Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Monday, September 5, 2016
On Monday, we’re headed back out to Saratoga where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning guest handicapper Vinny Simone from @ANY_Horse.
Vinny is a young handicapper who has provided a detailed writeup of the action at Saratoga today. You can check him out daily at his website AnyHorse and we encourage you to give him a follow on Twitter!
Take it away, Vinny…
The summer has gone by in the blink of an eye, as we have suddenly come upon the final day in the 2016 Saratoga meet. There will be plenty of time for reflection on all the spectacular moments we have been graced with over past few weeks, but for now let’s enjoy the final slate of races at the Spa this summer.
Today’s card is headlined by two graded stakes: the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch for older turf runners, and the Grade 1 Hopeful for two year olds. With all the great moments we’ve witnessed, perhaps the emergence of a future Kentucky Derby runner will be the cap to another stellar meet. Best of luck!
Best Bet: #4 Vandalize, Race 7
Value Play: #1 Modern Lady, Race 5 (12-1 Morning Line)
Race 1 – Claiming, 3 YO & Upward, 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
#5 AMERICAN CREED was caught wide vs. some of these last time out. Can improve second time off the layoff with a clean trip and take advantage of a strong early pace. #1 GAMBLER’S GHOST can leave these in his dust with a top effort, but projects to be one of a few on the early lead while breaking from the inside post.
#5 American Creed 6-1
#1 Gambler’s Ghost 7-5
Race 2 – Maiden Special Weight, Fillies 2 YO State-bred, 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
#7 MINI MEGAN debuts for Rudy, who can never be discounted with his first-time starters, particularly with Irad aboard. #8 BREE’S GOT HEART showed a lot of heart with a strong closing move in her debut, just missing by a nose. Can improve with the experience behind her and getting onto a dry track. #5 MOONDANCE is an $800,000 purchase debuting for Kiaran McLaughlin. Malibu Moon has been a strong influence for debut winners, and Velazquez has had success with limited starters for these connections. #2 SWING AND SWAY went for more than 10 times the sire’s stud fee at auction. Dam has produced a number of winners already.
#7 Mini Megan 7-2
#8 Bree’s Got Heart 6-1
#5 Moondance 3-1
#2 Swing and Sway 4-1
Race 3 – Maiden Special Weight, 2 YO, 1 1/16 Miles (Mellon Turf)
#3 J.S. CHOICE was troubled in the debut, but has every right to improve with that experience behind him. #8 MAJESTIC TOM started from the far outside post in his debut, and can get in the mix with a better trip on the stretchout. #2 PANAMA PAPERS has two races under his belt, but defeated a runner last time out who returned with an effort that would stand up strongly in this heat. #5 DATA ROOM debuts for the top turf barn of Chad Brown, who has had an historic Saratoga meet.
#3 J.S. Choice 7-2
#8 Majestic Tom 6-1
#2 Panama Papers 3-1
#5 Data Room 9-2
Race 4 – Allowance, Fillies and Mares 3 YO & Up State-bred, 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
#5 WOODVILLE wasted no time breaking her maiden, doing so in impressive fashion early in this meet. A return to that effort fits well in this spot, but it is always a challenge facing winners for the first time. #3 SABRINA BALLERINA took a big step back in her first effort against winners, but if she can get back on track, can get in the mix today. #1 SING FOR BEAUTY should show early speed from the inside post. Exits the same heat as Sabrina Ballerina, but didn’t fade as badly.
#5 Woodville 8-5
#3 Sabrina Ballerina 9-2
#1 Sing For Beauty 3-1
Race 5 – Claiming, Fillies and Mares 3 YO & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Turf)
#1 MODERN LADY returns to the turf for the first time since June off the claim by Linda Rice. Was troubled at the quarter pole in that effort, and broke her maiden from the rail this spring. #4 DEGREES OF FREEDOM drops to claiming ranks for Chad Brown. Should be tough second off the layoff. #11 CANDIDA is another making her first start off the Rice claim, but this one gets go-to rider Jose Ortiz aboard. #5 SWEET ELLA got a feel for the course last time out, edging one of today’s rivals. Can be competitive in this spot with a repeat effort.
#1 Modern Lady 12-1
#4 Degrees of Freedom 5-2
#11 Candida 8-1
#5 Sweet Ella 7-2
Race 6 – Maiden Special Weight, Fillies 2 YO, 1 1/16 Miles (Mellon Turf)
#4 STARR BEAR defeated two next-out winners in her debut. Also makes the switch to turf while stretching out. #9 NEW MONEY HONEY is the second daughter of Medaglia d’Oro in this field. Debuts for the sizzling Chad Brown. #11 MY SWEET STELLA draws in for D. Wayne Lukas. Soundly defeated first time on the turf, but turned out to be a loaded field. Could show speed from the outside. #7 LA CORONEL stretches way out while getting on the turf. Switches to Geroux for this third career start.
