Race 1: #3 River Dell went well for 2nd behind Champagne-bound Tale of S'avall in 90 TFUS Speed Figure debut at Saratoga. Experience edge over well-bred and well-connected #5 Party Barn may make the difference. Party Barn, out of the talented Hystericalady, debuts for hot trainer who does well with first-time starters (92 rating). #6 Basic Hero raced wide and gave way in turf sprint debut. Good post for second start, and his dam was a stakes-winning dirt sprinter who handled slop.
Race 2: Entry-level allowance scheduled for turf likely to be moved to a wet main track. We are wondering if #10 Security Risk might not stay in to try dirt. He has improved as a 3yo for Shug, and there is plenty of dirt (and wet) on the dam side of his pedigree (Smuggler a multiple Grade 1 winner on the main track; second dam the great Inside Information). #8 Escape to the Moon has improved since returning as a new gelding this year, and he handles a wet track. #6 Againsome has earned all of his best career TFUS Speed Figures over wet tracks.
Race 3: #7 Readtheprospectus handles wet, and he is a runner when he is right. Back on the beam last time when dropped in class, and Jacobson gets a perfect 100 Trainer Rating off the claim, and a 95 turf to dirt. #3 Frazil is back in form recently for Steve Klesaris, and he projects to be on the early lead to his advantage, according to Pace Projector. #2 Son of a General makes first start back from a long layoff on the drop, but he owns plenty of races that make him tough, and he has won in the slop.
Race 4: #5 Crafty Dreamer owns a top TFUS Speed Figure that fits well in this field, and we prefer him over these middle distance, one-turn races. Switches from turf to dirt, and there is plenty of pace for him to close into, assuming the field stays intact. #4 Unrivaled is interesting off the trainer change to Jimmy Jerkens (87 rating first with trainer) for Team Valor. Has flashed ability at times, but must break with the field. #7 Financial Modeling has come back running from a long layoff for Chad Brown. Had a perfect trip to win last time.
Race 5: #2 Honor Code cuts back to one-turn mile following relentless rally to close down the talented Liam's Map in the Whitney upstate. Fires every time, and is better than these horses with his good race. #5 Red Vine has improved on dirt, and has earned TFUS Speed Figures recently (126-124-124) that will get him a look at Honor Code. Cuts back to a better distance for him, and he should have the jump. #6 Mylute unlikely to out-close Honor Code, but he is a one-turn mile kind of horse, and he has improved for Pletcher. Connections of #1 Appealing Tale unlikely to be pleased with the conditions, but he has speed from the inside to go along with his graded stakes credentials.
Race 6: Flower Bowl goes through defending champ #1 Stephanie's Kitten. Multiple Grade 1 winner handles give in the ground, and she seemed to get back to one of her good races at Arlington last time. Pair of imports in #7 Mutatis Mutandis and #8 Curvy offer intrigue, the latter a streaking 3yo with upside, the former finding career-best form this year as a closer.
Race 7: All graded stakes Pick 4 kicks off with the Grade 1 Frizette for 2yo fillies. Euro import #3 Nemoralia has been impressive over there while appearing to have more in the tank. She has handled synthetic and turf without issue, and her Breeding Rating of 90 for dirt suggests she can handle this surface, as well. May be hard on this field if she does. #2 Width was an impressive debut winner with a TFUS Speed Figure of 90. Faces tough distance stretch-out from 5.5 furlongs, but she appears to have some talent. #1 She's All Ready is a NY-bred stepping up, but she dominated pair of sprints at Saratoga and her figures say she fits.
Race 8: #5 Ralis is plenty experienced and already a Grade 1 winner, both to his advantage in the Grade 1 Champagne. Added distance shouldn't be of concern considering how he finished off the Hopeful. #2 Greenpointcrusader has flashed potential while appearing to be in need of some racing through two progressive starts. Upside is all there, and he is bred to relish a wet track. #9 Portfolio Manager was a good 2nd in what was perhaps the strongest 2yo MSW field for colts at Saratoga this summer. Tough spot for just his second start, but he may be a good one. #4 Sail Ahoy has a big pedigree for top connections, and he is the lone entrant with a win over this distance. Will need to do better than that this time, but he is supposed to continue coming forward.
Race 9: #6 Courtier has come back from a layoff to pair up 115 TFUS Speed Figures with fresh lasix. Talent has always been there, and his versatility is a positive. #11 Tale of Life couldn't get clear in the stretch, and finally bulled his way clear very late before flying home to get up in stateside debut, from which he was justly DQ'd. Tough post for this distance on the inner turf, but he can run. #2 Vision Perfect hasn't progressed following victorious 3yo debut, but he may be better off over this turf course, and he likes give in the ground. #5 Takeover Target is talented, and he won impressively over a yielding course first time out. Last was a disaster, but he's better than that.
Race 10: Short field of familiar rivals in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. #6 Tonalist is looking to defend his title, and will be afforded no excuses this time. Wet track a slight concern, as even though he won the Peter Pan in the slop here last year, he didn't appear to be particularly comfortable with the going that day. #2 Coach Inge continues his ascent for Pletcher following 124 TFUS Speed Figure performance when 2nd to Liam's Map in the Woodward. Good trip coming from the inside. #4 Effinex has improved significantly this year. Handles distance just fine, and he was a convincing winner in the mud in 2015 debut.
Race 11: #9 Gift Box debuted in one of the best 2yo MSW races for colts at Saratoga, and he finished up with interest after getting away at the back of the field. Expecting some improvement second time, and distance should be no issue. #1a Revved Up figures to appreciate added real estate offered here after sprinting last time. #8 Matt King Coal took a run to contention before getting outfinished in turf route debut. Entered MTO this time by trainer having excellent year with her 2yos. #6 Snag is a full brother to the graded stakes winning dirt router Intense Holiday, who raced for these connections a few years ago.