SARATOGA – 8/13/22
RACE 1: 1-5-3-8
#1 FULL COVERAGE is a half to the stakes placed Gun Boat and is out of a mare who was a stakes winner on the turf and banked over 320k. The inside post is ideal given the way this course has played this week. #5 CALYCANTHUS is a Calumet home bred who has largely been training at Monmouth Park. There’s turf pedigree here, though, as the dam was a 3x grass winner and stake winner and she has dropped a turf winner. How could it be a 2YO turf route without Chad? #3 I’M VERY BUSY is by freshman sire Cloud Computing and is out of a dam who produced five winners, two of whom scored on turf. You know this one will have stamina.
RACE 2: 3-2-5-1
#3 MOUNT ATHOS towers over this field on paper based on his recent exploits at Churchill Downs. His last effort would wallop this field and two runners from that group have since returned to win. The winner came back to earn a 91 BSF at Ellis and the 4th place finisher scored next time out at Del Mar. #2 MOTION TO STRIKE is the main speed on paper as he gets back in for a tag. He’ll be helped by an aggressive ride, especially given that the majority of the players in here are later running types. #5 JAKE ROCKS is first off a claim but was privately purchased by these connections off the claim. He won at 1-1 last time out dropping in class and should be in a good stalking spot from the start today.
RACE 3: 3-6-2-5
#3 BLAZING STAR is taking a massive class drop in a woeful field for this level. She chased the hot pace and spun her wheels late last time out, but is now in position to stalk the pace and pounce in crunch time. This is a realistic placement class-wise for high percentage connections. #6 RIGBY is the ‘other’ Mike Maker trainee and may end up more fancied with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons. The truth is that Blazing Star has been consistently better than her in her brief career in the USA. Nonetheless, the steady improvement in this filly as a 3YO is notable. #2 CADENCIA broke her maiden when the other speeds deferred last time out and she somehow got an easy advantage. She’ll face winners for the first time off a respite for a trainer whose horses haven’t run a step this meet.
RACE 4: 2-4-3
It has been awfully tough to beat Steve Asmussen in stakes races at Saratoga, but #2 DAMON’S MOUND looks like a tremendous prospect. He absolutely crushed a MSW field on debut at Churchill even with a sluggish break and now steps up in competition. The bright lights of NY are often the undoing of upstart types, but it’s hard to ignore how impressive he was in that July 2 score. #4 GULFPORT is the most accomplished runner in the field having won the Bashford Manor, but he beat a weak field that day with a soft trip. The key is Asmussen, who seemingly never loses graded stakes on dirt at the Spa. #3 VALENZAN DAY has two races worth of stakes experience and should be a late threat here. The blinkers have reportedly sharpened him up in the morning as well.
RACE 5: 8-1-3-2
#8 CAPTAINSDAUGHTER cuts back in distance after finishing a competitive third going 9 panels last time out. Trainer Russell Cash is 15% over the last five years with cutbacks on dirt ($3.15 ROI) and this filly doesn’t have to drop terribly far out of it early. #1 TOSCONOVA BEAUTY has amassed some big wins and gaudy speed figures at Finger Lakes and now tests deeper waters. Her local jockey is coming over for a barn that has won on the NYRA circuit before. The lead is likely hers for the taking as well from the rail. #3 KNOW IT ALL AUDREY has had trouble in terms of track profile in her last two and now changes barns to that of Rob Atras. His stable is heating oup of late, this gal gets first Lasix and the meet’s top pilot.
RACE 6: 5-3-7-8
There’s more than enough turf pedigree in play for #5 GOLDEN HORNET, who tries grass after a wire-to-wire debut score in Virginia. This son of Flatter shows up as a new gelding and is out of a mare who produced two turf winners including Saratoga turf winner Fled. Look for him to blast out of the starting gate. #3 NEURO will almost certainly come with his patented late move that leaves him a neck short or less. He did so last time out first off the bench and now looks to improve against a weaker field than the one he faced last month. #7 SHERIFF BIANCO nearly made it two straight with an off the claim win last time out before he was overhauled late. He has good tactical speed and should be within range from the start for connections that have scored twice this week with turf sprinters.
