Saratoga August 31

Horses coming off the HORSES TO WATCH list have been winning at a high rate, some at big prices. Horses on the list running today include big longshot Lana’s Fortune amd Tennessee.

Race 1      7-3-6

Ready for Summer was claimed by Nevin last out and drops down today. Should be up front early. Sunrise Kitty is a specialist at the distance and has consistent figures. Ave’s Halo looks for two in a row at this level. Has a good record at SAR and the distance.

Race 2      5-6-1

Farraj goes first time for Pletcher. He’s a $1.6 million purchase by top sire Pulpit. Has been working steadily at SAR. Saratoga Wildcat was gelded since his last and takes the blinkers off today. Has shown speed in the past and the experience could be helpful. Street Jersey ran well at SAR in his first start of 2015. Should be improved today.

Race 3      2-3-6

First Service blew a field away first out at SAR and looks strong in this field. Myfourchix is well bred for the distance and is 3 for 3 in the money at SAR. Fits better at the NW1X level. Golden Gem comes off a short layoff for Violette. Works suggest she’s ready today.

Race 4      2-6-7

Tennessee comes off the horses to watch list. His vicotry in late July was very impressive and the works suggest he’s still in good condition. Juan and Bina was decent in graded races at GP and ran evenly in his first at SAR. Has the figures to compete with this group. Roll Tide Roll lost as the favorite when Waco blizted a field. Better chances today.

Race 5      2-7-9

Flipitcher goes for Chad Brown who is exceptional with dubuting turf fillies. Irad is still driving to the juckey title. On Leave has superior breeding for the turf and the distance. Works look good. Lady Carrington is the other Chad Brown runner. Gets Castellano to take the ride.

Race 6      2-1-8

Lana’s Fortune comes off the horses to watch list. She had a poor trip last out and with some better fortune could surprise the field at good odds. Fine Instincts should have most of the early speed and the cutback in distance should help. Takes the blinkers off and that should help relax her. Last race was on a track that wasn’t so kind to speed. Strong Incentive drops out of MSW for Chad Brown. Last on the dirt at a sprint distance was decent as a prep but moves back to the turf today. Should be ready.

Race 7      1-2-6

Rosaline has been competing with G1 types and drops into an OC$80K today and gets Castellano for the trip. Crisolles ran well first time in North America and should enjoy the added distance. Patsy’s Holiday has been racing well and her best this year was at this level.

Race 8      2-3-6

BarristerJim was claimed last out by Mike Maker. He showed good speed last out, has a win at SAR and is 2 of 3 at the distance. Will have to be caught. Looking Cool steps up a notch for DJ off a win at the distance last out. Has been with better in the past and should be at the top of his game. Tizmas is 1 for 1 at SAR and has a win and a second in two starts at the distance. Servis is 23% of the short freshening.

Race 9      7-1-8

Nucifera has been running in group races in France and makes his debut in NA for Graham Motion who is 27% with Euro shippers. Johnny V takes the mount. A Lot just missed in the Hall of Fame and should do well with the cutback in distance. Offering Plan sparkled in his 2015 debut and should be a major player here.

Race 10   2-11-1-6

Tiz Time To Shake took the lead in the stretch last out but couldn’t hold off the winner. Trainer is troublesome, but tops the field in terms of figure. Tempietto drops from MSW to claimers. Ran well despite a slow break and a wide trip last out at MTH. Banco Dinero had trouble at the start last out but before that was competitive with these. Another price dropper. Bubba’s d’Oro drops from MSW to claimers and is very interesting. His last two starts were full of trouble and I have a feeling if he gets out of the gate cleanly he has much better chances than the 10-1 ML would suggest.

Saratoga August 30

Race 1      1A-2-4

Bellamy Brew wired a field last out and moves up a step today. Will have to be caught. Petrocelli ran courageously last out, going to the lead and giving way grudgingly. Comes off the horses to watch list. May be compromised by the 1A, so if that one scratches, he moves up substantially. My Adonis was looking to close in the Bellamy Brew race and should like the added distance.

