Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Another great Sunday of action is on the schedule at Saratoga! 11 races are planned for today, including two stakes: the Troy Handicap for turf sprinters, and the Alydar Stakes for dirt routers.
We’ve got me, managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff) providing FREE picks & analysis of all the racing! Good luck to everyone playing along.
Race 1: Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, 7 Furlongs
5- Lucky Lotto- Ran very well to defeat similar last out. Has very good closing speed, but that may be a liability on a track that has been favoring speed. The goal will be to stay closer to the pace.
1A- Sir Bond- Appears the stronger half of the Rudy entry. He was hung very wide in his last race against $32,000 horses, is drawn wide again but is at least facing easier competition today. Ran brisnet figures of 96 and 95 two and three back, respectively.
6- Are We Not Men- He’s run in the 90s in his last four races, and has sharp early speed. Gets a jockey upgrade to Jose Ortiz. Only serious downside is a sharp drop in class after being claimed by Jacobson for $40,000.
Race 2: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
2- Escapade- She ran a fast-closing second in her debut, with a solid figure of 81. Todd Pletcher’s 27% with horses going a route of ground for the first time.
6- Emmport- $90,000 yearling purchase makes debut for Brad Cox, who has been struggling at the meet, but is 24% with horses making their debut over the lawn.
5- Golden Orb- He’s still a young sire, but Orb has shown promise as a producer of grass runners. She’s worked on the grass twice, and picks up Irad Ortiz for the debut.
Race 3: Alydar Stakes, 4yo and up, 1 1/8 Miles
4- Conquest Windycity- Figures to stalk the pace from the inside, and may very well go to the lead in what looks like a paceless affair. Won an allowance race while on the lead at Keeneland earlier in the year, running a big figure of 102.
6- Rally Cry- Takes a big drop in class after finishing a non-threatening sixth in the Met Mile. Prior to that, he had destroyed an allowance group, earning a massive figure of 106. He’s another one who is a threat to go to the lead.
2- Red Rifle- He’s primarily a grass horse, but was entered as a MTO in the Lure Stakes yesterday, and as such opts for this spot. Finished second in the Mountainview Handicap at Penn National last year, in his most recent dirt outing.
Race 4: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, NY-bred, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
5- Appealing Briefs- In his first start off the layoff, he made a bold rally from behind, and ran a sharp second with a figure of 83. Figures to launch another rally today, and hopes to avoid traffic.
7- Hoboe- Rallied four-wide to finish just behind Appealing Briefs last out, while that rival saved ground. Gets blinkers on for the first on and picks up Jose Ortiz. If he’s able to save ground, very dangerous.
1A- Silky Way- Showed promise as a two-year-old, including a narrow miss against NY-bred maidens back in November at Aqueduct. He’s had a string of good workouts getting ready for the comeback. Trainer Bill Mott is a solid 17% with horses off a long layoff.
Race 5: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, NY-bred, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
4- Sister Sophia- Makes her first start since October. Ran two figures of 87 against this level last year, including one race where she had to make a seven-wide move on the turn. Gets a jockey switch to Castellano.
1- Startwithsilver- Battled for the lead from the outside in her last race, and held on for a respectable third. Linda Rice is 25% at the meet so far, including several scores on the grass. Only major cause for concern is two losses in a row as the favorite at this level.
2- Cozzy Spring- Tries the grass for the first time after some very impressive scores on dirt. If she can carry her form over, the race is for place.
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 5 1/2 Furlongs
9- Mockery- McLaughlin’s having a torrid meet, with 31% winners, and sends out a filly with a sharp worktab. Most recently went four furlongs from the gate in a solid 49.1 seconds.
4- Honey Graeme- Violette is a sneaky good first-time trainer, hitting at a 27% rate with his debuters. This filly has had ten workouts before today, and should be ready to fire 100% at first asking.
1- Tied Up- May need a race with a notable lack of workouts, but Asmussen finally got off the training schnied, so he might be able to send this filly out to run a solid one.
Race 7: Claiming $40,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
1- Diamond Jim: Moves back to the dirt after a dismal grass effort. Has early speed from the inside, which is a major asset over this surface.
9- Bar None: He’s never run worse than an 81 in four dirt races, and finished a respectable fifth behind Coal Front in his recent try over the main track. Casse has been struggling at Saratoga, though.
7- Holding Aces: He’ll be another one showing speed from the outside. Ships in from Delaware Park after pulling up in his last race. He had run in the 80s over his last six races prior to that, and hopes to bounce back.
Race 8: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, NY-bred, 1 Mile (Grass)
3- Ode to the Hunt: Makes his first grass start of 2017. She’s hit the board in four out of his last five races over the lawn, and ran a career-high of 94 back in the fall. She’s got good late pace figures, and figures to show a strong kick.
1- Storm Prophet: Stalked the pace wide and missed by a neck last out, with a great figure of 88. Her inside post will enable her to save ground, giving her a big advantage.
5- Yummy Bear: Steps up in class after a score against $40,000 n/w2L company, with a respectable 82. She’s run in the 80s in her last four races, and hasn’t been worse than two lengths beaten recently.
Race 9: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
8- Luz Mimi: In a race full of early speed, she figures to stalk the pace, and will take full advantage of a pace meltdown, if one ensues.
4- Royal Inheritance: She’s won three out of four races lifetime, including an impressive victory after dueling versus NY-bred allowance horses last out. The key will be able to hang in there after getting more high-class pressure.
1- Tasteful: Another filly who will benefit from a major speed duel. She closed from eleven lengths out of it to break her maiden at Keeneland back in April, and has been working well at Saratoga for a week.
Race 10: Troy Handicap, 3yo and up, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
4- Green Mask: Comes off a victory in the Highlander Stakes at Woodbine, earning a figure of 98. Ran consecutive triple-digit figures in the races prior to that. You won’t get good value, but he’s a foundation for a pick 4/pick 5 play.
1- Undrfated: Was forced wide in the Jaipur Stakes last out, and ran an ineffective sixth. His figures have been consistently in the mid-90s, which will be good enough for the exotics, at least.
3- Pure Sensation: Parx invader won their big grass sprint going away last out. Two races ago, he hung in there and finished fourth in the Jaipur after setting blazing fractions.
Race 11: Claiming $40,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
12- Escape Velocity: Takes a big drop down in class from allowance company. Brown is 31% with horses second off the layoff, and even better with horses dropping in class.
13- Snag: Ran a big figure of 99 three races ago in the Pan American Stakes as a big longshot. Finished 2 1/2 beaten, with a figure of 85, last out at this level.
1- Otto: Gets a jockey upgrade to Ricardo Santana, finished a respectable third last out, outrunning Snag, with a figure of a sharp 86. Looks to tuck in and stalk the pace.
Early Pick 4
Race 2: 2 5 6
Race 3: 4 6
Race 4: 5 7
Race 5: 1 4
Late Pick 4
Race 8: 1 3
Race 9: 1 4 8
Race 10: 4
Race 11: 1 2 12 13
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