SARATOGA – 8/5/2023
RACE 1: 7-9-8-5
The workout reports indicate that #7 WALLEY WORLD has continued to prepare nicely for his unveiling. He is by More Than Ready, an 11% debut sire amongst 2YOs and this one draws well on the outside. He will have to deal with a compact group in here with the surface switch.
RACE 2: 7-1-5-10
#7 OZONE is a second time starter who was bet down heavily on debut and wound up breaking poorly on a wet racetrack. He should improve with experience and has Ricardo Santana, Jr aboard here. If he can break quickly then he will be a major threat to go the distance. The rail draw for #1 BE YOU is enough to try for a slight upset.
RACE 3: 8-2-6-5
#8 VICTORIOUS WAVE gets a tepid nod here as the main speed in a race very short on early foot. He enters off a ho-hum victory at Finger Lakes and arguably won this race at the post position draw. He is outside and can either grab command or stalk the pace from the outset in a race that hardly gets your blood flowing.
RACE 4: 11-7-5
This is an awfully simple race off the turf as #11 ZEEBEAR looks like an overwhelming and deserving favorite. The only knock is the distance, but he should be forwardly placed in a race that is sure to scratch down to a very small group. Trainer Linda Rice has long excelled in these types of spots over the years. (26%, $2.09 ROI off the turf at Sar last 5 years).
RACE 5: 5-4-6-2
#5 SAFALOW’S MISSION continues to run well speed figure-wise and is finally shortening up in distance. He wants to sprint and gets that opportunity here after racing along the rail for the third straight time last time out. He has had habitual issues finding the slower inside paths and needs to be able to settle and make a wide bid here.
RACE 6: 1-4-7-3
#1 THIN WHITE DUKE is an interesting upset candidate given that this race has the potential to really boil over pace-wise. There are two legitimate speedsters that can soften up #4 CARAVEL going a trip that is often run at a breakneck pace. While ‘Duke has not been as sharp in 2023, he gets John Velazquez back on board and has performed well in the past on less than firm turf, which he will certainly get today.
RACE 7: 5-1-3-4
#5 SPEAKING SCOUT ran at all the wrong times in his last start, making an aggressive mid-race move to reach contention in a fast paced race. Given where the winner came from, it goes to show you that lagging behind to produce one bid was optimal. He shortens up a tad in distance and is likely better at or around a mile in a fast paced race. This race should have a spirited early gallop and that will help his cause.
RACE 8: 6-1-5-2
#6 DORTH VADER ran very well in the Acorn to narrowly miss against #1 PRETTY MISCHIEVOUS. The former is an ideal candidate for a cutback given her tactical speed, and she continues to train forwardly for George Weaver. The price is right on this one and that’s why she gets the nod.
RACE 9: 6-2-5-1
#6 WEBSLINGER spent the far turn of the Belmont Derby on the Cross Island Parkway while the 1-2 finishers saved ground for the most part. He is a candidate to surprise here given his steady improvement for Hall of Famer Mark Casse. The spongy turf is a question mark, but one thing about this son of Constitution is that he shows up every time.
RACE 10: 5-6-2-1
#5 WHITE ABARRIO ran far better in the Met Mile than it looks on paper as he broke quickly and attended the hot early pace, lost ground into the turn then waited before angling out to rally and narrowly miss second. All the while he was running at a distance that’s likely short of his best and now gets into a spot where he can comfortably stalk suspect speed and get the jump on the big favorite. There’s no doubt #6 CODY’S WISH is the horse to beat, but the only runner who can take him down is this son of Race Day.
RACE 11: 7-5-10-2
#7 EVERSO MISCHIEVOUS has trained like a good horse since the beginning of his career and comes in off a narrow miss at Ellis against N1X company. He draws outside the other main speeds and adds blinkers today, which should keep him razor sharp and in a stalking position. He is a deserving favorite and likely winner.
RACE 12: 5-1-11-12
The running line doesn’t tell the tale for #5 WHAT SAY THEE from his last start down at Belmont. He broke poorly, rushed into contention gradually into the turn and stayed on gamely going a distance that’s short of his best. He has a big shot to settle and make one run from off the pace here at a big price.