SARATOGA – 7/22/23
RACE 1: 3-7-5-1
#3 FORTUNE SELLER is by 13% debut sire Kitten’s Joy and trainer Kevin Rice has been successful sending horses to Saratoga. This one should have plenty of speed given the morning drills.
RACE 2: 7-4-5-2
#7 WHAT’S UP DOC is likely crying out for more distance and will appreciate the added ground today in a race with a questionable amount of pace. He is a late running type but has enough tactical speed to stay within range early with a weight break today.
RACE 3: 7-5-2-4
#7 STRICTLY TABOO is shortening up in distance and should appreciate that a great deal. She has given signs of being a turf sprinter and her ability to stay within range of strong paces in those races. The barn has good numbers with horses cutting back in distance on turf and this one should be a strong late player.
RACE 4: 1-8-3-9
#1 CHILENO goes second off a claim by trainer Linda Rice after trying tougher last time out on the turf. He draws the inside and can save ground from the outset at a level that should suit him nicely. His best races would make him tough to handle and Rice’s barn continues to soar at this meet.
RACE 5: 3-6-8-7
#3 DEAR LADY returns off a lengthy layoff for trainer Kenny McPeek and fits this race nicely a class and distance perspective. This barn is 3 for its last 10 with NY dirt starters cutting back in distance ($5.37 ROI). The pace will be there to set up her late bid and you’ll get a nice price.
RACE 6: 4-5-3-1
#4 POPPY FLOWER was up in time to win last time out in the Intercontinental despite going wide into the lane. She will be rolling late today and just needs a runner to push #2 BUBBLE ROCK in the opening stages. The other Bill Mott trainee, #5 WAKANAKA, has a chance as well on the cutback in distance.
RACE 7: 5-3-7-6
#5 VALENTINE CANDY is a firster by Justify, whose progeny are 12-53 on debut as 2YOs. He is out of a multiple stakes placed dam who was a 2 time winner and this is her first foal to race. This barn has done very well with firsters at the Spa over the years and this one is reportedly training well.
RACE 8: 1/1A-8-3-5
#1A GRAND GIOMAR STEP is apparently training forwardly for his North American debut and is a new gelding. He lures Irad Ortiz, Jr. into the saddle today and will be a major player along with #1 I’M VERY BUSY who is his stablemate. That one turned heads with a smashing debut and wound up getting a graded stake placing at second asking.
RACE 9: 1-2-6-4
#1 SOUTHLAWN comes back from a layoff for trainer Norm Casse after a tough trip in the Kentucky Oaks last time out. She now draws the rail in a race short on speed given that #5 HOOSIER PHILLY is now scratched. If she runs back to some of her best races she is a definite win candidate.
RACE 10: 8-7-6-9
#8 ACCRETIVE comes back from a long layoff for Chad Brown after showing serious ability last year as a 3YO. He is drawn well on the outside and will be tough if he can run back to the first two starts of his career. This gelding will be a heavy favorite and figures to be in stalk and pounce range.
RACE 11: 6-8-1-4
#6 SEVEN NATION ARMY goes first off a claim and should improve with a slight class drop. This one adds blinkers and should be forwardly placed today in a race with a questionable amount of pace. His best races obviously make him a major contender and he’ll be a fair price in a competitive field.