SARATOGA – 8/2/2023
RACE 1: 1-2-3-5
#1 AWAKENED goes out for top notch connections in search of his 3rd win over jumps. He classes up well and is bottomless distance-wise with that classic Phipps pedigree.
RACE 2: 5-6-7-2
#5 FAST BUCK FREDDY was wide on the course in the opener on Belmont Stakes Eve and the runners who lost ground in there have all come back to perform well. This son of Fast Anna likely needed a race, and took plenty of support at the windows for his top notch trainer. If anything, he’ll be a more seasoned horse today.
RACE 3: 2-6-7-1
#2 CHESS MASTER goes out for icy connections but enters off a nifty win at Indiana where he stalked the pace and won going away. He is the most decorated member of the field by a mile, and should be able to position himself anywhere in the opening stages. A repeat of his last effort would make him awfully tough to beat.
RACE 4: 3-2-1-7
#3 OLYMPIC DREAMS is a stakes caliber NY bred, which he proved last time out when 2nd in the Commentator at a big price. He should get a lovely trip stalking the pace today with the likely frontrunner drawn one slot to his inside. The improvement he’s shown this year is noteworthy, as he clearly has talent and still has a ton of upside.
RACE 5: 2-1-3-6
#2 ONCE AN EAGLE is the Christophe Clement trainee who has pedigree for turf as her dam was a 2x grass winner. She has also dropped 4 turf winners from 6 to try it, so it’s a tad surprising that Clement’s main rider, Joel Rosario, ends up on #6 BELVOIR. Reading into those things can often be foolhardy so just take the daughter of Tonalist breaking inside.
RACE 6: 1-2-3-6
The horse to bet in here is #1 MISS M M who drops a notch in class stretching back out in distance and coming up from Monmouth. She is quick enough to get involved early, but the appeal here is that she can also settle off of what should be a robust pace. Her best turf races are undoubtedly good enough and this barn has had some good performances so far in NY.
RACE 7: 7-10-2-3
#7 BEAR OAK is going to get a good forwardly placed trip today in his first start for new trainer Norm Casse. He has ample early speed and ran a race at Keeneland that would win this thing handily. Whether he can perform at that level again is of great concern, but this is a claim off of which he should improve.
RACE 8: 3-1-2-5
#3 EMINENT VICTOR is interesting at a price as she gets Flavien Prat back aboard and looks to rebound off two less than stellar trips in a row. She moved early and aggressively on a boggy course last time out and two back had no chance when sawed off in upper stretch. Whether her best is good enough is the question as this race came up typically salty.
RACE 9: 6-5-1-7
#6 MAIL ORDER has had some gate issues that have dogged her in recent outings, including her last start back on July 3. She ended up running well to be second behind subsequent stakes winner Roses For Debra. The outside draw should help and her tactical speed is a real weapon.
RACE 10: 7-4-6-1
Spending a lot of money to try to beat #7 VAX in the nightcap seems like a fool’s errand. She is dropping in class, which is never a pretty sight, but should have this field over a barrel given her recent efforts. She is faster on paper and should be able to position herself forwardly in search of career win #2.
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 145-40-20-21 $239.20