Race 2      1-9-7-2

Fourth of July did not get out well last time. Drops from MSW to MCL today. It’s a Given has improved substantially on the turf and and was right there all the way last out. Was claimed last out, although Carlos Martin has not won with a claim. Does have a couple of useful works. Moss Code has been getting better with each start and cuts back to a mile here. Last was better than looked. Verger goes for Chad Brown and moves from MSW to MCL. Had lots of trouble at the start last out and given his big purchase price better things are expected.

Race 3      1-5-3-2

Cleancut Kid ran well of a 2 1/2 month layoff and drops a bit in price. Johnny V stays for the trip and that is a positive. The Pulse puts the blinkers on and should be all the early speed. Will have to be caught. Groupthink was claimed last out by Danny Gargan. He’s cooled off a bit since the spring but is still showing a high win percentage. Wake Up in Malibu makes his 2015 SAR debut and he comes off two good starts at BEL.

Race 4      2-5-3

Vacation Spot ran a sharp race first time out and has an impressive work since. Looking for improvement in this spot. Baublette came from the inside last race and should appreciate the move toward the outside. Has a competitive number. Bird Sense has not run a bad one yet and is certainly as fast as anything in the race.

Race 5      6-2-1

Lady Shipman comes off the horses to watch list off a strong win in the Coronation Cup. She’s 7 wins in 9 starts and is clearly the figure leader. Free as a Bird finished second in the Caress last out. She’s 4 of 5 at the Spa and 9 of 10 first or second lifetime. Tahnee ships from Canada where she’s shown first rate early speed. Should be the pacesetter.

Race 6      7-1-6-9

Castor goes first time for Pletcher/Velasquez. Pletcher won’t give up the trainer crown without a fight so I’m expecting most of his horses to be competitive. Wembley goes for Kiaran McLaughlin who is 23% with first timers. Castellano in the saddle doesn’t hurt. Welcoming has a start for Clement. In that one she was bounced around a bit at the break and didn’t have her best chance. Workouts look good for the second start. Lady Devil goes for the other leading trainer contender, Chad Brown. Looked very good first time out and would be no surpise at all.

Race 7      9-4-1-7

Dissident came from the outside last out, didn’t get into the race, was bumped in the stretch, but closed decently. Has good prospects today. Eidmilaad goes first time for Brown/Castellano. Workouts suggest he is ready for the debut. Pinson goes for 20% first time trainer Mike Maker. Sharp work two weeks ago suggests he’s ready. Cumberland River goes for another top first time trainer, Kieran McLaughlin and is well bred for the turf and the distance.

Race 8      9-10-7-4

Sassicaia had a troubled trip last out but still managed a close third – moved up to second on the DQ of Juba. Have to believe he is likely to be stronger today. Blame Jim broke his maiden at SAR last year and has been filtering in and out of stakes company. Looked good against G3 runners in the Jersey Shore at MTH. Probably better at this level. Doubledown Again goes for the ice cold Michelle Nevin. She’s too good to get shut out for long. Ocean Knight was on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year, was rested after a bad Tampa Bay Derby and comes back in an easy spot.

Race 9      7-9-5

Honor the Kitten drops in price after running a good race last out. As fast as anything in the race. Scrumpdilicious should be one of the forwardly placed horses, and that has not been the preferred trip, but he looked good in his return to the turf. Have to give him a chance to control the race. Shock Leader was claimed by Nick Esler two back, was moved up to a longer distance but is back at his best distance today and drops back to the price he was taken. Very dangerous.

Race 10   11-1-7-10

Feathered has the top last race figure and is always a threat to wire the field. Shouldn’t have any trouble getting position from the outside. Chocolatier is back in top condition and is competitive off her best races. Flamingo Lane has a win and a place in three starts at SAR, and is 4 wins in 9 starts. Has been competitive in all her 2015 starts. Hope Cross is the other Chad Brown starter. Gets leading rider Irad Ortiz as she looks for two in a row.

