Saturday, July 26, 2014
TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer
TimeformUS Saratoga Analysis for Saturday, July 26
Race 1: #5 Rapid Repair hasn't run on turf in five months, when she was unable to get forward position and wound up stuck behind a moderate pace. She has improved her form on the main track since returning from a short layoff, and her new-found speed on that surface could serve her well here after scratching from a much tougher spot on Friday's card to await this. #6 Engaginglee has blown a trio of very good trips on turf already, all of them at short prices; tries again. #8 Smart Ashley has a similar profile to Engaginglee, as she has settled for minor awards so far while taking some play.
Race 2: #2 Blue Pigeon may be the horse to beat in this entry-level allowance for NY-breds, as he hinted at potential last year at two for Christophe Clement. A much-the-best winner over this track in his debut, he went straight into stakes company from there.
#3 Macagone is an interesting alternative to the likely favorite, as he has excuses for his first three starts, and took no prisoners in a convincing maiden score last time. #1 Sanctify began his career in good form on the dirt, but his pedigree suggests turf may be better for him, and he ran well over a shorter distance on this surface downstate. #7 Hidden Vow has the fastest races to get to, and if he runs the same race today that he ran two back, he's a likely winner, but he's just 1-for-22 lifetime and was a total no-show last time.
Race 3: Loaded baby race will be an interesting race to keep tabs on for future reference, no matter who wins. For the purposes of making picks, we'll put #8 Aldrin, a $1 million 3/4 brother to Tapit, on top. #9 Competitive Edge has been mentioned as a runner for Pletcher, but he needs to draw in off the AE list. Both #3 Today's Agenda (a $180k Monba?) and #5 Captain Moss (by Quality Road and out of a strong female family) have things to recommend them as well.
Race 4: This is not the kind of race you want to be taking a short price in, as these horses have already blown too many chances. #1 Vecino is a logical kind of horse, and he didn't run badly at Pimlico two starts back, but we can't love him from a wagering perspective at projected low odds. If we were to take a shot at a price, it would be with #2 Sir Maurice, who is best as a turf sprinter and ran the best last race of any of these.
Race 5: #2 Rocket Time is very lightly raced and has to stretch out a bit here, but he has flashed real potential and is an interesting horse in a race where the others have already been exposed for the most part. He raced very greenly in his debut after breaking slowly, and was within a length of #3 C J's Awesome at the finish despite trying to get in all the way through the stretch. He looked a little better last time when taking it to maidens in a powerful front-running performance, but was still a little immature in the stretch. #1 Rankhasprivileges has kept good company and has the two fastest recent races, which makes him the horse to beat. #4 Golden Soul hasn't gone forward since parlaying a perfect inside run (and a monumental pace meltdown) into a runner-up finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and will likely be an underlay with all of those Grade 1 running lines still appearing in his pps.
Race 6: Tough turf marathon for $35k claimers. We are going to try #4 Knights Nation here on the class drop, as things just didn't go well for him once he didn't get his customary spot up on or near the lead last time. He has already won over this distance on dirt, and he may also have been best in his lone try over this trip on grass. #1 Capitan Futuro will need to be fit to go this far directly off of a long layoff, but he's proven to be a true stayer since arriving stateside, and he's faced much better competition than this.
Race 7: Entry-level allowance for older sprinters has no shortage of speed signed on, which we hope plays to the advantage of #5 Rich 'n' Tuck. He got untracked too late last time, when closing strongly with too far to come in the stretch, but he has been a dead-game closer in his three dirt sprints on this circuit, and he may get the right set-up today. #10 Fabulous Kid is a dangerous horse getting back to what may be his best game today after trying routes and turf lately. Sprint debut was fast, and he drew well on the outside.
Race 8: Late Pick 4 with a $300k guarantee kicks off here with the Grade 2 Amsterdam. #4 Coup de Grace is the horse to beat after running down a pair of speedy rivals in Delaware prep for new trainer. He had less-than-perfect trips in each of his two NY graded stakes tries and still managed to win one of those, but doesn't have much margin for error. We think that #8 Captain Serious poses a real threat to him ,however, and will take him on top at what should be a better price. He has put his handy speed to work through three sprint starts to this point, traveling well from off of a fast pace in his debut, then stalking a more moderate pace in start number two, before taking control up front in the Mike Lee and pouring it on late in a convincing win. 105 speed figure for his excellent runner-up performance going longer last time is better than anything Coup de Grace has earned so far.
Race 9: Both #1 Run to Mama and #2 Palace Dreams are returning from layoffs here, but they both flashed real ability last year at three, and are going to be big factors in here if ready to go right off the bench. Palace Dreams has more speed, and Pace Projector places her on the early lead, but Run to Mama will likely be a much better price.
#5 Distorted Beauty may be the most talented of this bunch. She's lightly raced and will stretch out for the first time today in a tough spot, but it will be no surprise if she is this good.
Race 10: The strength of this Jim Dandy field is drawn to the outside, with Belmont winner #4 Tonalist, the improving #5 Kid Cruz, and #7 Wicked Strong the major players. Tonalist has long felt like the up-and-comer in this division, and he scored back-to-back impressive victories once back to the races following a setback earlier in the year, including that Belmont Stakes upset when losing a lot of ground. Wicked Strong was unlucky in the Derby, and he figures to appreciate this shorter distance after racing on gamely late over the 1 1/2 miles last time. Kid Cruz isn't fully committed to running as of this writing, and faces a stern test should they elect to run him.
Race 11: #11 Tapitation got the wrong ride in his turf debut back in May, and actually did quite well to finish second that day. He deserves another chance on this surface, though post 11 is no bargain. #6 Elroi has come back in improved form this year and will appreciate the cut-back from a longer route. #9 Birchwood Road will be looking for firm ground for the first time since convincing maiden score at the end of last year, and he gets an interesting trainer change for this.