SARATOGA – 8/26/2023
RACE 1: 3-5-9-7
#3 BARAYE ran into a buzz saw on debut for trainer Wesley Ward and now returns off a respite as a candidate to improve on grass. She has trained well since and should have enough speed to get clear in the opening stages. The only real concern here is that the Mellon turf profile with the rails down has strongly favored wide, late moves.
RACE 2: 5-2-1-6
#5 ACCRETIVE has run some of his best races right here at Saratoga and now goes 2nd off the layoff for the meet’s leading trainer and owner. The distance presents a new challenge for this son of Practical Joke, but he has finished up like a horse who’ll be fine with more ground. The fact he can lay close early only adds to his appeal
RACE 3: 2-4-1
#2 MCKULICK is the one to beat in this 4 horse affair. She was victorious in last month’s Glens Falls and should be a strong player from start to finish today. There’s no speed among the 4 runners in here and that should put leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. in a very advantageous position dictating terms early.
RACE 4: 2-5-1/1A-8
#2 CAPE TRAFALGAR has improved of late and narrowly missed last out behind the promising Everso Mischievous. He should improve here 3rd off a layoff with a decent pace expected as he overcame a very slow pace to win his last start. His price will be very fair at the morning line odds of 4-1.
RACE 5: 1-4-5-3
#1 JERSEY PEARL has run well rating off the pace before and now gets Irad Ortiz, Jr. in search of a 4th career victory. The inside draw is no great concern given how much committed speed there is to her outside. The biggest threat in here is whether she becomes resistant to kickback in her face.
RACE 6: 3-1-10-7
First of a couple of 2YO races in the middle of this program and #3 TOM COLLINS gets the nod here switching surfaces. Trainer Shug McGaughey left him in a race taken off the turf earlier at this meet, presumably for him to get some experience. He is bred all over the dam side for the weeds and should have speed to offer given the debut.
RACE 7: 10-7-3-9
Trainer Bill Mott had a first time starter win here on the Travers undercard and #10 JEFFERSON STREET looks ready to roll. He is drawn well on the outside and should have some speed given the recent drills. The price here should be more than fair given the competitive nature of this bunch.
RACE 8: 2-5-4-3
#2 DANCING BUCK is clearly the one to catch for trainer Michelle Nevin. He was nearly victorious in two starts here last year and finally put it all together in the Aqueduct Sprint Championship. If he is able to get loose, he figures to prove to be exceptionally tough to take down.
RACE 9: 12-8-10-7
#12 BIG BEAN CHRISTINE is a late runner who’ll get a massive pace setup provided this race doesn’t change with scratches. She was a non-threatening 4th last out in a NY bred N1X that didn’t look tough on paper. Nonetheless, she likely needed a start off the bench and should be poised for better this afternoon.
RACE 10: 6-8-7-2
#8 INTERNAL CAPITAL is a late runner who was compromised by a slow pace last time out at Monmouth. He was steadied early in that affair under today’s pilot and should get a much better setup this time around. His price will drift up from where it was last time out when he was heavily backed at the windows.
RACE 11: 7-4-1-6
#7 DUKE OF LOVE is 2-2 on conventional dirt and 2-8 on synthetics. He is drawn well outside to stalk and pounce and seems bottomless from a distance perspective. Provided things are respectable on the front end, he can settle and make one run for trainer Josie Carroll. That’s enough to make him the one to bet.
RACE 12: 7-4-2-3
#7 STONE OF DESTINY had a troubled trip on debut then raced too close to the pace at second asking. She should improve upon returning to the lawn and will be a very attractive mutuel.
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 378-98-59-61 $608.10