SARATOGA – 7/15/23
RACE 1: 1-5-4-2
All eyes are on #1 PIRATE, a son of Omaha Beach from his first crop that is a half to Preakness winner National Treasure. This colt has been training forwardly according to all observers and he should be a pretty heavy favorite here. The inside draw is the only negative, but this is a weak looking maiden bunch for the lid lifter.
RACE 2: 6-2-5-1
#6 ICEATUDE goes first off a claim by trainer David Jacobson after finishing second in a N2L at Ellis Park last time out. The class jump is encouraging and this owner has seen significant success around the country, specifically with claims. There’s a son of early speed signed on here and that will help set up his late bid.
RACE 3: 1-6-8-5
#1 ISOLA debuted in France against weak rivals but finished a good second on a boggy course. She now makes her domestic debut and has been training well for the ever dangerous barn of Jack Sisterson. She draws inside which is never a bad thing on the inner track. Give her a long look at a square price.
RACE 4: 2-3-4
#2 IN ITALIAN is clearly the horse to beat here bidding for her fifth Grade I in the last year, a streak that started with this race. She has been virtually flawless in two starts so far in 2023, and her frontrunning gambit will be put to the test again here. As long as she doesn’t allow some of the late runners into the race too early, she should be very tough to gun down.
RACE 5: 4-8-5-7
#4 NINETEEN OYSTERS returns off a brief layoff for trainer Chad Summers and is a new gelding. He lost contact with the field early last time out before putting in a decent late bid and appears to be a live longshot today. He has run fast enough to contend, including a debut score at Aqueduct that still seems like it might have been a figment of our imagination.
RACE 6: 3-8-2-9
#3 KOSUKE is a ran a bang-up race last time out staying on gamely for 3rd after tracking a robust pace at Belmont. She is the main speed drawn inside today and will be dangerous on the front end in light with Jaime Torres on board. His improvement second out after a positive debut was encouraging and you’re going to get a good price here for Saratoga-based connections.
RACE 7: 4-1-6-5
#4 BREEZE UP should get enough pace to run at in here and is a late player for that reason. She should have won last time out but had to produce a final bid along the inside that was too late. This trip is in her wheelhouse and Joel Rosario is still the best turf sprint rider around, even if he’s having a subpar 2023.
RACE 8: 6-10-11-2
When the experienced runners offer little, go with a first timer like #6 ISLAND ROSE. She is by 15% debut sire Gun Runner and is out of an unraced dam who produced 6 winners from 9 to race. The worktab here is solid as this filly has been drilling in the mornings with veteran 6x winner Vegas Weekend.
RACE 9: 2-8-1-6
It is hard to be anything but chalky in this Kelso, as #2 ANNAPOLIS is clearly the horse to beat as he makes just his 2nd start of 2023 in mid-July. He earned a workmanlike win at Churchill Downs on Derby week but still has tons of back class and his best form would make him tough for anyone in this field.
RACE 10: 9-3-7-1
The likelihood that #9 GOLD SWEEP is beaten in this Sanford is very low. He was tremendously impressive in the Tremont back in June at Belmont and should handle the added ground without issue. His outside draw will enable him to stalk and pounce and he just seems far more advanced than the other members of his generation at this stage.
RACE 11: 4-11-12-2
#4 FLAT TOP BOX still has upside in that he has been on turf just once before and showed improvement. He tracked the pace that day before weakening and the likely frontrunner is now drawn poorly on the inside in this bulky field. This well-bred colt can move forward this afternoon at an attractive price.