SARATOGA – 8/17/2023
RACE 1: 7-9-8-5
There’s real reason to be against #7 RIDE UP, who is likely better going longer and starts for a barn that has suddenly hit a notable cold streak. The best alternative is #2 SIPPICAN SHOP, a daughter of the upset winner of the Spinaway who debuted back in May for Kenny McPeek. She blew the break but put together a nice late run to round out the pentafecta. McPeek trainees hit in their 2nd career starts in maiden claimers on dirt at a 14% clip with a $2.04 ROI.
RACE 2: 3-1-5
#2 SAFFRON MOON took to the turf beautifully winning her grass debut by 8 lengths at Keeneland. She came right back with a win at Tampa Bay Downs against weaker and now returns off a lengthy break. The workout reports indicate she’ll be ready off the bench and she should be in a good spot just off the pace this afternoon.
RACE 3: 2-6-1-5
#2 BARRAGE set a robust pace last time out and tired late going 9 panels at Belmont. He is better with a target and should be in more of a stalking spot in the opening stages of this affair. The recent worktab looks strong and trainer Ray Handal has a tremendous record over the last couple of years with Dylan Davis.
RACE 4: 3-2-4-6
A slow break from the gate ruined the chances of #3 CAMM’ DUKE last time out. He rushed up to reach the lead and raced along the slow inside path, eventually tiring while facing better competition. The lead is his for the taking today given the dearth of speed in this field, so he is very interesting at what should be an attractive price.
RACE 5: 6-3-5-4
#6 ACCOMMODATE EVA is a firster by Munnings, whose progeny hit at a 15% clip on debut. The dam here was unraced, but she has dropped 6 winners from as many to race and has reportedly been training strongly at Churchill Downs. This is a barn that has had success with 2YO firsters on the dirt over the last 5 years (13%, $2.90 ROI).
RACE 6: 4-8-7-2
It is a massive step up in class for #4 IMAGE OF QUALITY, but this son of Frank Conversation was purchased by razor sharp connections out of his debut. He surged late amidst traffic and finished strongly to score at first asking. He is bred all over his dam side for turf and should improve on the weeds, even though his trainer is hardly known for grass success.
RACE 7: 6-1-7-3
#6 ISOLA was bet down to 5/2 favoritism last time out basically off of strong morning drills. She never showed anything but did put up a hell of a fight against her rider in the opening half-mile. That’s enough to give her another try with a pilot on board who’s likely to let her run more early. This barn has a penchant for hitting with price horses and this one will offer serious value now.
RACE 8: 3-5-1-7
#3 BIG VENEZUELA spent a good chunk of his last start on the inside and the rail was not the place to be on the afternoon of August 3. He still finished with interest and fits nicely here as a pace stalker in a race with one confirmed speedster. The favorite on the outside is no great shakes either, as his trainer has not won at the Spa in 2 years.
RACE 9: 1-6-2-5
#1 RAMBLIN WRECK got a great ride last time out to finish 2nd in the NY Stallion Series event where he was a prohibitive favorite. He now bids to get a second stake win of the summer from a cozy inside post. There’s more pace on paper in this field and he should be more alert in the opening stages, opening the door for him to sweep by late.
RACE 10: 1-6-5-10
The strong efforts in the Wednesday nightcap from two H. James Bond trainees, albeit in a weak off the turf race, makes one think #1 RUSSI is live here. He ran a vastly improved race in the first try of the second half of his 3YO season. He showed good speed and should be loose early here at a square price.
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 253-65-34-42 $411.10