I finally had another good opinion yesterday as Pearl of Wisdom was a major overlay in the eighth race. I thought he might be able to get back to his better races from over the winter at Aqueduct and that is exactly what happened as he cruised to an easy victory. He paid $6.10 to win.
I thought I had some strong opinions today as well at Saratoga, but with nearly everything coming off the turf and the first race being run over a yielding course, I no longer feel quite as certain.
Race 1: Claiming $35,000B at five and one half furlongs on the turf
Anyone assessing the chances of the horses coming out of the July 23rd race at this same level needs to actually watch it. Decisive Move won and figures to be the favorite here, but Tightend Touchdown (#1), who finished fourth that day, was obviously the best horse. Coming into the stretch seemingly full of run, Javier Castellano could just never guide Tightend Touchdown to a clear path and he was forced to steady for nearly the entire stretch run. He would have won that day and although this field is a bit tougher, that was just his first turf start and based on that performance, it may be his preferred surface. He can register up to the low 80s on the Beyer scale on dirt and if he runs as well or better on turf, he will win this race.
BEST BET OF THE DAY: $20 Win 1 (Tightend Touchdown)
Race 4: NY-bred Maiden Special Weight at seven furlongs
“Horse to Watch” Typhoon Teri (#7) has been off for just over three months, but she showed in her debut at Aqueduct that she might be able to handle this field. That day, after finding herself back in the pack early, she began to advance coming to the top of the stretch, but kept finding trouble as Rosie Napravnik tried to find a path to run. She ended up being taken down to the rail and finished mildly to get third. She was probably best that day and I was looking forward to betting her back next time. She unfortunately was overbet in her second start and did not perform particularly well. Perhaps something went wrong, which necessitated the layoff, but now she’s back and if she can get back to her debut she may be good enough. I also expect the price to be higher with her bad trip first time out no longer fresh in the minds of the bettors.
The other horse that I’m interested in here is Haldane (#3), purely because of her pedigree. She is out of the mare Treasure Always, making her a full sister to numerous top New York bred runners including Empire Classic winners Organizer and Dr. V’s Magic. She is bred to appreciate more distance so I have to think the extra furlong is going to especially help her today.
$10 Win 7
$10 Win 3
This was an interesting race when it was being run on the turf, but now that it has been taken off a new opportunity presents itself. “Horse to Watch” Spring to the Sky (#5) is 1-for-3 on wet tracks, but that one win was a 10-length romp over a muddy, sealed track in his debut at Belmont. Since his two-year-old season, he has proven that he is just as effective going long on the dirt, which is what his breeding would suggest. His dam, Seek to Soar, is a daughter of Soaring Softly, who is best known for winning the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles. Soaring Softly, in addition to producing Seek to Soar, is also the dam of minor stakes winner Much Rejoicing, who certainly was known to love the mud on occasion. I remember her romping by about 8 lengths in an off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream Park race a couple of winters ago. Seek to Soar herself is by Seeking the Gold, so there is even more wet track pedigree there. Spring to the Sky has shown the ability to get a mile already and his pedigree suggests that the extra distance and mud may be no problem at all. I’m taking a chance on him to spring the upset
BEST BET OF THE DAY: $20 WIN 5 (Spring to the Sky)
UPDATE: Spring to the Sky has been scratched. With him and Yari out, Csaba should be dangerous based on his dirt form at Calder, but I’m not betting.