I’m heading back up to Saratoga this morning and will be staying through Saturday. I’ve done a bit more prep work than for my first trip, so hopefully I can keep the updates coming as usual.
Thursday, August 14
Race 2: Maiden Claiming $75,000 at six furlongs for fillies and mares
6 – Queen of the Spa
Sun and Moon (#4) is the horse to beat as she drops out of some solid efforts against maiden special weight company, but it’s not as if her good form is overwhelming, and she has a layoff to overcome. I’ll take a shot against her with QUEEN OF THE SPA (#6), who is also dropping in class. I think that she’s coming out of the tougher races after consistently facing better horses at Gulfstream, especially two back, when finishing behind House Rules, and last time, when she was outrun by West Coast Chick and Thirteen Arrows. The layoff is a minor concern for her as well, but I really don’t think she needs to improve that much to beat this field. Her closing style should be well-suited to this race, with Magsamelia and Sky Crew likely to hook up early, and I expect the price to be generous.
$10 Win 6
$5 Exacta Box 4,6
Race 7: Claiming $40,000N2L at one mile on the turf for fillies and mares
3 – Casey Roo
Assuming turf. There is not that much speed signed on here, so I’m hoping that John Velazquez makes better use of CASEY ROO’s (#3) early foot than he did last time. That day she stalked the pace, but got caught in behind the leaders without a clear path as the field turned for home. She was never severely checked, but she was forced to race in an uncomfortable spot down inside for most of the stretch run. When she did find a clear path late, she actually accelerated and ran on nicely through the wire. Closers Al’s Gal (#4) and Wine Burglar (#6) are the two other main players, but Casey Roo could work out the right trip and get the jump on them at a price.
$15 Win 3
$5 Exacta 4,6 with 3
Race 8: Claiming $25,000 at six furlongs
5 – Broad Rule
With Sense of Peace, Immortal Eyes, and Storm Pursuit all likely to show speed, I’ll upgrade closer BROAD RULE (#5), who drops into a much easier spot here and appears to be the class of the field. Six furlongs is more appropriate for him than seven, and any kind of honest pace makes him a major threat to run them all down late. I’ll bet him to win and will use him with recent Sydney Dutrow claim Take Down Two (#2) as well as the in-form Photon (#6).
$15 Win 5
$5 Exacta Box 2,6 with 5
Race 9: Optional Claiming $40,000/N2X at one mile on the turf for NY-bred fillies and mares
7 – Run to Mama
Assuming turf. I’m not certain that the pace will work in her favor, but I’m still very interested in RUN TO MAMA (#7) as she returns from the layoff. The three turf races she ran at the end of last season are all just a little bit better than they appear. Three back, when she was a closing fifth in her first start against winners, she was stymied in traffic in upper stretch and had to angle out over horses’ heels before unleashing her strong late rally. Then in her most recent turf start, she was forced to race three- to four-wide around both turns at Aqueduct before striding away in the stretch—no small feat on that course. I know that John Kimmel’s numbers off layoffs are not great, but she has apparently been working very well for this race and is probably a bit better than her printed past performances suggest. With any kind of forward move from age three to four, I think she can win this at a pretty big price. Distorted Beauty (#5) is the other main use off a very strong effort effort in her initial two-turn test, albeit with a perfect trip.
$10 Win 7
$5 Exacta Box 5,7