I’m heading up to Saratoga for the Ballerina Stakes card, so please excuse any spelling errors since the majority of this entry has probably been composed from my phone. Good luck today and expect me back tomorrow with more in-depth analysis of Saturday’s Travers day card.
Saratoga, Race 4: Claiming $25,000B at one mile on the turf
While I don’t love the drop in class after such a horrific incident as what occurred in the stretch drive of Coach A. J.’s (#9) last race I’m still going to try him in this return race. If he hadn’t barreled into the temporary rail at the three-sixteenths pole last time he may have finished in the money and would have at least been within two lengths of the winner the finish. Chamois and North Slope have come back to validate the form of that race. I think it’s likely that Coach A. J. is truly a turf horse who just hasn’t been given a fair chance over his preferred surface.
$10 Win 9
Saratoga, Race 5: Maiden Special Weight at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for NY-bred 2 year-olds
Although Momma’s Mark (#2) lost his debut by over 20 lengths, that effort does not deter me from betting him back in this spot since he was simply running on the wrong surface that day. Although I don’t know much about Noonmark as a turf sire yet, I’m still pretty certain that this surface switch will completely turn Momma’s Mark around given all of the turf influences in his female family. His dam, Momma’s Image, has already produced a couple of turf winners in Image of Disco and the multiple stakes-placed turfer Image of Noon. However, there’s even more to find in the second generation. Momma’s Image is a half-sister to To Marquet, the dam of G1 turfer Discreet Marq, recent winner of the Del Mar Oaks, and Pretty Wicked, the dam of turf sprint stakes winner Wicked Tune. It doesn’t appear that this race came up all that strong and if Momma’s Mark runs to his bloodlines he should have a great chance to post the upset.
BEST BET: $15 Win 2
Saratoga, Race 6: Maiden Claiming $25,000 at seven furlongs
This is a race where I don’t really trust anyone—especially not the favorites who are dropping precipitously in class. Instead I’ll take a shot with Seriously Sharp (#7) who gets his first shot on dirt today. He just has no turf pedigree to speak of whatsoever and may have just been running on the wrong surface during his career so far.
$10 Win 7
Saratoga, Race 7: Claiming $20,000B at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares
This is a perplexing race, but one thing I’m sure about is that Queenie’s Gold’s (#3) turf form is better than it looks on paper. That Hawthorne maiden race that she finished third in as a two year-old has produced some nice runners, including the winner who won the Arlington Park Oaks. Last time she never had a chance after setting suicidal fractions going a distance that was too far for her. She could be the main speed of this race and should be a decent price. I’ll bet her to win and use her in the exacta with the very logical Bustle (#8).
$10 Win 3 [SCRATCHED] $4 Exacta 3/8 [SCRATCHED]
Saratoga, Race 9: The Ballerina Stakes (G1) at seven furlongs for fillies and mares
I really liked the Honorable Miss as a race. The top two finishers put up excellent performances that day and I’m going to try both of them right back here.
Classic Point threw down some legitimate fractions on the front end and Dance to Bristol had to weave her way through traffic and track the Jerkens filly down late. I know that some may regard Book Review as the class of this race and she probably is the filly to beat, but Dance to Bristol (#1) and Classic Point (#3) are the “now” horses with recency over this racetrack and would be more enticing prices.
$15 Win 1 (WINNER; Payout: $41.25)
$10 Win 3
Saratoga, Race 10: Maiden Special Weight at 1 1/8 miles on the turf
Brilliant Command (#7) put in a strong, but premature rally on the far turn in his debut and understandably flattened out late. I thought he showed a lot of ability in that initial appearance and with a slight step forward I think he’ll be a major player in this spot.
$15 Win 7