed out at 1 1/16 miles on April 22 at Hawthorne. (Raced fourth after a half-mile, saved ground into the lane, angled out in stretch, caught leader inside sixteenth pole and drew clear by two lengths at 1 1/16 miles on the turf May 8.) LOUISANA DOWNS: Shezacommander: Trailed early, inched up to eighth more than 8 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, slipped through along rail in stretch, angled out late to make up more than 5 ¼ lengths and gained second by a half-length at seven furlongs on May 1

4. MONMOUTH: Slews Enough: Pinched back, bumped at break, trailed early, inched up to seventh more than seven lengths behind after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch rallying from fourth to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and gained second by 3 ½ lengths at six furlongs on May 13. PHILADELPHIA PARK Letrado: Raced fifth early, dropped back to sixth more than 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, advanced wide on far turn, rallied from third to make up 2 ½ lengths in stretch and lost by a half-length at a mile and 70 yards on May 13. Sans Win: Raced fourth more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up five lengths and gained second by 5 ½ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on April 23. (Raced third early, dropped back to fourth more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ¼ lengths and gained second by 1 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on May 1

5.) Sign Post: Didn’t break alertly, raced sixth early, advanced to fifth more than six lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied inside into stretch, closed gamely from fourth to second making up two lengths and lost by a length at 5 ½ furlongs on April 11. (Pressed pace early, led by a half-length after a half-mile, took command in stretch and won by three lengths at six furlongs on May

6.) Imachadancer: Raced sixth more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied to fourth in stretch, closed well to make up 5 ½ lengths and lost by a length at six furlongs on a sloppy surface April 8. PIMLICO I’ve Got Speed: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, dropped back to fifth after six furlongs, rallied outside winner in stretch to make up more than 4 ¾ lengths and lost by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on a good surface May 13. Grand Lucenci: Broke last, raced tenth more than 15 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, shifted out eight wide in lane, closed willingly from ninth to make up nine lengths in stretch and gained place by a neck running the final quarter of six furlongs in 23 seconds on April 30. TAMPA BAY DOWNS Cimarrona: Raced five lengths behind after a half-mile, came six wide into stretch, made up nearly 3 ½ lengths and lost by a neck at six furlongs on April 23. (Led by a head after a half-mile, hung after long stretch drive but held place by 6 ½ lengths at six furlongs on May 6.) El Soprano: Raced 3 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, dropped back from sixth to seventh looking for room in upper stretch, closed fast when clear, making up four lengths, and lost by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on the turf March

7. (Broke sharply to gain early lead, drew off by 3 ½ lengths in stretch and won by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on the grass April 11.)


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