We’re off the turf after the second race today at Saratoga following torrential downpours and a painfully grueling mile and an eighth run in over 1:55. Here are some opinions in a couple of the off-the-turf races in the middle of the card:
Race 5: NY-bred Maiden Special Weight at 1 1/8 miles on the Main Track (off-the-turf)
Now that this race has been taken off the turf and moved to 1 1/8 miles on the main track, I feel very strongly that Corinthian’s Lark (#1) is best equipped to handle the new circumstances. In her debut, she didn’t run all that badly passing a few horses to finish 12 lengths behind Paper Plane, who came right back to win an allowance race. Next time on turf, she didn’t run so well, but she is clearly better bred for the main track. Her half-brother Al’s Lark, would run many of his best races in the mud, and her sire, Corinthian, certainly showed he was a mudlark himself in his Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile romp. Plus, this race is no longer that tough, since all the main track only entrants were scratched and she just has to defeat a bunch of turf horses.
BEST BET OF THE DAY: $20 WIN 1
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight at 7 furlongs on the Main Track (off-the-turf)
Tap Twenty One’s (#9) debut five weeks ago at Churchill Downs bears watching. After getting steadied out at the start and losing about five lengths she was allowed to settle far, far behind–20 lengths off the pace according to the chart caller. Her jockey, Miguel Mena, rode her as if he was hopelessly beaten, only mildly getting into her at the top of the stretch as she was still more than 15 lengths from the lead. But Tap Twenty One started passing horses. By the time they hit the wire she had moved up to fourth and on the gallop out, by the time they entered the far turn, she had blown past the winner. This filly clearly has some ability and now faces a group of mostly firsters that were meant for turf. Progeny of Tapit usually handle off tracks just fine and she should be very dangerous with a better break today.
$10 Win 9