SARATOGA – 8/12/2023
RACE 1: 5-3-7-8
#5 TALL PAUL ships in from CA where he debuted for Bob Baffert at Los Al and ran well chasing the pace on the inside the whole way. That is simply never the place to be during the Los Al daytime thoroughbred races. He looms a candidate to improve facing NY breds at second asking.
RACE 2: 4-7-8-9
George Weaver is having a banner year when it comes to 2YOs debuting on the lawn, as his record is now 4-9 with a $8.40 ROI. He has #4 GOOD LORD LORRIE ready to roll here based on the last workout. This is a dam side that’s heavier on dirt horses, but his dam was kin to turf stakes winner Space Mountain.
RACE 3: 6-2-3-1
The winner came back to score again in her next start, but #6 MURSAL ran the best race in an opening day 50k starter. She is back at a mile, the distance over which she scored two back, and figures to be a prominent pace player again. The best races this gal has run make her a major threat and she’ll be a solid price to boot.
RACE 4: 4-7-6-1
#4 GABE is interesting off the claim by Antonio Arriaga, who nearly has a break-even ROI with all claims on dirt over the last 2 years. This gelding worked his way over to the rail last time out before abruptly stopping, but is in for a higher tag off the claim and has speed. This is a tricky race where you want to avoid the favorites.
RACE 5: 8-1-5-2
Can the winningest trainer sneak in the back door here with #8 INFORMED PATRIOT? He did the bulk of his preparation for this debut in Kentucky and now shows up at the Spa with a cozy outside draw and the aggressive Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons. If he can break quickly, and this barn’s runners almost always do, then he might never stop.
RACE 6: 11-3-5-8
The dam side of #11 RICHIES PRINCESS pedigree is loaded with Larry Rivelli success stories. Among them is the NY bred stake winner Dugout, who took the 2018 running of the Funny Cide right here at the Spa. The outside draw should work out well for this debuting daughter of Laoban and her morning activities appear to be robust.
RACE 7: 8-5-4-10
Despite the search for something “clever” everything leads back to #8 LOVE REIGNS in this affair. She is the one to beat off a brief layoff having last scored in the Limestone at Keeneland. Her trip that day was less than stellar, but it didn’t matter as she dove inside and surged to win. Her versatility is her best weapon, as she is quick enough to run off early and can also rate just off the pace.
RACE 8: 5-6-4-1
#5 EDIFIED is the interesting second time starter in here off a debut run at Ellis where he rallied nicely into a moderate pace. He figures to be in position just off the lead today and will be a square price given the public’s expected stupor seeing the PPs of #6 RHYME SCHEMES. Trainer Steve Asmussen has scored in this race before with somewhat later developing types like this son of Tapit.
RACE 9: 4-1-6-7
#4 ANNAPOLIS should get some revenge on #6 CASA CREED here provided he gets the right trip under Irad Ortiz, Jr. He was out of position in last month’s Kelso after a poor break from the gate and wound up with too much to do late. The best weapon this son of War Front had as a 3YO was his ability to race close to the pace, and forsaking that now would be a massive mistake.
RACE 10: 2-5-8-6
#2 FORREST CITY is now in the care of Bill Mott and is interesting off a private purchase by razor sharp connections. What they saw in this son of Munnings is unclear until you view the Thorograph sheets, where he has an improving pattern for a trainer that has had slightly less success in his career than Hall of Famer Mott. The inside draw is ideal given his early speed.
RACE 11: 2-4-6-1
#2 WATERVILLE made the only real off the pace move last time out in a race otherwise dominated on the front end. She adds blinkers today, presumably to keep her more in the game early as this daughter of Kitten’s Joy has never actually crossed the post first. She draws well inside and trainer Christophe Clement’s barn is heating up of late (3 wins in last 4 cards).
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 223-61-30-37 $383.10