Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Day 17 of the Saratoga meet is today, and there’s a ten-race card to commemorate the occasion. The feature is the Quick Call Stakes, named after the great sprinter of the late 1980s.
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!
The third Wednesday of the Saratoga meet has arrived, and we have another fantastic card to take a swing at. Today’s slate is highlighted by the $100k Quick Call Stakes for 3-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass, with 12 horses signed on. Nine other races round out the proceedings, so let’s dive back in and see if we can have another profitable hump-day.
Race 1: Claiming $14,000 N3L, 3yo & Up – 1 & 1/8 Miles, Dirt
#6 – Kenyan – taking a swing right out of the gate today with this 6-1 gelding who always fires but never seems to find the wire first. He’s 6 for 9 ITM at this exact level in 2018, but did win his only try upstate (albeit in 2016) and shows enough consistency where today just might be the breakthrough at a square price.
#1 – Sumner – takes a huge class drop here coming out of a stakes at Parx that proved to be very tough with the next-out results. He gets Saez back in the irons, which was the case for the two wins at Gulfstream this winter, and should be ready to run for a tag today.
#4 – Fillet of Sole – Servis and Irad hit at a 34% clip, and 2nd off the 45-day layoff has been a profitable trainer angle here as well. The recent form has been shaky at best, but I won’t over-think this and assume the connections will get this one up for a piece.
Race 2: Maiden $40,000 F&M 3yo & Up – 5 ½ Furlongs, Turf
#5 – Truly Courageous – sports two bullets since the very game show effort last out, and figures to be comfortable on or near the lead today. Lezcano should be able to avoid a speed duel with the two outside horses (8 & 9), and with anything close to the 8-1 ML we’ll certainly take a shot here.
#2 – Fiveinthemorning – appears to have found the proper level and distance last time out, where she rallied very nicely to come up just short. Should sit a nice trip saving ground and have just enough pace in front of her to take another crack in the lane.
#3 – Ailish – been a bit of a disappointment through three career races, but tries the cutback today and gets Castellano for the first time. The works have been solid since the last outing at Belmont where she did rally late between horses to show at least some finishing kick.
Race 3: Claiming $25,000 N2L, F&M 3yo & Up – 6 Furlongs, Dirt
#2 – She’sakittykat – goes up against winners for the fourth time today, with the three previous tries all very respectable. Works have been solid, 4-7 ITM at the distance, picks up Bravo and figures to be a little closer to the pace before pouncing in the lane. My pick to graduate from the condition today.
#4 – Beautiful Buzz – early speed should show today, and I don’t see much other than my third selection (see below) being able to fire and set the pace considering the post positions. The last two have been speed-and-fade jobs so I don’t think she’ll hang on for the win, but the class drop should be what she needs to have a chance.
#1 – Tiffany’s Vision – The inside draw and the penchant for early zip should put her firmly into the race, and while there is some speed on the outside, this one seems to be trending upward based on the speed figures and I like 12-1 to see if she can hold on for a piece.
Race 4: Claiming $62,500 3yo – 1 & 1/8 Miles, Turf
#2 – Factor This – looks like one of the few speed horses in here dropping back down from stakes company after winning at this level downstate on 5/31. Should set the pace and take them right around, and I’m not sure there’s enough speed in here to set it up for anyone else on the win end.
#8 – Zap Daddy – gets some class relief here and picks up Jose Ortiz for the first time since the spring. In both the maiden win and the last effort at Belmont he was able to stay a bit closer to the pace, and he’ll need to do the same here today to have a chance.
#5 – Glass Bridge – The Monmouth shipper for Kelly Breen has been working well on the Jersey shore, and shows enough early kick to probably be right next to the 2 heading into the turn. Not a great first-turf record for this barn over 22 starts, but at 15-1 in a field that lacks speed, we’ll trust a great trainer to have this one ready to fire in the spa debut.
Race 5: MSW $75,000, 2yo – 1 & 1/16 Miles, Turf
#10 – Doups Point – in races with many first-time starters I’m always drawn to horses that have one under their belt already. This Clement colt ran an OK race on 6/30 downstate over 6f on the lawn, and has worked well since. Should relish the stretch-out today, and after you throw in the 22% clip for this barn with second-time maiden starters and 23% going sprint to route, this appears to be the top selection for me.
#1 – Crazy Life – “Chad Brown and Javier Castellano on the Saratoga turf with a first-timer getting the inside post when it’s produced 25% winners over routes at the current meet.” Isn’t that what people say all the time? Well, maybe not exactly that but it sounds great and I’ll use this one to round out the exacta.
