SARATOGA – 8/14/2021
RACE 1: 7-5-3-2
#7 WAR SMOKE did everything but win on debut for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, breaking slowly then rallying around the outside to narrowly miss. He should improve with a race behind him and looms a prohibitive favorite.
RACE 2: 7-9-3-5
Englehart bids for the early double with #7 ASKIN FOR A BASKIN, who has had the misfortune of running into ultra impressive MSW winners in his last two starts. Interestingly, the runners who meet him square off in Race 8 today. This guy gets to comfortably clear the maiden ranks with anything close to what he’s put forth in his last two.
RACE 3: 8-1/1A-6-5
#8 ST. JOE LOUIS will race without blinkers today and that should help given how rank he was last time out. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes over for Chad Brown, and this pair is poised to have a big day. The alternatives here are not terribly interesting.
RACE 4: 3-2-1/1A-5
#3 PALAMOS made a middle move last time out and flattened out late for trainer Graham Motion. She now shortens up slightly in distance and figures to be in position to pounce late. There’s enough pace on paper to set up her late bid.
RACE 5: 3-9-6-7
#3 WIN WITH PRIDE was stuck inside last time out a tad close to the pace and tired late. This veteran has done some of his best work since being claimed by Orlando Noda, and it seems circumstantial that he is 0-4 at the Spa. The lack of pace in here works in his favor.
RACE 6: 9-10-2-8
A loaded group of babies goes postward here and #9 DON’T WAIT UP is interesting given his lightning fast sale work earlier this year. He went :9 and 4/5 and wound up getting purchased for 200k. He’s now in a good barn and is training forwardly for the unveiling.
RACE 7: 8-3-11-2
#8 MORE LIKE IT goes first off a claim by Ray Handal, who has had success claiming off of Bruce Brown. This gelding showed more speed last time out and wound up being the affected party in the DQ that took down Public Information. He can handle this trip and should be more relaxed with blinkers. There’s also a good deal of speed signed up in this affair.
RACE 8: 5-1-2-4
In another extremely tough N1X, #5 DUCALE gets the nod off a smashing maiden win earned here on opening weekend. He sat just off the pace that day and powered clear late, scoring as a heavy favorite. Trainer Brad Cox is an impressive 26% with dirt starters coming off of maiden wins ($2.20 ROI) and this one is spotted realistically.
RACE 9: 11-8-10-2
When a patient trainer like Bill Mott wins with a 2YO firster like #11 HIGH OAK, you have to take notice. He’s running him right back against graded stake foes, and this son of freshman sire Gormley was impressive coming from well off the pace. He should get plenty of pace to run at late and will offer value in a competitive race.
RACE 10: 1-8-4-5
At first glance it’s easy to overlook how well #1 RAGING BULL ran in the Poker because he lost as a heavy favorite. In watching again, he ran tremendously well and is arguably now at his best as a 6YO. He was close to a scorching pace, got held up inside the ¼ pole when the winner made a clear move on the outside and still lost by a head. He is a very likely winner today.
RACE 11: 7-2-4-9
The last two summers that trainer Phil Bauer has sent horses to Saratoga they’ve all performed well, including #7 LUNA’S IN CHARGE. This gelding should have cleared the N1X ranks last time out had he not been herded out late and he now returns to a surface over which he ran well in one prior try.