SARATOGA – 7/23/23
RACE 1: 2-4-7-9
#2 HARD TO JUSTIFY is out of a dam who was a 2x winner on turf and progeny of Justify are 8-41 first time on turf. The inside post is ideal for this filly and her last couple of dirt drills signal her readiness.
RACE 2: 3-2-4-5
#3 SET SAIL returns from a lengthy break this afternoon having made only one prior start for trainer Bill Mott. This one is training well for his return off the bench and should have enough tactical speed to take up a forward position from the outset.
RACE 3: 3-4-7-6
#3 PALACE GOSSIP is the one to beat on paper given that she has already cleared this condition and is only eligible because she’s in for a tag. Her last two efforts have been underwhelming, but she has faced much better and can now go back to the tactics that brought out her best, stalking the pace before pouncing late.
RACE 4: 4-2
#4 CLAIRIERE is the best older female horse in the game and will prove it here in her 2nd start against #2 NEST. The latter returns off a lengthy break and has apparently trained well for her delayed start to 2023. The question lingers about the quality of her efforts in 2022, as the horses she faced regularly have not exactly ‘wowed’ in their sophomore seasons.
RACE 5: 1-4-6-2
#1 DURKIN’S CALL takes a massive class drop for Charlie Baker after trying a 32k claimer last time out. This is a far more realistic spot from a class perspective and there should be enough pace in here to set up his late bid. The price is going to be solid and there are few clues in this field as to which direction to go.
RACE 6: 10-7-4-8
#10 CAMERA is a firster by Curlin, whose progeny hit at a 11% clip on debut as 2YOs. The dam here was 2x Grade I placed as a 2YO and this filly is training very strongly for her debut. On July 7 she worked with Antenna, a stablemate who she dominated by 3+ lengths right from the start. Trainer Todd Pletcher looks to have this one ready.
RACE 7: 6-5-2-1
#6 LORD CAPTAIN returns off a claim by Linda Rice in a spot where he’s protected from the tag. That’s notable not only because of how well this barn has done with claims in recent months, but because she doesn’t want to lose him. He fired a strong workout here 8 days ago and should be a square price in a competitive heat.
RACE 8: 11-10-7-4
#11 PEACE SEEKER takes a big class drop off a tough race where she not only had to run over a boggy turf course but also against much tougher competition. The pace should set up well for her here and you’re going to get a square price to boot. These connections are perfectly capable of winning around these parts.
RACE 9: 4-2-5-7
#4 ANDIAMO A FIRENZE is now in the care of Carlos David, who has quietly snagged a couple of wins at the young meet. This colt has always had a great deal of speed and he now gets Lasix for the first time off this trainer switch. That speed will help him race forwardly today and he is, in many ways, the one to catch.
RACE 10: 4-8-7-12
#4 THREE GIRLS changes barns off a lengthy break for new trainer George Weaver. She was a competitive second at second asking against much better last year and has the necessary early speed to stay within range from the start. Weaver was off to a slow start at the meet until a narrow miss in yesterday’s Coaching Club American Oaks.