Sunday, September 27
Race 2: Claiming $16,000 at 1 1/16 miles
8 – Springcourt
Springcourt (#8) is coming out of tougher race than the one he’s in today and may have run even better than it appears on paper. The winner, Twice Mike, wired the field and Springcourt was the only horse to make a significant impact from the back of the pack, looping the field on the far turn and running on to be a clear second through the stretch. He clearly improved getting back into Rudy Rodriguez’s barn and a repeat of that effort makes him tough to beat here. The pace figures to be slow, but he’s shown the ability to lay closer in those situations and still come with a run.
$20 Win 8
$4 Exacta Key Box 8 with 2,7 (Payout: $31.60)
Race 3: The Bertram F. Bongard at 7 furlongs for NY-bred 2-year-olds
1 – Get Jets
I was extremely impressed by Get Jets’s (#1) debut. He was slow into stride, settled professionally off the pace, and unleashed a powerful, sustained rally around the far turn and through the stretch. His final furlong in just over 12 seconds, and final quarter mile in just under 24 seconds suggests that he’s a two year-old with serious talent. Today he should be able to stalk the pace set by the three outside speeds and run them down late. Championofthenile’s maiden score was arguably the most impressive two year-old performance of the entire Saratoga meet, but he’s probably going to go favored and I believe he’ll have to face more pace pressure today. Also, I just feel that Get Jets has more upside heading into this race.
$25 Win 1
$10 Exacta Box 1,5
$5 Exacta Box 1,2
Race 6: Claiming $25,000N3L at 6 furlongs on the turf
9 – Mr. Amos
You have to do a bit of digging to find his turf form, but the fact of the matter is that if Mr. Amos (#9) repeats either his June 11th or July 9th turf efforts at Gulfstream, he will be a major player in this race. Not only did those races come against tougher company, but they were in stark contrast to his prior dirt form. Now he comes into this race off some of the best dirt races of his career, and if he takes a similar step forward getting back on turf, he’s the horse to beat. The low-percentage connections should ensure a generous price.
$15 Win/Place 9
$5 Exacta Box 9,11
$2 Exacta Key Box 9 with 1,2,3,4
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
2 – Alcazar de Maram
The pair of American’s Kitten and Tweet Kitten that make up the Chad Brown/Ramsey entry are clearly the horses to beat. They both had legitimate trouble in their most recent starts and figure to have no problem handling today’s 10-furlong distance. While you definitely have to use them in multi-race wagers, I’m picking second time starter Alcazar de Maram (#2) to post the upset. This horse is bred to be a good one, by Giant’s Causeway out of a dam that won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. In his debut, he was never able to get position from his outside post and was forced to race four-wide around both turns. Junior Alvarado didn’t beat him up late that day and I expect to see a much improved effort out of him this afternoon.
$15 Win 2
$10 Exacta Box 1,2
$5 Exacta Box 2,5
Race 8: The Miss Grillo (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for 2-year-old fillies
1 – Time and Motion
I respect both of the European shippers, Llanita and Belvoir Bay. Llanita goes out for Chad Brown as she makes her first start in the U.S. coming off an improved runner-up effort in the Prix Six Perfections at Deauxville. Belvoir Bay is the more experienced of the two and ships over for Team Valor and trainer Richard Hannon of a close fourth place finish in Group 3 company.
I’ll be using both Euros in multi-race wagers, but my top pick is second time starter Time and Motion (#1). This half-sister to stakes-place turfer Moment in Dixie showed real promise in her debut despite failing to hit the board. After settling well back off a slow pace, Jose Lezcano coaxed her into making a middle move up the rail on the backstretch. From there, she got caught in traffic and was forced to race in behind horses while in tight quarters through the stretch drive. Today she gets Lasix for the first time and I like the confidence her connections are showing as they step her up into stakes company.
$15 Win/Place 1
$5 Exacta Key Box 1 with 3,6
$2 Exacta Key Box 1 with 2,7