SARATOGA – 7/14/2023
RACE 1: 6-4-2-8
#6 AWESOME CZECH is reportedly training well for Horacio De Paz, one of the better conditioners around that still flies under the radar. The dam here was a 2x winner and progeny of Mendelssohn hit at a 11% clip on debut. This one will be a fair price as well.
RACE 2: 3-4-2-6
#3 DREAMLIKE is supposed to be a heavy favorite and likely winner in the opener as he exits a narrow miss in the G2 Wood Memorial. He’s back against maidens off a layoff and began his career with three races that would win almost any MSW race in this country. Today should be graduation day.
RACE 3: 6-3-4-9
#6 ROYALTY INTEREST won a live maiden race at Tampa Bay Downs before a disappointing effort last out in the Keystone State. Perhaps she didn’t handle the lack of Lasix last time out and that kept her from her best. This is clearly a softer spot and she should be in a good stalking position from the outset.
RACE 4: 5-2-3-4
#5 RANDOMIZED should be awfully tough to beat with a cozy outside draw in a race short on early speed. She was wide the whole trip in the Acorn last time out on a day when saving ground was essential. This is a good spot for a bounce back and the public is going to be more dismissive of her than they should.
RACE 5: 4-7-10-9
The Pick 6 starts here with a carryover and #4 STREET ROD is interesting on debut. He is by 9% turf sire War Dancer and is out of a mare who was an 11x winner on the turf. The worktab looks awfully strong down in Maryland and this field lacks an experienced runner in whom you can have any real confidence.
RACE 6: 6-7-1-2
#6 FIGHTER IN THE WIN was close to a strong pace going 10 panels last time out before getting shuffled out on the far turn. He then got briefly held up before putting forth a move that was much too late. Shortening up in distance makes him interesting, especially given he can be forwardly placed.
RACE 7: 10-3-9-7
Trainer Charlie Baker is one of the most astute in the game and he has an 18% strike rate with claimers on dirt at the Spa over the last 5 years ($2.71 ROI). With that said, #10 STRIKING SPEED is very interesting today off a third place finish where he made a bold middle move and flattened out late. This is a massive jockey switch and he drew well on the outside.
RACE 8: 4-2-9-3
#4 HAPPY FARM was re-claimed last time out and now bids for a 14th career win. He was involved in a white-hot pace that completely fell apart last time out and now will try to rebound at a higher class level. His speed is a massive weapon and while the favorite, #2 DOT’S DOLLAR, looks strong on paper this is a clear alternative.
RACE 9: 4-1-8-3
Regardless of where the cross-entered runners with Saturday’s Blue Sparkler end up going, there’s no doubt that #4 LOVE REIGNS is the horse to beat. She didn’t make the travel squad over to Royal Ascot but her last stateside run was magnificent, as she flashed through on the inside to take the Limestone Turf Sprint at Keeneland as the favorite. She can be more involved early today and that will only help.
RACE 10: 3-8-11-6
If you can get alive to #3 HILLIARD and #8 OUR COUNTRY, you should have your bases covered in a race that will be run at a strong early clip. The former was a good 2nd in a race where he had no setup last time out and he now draws well inside to save ground and produce a late bid.