SARATOGA – 9/4/21
RACE 1: 5-12-1-7
#5 WAR SMOKE ran a huge race on debut to finish 2nd after breaking slowly and lingering at the back of the pack early. He wound up making a strong late bid to snag the place dough at 6-1 and is now going to be a heavy favorite. With a cleaner break he should be closer early. #12 SUIT OF ARMOR is another 2nd timer liable to improve with a better break from the gate.
RACE 2: 3-2-7-8
The class drop being taken by #3 GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS is significant. He was last seen for 50k here on Whitney day and wound up running into serious traffic trouble on the far turn. That effectively ended the race for him and he now faces drastically weaker competition. The only red flag is the steep drop in class.
RACE 3: 6-7-4-1
The trials and tribulations of #6 CODY’S WISH through two starts are notable. He was shuffled back badly on the far turn of his debut then had little to nothing go right at second asking. He shortens up in distance to a trip that should suit him best and he figures to be just off the pace from the outset.
RACE 4: 6-7-1-3
The turf pedigree of #6 HARPER’S IN CHARGE is enough for you to give this filly a second look. She is by 9% turf sprint stallion Malibu Moon and is out of a dam who was a half to turf superstar Tepin. Vyjack is also in that female family and this filly figures to be on the lead today. An aggressive ride will help her cause.
RACE 5: 1-6-5-2
#1 OXANA is the speed of the speed from an inside post and is the one to catch. She is fast enough to win this race and there’s still a tremendous amount of upside here. If she is left unchallenged on the front end, she’ll be very tough to handle.
RACE 6: 5-6-7-9
#5 CURBSTONE is a first time starter by Street Sense, whose progeny hit at a 12% clip on debut. He is out of a dam who did all of her damange on turf, and is kin to the graded stake winning superstar Proctor’s Ledge. The worktab is spritely, and trainer Brendan Walsh is perfectly capable of having one ready on debut.
RACE 7: 10-4-8-1
The experience edge #10 BRIGADIER GENERAL possesses here is significant. He was dueled into defeat by a tremendously impressive winner last time out and now draws favorably on the outside. He has upside and came back after that outing to work sharply for trainer Dallas Stewart.
RACE 8: 4-1-5-2
The enormous pace edge that #4 NEVER SURPRISED possesses in this race is too much to overlook. He is going to be loose in this race if properly ridden by Luis Saez after getting into a wrestling match with his rider last time out. The tremendous potential he showed as a 2YO can start to be realized with a win in here.
RACE 9: 8-1A-10-2
#8 INFRINGEMENT made her turf debut last time out and showed nothing whatsoever. She gets another chance on the weeds stretching out and that may lead to her being more forwardly placed. The dam here was all turf and she has dropped a couple of grass winners from three to try it.
RACE 10: 10-3-9-6
The bold move made by #10 HOMETOWN off the far turn last time out looked like it’d be enough to upset the highly touted First Captain. He wound up getting outfinished in that affair and now cuts back in distance while getting a rider change to the more aggressive Luis Saez. He’s attractive at 9/2 or so in this ultra competitive affair.
RACE 11: 3-1-6-7
In all likelihood, #3 WAR LIKE GODDESS will win this race rather handily. She has improved by leaps and bounds this year and comes in off a visually impressive triumph in the Glens Falls. The pace in here figures to be moderate, so she’ll have to stay a tad closer in order to get the job done. That really shouldn’t be an issue when push comes to shove.
RACE 12: 1-2-4-5
When #1 FORZA DI ORO won the Discovery so impressively last year, many of us eagerly anticipated what he could do as a 4YO. His delayed return to the races didn’t take place until July and he showed that he’s none the worse for wear. There’s little to no speed in here, and it would behoove Junior Alvarado to ride him aggressively right from the opening bell. That will help him realize the Grade I potential he showed last year.