Nick Tammaro’s Saratoga Analysis – Thursday, July 14, 2022

SARATOGA – 7/14/22

RACE 1: 6-7-9-8

The evidence over the years shows that speed is a major weapon going 9 panels at the Spa and the “speed of the speed” is #6 BEAR ALLEY.  That son of Will Take Cahrge was claimed for a third time in four starts last time out and ran a bang-up race to beat lesser at Churchill Downs.  There’s been more than a gradual shift over the years towards Kentucky invaders holding their own at the Spa and this 5YO is well spotted.  #7 GIOCARE enjoyed a clean run through on the best part of the racetrack last time out and wound up 3rd at 3-1.  He’s now first off a claim by an outfit that is 29% in dirt routes at the Spa over the last five years ($3.71 ROI).  #9 KERSHAW is the class of the race on paper having knocked heads against much tougher and now bids to make noise late in a race that should be run at a strong early clip.

 

RACE 2: 3-6-1-2

Why not try for an upset in what has the looks of a weaker than par MSW for babies at this meet?  That would open the door for #3 WILL BE FAMOUS, a daughter of 9% debut sire Will Take Charge who is the 6th foal to race out of a turfy dam.  The pedigree shows a few live runners, and the 2nd dam was a graded stake winner on the lawn.  The work here at OBS in April was :20 and 4/5 so there should be some speed to flaunt on debut.  #6 CHOCOLATE GELATO looks like the one to beat on paper by virtue of the human connections.  She worked :10 at the Fasig-Tipton sale in March at Gulfstream and went for 475k because of that clocking.  Her pedigree is modest at best but she’s landed in a top barn with a good worktab and ideal outside post.  The only experienced runner in the field is #1 HALF A CHANCE, who has speed and used it on debut.  She wound up succumbing late to a runner from off the pace, but clearly has upside and should be equally adept on dirt if her workouts and pedigree give any indication.

 

RACE 3: 7-4-2-3

#7 TIBERIUS MERCURIUS received an overly passive ride last time out against much tougher and now goes 2nd off a short layoff.  Trainer Mike Maker has come to Saratoga the last two years loaded for bear, amassing huge win percentages in the month of July (10 in 2021).  This veteran needs to be more involved early and is getting the right rider change to the meet’s top pilot in 2021, who put every frontrunning type into the race early and it paid off beautifully.  #4 HIGH TIDE faced considerably tougher last time out and is strictly the one to beat today off of a recent 4th place finish.  He rallied well into the pace that day and made the only meaningful late move in the race.  Look for him to pick up where he left off today.  #2 BE HERE is another potential pace player breaking from the inside for Jonathan Thomas after wiring a field of weaker foes last time out at Delaware.  He can be effective from off the pace as well, as evidenced by his win two back.

 

RACE 4: 4-3-7-6

Make no mistake, the ride that #4 VINTAGE YEAR received last time out stunk.  He was away from the gate poorly, shuffled back, then made a huge early run to reach contention, lost ground again then wound up finishing with interest.  There were too many starts and stops to keep any momentum, but he proved he can handle the elongated distances and now gets a key rider switch.  Over the years veteran trainer Rusty Arnold has been effective at the Spa and this gelding will be a square price.  #3 REMOTE is the one to beat on paper entering off of a game effort at this trip last month.  He showed increased speed that day and finished strongly to hold the place dough by a comfortable margin.  His tactical zip from last time could put him more in the game early here, and this is a trip that’s generally far kinder to forwardly placed runners than the same distance downstate.  #7 AFJAN is likely the one to catch on paper as he tries the lawn for the first time.  This is a far more dirt-oriented pedigree on the dam side, but the dam herself was a graded stake winner on turf and she has dropped a graded stake winner on the lawn.  Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. just might open an easy lead on this one today.

 

RACE 5: 4-2-3-9

All signs point to #4 TOMMY GUN being a major player today.  He mixed it up early last time out before tiring and now makes his first start since as a new gelding.  The blinkers are going on as well and he’s taking the biggest class drop in racing.  Trainer George Weaver just might be seeking a fast start to the meet with the aggressive placement and he has the speed to be a major player from start to finish.  #2 CATCHING CUPID goes 2nd off a break and should be wound tighter for this engagement.  He traded blows on the front end with the top pick last time out before tiring and now drops in for a tag for the first time.  Trainer Charlie Baker is a solid 19% with maidens on the dirt at the Spa over the last five years, good for a $2.78 ROI.  #3 MAJORITY PARTNER is another in for a tag for the first time as this son of Unified showed big speed when last seen in April at Belmont.  He tired late, but improved off a debut run at Gulfstream and should be in the mix from the start today.  A quick recent workout signals his readiness for this try.