Race 11   3-4-5-12

Jadam should prefer the cutback in distance. Fits the price as well. Tachiello has some top figures in his CD turf races, ran well off the turf last time and fist with this group. Daisy Cutter Improved when dropped to the $40K level. Still looking to duplicate her maiden run, but should compete well with this group. Quarla breaks from the outside and will have to work for position,  Should be one of the ones finishing strong.

Saratoga August 29

Just the numbers today. 13 races is a lot to handicap, and you can be sure I won’t be betting all of them. I wanted to beat the Pharaoh today, and I may bet against him, but you can be sure it won’t be much. I’ve been a Frosted fan all year and Texas Red has something to prove. Graveyard of Champions? We’ll see if today is that day.

Race 1      8-1-7

Race 2      8-9-4-2

Race 3      3-6-8-1

Race 4      2-9-10

Race 5      2-3-7-6

Race 6      6-4-5

Race 7      7-6-3

Race 8      7-3-2

Race 9      6-7-5-10

Race 10   2-4-1-6

Race 11   2-4-6-7

Race 12   1-7-2

Race 13   3-6-12-4

Saratoga August 28

Race 1      4-3-1

Manipulated broke his maiden in a stakes race in strong fashion. Looks like big things in his future. Sudden Surprise looks for his second victory after wiring a field on a sloppy racetrack. Pletcher/Velasquez always worth a second look. No Entiendo looked strong breaking his maiden and is getting better with every start.

Race 2      3-8-2

Sax Change ran well in his maiden race and is well bred for the distance. Bluff Harbor goes first time for George Weaver who is a good 16% with debut horses. Should handle the distance well. Forever in Love was a $210K spring purchase. Sire does well with first timers and turf horses and Jose Ortiz gets the mount.

Race 3      1-5-3

Temper Mint Patty broke her maiden first time out at SAR and followed that up with a stakes win at BEL. Smoked a field in the NY Oaks and looks in top shape for this run. Freudie Anne won one of the NY Stallion Stakes last out and looks to double up. Over 50% win record. Conquest Superstep smashed a field last out in a NW1X and has a competitive figure.

Race 4      1-7-2

Mascarello had trouble at the break last time, rushed up with the leaders, but faded in the stretch. With a better break he’s competitive with this bunch. Dettifoss ran big first time at SAR and will have to be coming at the end. Lead by Example was a $250K yearling purchase who looked good when they finally got them him to the track.

Race 5      4-2-7

She’s All Ready blew a field away last out and has a nice workout in prep for this one. Super Surprise was trying hard in her first start and it is a positive that Pletcher puts her in this spot instead of another maiden. Backwood Bay showed a good closing kick the last out and should be coming again today.

Race 6      6-5-7-8

Miss Kew missed her break last out but showed a good closing kick. Should relish the longer distance. Taken by Surprise goes first out for Pletcher/Castellano and they are strong as a pairing. Corinthian’s Joy should be the speed here and will be the one to catch. Sheyn Vi Di Levone is well bred for the turf and the distance and the works should have her ready.

Race 7      3-1-6

King Kreesa goes back with state breds after trying graded horses last out. Has a win over the SAR turf. Notacatbutallama fits well with this group. Last on the dirt is a throw out – much better runner on the turf. Lubash renews his rivalry with King Kreesa. All systems look go for today’s run.

Race 8      5-7-6

Stubbs goes first time for Graham Motion. Works look good and Motion is 18% with firsters. Storm Prophet goes for Hushion. Tale of the Cat progeny are usually precocious and the works look excellent. Leaveematthegate has one start where he raced wide but should be better prepared for this run.

Race 9      2-9-10-5

The Tea Cups comes off the horses to watch list. Big ask to move to a stakes off a NW1X, but the 12-1 ML is attractive. Discreet Marq is the class of the field and will be hard to keep out. Invading Humor has been running well with statebred horses. Last with open company not a bad effort, but should be better with this sort. Old Harbor enjoys SAR and should be better today at this distance.

