SARATOGA – 8/25/21
RACE 1: 2-5-1-7
#2 POINT OF HUMOR takes a huge class drop for Kelly Breen 3rd off a layoff and should be forwardly placed in this event. If he’s able to procure a clear early lead, he will be a threat to go the distance. The best dirt races he’s run in his career make him a major contender.
RACE 2: 1-4-3-2
#1 EXTREME FORCE goes second off a claim and switches surfaces for new trainer Mike Maker. He was ineffective on the turf last time out and gets back to his best surface with the blinkers going on. That should help him show speed on the inside and make noise from start to finish.
RACE 3: 1-4-2
A win from #1 POCKET SQUARE seems like a fait accompli given the class drop and competition she faces in here. This Juddmonte-owned filly was tremendously impressive in her North American debut, but has subsequently flopped since. The addition of Lasix today is going to help her cause and she has the tactical speed to stay within range from the start.
RACE 4: 6-3-8-1
The recent re-claim by Rob Atras of #6 SARATOGA BEAUTY is a positive sign and she enters in good form. She should get the right trip from just off the pace, and this high percentage barn is quietly having a very good run at the meet. She has done good work in 2021 and will be a square price in this spot.
RACE 5: 5-1-8-9
Given the speed he showed on debut, #5 KAWHI ME A RIVER is a threat at a price today. He is by 15% turf sire Kantharos and is out of a dam who has produced 3 turf winners. His early zip is a major weapon and this barn does well off of long layoffs. Look for him to run and gun.
RACE 6: 5-8-9-2
There is no doubt that #8 WATERVILLE is the one to beat in this field, but #5 CUPERE is interesting at a big price. The latter is by Cupid, a freshman sire with limited data, and is out of a dam who produced Grade I winner Ivar. The worktab here is solid, and she most recently drilled heads-up with stakes winner Step Dancer.
RACE 7: 4-3-2-5
There’s no reason to take the favorites in here, so #4 POWER UP PAYNTER is interesting at a price. He was too close to a solid pace last time out before weakening late, and now lands in a spot where he can lay back and make one run. The move to a dry track will help as well, given he likely prefers fast conditions.
RACE 8: 5-4-2-7
#5 WINTER POOL did everything but win last time out when 2nd as the 8/5 favorite. He now bids to clear this condition after two narrow misses and should be a heavy favorite. He has good tactical speed and should be within range from the start under the meet’s most aggressive pilot.
RACE 9: 6-8-3-4
The effort posted by #6 FANTASIOSO two starts back in the Belmont Gold Cup was enough to give him a long look in here. He was overmatched in the United Nations and ran into trouble on the far turn. Trainer Ignacio Correas takes off the blinkers here and he can be a late player as along-winded son of Strategic Prince.
RACE 10: 10-11-2-9
#10 COME STORMING faced better last time out for trainer Steve Klesaris and is in for a tag for the first time since he was claimed for 35k. She had a tough trip last time out and should be a threat today with a cleaner go of it. This field is deep and competitive and you have to demand value.