SARATOGA – 8/14/22
RACE 1: 8-1-4-6
#8 ROCK CHALK is a firster by 13% debut sire Cairo Prince (11% first time turf). The dam has dropped one turf winner and there’s modest grass pedigree in the 2nd family. #1 DECCAN PRINCE shortens up in distance after chasing a huge pace last time out and fading late. He is more suited to the shorter trip and should be in a ground-saving spot from the outset. #4 GODS GLORY comes from a high percentage stable and should have some speed based on his last workout.
RACE 2: 7-10-5-1
#7 CONSEILLANTE is bred well for turf being a half to stakes winner Forest Chatter. The dam has produced 4 turf winners and progeny of Quality Road hit at a 14% clip on debut as 2YOs. This filly is training forwardly for the meet’s top barn. #10 ASTRILA is a firster by Mendelssohn, who has 5 debut winners in his first crop. The dam was a 5x turf winner and she has produced stakes winners Dynadrive and Tell Your Daddy. #5 TOWHEAD won a race that was declared a no-contest last time out. She now meets a tougher field on paper and should be a pace player.
RACE 3: 4-1-3-5
#4 BIG Q is the one to beat switching surfaces for Gary Sciacca while also taking a big drop in class. Her last dirt outing ended with a game victory from just off the pace and she should be in a similar position early today. #1 PRAIRIE FIREgoes first off a claim by Charlie Baker after being taken for 25k in June at Belmont. She is now in for 16k and that’s not the greatest sign, but she should improve being back in Baker’s care. #3 SHADOLAMO drops in class while cutting back in distance as well. Her sprint win in May was strong enough to lead you to believe she should be at her best at this shorter trip.
RACE 4: 2-5-7-8
#2 COST BASIS is dropping in class for trainer Chad Brown, who is clearly looking to pad his lead in the trainer standings. This gelding’s last race was bad, but he was also wide on a dayw here you had to save ground on the Aqueduct main track. Brown is 33% with dirt starters racing for tags for the first time over the last five years ($2.06 ROI). #5 LAFITTE’S FLEET returns off a break after winning off the claim for Mertkan Kantarmaci. He has versatility and fits well here class-wise at a price. #7 FIRE SWORD is the one to catch adding blinkers second off a layoff this afternoon. If he is able to get clear his chances to wire the field will improve.
RACE 5: 8-2-6-5
#8 SIXTH STREET shortens up in distance after racing wide going a mile last time out in her North American debut for Brendan Walsh. She has recently been training with a stakes caliber runner from this barn has more than held her own. Sprinting is likely to be her best game and the addition of blinkers will be useful. #2 MRS. GREEN narrowly missed last time out when she won the pace battle but lost the war. The increased speed shown in that July 20 affair is a weapon, especially from this inside post. #6 LIBRETTO spun out wide in the midst of a big late move last time out. That was her first try sprinting and she likely has the requisite speed to be in a good position early.
RACE 6: 4-10-8-2
#4 UPPER CASE is a firster by American Pharoah, whose progeny hit at a 12% clip on debut. She is training well and is kin to one winner. This barn is certainly capable of having one ready on debut. #10 FIRING BULLETS is training well and is drawn favorably on the outside. She is by 14% debut sire Firing Line and is kin to one 5x winner. #8 CHOCOLATE GELATO is a second time starter who was highly regarded on debut. She was an underwhelming third at 1-2 and now tries to rebound at second asking.
RACE 7: 1-3-6-2
#1 INSTINCTIVE is a late runner who figures to get a big pace setup this afternoon. She was stuck behind a moderate pace last time out and still made a good late move. This race should feature the right setup. #3 SPUNGIE returns off a long layoff after running a big race in her final start of 2021. She was wide the entire way that afternoon when the rail was the place to be. Her best races indicate that she is a win candidate and she should benefit from the setup as well. #6 OUT OF SIGHT is a speedster who received an incompetent ride last time out. She has one shot to win this race and that’s to get back to the frontrunning gambit that has worked for her before.
RACE 8: 5-2-4-6
#5 BRATTLE HOUSE is a standout on paper off of two blowout wins at Belmont. She is the one to catch this afternoon going 7 panels and meets a weak field for this level. All signs point to her making it three straight. #2 HALO CITY is a late runner who’ll be helped if the top pick gets any pressure. She is the perfect exacta partner with the top pick at a price. #4 BETSY BLUE is a late runner who has been second in three straight outings. She was a strong runner-up last time out putting forth the kind of rally you rarely see on this main track.
RACE 9: 2-5-1-6
#2 BIG INVASION is the one to beat as he enters with 5 straight victories. He won last month’s Quick Call impressively and should be in stalk and pounce range again today as a prohibitive favorite. #5 THAT’S RIGHT has a win streak of his own having taken three straight turf sprints. He is the one to catch on paper and is dangerous if left to his own devices on the front end. #1 CADAMOSTO is graded stake faced and drops in class this afternoon. The inside post is tricky, especially given he lacks early speed.
RACE 10: 3-5-1-7
#3 RECKLESS SPIRIT is the one to beat on paper given the setup in here and his recent form. His last two speed figures tower over anything his rivals here put forth regularly and he should be a deserving heavy favorite. #5 HATCH is bred for turf and should appreciate the move to the weeds. The dam was a turf stake winner and progeny of Fort Larned hit at a 11% clip in their turf debuts. He’ll get the jump on the top pick as well. #1 WAR STRATEGY comes form Woodbine off a win against MSW foes. He goes 3rd off a layoff from the rail and should be waiting in the wings when the pacesetters falter.
SARATOGA 2022 TOP PICK STATS: 197-48-35-16 $321.00