Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Trip Notes 9/5/17

Saratoga and Del Mar have both concluded their annual summer meets, but there’s plenty to take away from last week’s action. We’ll go over a pair of races from last Wednesday and another couple from Saturday here. Hopefully we’ll catch these horses at nice prices wherever they run next!
Wednesday
Saratoga Race 3: #1 STREET HEAT
STREET HEAT hesitated at the start before dropping to the back for this 1 1/8-mile journey. Luis Saez would keep his mount at the tail-end of the field before circling the pack three-wide on the turn and taking the four-path into the stretch.
STREET HEAT got enough pace to work with (46.64 half-mile) but his rally petered out around the eighth-pole and he ultimately settled for third. STREET HEAT was a winner at Belmont three-back and will likely benefit from the return to one-turn routes.
Saratoga Race 9: #8 UNTAMED DOMAIN, #11 SEABHAC
This was the Grade II With Anticipation Stakes for two-year-olds on turf.
UNTAMED DOMAIN was slow to get going, losing at least a length from the gate. He was two-wide on the first turn and stayed there about halfway on the far turn before Jose Ortiz took UNTAMED DOMAIN to the five-path. From there UNTAMED DOMAIN made what looked like a winning move, but he could only manage third. The unfortunate start and ground loss contributed greatly to his defeat.
SEABHAC got a passive ride from John Velazquez that cost him any shot of winning the With Anticipation. SEABHAC was two-wide on the first turn, an achievement considering he broke from post 11, but from there Velazquez was content to let horses like #7 MACHTREE box him in. When #5 FORT WISE TREATY threw it into reverse on the far turn, SEABHAC was forced to check sharply. SEABHAC found clear sailing once into the stretch but was left with far too much to do, and he wound up placing fourth. 
Look for both UNTAMED DOMAIN and SEABHAC to resurface at Belmont for the Pilgrim Stakes, a possible stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Saturday
Saratoga Race 5: #1 LUNAIRE
LUNAIRE was regarded as a fringe player at 11-1 in a full allowance field, but he might have been best.
LUNAIRE was allowed to lope along toward the back after a mediocre start under Joel Rosario. LUNAIRE was able to save ground at the rail until the top of the stretch neared, but he was completely boxed in as the field straightened away. Rosario attempted to angle out but there was nowhere to go. LUNAIRE was able to split rivals inside the final furlong before ducking back toward the rail, where he put in a bold rally to get second behind #5 LET’S GET LOUD, who got away in deep stretch.
If LUNAIRE is able to stretch his legs in the lane next time out, he’ll be a handful.
Del Mar Race 9: #10 INSTA ERMA
INSTA ERMA seemed to be in over her head in the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes, but she did very well to get fourth despite significant trouble on the far turn.
INSTA ERMA had a fairly uneventful voyage until the quarter-pole, where she steadied off heels attempting to swing out wide for the stretch drive. INSTA ERMA kicked it into high gear with one furlong to go, picking off several rivals to get into the superfecta. It will be interesting to see how she’ll fare if placed in another stakes race, perhaps against fewer rivals than she encountered here.

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