SARATOGA – 7/26/2023
RACE 1: 6-1-2-4
#6 BEAT LE BON was a smashing winner last time out by a blowout margin and now faces winners for the first time. Given his improvement since joining Jack Fisher’s stable he offers plenty of upside.
RACE 2: 7-1-4-3
#7 FLINT RIDGE is the far more interesting Linda Rice entrant in here as he’ll be 3-4x the price of stablemate #1 LASTCHANCEATGLORY. ‘Ridge comes in off a break having been claimed in May at Churchill Downs off of Joe Sharp. Rice is 6 for her last 12 with dirt starters first off of claims returning in 60+ days and this son of Into Mischief has speed and a cozy outside draw.
RACE 3: 7-10-9-5
#7 GRAM brings in an experience edge given her two prior starts at Belmont, the latest of which was a good runner-up performance with trouble at 5 panels. Any improvement off of that and she’ll be borderline impossible to beat. Avoiding the issues she ran into along the way last time would be a start!
RACE 4: 1-3-2
#1 ECHO ZULU is the speed in this compact field and tactical edges matter so much more in small groups. She has yet to run poorly in a decorated career that includes three Grade I triumphs as a juvenile. Her abbreviated 2022 campaign was hardly subpar, including an unexpectedly strong run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. This begins her march to that affair in 2023.
RACE 5: 1-9-10-7
#1 QUALITY G has a tactical edge on the other major class dropper, #9 ST. JOE LOUIS. Both are moving into the claiming ranks, even though ‘Joe has been there before. Quality G can get clear on the inside, or stalk the leader and that gives him a major edge given the way this race figures to unfold.
RACE 6: 1-6-5-7
The quick return of #1 ICHIBAN off a big win last time out is no worry given the way Linda Rice’s barn has gone of late. She is 23% with dirt starters off of wins coming back in two weeks or less ($2.24 ROI) and this filly should have ample early speed from the inside post. Her pedigree suggests 9 panels will be no issue and that is a concern for some of these.
RACE 7: 9-2-8-5
#9 OUTLAW KID performed well north of the border last time out, chasing a white hot pace before weakening in the closing stages. He is a major pace threat from the outside today in what shapes up as a race with a slower early tempo. His best races have also come with Javier Castellano in the irons.
RACE 8: 6-2-5-7
#6 B B’S BUSTED hardly beat a group of killers last time out, but she did overcome a horribly slow break that spotted her rivals multiple lengths. She is now a serious late player in a race with some speed. These runners are very suspect at 9 panels and ‘B B will be a square price in her Spa debut. Look for her to pick them up in the final furlong.
RACE 9: 6-3-7-9
#6 SUCH SOUNDS ran into serious traffic trouble last time out at Churchill Downs after saving ground just off the pace. She was sawed off badly in mid-stretch, which ended her race and is now back 60+ days later once again at 11 panels. The good thing is this gal can race forwardly as you hate to lose a lot of ground early in turf marathons.
RACE 10: 3-8-9-12
#3 VINCE THE PRINCE is the one to beat on the drop in this evenly matched nightcap. He has a cozy inside post and should be forwardly placed after a sprint try against restricted stakes foes last time out. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche has quietly had a good Saratoga and knows what to do with well-drawn speed horses on any surface.
SARATOGA 2023 STATS: 91: 27-11-14 $162.30