SARATOGA – 8/7/22
RACE 1: 8-1-7-4
#8 TALKIN PHAROAH is out of a dam who won 3x on turf and is out of a dam who is a half to Lady Shipman, the dam of Golden Pal. The move to turf should bring out the best in this Wesley Ward trainee based on pedigree. #1 MO’S TREASURE has experience and shortens up in distance off a route try last time out. He showed big speed in that affair before fading late and should benefit from a return to sprinting. #7 CERTIFIED LOVERBOY is a second timer with little turf pedigree. He is training well for Ray Handal and has a cozy outside post from which he can stalk and pounce.
RACE 2: 4-3-5-7
#4 GOOD SKATE will look to end a string of defeats for trainer Rudy Rodriguez at this meet. He is the main speed dropping in class after racing wide last time out against much tougher at Monmouth. The best chance he has is to try to wire this bunch. #3 BLUE JAYS is dropping in class off a claim by trainer Mike Maker. This barn is 8 for its last 53 with dirt starters in NY going first off of claims ($1.04 ROI). That’s the biggest negative on this gelding. #5 MAJESTIC TIGER ran a bang-up race last time out against weaker for trainer Gustavo Rodriguez. He has no issue with the mile trip and will be in a good spot stalking the pace this afternoon.
RACE 3: 2-5-7-3
#2 GOODNIGHT OLIVE is the one to beat for trainer Chad Brown as she bids for a 4th straight win. She is quick enough to grab the early lead, but there’s other speed signed up. Working out a trip from the rail is the issue. #5 LIBERTY M D is a late runner who got a big pace setup last time out for Ian Wilkes. She has improved in her last two starts and should be heard from late in a race with pace. #7 PIECE OF MY HEART goes first off a claim by Linda Rice and should be in position to benefit from the pace as well. She faced a tougher field last time out and is a good fit here at the price.
RACE 4: 4-2-3-1
#4 SABRA TUFF is stakes-placed and looms one of the choices by virtue of that runner-up effort last time out at Churchill Downs. She is a late player given the kick shown in the stretch of her last and she has the right pilot. There should also be some pace in this affair. #2 NAUGHTY GAL is a speedy daughter of Into Mischief who should be in the mix from the outset. Her improvement at second asking was robust and she has an aggressive pilot on board today. #3 PROMISE OF HOPE is a second timer who showed life on debut with a wire-to-wire score. She steps up in competition and exits a live race at Churchill Downs.
RACE 5: 7-1-8-4
#7 WILL BE FAMOUS is a second timer who landed in a tough race on debut. She should benefit from having the race behind her and her most recent workout was very solid. Look for improvement this afternoon. #1 JUST AN ANGEL is a second timer who showed speed on debut and tired late. She should improve with a race behind her, just as the Steve Asmussen-trained Disarm did on Saturday afternoon. #8 PEACE CRUISER is a firster by Violence, a 19% debut sire and the dam was a 3x winner. The worktab looks sharp for this filly.
RACE 6: 9-4-10-3
#9 DELIGHT is the one to beat based on a debut where she put in a sustained bid following a disastrous break from the gate. She was expected to run well that day based on her 7/2 price in a bulky field. Trainer Jonathan Thomas is above average with horses stretching out in distance as well. #4 PINK HUE is a firster by Mendelssohn and is a half to a 2YO Saratoga turf winner. Progeny of Mendelssohn have won on debut 3x in his first crop and trainer Chad Brown is at the helm here. #10 LA MAZEL is a firster by Justify, who has 3 debut winners in his first crop. The dam here was multiple turf stake winner Starstruck and trainer Tony Dutrow is perfectly capable of having one ready on debut.
RACE 7: 5-2-3-1
With #4 WALKATHON out of the race, there’s a bit less speed signed up and that means #5 CONTEMPORARY ART is a threat to go wire-to-wire. This filly was very good last time out, albeit against considerably weaker competition, and has tons of upside. #2 MCKULICK was a nifty winner of the Belmont Oaks with a great trip, but has the tactical speed to work out a good trip more often than not. She is a late player here as the favorite. #3 WITH THE MOONLIGHT has been training with Saratoga Derby winner Nations Pride and bids to better a second place effort in the Belmont Oaks. She has tactical speed, which is a weapon in this affair.
RACE 8: 8-5-4-7
#8 PORTILLA is going to be favored here based on a big effort last time out at Churchill Downs. She is also the main speed on paper with an aggressive pilot in the irons. Her improvement shown last time out off a long layoff is very encouraging. #5 COLORFUL MISCHIEF was a good third in her most recent start at Churchill and now cuts back in distance for Todd Pletcher. She is probably better sprinting and has improved with each passing start. #4 EMPIRE HOPE was a game winner on debut from just off the pace and has tons of upside. She needs to run a faster race to contend here, but the third place finisher has come back to win and this gal is training well for this affair.
RACE 9: 8-6-5-1
Perhaps we’re late to the Morley/Flying P party but #8 ASSERTIVE STYLE is interesting stretching out in distance. She is likely to get loose in this field given the pace scenario, and her Intercontinental effort featured enough traffic-related trouble to give her a pass. The price will also be more than attractive. #6 OUR FLASH DRIVE is the one to beat on paper based on the improvement shes’s shown in her last two starts. Whether she has another forward move in her is the question, but her running style makes her a good fit here pace-wise. #5 JOUSTER was an impressive winner during a weekend-long barrage for Todd Pletcher at the beginning of July. She had never been effective going long from off the pace, but seems to have developed a new style.
RACE 10: 10-1-11-6
#10 MERCI drops in for a tag for trainer Christophe Clement and should improve facing weaker foes. He was stuck inside much of the way last time out and that was during a stretch when the inside paths on the inner turf were slow. He goes 2nd off a short layoff this afternoon as well. #1 DIGITAL SOFTWARE is a late runner who returns off a layoff for trainer Chad Brown. He has the rail and can save ground throughout for a top barn. #11 CASH IN A FLASH is the one to catch from the outside today under John Velazquez. The speed he’s shown in recent starts has been significant and he’s a threat to go the distance.