Tuesday, July 15, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Friday, July 18
Race 1: #4 King of Broadway drops in for a tag for the first time after a disappointing race last time over a Monmouth track that didn't figure to suit his style; ran well over this track and trip last year, and we think he's a horse who is at his best around two turns. Viewing that last one as a prep for #5 Grandpa Len, who makes his second start back from an extended layoff while switching back to his preferred surface; can be tough in here if ready to get back to one of his good ones. #1 Kowboy Boots has positional speed from a nice inside post for dangerous connections, and like several others in this field, is being placed where he is supposed to be competitive.
Race 2: First baby race of the meet is sure to have some talent on view, but with the most interesting firster, #9 Overspending, marooned on the AE list, we'll go with the experienced #2 Know It All Anna on top. She debuted in a loaded-looking field downstate, with winner Angela Renee, a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, scoring for Pletcher with a solid 93 TimeformUS Speed Figure, and Rudy is a strongly rated 93 with his second-time starters. #3 By the Moon is an Indian Charlie filly out of the dam By the Light, a multiple stakes winner who made over $885k and won the first five starts of her career. #8 Wall Street Lady debuts for Tony Dutrow, who scores solid ratings across several relevant categories and who points for this meet; Speightstown is a versatile stallion, but there is a lot of turf on the dam side of this pedigree. We'd make Overspending the top pick were she to get in for Pletcher, as she impressed in powering through a furlong in 10 flat at OBS March, prior to bringing $340k.
Race 3: Grade 3 Schuylerville features #4 Fashion Alert, already a stakes winner for Pletcher as she makes career start number two, and she impressed in that debut run while posting a strong 97 speed figure. She will be very tough to beat here, but #5 Take Charge Brandi has the pedigree to be a runner, and she was a highly impressive debut winner in her own right, showing easy speed to the front before getting away from that field while well within herself; she's an interesting alternative if they go overboard on Fashion Alert. #3 Tulira's Star also made a nice-looking debut, hers over the Arlington Polytrack, and was privately purchased out of that effort by Team Valor; has to do it on dirt, but her 84 speed figure gives her something to build upon.
Race 4: #3 Mumtaazah flashed plenty of ability in debut at the end of last year, and did so despite being bumped into a stumble at the start and racing greenly before ultimately drifting in sharply in the stretch; figures tough if ready to build upon the 95 TimeformUS Speed Figure earned that day, and McLaughlin earns a perfect 100 rating with runners adding lasix for the first time.
#2 Judy Legend earned a 91 for her Keeneland debut, and also displayed promise despite getting a very good trip in there; Motion runners tend to improve first-time lasix (98 rating) and with the switch from synthetic to dirt (96). #1 Royalty, a full-brother to Travers winner Summer Bird, regrouped after getting run out of a couple of sprints as a 2yo, and returns with a trainer change to Jimmy Jerkens, who was hot downstate; may see a different horse this time. Same may apply to his coupled mate, the well-bred #1A Running Wild, who took no money and was no factor when well behind Mumtaazah last November. Firster #6 M B and Tee is a half to stakes-winning sprinter Jake Mo and shows up with solid works for a dangerous debut trainer.
Race 5: Appears the right kind of spot for #3 Can'thelpbelieving, who put in a game wide run in tough Pennine Ridge stakes last time, and just missed after a furious finish at this level two back. #8 Duke of Perth is a new face in a race that is open to a horse like him, and he was earning progressive marks over longer distances as a 3yo in England. #2 My Afleet has held his own in a couple of similar spots since posting an upset in his turf debut, and projects for a nice trip saving ground in range of the pace. #10 Special Agent has done little wrong since making the switch to turf, but he's had a pair of very good trips, and feels like the kind of horse who will be badly over-bet in this spot.
Race 6: #6 Full Tap isn't your typical NY-bred, being by Tapit out of a stakes-winning dam and sporting a $430k sticker price. Won't be surprised if she can run, for a trainer who tends to send his first-time starters out ready.
#7 In Spite of Mama's dam is a half-sister to Grade 1-winning NY-bred Haynesfield, and she was a Saratoga debut winner en route to making over $240k in her career; attracts Castellano for a trainer who sent out a pair of 2yo debut winners at Belmont (albeit on turf). #8 Graeme Crackers is a half to a pair of turf winners, so his future may lie on that surface, but his trainer is among the very best in preparing babies to debut over these shorter sprint distances. #1 Zo Zo was heavily backed when wired by Schuylerville starter Evrybdymstgetstonz; she ran into a little trouble on the turn in that race, but offered nothing after coming clear.
Race 7: Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap for these solid $50k older claimers, and that figures to play to the benefit of #2 Monument Hill, who won a similar event down at Gulfstream two back; trainer points for this meet and tends to have his runners ready to fire off of brief freshenings here.
#9 Majestic Raffy has trouble winning races but is competitive with his best race and is unlikely to be as short a price today as he was when a universal good thing off the Michelle Nevin claim last time. #8 Joes Blazing Aaron has run the two fastest races of his life since being claimed by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and turned over to Mike Maker here last summer; romped with the benefit of an easy lead last time, but is unlikely to be able to get as comfortable today. #6 Where's Danny ran the two best races of his life over the Aqueduct turf back in April, and was in too tough when brought back at the end of the Belmont meet; won't find this spot much easier, but he's in form, and will be a price.
Race 8: #9 Gratitude raced clear on a strong pace in her turf debut down south, but was much more settled last time, and came with a strong run through the stretch to post a much-the-best win; trainer does well with maiden winners coming right back in turf sprints, and there is plenty of speed signed on to this race. The expected pace may play most to the benefit of #10 Ballerina Belle, who is the horse to beat on the back of her TimeformUS Speed Figures of 101 and 99 for her two sprints over firm ground; has had no excuses when coming away second best in her two 2014 starts, but has faced better competition in those races. #4 Kiss Me Lola can land a nice trip tracking the pace, and she figures to benefit from getting back to these 5-to-5.5-furlong sprints, over which she's run her best races by far. Both #1 Zamquick and #3 Aventure Love impressed in recent blowout scores, but both were accomplished in front-running fashion, and they are drawn right next to each other here.
Race 9: #1 Storming Inti has held his own vs. some strong competition, and with plenty of speed drawn to the outside, he is perfectly drawn here to give his rider options; fought gamely and was likely best when posting a new top figure in narrow defeat vs. graded company two starts back. #5 Tourist is the wildcard here, as he impressed greatly at Belmont last time, but did so with the benefit of a soft trip walking on the early lead; will have to do more racing this time. #6 J to the Croft has rarely gotten the right trip or ride since being switched over to turf, but showed with his win last out that he can produce in the right situation, and figures to be an interesting price in here.
Race 10: #8 Winter Wish exits a key race, which has already produced 5 next-out winners, and she was forced into a wide run through the turn after getting bumped and steadied back at the break.
#9 Jet Majesty ran well in both 2yo starts despite failing to get the best of trips either time, and she gets a major rider upgrade for her 3yo debut. #10 Maura's Pass is a half to turf stakes winner Iron Goddess and switches immediately to grass for a trainer who is dangerous with runners moving to this surface for the first time (100 rating).