Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, August 20, 2017
We’re approaching the home stretch (GET IT) of the Saratoga meet! Ten races, with plenty of big fields, comprise the Sunday card, headlined by the Summer Colony Stakes.
We’ve got me, managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff) providing FREE picks & analysis of every race! Be sure to give John a follow on twitter, and be on the lookout for his Laurel Park analysis every Saturday of the fall meet!
Race 1: Claiming $16,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
1- Caniform: Churchill Downs invader figures to save ground off the leaders, and make a big move on the turn. Finished a fast-closing third last out, comes in here first off the claim for Asmussen, gets a big jockey upgrade to Irad Ortiz.
9- Lightning Buzz: Battled for the lead on the outside, and held on to finish a solid second in his last race, with an impressive brisnet figure of 88. Looks to show speed once again from the outside, and hopes to not get involved in another pace tussle.
6- Straightaway May: Steps down from the open claiming level and makes his third start off the layoff. Lost a tough stretch duel last out, and turned in a strong four-furlong workout back on Thursday.
Race 2: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Grass)
9- Kantune: Possesses a gigantic figure edge over the rest of this field. He was severely pace-compromised behind a very loose leader last out, but nevertheless finished a respectable 4th. Casse started off the meet slowly, but is starting to get back on track.
8- Rapt: Was caught wide throughout last out and wound up fourth. Figures have steadily been in the mid-80s. The key for Franco will be to save as much ground as he can.
7- Air Vice Marshal: Made a bold sweep from the back of the pack and got up for second last out. Finished fourth in the 2000 Guineas Stakes as a three-year-old; obviously faces much easier here.
Race 3: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 3/16 Miles (Grass)
9- Equalityforall: Stretches out in distance by almost three furlongs here. Ran respectably well going seven furlongs last out. Jockey Jose Lezcano has had a lot of success on the grass this meet; trainer Linda Rice is 4-for-11 with horses getting blinkers for the first time.
1- Magical Sky: Closed from thirteen lengths out of it to finish third last out. Sheds Leparoux in favor of Luis Saez. Extra distance should favor this closer.
6- Complicit: Brown and Irad Ortiz is always a dangerous combo on the grass. Made a respectable rally last out to finish second; will be coming from the back of the pack.
Race 4: Claiming $14,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1- Noneedtoflatterme: Endured a rough trip while wide on a speed duel last out, but re-rallied to win by 1 1/4 lengths, with an excellent figure of 91. Clearly the one to beat if he runs back to his previous races.
2- Pirellone: Consistently runs in the mid-80s, showed only mild kick against similar last out. Strong exotics candidate, not so much with win unless the price is right.
3- Chubby Master: Mid-80s figures keep him competitive, and he should save a lot more ground than last time. Only catch is he’s already lost several in a row at this level: never a good sign.
Race 5: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Grass)
1- Fools Gold: Sire Medaglia d’Oro is 14% with horses first time on the grass, the dam was stakes-placed over the lawn, Chad Brown training is icing on the cake. Sold for $425,000 as a two-year-old.
10- Wealth Effect: The “Other Brown” can’t be disregarded. Looks like a poor man’s version of Fools Gold on paper, but could be a better price than her stablemate.
3- Layla Noor: Trainer Arnaud Delacour hits at 23% with horses getting Lasix for the first time, and is 30% with first-timers on the lawn. The dam was a stakes winner over grass.
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 6 Furlongs
10- Purrfect Miss: Was wide throughout and missed by a length last out at 53/1 on debut. Winner Southampton Way came back to run well in the Adirondack Stakes. This one’s turned in two good workouts since the debut.
4- Lezendary: She’s been working very well at Saratoga and Belmont getting ready for this race. Draws a decent post for a trainer that hits at a sharp 16% with first-timers.
6- Gemini: Another good worker who I’ve had my eye on for a while. Brian Lynch and Jose Ortiz team up for a 67% win rate. Filly bred to go longer, so they may be looking at the big picture.
Race 7: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, NY-bred, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
1- Wicked Macho: The grass debut was a great one last out; he closed from far behind to lose by a nose. If he repeats that race, he’ll win.
10- New York’s Finest: Rice and Lezcano have already teamed up to win a few times this meet. Takes a step up in class after wiring a field of n/w2L claimers last out.
9- Gehrig: The speed figures are competitive, but he’s lost several in a row at this level.
Race 8: Claiming $35,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 Mile (Inner Grass)
2- Winner’s Dream: In her only grass race, she finished third at Laurel, with a sharp figure of 85. The two horses who finished ahead of her came back to win their next races. Workouts have been blistering since then. Horacio DePaz has already sent out a few winners from Maryland at this meet.
8- Lillie’s Answer: Parx shipper has lost two in a row at odds-on (including a race off a two-day layoff). She’s run in the 80s in all but one of her last seven races, and picks up Jose Ortiz for her return to the New York circuit.
3- Ready for Summer: Stretches out beyond 5 1/2 furlongs for the first time; has a closing kick that could be a big asset going long.
Race 9: Summer Colony Stakes, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/8 Miles
5- Blue Prize: James Graham comes in from Kentucky for this mount. She gets blinkers on, and ran a solid 98 when finishing second against allowance company last out.
2- Going for Broke: Gamely lost to Carina Mia in the Shine Again Stakes last out, losing by a just a neck. Ran third in the Comely Stakes back in November, and was the runner-up to Songbird in last year’s Alabama.
3- Fuhriously Kissed: Will almost certainly be coming from last place. The big question is if Leparouz will leave her with too much to do. Ran impressively last out in victory, but seems to do better on off tracks.
Race 10: Claiming $40,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
3- Helluva Choice: Was last seen at Fair Grounds back in March, finished fifth against better while running a solid figure of 80. Earned an 85 two races back when breaking his maiden with a great stalking trip.
6- Outrageous Bet: Raced wide throughout versus similar last out, and wound up with a figure of 81. Drops down in class, and worked three furlongs in a sharp 36 seconds on Thursday.
4- Stormin Maclean: Rice and Jose Ortiz hit at 22% when they team up. Improved his figure by seven points when running second last out. Rice is 27% first off the claim.
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