SARATOGA – 7/13/2023
RACE 1: 6-5-1-2
#6 SABRA TUFF drops in class and adds Lasix for trainer Dallas Stewart after a series of tries against stakes company. The class relief should pay major dividends and she has shown increased speed of late, which will keep her more in the mix early. The price will be fair to boot with #5 BUSTIN BAY signed up.
RACE 2: 2-6-5-4
The morning line on #2 EMPIRE ISLAND indicates that the word is out she’s a talented filly. Progeny of Classic Empire hit at a 14% clip and the first family of the dam side pedigree here is very average. This gal is obviously fleet-footed in the morning, as evidenced by the July 6 bullet and this barn can certainly have one ready on debut.
RACE 3: 6-4-10-8
#6 SARATOGA GAZE is not your typical turf cutback given that she was always a sprinter before being stretched out last time out. She showed speed before fading in the late stages and should be in an ideal stalking spot here. The key is the class relief as she is facing the softest bunch she has in her career and certainly since she joined the care of Mark Hennig.
RACE 4: 5-3-6-1/1A
#5 SALIMAH is the deserving favorite here as she comes back from a layoff for trainer Chad Brown after showing speed and fading late in the American Oaks last December. The tempo she got involved in last time out was fast and she understandably tired late. This should be a much slower-paced race and is a better fit for her class-wise.
RACE 5: 2-4-6-10
#2 DUST DEVIL is the horse to bet in here given the improved run last out for 32k and the drop back to 20k today. He was taken for 25k and has since banked some money, so this is hardly a suspicious looking drop. He has enough tactical speed to stay within range going a trip that regularly punishes deep closers.
RACE 6: 6-2-4-7
The thought here is that #6 YARROW might be at his best going shorter on turf and he’s back to 5.5 panels third off the bench. He adds blinkers as well and that should keep him in range early as he was dogged by a horrific ride last time out. Manny Franco yanked him back after a fast break and he ran into trouble at every turn. A cleaner trip should be in the offing.
RACE 7: 5-10-11-1
#5 SA FORADADA came up wanting late last time out despite a perfect trip and now cuts back in distance. Shortening up to 7 panels is the key, as this daughter of Kantharos clearly wants to go shorter when all is said and done. The pace in here will set up for a late runner and the addition of blinkers should sharpen her early as well.
RACE 8: 5-4-6-1
#5 KINGFISH STEVENS is back on relatively short rest after a 4th place finish with a wide trip 12 days ago. He was bet down to 5/2 that day on the class drop and performed well all things considered. This is a winnable spot for him given the mid-pack post and his tactical speed. There’s also ample early foot in here to keep things honest early.
RACE 9: 7-4-5-11
#7 WINE ON TAP scored a workmanlike win over a relatively modest looking group on debut but, deservedly, earned a strong Beyer speed figure. That’s enough to give her the nod today as the favorite, given that she also rated comfortably off the pace in that unveiling. There’s clearly a world of talent here given her pedigree hardly indicates early success.
RACE 10: 2-7-12-10
#2 CHARISSE is dropping in for a tag with a cozy inside draw and speed figures that are in line with the best in this bunch. She’ll be an attractive price and she showed real speed tow back in a race that was run at a frenetic early clip. Saving ground in this bulky field will prove beneficial.