 

RACE 6: 10-9-2-4

#10 PROPENSITY is the play of the day for the first card of the meet as he enters off a 4th place finish against similar foes.  This gelding’s last race was better than it looks on paper as he spied on the speed and wound up paying the price.  The frontrunner tired to be beaten 7 lengths while this guy battled it out and completed the superfecta.  He’s now in a spot where he can rate just off the pace from a cozy outside post and is also back at the site of his maiden victory.  Trainer John Kimmel had a productive run at Belmont as well, hitting at a 15% clip with a $2.20 ROI.  #9 KING MOONRACER is the one to beat here given his late kick and the abundance of speed signed up.  He was a good second in his last start, which is the same event the top pick exits.  The key at 5.5fs at the Spa is to get into position, as dead last moves rarely work given the short trip.  Look for him to be gearing up in the lane.  #2 DARK TIMBER has had only one prior opportunity on the turf but is the main speed on paper.  That is often one of the most important factors in a turf sprint and you can count on this son of Mineshaft to be a player from the outset.  If he can sneak away from them he’s a threat to go the distance.

 

RACE 7: 6-7-1-2

If you are of the opinion that being outside was costly on Black Eyed Susan day at Pimlico back in May then #6 FAVOR is your horse here.  The Todd Pletcher trainee has dropped two straight in stakes company, both of which came against tougher fields.  She now lands in a pace-laden affair where she should get an excellent trip rating and making a late run.  If you can get 6-1 or so she is a very interesting prospect.  #7 TARABI is strictly the one to beat on paper given she cam back from her respite last time out none the worse for wear.  She is a question mark at the distance, though, given her lack of fight in the lane on Breeders’ Cup Friday, but she’ll be close enough early to have a say in things.  #1 GODDESS OF FIRE has obviously kept excellent company, including a runner-up finish two back at Gulfstream behind Kathleen O.  She also drew favorably for this trip given the configuration and her best races unquestionably make her a contender.

 

RACE 8: 1-12-11-6

One of the most well documented bad trips from the recent Belmont meet was that of #1 CANISY in her last start.  She was unlucky given that jockey Javier Castellano tried to do the right thing in saving ground before being stuck behind a wall of horses.  She waited and waited and could not run down the last-to-first winner once in the clear in upper stretch.  The extra sixteenth of a mile will do her no harm and Castellano is unlikely to get in big traffic trouble in two straight outings.  #11 WONKA rallied nicely to round out the Superfecta in the Soaring Softly back in May.  She now gets more ground and has been solid around two turns in the past.  The door is wide open for her to make a stretch bid at a price.  She’s one not to overlook today.  #12 LINDA’S GIFT is another late runner, and she exits the same race as the top pick.  This filly got into some early trouble and was somewhat hindered, but actually wound up being helped by that given the way the race collapsed late.  There’s enough speed here to set up her late bid.

 

RACE 9: 9-4-1-6

The feature on the opening day card is the Shchuylerville, where 8 recent maiden breakers square off with one maiden signed up.  The debut win from #9 SUMMER PROMISE was powerful, as she grabbed command at once out of the gate and coasted home a comfortable winner.  There’s plenty of other speed in here signed on to battle early, but the beauty of the outside post is to take advantage of everything going on inside of you.  She needs only modest improvement in terms of speed figures to be a contender and the price will be fair at the morning line.  #4 VEDAREO is a half to 2-21 Schuylerville runner-up Mainstay and a half to 2020 Spinaway winner Vero Amore.  This filly is training forwardly for a very good barn and she lures Joel Rosario for this engagement.  Look for him to get her in the mix early, as her best chance to win will likely come by wiring the field.  #1 JUST CINDY is a second timer bidding to become Eddie Kenneally’s third opening weekend 2YO graded stake winner going back to Bitumen.  This daughter of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify was impressive on debut, drawing off late to win by open lengths.  She has the right pilot and post position to negotiate a ground-saving, off the pace trip and is a deserving favorite.

 

RACE 10: 10-6-5-4

#10 DAME TIME is back on turf for George Weaver, who took this daughter of Into Mischief for 40k last time out.  Weaver is 24% first off the claim on the lawn over the last five years, good for a $2.27 ROI and this gal was too close to a hot pace two back when beaten as the 3-1 favorite.  This is a realistic spot for her first time against winners and a good trip just off the pace is seemingly in the offing.  #6 ABUSE OF POWER is the one to beat on paper dropping in class 3rdoff a layoff for Philip Antonacci.   This is her first try for a tag and she ran a bang-up race last time out from just off a white hot pace.  The runner-up has since returned to win and this is a considerably softer spot for this daughter of Karakontie.  #5 FAST COREY is arguable the quickest of them on paper today and should be involved right from the outset.  The pace boiled over in her last start at Horseshoe Indianapolis and she wound up weakening late, but she is dangerous here if somehow able to get loose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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