SARATOGA – 8/20/21
RACE 1: 3-6-1-4
#3 FINGAL was a clear winner last time out stretching out in distance and dropping in class. He fits nicely at this level and will be very dangerous once again whether the track is wet or dry. The tactical speed he possesses is a major weapon as well and the 9 panels is likely his best trip.
RACE 2: 4-6-1-3
#4 EMPIRE LILY is a firster by Pioneerof the Nile, whose progeny win at a 13% clip. The dam here was a 5x winner and scored in multiple stakes races. She has dropped 1 winner from 2 to race and this filly is training forwardly for a very good barn. Trainer Jorge Abreu has also quietly had a very strong meet.
RACE 3: 5-3-1-4
The lone dirt race #5 SCOCCIATORE ran last year was easily good enough to win this thing, and he enters in solid form. Trainer Chris Englehart moved him to turf right away after that positive dirt race, but he now looms the one to catch after scratches in this event. The only hope is that Eric Cancel rides him aggressively, as unusual as that would seem.
RACE 4: 1/1A-6-5-3
The Robertino Diodoro-trained entry of #1 ABDAN and #1A RECIDIVIST is rather formidably given that both possess significant early speed. The former is cutting back in distance and should fit nicely at this level. One half of this coupling figures to find a way to the winner’s circle.
RACE 5: 5-8-7-2
In a race that’s a total guessing game, #5 EXCURSIONNISTE is well-bred and appears to be training decently for a barn that can have one ready on debut. There’s reason to try for a bit of value rather than taking turf horses switching surfaces. Tab the tote action to see if this one is live.
RACE 6: 4-3-2-9
In the lone turf race on the program, #4 CAPITAL STRUCTURE is the one to beat facing drastically weaker than she did last time out. Trainer Chad Brown has given her some time off, but she showed serious ability right from the start, even earning a Grade I start last winter at Santa Anita. The lack of pace in here is not an issue given she can stay somewhat close in the opening stages.
RACE 7: 8-1-6-3
You can make enough excuses for #8 MOONLIGHT NOW to give him a try here on a slight class drop for Charlie Baker. He was on the dull inside two back, then landed on a sloppy track last time out. He deserves one more try and can be dangerous with an aggressive ride from the outside.
RACE 8: 9-4-5-7
The debut win for #9 CRITICAL THREAT was a surprise given his nearly 30-1 odds, and he now resurfaces 10 months later as a new gelding. Trainer Brendan Walsh has him training well down at Ellis Park and he landed in a realistic field for his first try against winners. The lack of pace should put him in a good spot early.
RACE 9: 9-2-8-7
#9 OVERBORE was a game winner of the Tremont when last seen in early June and has the best credentials of any runner in here on dirt. He had a tough trip on debut when 3rd despite a poor break from the gate and the race he ran last time out shows he has upside. His outside post will facilitate a stalk and pounce trip.
RACE 10: 5-6-1-8
Your guess is as good as mine here, but #5 HARD WON has at least shown some life on dirt and can handle a wet track. This is likely to be a war of attrition on the dirt and the fact this gal can get the distance is a positive. The layoff is the only real worry.