Wednesday, July 23, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Thursday, July 24
Race 1: Steeplechase.
Race 2: Of the three experienced 2yos entered to go here, #6 Louisiana Brown interests us the most. He brought a game challenge to troubled Sanford runner-up Mr. Z in his debut before falling just short. Both #3 Battle Red and #2 Revolver are eligible to step forward a bit with a race under their belts, but we were less impressed with their debut efforts. Always have to take Pletcher firsters seriously. Therefore, #4 Bully Proof will be part of our play.
Race 3: #2 Miss Electronica is lightly raced, and thus less exposed than her rather modest competition in this $40k maiden claimer. That may be reason enough to take her in here. But she also faced a much tougher group for this level in her debut. The race had a race rating of 79 (vs. today's 66) and she ran into MSW dropper Loomin' Lori Lou in that spot.
#5 Keep Right has some angles in play, as she drops in for a tag for the first time while also turning back and switching from turf to dirt. We would also take a long look at firster #8 Built in a Day in a field like this, as she is well-connected. Her trainer doesn't excel first-time out but did saddle Andromeda's Risk to a 41/1 upset in a maiden claiming debut earlier this year.
Race 4: #6 Misszippityslewda took a bad stumble at the start, then rallied gamely through some traffic late to be along for second behind a heavily favored front-running winner last time. Then she galloped out strongly after the wire. She deserves another chance. #1A Ultimate Shopper has dangerous speed, and also has a pair of wins over this seven-furlong distance, which is as many wins as the rest of the field combined. We've always felt that #3 Lady Gracenote was better over sprint distances, so getting back to seven furlongs is a good thing for her. She has hit the board in each of her last six starts sprinting, while posting a pair of wins in those races.
Race 5: With plenty of speed signed on, this turf sprint for maiden fillies figures to feature a contested pace . We're interested in giving #10 Julie's Jewelry a chance in here off the trainer change to Clement. She was well-backed for her debut and figures to handle grass, being a half-sister to Saucey Evening, a stakes winner over turf in her career.
Our other horse will be #3 Miss Lech, who returns for Chad Brown to make what is essentially her 3yo debut. This trip may come up a little short for her. But she was a very good 2nd over seven furlongs on grass last September, and she should have some pace to close into here.
Race 6: #4 Haldane has some hang in her, and it's not exactly encouraging that she has failed to be competitive at Finger Lakes recently, but she is entered at the right level today and figures to have some pace to run at. #8 Saichi Sweepin has maintained consistent form despite winning just one of her seven starts since arriving on this circuit last September, and she has the best speed from a nice outside post. Both #1 Bridget Moloney and #2 Bird House have become pace dependent, but we thought the former ran the better race of the two when behind front-running winner Sweet Sway at this level on June 27th.
Race 7: #8 Powerful Instinct showed big improvement once switched to this barn at the end of last year, and wasn't seen to best effect when trying to close from behind a powerful front-running winner off the layoff as a new gelding. Eligible to go forward in his second start of the year, and Pace Projector suggests he'll have the right set-up for his closing style. #5 Captain Gaughen's gradual improvement last year as a 3yo is somewhat hidden by a pair of races against the flow last October at Belmont (up dueling a fast pace on the 3rd, and then caught behind a joke of a slow pace on the 19th). Can do better here in his third start back, and he'll be a price.
Race 8: #2 Pura Vida Zen improved to a new career top speed figure second off the claim and is now shipped straight to Saratoga by a trainer who scores a strong 96 rating with last-out winners. Not much separating #3 Wild Kay, #6 Wholelotaroyalty and #7 Heir to Dare on recent figures, and they all have speed.
Race 9: $100k Quick Call a real puzzle, with plenty of speed signed on (see Pace Projector) and only a single prior grass winner among the seven entered.
That turf winner is #3 Escapist, who has impressed in beginning his career two-for-two, but has done so in front-running fashion, and that style may not play in this spot. The expected pace scenario may make #2 Harpoon the one to beat, as he is one who will be running late for Pletcher, but we think #6 Glacken Too is going to benefit from the turn-back out of a fast-paced route and will take him to post a mild upset.
Race 10: Have no good ideas in wide-open finale that is expected to feature a fast pace. At least #10 Little T. Louie showed some life in his turf debut last time, and he isn't expected to be looking for the early lead. #8 All Over Me has the best credentials to this point and drops back down as the horse to beat. #4 Bapu, who is first-time Lasix for second lifetime start, and firster #11 Chasin Chama have landed in the right kind of field, assuming they have any ability.