Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
It’s a new month at Saratoga, and we’ll begin August with a 10-race card. The headliner is the Shine Again Stakes, for older female sprinters. The first race will go at 1:00 PM EDT.
We’re happy to have Mike Collins (@cottycollins21) providing picks & analysis of all the action. You’ll find Mike’s analysis of Saratoga every Wednesday!
Good luck to everyone playing along! Take it away, Mike!
Welcome to August at Saratoga! Our second Wednesday of the meet will feature 10 races, highlighted in race 8 by the $100k Shine Again Stakes. Looks like another salty card, and with rain once again threatening the proceedings we’ll be keying in on the mudders of the world. Let’s keep rolling along and add to last week’s profits!
Race 1: Allowance $65,000 N2L, 4yo & Up- 2 & 1/16 miles (Turf Hurdles)
#5 Dark Gemini – always fires over the jumps and steps up in class for the elite Jack Fisher stable. Should be close enough to the pack to use that late kick and power home at a nice price.
#6 Whitman’s Poetry – looks like an ex-Jack-ta box for us as we love Fisher’s chances to keep the favorite’s ITM streak alive. Will be close to the early pace and a definite player at the top of the lane.
#2 Boss Man – this is an intriguing horse running over the hurdles for only the third time, winning at the MSW level last time out in Charlotte. We see this one on the lead for the majority and like him to hold on for a piece.
Off-Turf Selections – None
Race 2: Claiming $16,000 N2L, F&M 3yo & Up – 1 & 1/8 Miles, Dirt
#3 Giant Ending – the Bruce Levine filly finished nicely despite being 4-wide into the lane last time out at Belmont, and is versatile enough to sit off a pace and rally late while adding the extra furlong. Barn hits at 19% 2Off45-180, and sports two solid works since the last start. 3 for 6 ITM over a wet track is a huge plus as well.
#7 Heaven’s Creation – Bruce Brown wins at a 23% clip with first-off the claim horses, and this one looks live enough to add to that record. Drops in class and looks for her fourth straight ITM finish, and despite the fact that she does her best work over a fast surface the recent figures suggests she’ll be involved early and often here.
#4 Lady Vicki – Danny Gargan is bringing this one back in five days (!!!) after a very impressive 6.5 furlong maiden score over a sloppy Saratoga surface. Stretching out on such short rest makes me think the barn has oodles of confidence against this bunch, and she’s likely getting another wet track. Must-use.
Race 3: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 3yo & Up – 5 ½ Furlongs, Turf
#10 Brockmoninoff – dropping down to the maiden ranks for the first time, with trainer George Weaver hitting at 26% on such moves. The debut race came over a sloppy track at Saratoga last summer, an impressive 2nd beaten just a half length. Should be the pacesetter in this field assuming a clean break from the outside, and we like him to wire this bunch rain or shine.
#2 Ghost Giant – probably found the ideal surface in the turf debut last out at Belmont, keeps the services of Jose Ortiz and drew an inside position. Should sit close to the pace and be a huge factor saving ground on the turn.
#9 – Ferrad’s Party – ran very well at this level in June down at Belmont, losing by just a head while rallying 5-wide late in the 6-furlong event. The slight cutback should suit the running-style, with Joel Rosario sitting off #10 down the backstretch early.
Off-Turf Selections – 10-14-15
Race 4: Claiming $35,000 N3L, 3yo & Up – 1 & 1/16 Miles, Turf
#6 Terrible Day – makes a ton of sense in here with the 5 for 6 lifetime exacta record, sporting a win and a place in two wet track starts as well. Has enough early kick to get into a stalking position, and adds the white-hot Santana for the first time. Trainer Tom Amoss hits at a staggering 32% first time off the claim, and the 7/9 bullet is very encouraging.
#7 Glennrichment – fully expect this one to pop out of the gate and not look back, considering the lack of speed to his inside. Had three straight flops prior to the place finish in the last, needs that early kick to come back this afternoon for a chance at the score.
#5 Acoustic – the late runner likes to come from way off the pace, so I’m not sure this is a win candidate. Always seems to give a good account of himself and is 4 for 4 ITM over a wet surface. Irad should have him running late for a piece,.
Off-Turf Selections – 6-5-13
Race 5: MSW $85,000, F&M 3yo & Up – 6 Furlongs, Dirt
#9 Smile More – Horacio DePaz hits at 34% with his first time runners, and this filly has been consistently working towards her debut since June. Jose Ortiz aboard and we think it will only take one race to break the maiden.