#5 – Impazible Odds – Works have been consistent since the end of June, and Tom Morley has connected with BIG prices debuting at a mile or longer. The 12-1 ML should stay true, so let’s get him up to complete the trifecta.
Race 6: OC $40,000 N2X, F&M 3yo & Up – 6 Furlongs, Dirt
#4 – Baby Boss – gets back to a winning distance and picks up Jose Ortiz. The last two were on turf, willing to overlook considering the back-class on dirt. Tons of speed in here, so maybe she can be rated ever so slightly and have enough kick in the lane. 3-4 ITM on a fast track, so let’s hope the rain stays away.
#2 – Sandy Belle – Another one who can dismiss the turf outing, hoping that the Saratoga dirt can deliver her a 2nd win in as many tries. Santana is riding as well as anyone in the game right now, and there’s enough early speed to clear the 1 and get that inside position.
#3 – Lady Bergen – Servis always seems to get these horses to fire off the layoff, and hits at 31% overall in sprints. That alone will keep her in the tri for me.
Race 7: ALW $50,000 3yo & Up – 1 Mile, Turf
#9 – Fuel the Bern – hasn’t posted anything but solid results since the winter, going 5-5 ITM since March. Stalking type gets Irad back in a field with a lot of zip, should get a trip and be set-up for a rally with one of the best closing riders in the sport aboard.
#10 – Blurred Line – the second Danny Gargan runner in here will get a very similar trip and pace-setup as the 9, assuming she can be reigned in earlier than she was last out. Blinkers are coming off today, so I think we can expect Carmouche to rate her and try to swing down the middle of the track late.
#5 – Flyoff – feels like the class of the speed horses, but the jump in class might prove to be too much considering the early pressure she’ll likely face.
Race 8: ALW $77,000 N1X 3yo & Up – 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt
#1 – JJ’s Dreaming – found his stride at this distance downstate over the spring, and despite the short layoff the works have been sharp and this one looks very live.
#2 – Speke – as chalky as an exacta can get, but these two just look like the class in here. The 7/21 bullet is promising, and both he and the 1 should get a rabbit to chase in the 5. Two-horse stretch duel.
#6 – Danny California – strictly a show horse in this field, but I think the 5 might tire late drastically enough that this one picks up the pieces. Good workouts locally with a few races in the back-class that show him rallying past faders.
Race 9: $100,000 Quick Call Stakes, 3yo – 5 ½ Furlongs, Turf
#10 – Stolen Pistol – goes for three in a row today and should get the set-up to have a chance late. Clearly this one wants to sprint on turf, with a huge drop-off when doing anything but. Today’s distance hits him right between the eyes, and the Joe Sharp barn is on fire as of late. Stalk and pounce!
#7 – Dirty – 2 for 2 at the distance, jumps up into stakes company for the first time today. Sharp workouts for a horse that has tons of early zip, but can also rate if asked. The versatility will be needed today with all the front-runners signed on.
#2 – Majestic Dunhill – another versatile one in a field full of salty runners, this one comes in off two wins at Monmouth and looks live based on the recent Saratoga works. Look for a pace collapse and Bravo will be rolling late.
Race 10: Maiden $25,000 3yo & Up – 6 ½ Furlongs, Dirt
#12 – Wild Colonial Boy – two rough breaks in his only two starts ended all hopes of a win, but he did finish with some kick in both. Has to break well from the outside post and hope to clear most of these, but the two recent BULLETS and adding blinkers makes him the one to beat for me.
#10 – Theresa’s Boy – gets back to his preferred distance (2 for 2 ITM), works look OK and gets an aggressive rider that should at least get him into the race.
#8 – Giant Boo Boo – first off the claim for Englehart and shows some nice works at Belmont. The layoff figures for this barn are solid as well (25% 31-60 days), and picking up Jose Ortiz never hurts.
Top Picks (8/8) – Race 3 – #2 – She’sakittykat
Race 5 – #10 – Doups Point
Race 9 – #10 – Stolen Pistol
2018 Wednesday Top Selections (as of 8/1/18)
- Week 1 (7/25) – 10: 3-3-3, 20% ROI ($20 wagered, $24 returned)
- Week 2 (8/1) – 10: 2-2-3, 22% ROI ($20 wagered, $24.40 returned)
- Total: 20: 5-5-6, 21% ROI ($40 wagered, $48.40 returned)
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