SARATOGA – 8/13/2023
RACE 1: 1-3-7-6
Distance should be the friend of #1 EXHILARATE, given that she is the first foal to race out of Grade I winning router Elate. This filly got going late on debut but her stablemate, Magic Cross, had gotten a major jump on her earlier in the race. Look for her to make noise in the stretch of this second outing.
RACE 2: 1-2-9-7
#1 STRIFE trained well with Ozara, who broke her maiden on debut last week here at the Spa. This filly is by War Front, a 10% debut sire and 16% first time turf route sire, and is out of a dam who scored on turf. That dam is a half to graded stakes winning turf router Chocolate Ride, so there’s pedigree power here.
RACE 3: 6-2-3-1
#6 NIFTY is at a reasonable class level, even if claiming kingpin RObertino Diodoro is giving up on him. He was taken two starts back for 50k and is now in for 32k after a poor opening weekend effort where he was wide the whole way. That racetrack favored inside runners and this son of Ghostzapper took the worst of it. A clean gate break should put him closer early.
RACE 4: 2-6-4-3
#2 CIGARETTE BOAT made the lead last time out and nearly stayed the course, missing by less than a length in the end. The front end is his for the taking once again and he is a threat to go the distance. The price here will be attractive as well as trainer Mike Maker’s barn heats up as the meet progresses.
RACE 5: 4-1/1A-2
The edge that #4 OPERATION TORCH has on the Chad Brown-trained entry is tactical speed. This son of War Front can be forwardly placed and that’ll give him the jump on some of the deeper closers like #1A ACTIVIST INVESTING. ‘Torch was a good second last out behind repeat winner Program Trading, who took the Saratoga Derby here a week ago.
RACE 6: 1-7-10-2
#1 CRAZY CAMI feels like a horse who’ll benefit from experience as she makes her 2nd start in this delayed MSW event for auction types. This race was cancelled on Wednesday afternoon and is brought back here. The rail draw is no bargain, but if this Mike Maker trainee is going to have success it will be by showing speed.
RACE 7: 2-5-1-8
#2 GUNTOWN is back on short rest off a strong effort here 9 days ago. He should be able to settle and make one run today in a race that’s somewhat short on speed. Trainer Linda Rice does well with horses coming back on short rest and she looks to have this one ready for his best.
RACE 8: 8-7-3-5
#8 WHITTINGTON PARK is a late runner in a race loaded with speed and he should get a great setup today. He is a winner at this distance, even though he’s likely better going shorter, and will be an attractive price at the windows. The reports on his training of late are also quite encouraging.
RACE 9: 6-1-7-2
#6 SHOOTERS SHOOT found himself mixed up with some heavies last time out, as the graded stakes caliber Nakatomi took that one down. This gelding fought early and grudgingly gave way in just his 2nd start off a lengthy break for Joe Sharp. There’s little speed in here and that should work to his advantage with Luis Saez aboard today.
RACE 10: 2-5-8-6
#5 NO NAY HUDSON took down the William Walker when last seen at Churchill Downs and now returns off a layoff with a sparkling worktab for Wesley Ward. The main players in here have a great deal of speed and that will set the table for a late runner like this son of No Nay Never. Jimmy Graham coming up to ride assures you they’ll use the same tactics today.
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 223-61-30-37 $383.10