#10 Our Circle of Love – just missed in both career starts for Michelle Nevin, and the 7/25 drill is very encouraging. Draws outside and has shown solid gate speed, might be able to clear early and take the fight to everyone before the turn.
#8 Irish Princess – Brad Cox is off to a great start at the meet and has this filly primed for a solid debut. He connects on 21% of his first timers, and a dirt sprint at this level hits right between the eyes. The Bernadini connection is tough to overlook as well. 6-1 feels very juicy if it stays there.
Race 6: MSW $75,000, 2yo Fillies– 5 ½ Furlongs, Turf
#9 Jaded Lady – couldn’t ask for much more in the debut at Finger Lakes, on the wet track nonetheless. Engelhart does well with 2yo sprinters and picks up one of the craftiest riders the game with Luis Saez. She should be able to settle in early today and have a little bit more left in the lane.
#3 Corey Scores – one of the top jockey-trainer combos in the game shows up here with a very sharp-looking filly making her first start. The workouts have been solid, Brown and Irad hit at 28% together, and this lady could make quick work of the field if allowed to be loose on the lead.
#8 Sassy Agnes – another first-time starter with bullet works, this Linda Rice trainee will have the services of Manny Franco to guide the maiden voyage. That jockey-trainer combo connects at 23%, and a clean break might be the only thing stopping her from a huge debut.
Off-Turf Selections – 9-3-7
Race 7: ALW $77,000 N1X, 3yo & Up – 1 Mile, Turf
#6 Saratoga Colonel – the winter freshening seemed to be just what he needed, as the first race back broke the maiden and was quickly followed up with a game place performance last month in a Belmont allowance event. Has enough early zip to set the pace, but also looks versatile enough to rate and make one run late.
#12 Follow the Signs – speed horse, plain and simple. Irad rides for the Steve Asmussen barn, who is simply rolling thus far upstate. Broke his maiden at 9 furlongs, would expect a quick break then a stalking trip behind #3.
#7 Appealing Briefs – 10 for 14 lifetime ITM, 2 for 2 ITM over the Saratoga lawn with a wet track show finish on the resume as well. Jorge Abreu hits on 22% first off the claim, and the stalking style will fit very nicely in this bunch. Must-use underneath.
Off-Turf Selections – same as above.
Race 8: $100K Shine Again Stakes, F&M 4yo & Up – 7 furlongs, Dirt
#5 Cairenn – 11 for 12 lifetime ITM for the Motion barn, 2 for 2 ITM over a wet track. The 7F might not be the ideal distance, but there’s enough speed signed on in here where she’ll get the perfect stalking trip and pounce in the lane.
#8 Your Love – draws outside which should benefit the stalking style, as the 6 and 7 inside of her will likely go early. 3 for 3 ITM over a wet surface, and anything that Chad Brown trots out are usually live. Another perfect pace set-up should get her rolling late.
#7 Heavenly Score – shows enough early zip to sit just off the speed demons to her inside (4 and 6), and we fully expect to see another solid stalking trip on the turn for home.
Race 9: OC $40k N2X, 3yo & Up – 5 ½ Furlongs, Turf
#12 Whatstotalkabout – draws outside in a speed-heavy bunch, will likely relish the chance to close in late for a barn that hits at 24% 2OffOver180 and 36% in turf sprints. Servis and Irad combine for a 34% win rate, and this one appears to be trending upwards at the moment.
#4 Frisky Magician – drops back into the OC ranks after two graded stakes, the first of which was a nice closing effort to finish a game 5th. The softer field and the aforementioned pace setup should have this one rolling late as well.
#9 Dowse’s Beach – first off the claim for Joe Sharp, who hits at 18% in such situations. The last two works have been absolute bullets, and the speed should be enough to carry him into the turn on the lead. Saez always gives a good account of himself on horses like this, and it wouldn’t shock me if he went all the way here.
Off-Turf Selections – 12-4-1
Race 10: Claiming $16,000 N2L, 3yo & Up – 6 Furlongs, Dirt
#6 Bronze Age – stayed eligible for N2L after the DQ at Prairie Meadows back in June, should get an ideal pace set-up for his stalking style. Santana gets the mount, which so far at this meet is reason enough to make a win wager.
#7 Smash Williams –solid early speed figures for the Pletcher barn, who hits at 26% in all sprint attempts. Could potentially grab the lead in here, where the 2 for 2 ITM on wet tracks could prove to be too much.
#9 Flatexcel – will show enough early speed to get near the front, and 6F is the likely ideal distance for a crack at wiring this group. I think he’ll be lingering as the wire approaches.
Best Bets– Race 3, #10 Brockmoninoff & Race 7, #6 Saratoga Colonel
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