#4 Starr Bear 9-2
#9 New Money Honey 7-2
#11 My Sweet Stella 8-1
#7 La Coronel 5-1
Race 7 – Claiming, 3 YO & Up, 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
#4 VANDALIZE came off the year-plus layoff to score in a maiden claiming spot for Pletcher downstate this spring. Faces winners for the first time, but in two career starts has posted Beyer figures the rest of the field has been unable to approach. #10 ROMAN REVIVAL should be able to work out a steady stalking trip from this outside post. Irad Ortiz remains aboard. #1 HOUSE OF FRIENDS drops to this bottom level while switching back to the main track for the first time since his debut. #3 TEXT ME drops down the ladder. Speed figures are light, but owns plenty of excuses, and may show a new dimension with a return to a dry track. Trainer Falcone has had success with limited starters this meet.
#4 Vandalize 8-5
#10 Roman Revival 7-2
#1 House of Friends 10-1
#3 Text Me 30-1
Race 8 – Allowance Optional Claiming, 3 YO & Up State-bred, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Turf)
#3 UNCLE SIGH may be saddled with a case of seconditis, but he has run well in four starts on the lawn, and you figure he has to break through at some point. Second off the layoff for Mott, a 21% move. #5 HURRY UP ALAN has had his fair share of trouble, but this hot claim item has run consistent figures that fit well in this field. #8 DREAM DOCTOR projects to sit just off the early pace and make first run on the closers. Could offer some value on the board. #11 MAKE A DECISION enters a state-bred affair for the first time since last fall, a race where he ended up in the winner’s circle. Projects to sit just off the early pace from this outside position.
#3 Uncle Sigh 7-2
#5 Hurry Up Alan 12-1
#8 Dream Doctor 8-1
#11 Make a Decision 3-1
Race 9 – Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap, 3 YO & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Mellon Turf)
#8 JAY GATSBY just missed in a restricted spot last time out. In career form and enters this second off the layoff. Reunited with Castellano for this graded stakes try. #1 TAKE THE STAND tries an easier spot after running in the Arlington Million off the layoff. Mott hits at 21% second off the layoff and Prado is in to ride. #2 RING WEEKEND has returned from the long layoff with a pair of strong efforts. Troubled here in the Fourstardave, and must be taken seriously. #5 TAKEOVER TARGET may be at his best with some give in the ground, but is no slouch on a firm turf. Returns to the guidance of Jose Ortiz, who rode him to a win in the Hill Prince downstate last fall.
#8 Jay Gatsby 9-2
#1 Take the Stand (ARG) 5-1
#2 Ring Weekend 5-2
#5 Takeover Target 3-1
Race 10 – Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, 2 YO, 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
#6 CLASSIC EMPIRE was much improved when getting over a dry surface in his second career start, winning the Bashford Manor at Churchill earlier this summer. Started from the rail in both starts, so the move outside could even help him further. #4 BITUMEN impressed in both career starts, taking the Sanford on opening weekend, a local leadup to this event. Has been working forwardly in preparation for this. #5 ROYAL COPY has improved in each start for D. Wayne Lukas, but faces winners for the first time. Must improve along the Beyer scale again to get in the mix for the top spot. #2 PRACTICAL JOKE won his debut by open lengths. Brown is not known for his dirt runners in graded stakes, but this one could change the narrative.
#6 Classic Empire 5-2
#4 Bitumen 2-1
#5 Royal Copy 8-1
#2 Practical Joke 3-1
Race 11 – Maiden Special Weight, Fillies and Mares 3 YO & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Turf)
#7 MY KINDA DEVIL was caught behind a sluggish pace last time out. The Clement barn has heated up in the final stages of the meet, and this one handled a next-out winner in her last race. #5 ABOVE THE MARK has improved in every start, and benefitted from the addition of Lasix in latest. Top turf jockey aboard. #2 BLENHEIM PALACE takes to the turf for the first time. This daughter of Medaglia d’Oro should be able to handle the surface switch as she makes her fourth career start for McGaughey. #12 MA CAN DO IT remains a maiden, despite hitting the board in multiple graded stakes. Returns to the turf for the first time since last fall where she wasn’t disgraced. Interesting if the form carries over surfaces.
#7 My Kinda Devil 5-1
#5 Above the Mark 6-1
#2 Blenheim Palace 10-1
#12 Ma Can Do It 15-1
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