RACE 7: 5-2-7-9
#5 SKELLIG is a firster by Girvin, whose progeny are a whopping 5-15 at first asking. He is out of a dam who was a 5x winner and the worktab is reportedly very strong. Trainer John Terranova even saw enough in the morning to try him in company with multiple NY bred turf stake winner Bank Sting. #2 READ ON is a firster by Ghostzapper who has strong workouts for Dale Romans. This stable broke out of its slumber with a win on Thursday afternoon and the dam here produced two winners. The inside post and aggressive pilot should mean he’ll have speed. #7 GENERAL JIM is another training well and he is by 17% debut sire Into Mischief. The issue here is the dam side pedigree is heavily skewed towards turf.
RACE 8: 1-11-10-8
If he offers up what he has in his two prior starts as a 3YO then #1 PORTFOLIO COMPANY absolutely cannot lose this race. He’s also drawn perfectly on the inside given the condition of the turf course. The inside paths have been gold for days and a ground-saving trip is in the offing. #11 DAUNT made a solid late move last time out to miss by a couple of lengths and is has taken a step forward as a 3YO. He stands to get a significant pace to run at late this afternoon and his best races put him in the conversation for the spoils. #10 CONSTITUTIONLAWYER got an excellent ride last time out saving ground throughout before briefly encountering traffic. He is a definitely player for the exacta at a square price, but demand value given his price last time out.
RACE 9: 8-6-5-1
In an absolute skull-buster, #7 HAPPY BOB gets the nod after a promising debut when 2nd behind the subsequent graded stake placed Accretive. He should improve with experience, is training well, and his trainer’s small barn already has two wins at the meet. #4 FOR GOOD is a full brother of 2017 Eclipse Award winning juvenile Good Magic and he show some life on debut. You don’t want to hold a wet track race against him too much, and he did break slowly. There’s reason to believe he can improve here. #1 UNLIMITEDPOTENTIAL is a firster who is reportedly training well despite having little dam side pedigree of note. You can’t put a saddle on a pedigree!
RACE 10: 5-3-1
There is no question that the multiple Grade I-winning wonder mare #3 REGAL GLORY is the one to beat in here, but I’m taking a chance against her with #5 GET SMOKIN. This son of Get Stormy is back in form as he was a very good 4th in last month’s Forbidden Apple where he stalked the pace, reached the front and was ultimately outfinished. The lead is his for the taking here and with the way the fresh grass on the inside has been playing, he is a threat to go the distance. The aforementioned Regal Glory is clearly the one to beat, as she has been virtually flawless in 3 victories this year. Her versatility is notable, as she can lay back when the pace is fast, or stay closer when it is slow. Jose Ortiz has also proven the perfect pilot. #1 CASA CREED is a classic ‘tweener’ in that he likely needs distances shorter than this to be most effective. Nonetheless, he is a route stake winner even if it’s not what he does best at this stage of his career.
RACE 11: 9-3-7-10
It is awfully hard to have any confidence in this affair, but #9 CALLOWAY PEAK made a prolonged (if not meaningless) late run last time out. He now gets blinkers and should be a bit more engaged early. There’s talent there and maybe the shades will help draw it out. #3 GOOD SOLDIER is dangerous based on the class drop. He’s also cutting back significantly in distance for Saffie Joseph, Jr., whose barn has two seemingly very quiet wins at the meet. #7 GREG’S HONOR is dangerous off the claim by Mike Maker as he actually outfinished the top pick last time out. He can be a bit more forwardly placed and now lures Irad Ortiz, Jr.
SARATOGA 2022 TOP PICK STATS: 197-48-35-16 $321.00