Race 10   1-2-7

Good Luck Gus has a win at SAR and has been running consistent figures. Fits well with this group and is spectacularly bred for the distance. One Sided has not run a bad race yet, but this is a big move up. Improving three year olds are always dangerous. Force ships over from FL after a good win there. Gets a good turf rider in Lezcano.

Race 11   5-8-7 (3)

Ten Twenty closed well and took the lead at one point in the stretch last time out. Definitely took to the SAR turf and looking for improvement here. Touch of Paradise has found his right level and improved sustantially when placed on the turf. Expecting a top effort today. Elusive Talmo ran decently against MSW and drops to the MCL ranks today. Hushhushmushmush makes start number 19.  He’ll get bet as usual and has an excellent chance of finishing in the money – he’s already 5 of 6 in 2015. I just can’t bring myself to put horses like this in the win slot. Useful in the verticals.

Saratoga August 27

Race 2      6-2-1

Dunn Listening has shown speed with higher level horses and in 2014 was a winner in a state-bred stakes. She’s been struggling in 2015, but you can throw out the turf race and her last was a definite improvment. The price drop from open $25K to $16K NW2L is significant and may be enough to propel her home. Enduring Touch raced well at today’s price and distance last time out. Contender in this one. Samus was third in the same race the previous horse was in and given the weak field has a good chance to take this event.

Race 3      2-6-9

My Tommy Boy was competitive at the $40K level and actually ran well in a state-bred MSW last out. Only his fourth lifetime start and lots of room for improvement. Call Me Stoney jumps up a level but previously showed speed at the MSW level. Seems to be on the improve, and last out showed good interest after bobbling a bit at the start. Thank You is going into his 10th start and finally dropped down to MCL last out. Has been in the money in half his races and finished second last out despite having all sorts of trouble. Fits well in this group.

Race 4      1/1A-4-2

Cruzin On In was overmatched in the Niagara last out and in her maiden race was off 3-4 lengths slow, losing all chance. She broke well in the Niagara and was in the race for a half., and that is enough to make her a contender here. Women Win has four seconds in five lifetime starts and that makes her a contender here. Royalton ships from IND for Asmussen. She was a $200K yearling purchase by the highly productive Malibu Moon. Showed some speed first time out and gets a boost with Castellano in the saddle. Stone Supplier jumps up to MSW after closing well in her first start. Ambitious move but with some improvement she’s in the mix.

Race 5      3-6-7

Ogermeister drops substantially for DJ. His last race was his best in a while. Has two seconds in three starts on the turf and one second in one start at SAR. Last turf figure is the field best. Bow Tie Affair makes his second start in this spot, first as a gelding. Moves to the Patrick Reynolds barn and the workouts suggest he should be ready to roll. Malibu Charlie was impressive breaking his maiden at GP, but didn’t respond well with NW1X horses. He drops to the claiming ranks today and looks like the one to catch.

Race 6      1-5-4

Unbridled Ocean comes off a short layoff for Mott. Has the best last race figure and Johnny V returns as the rider – he guided him to his first victory of 2014 and was aboard for a 4th place finish in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf in 2014. Looks like a positive move. Plainview is by far the speed of the field. He’s 4 of 5 wins at SAR and 11 of 14 in the money at the distance. Has to be respected. Will the real Slim Shadey please stand up? Notice the last race had an entrant with the same name, different spelling. This Slim Shadey was closing well last out and may have more pace to run at today.

Race 7      2-8-5

Cool Comfort has kept some fancy company in the past, including a really nice run in the G3 Jessamine. She’s back on the turf after running well in an off the turf affair last time out. Is the fastest off her best. Pink Freud Live comes off her maiden win and drops into the claiming ranks for her first with winners. Likes the SAR tuf course. Encouraging to see Castellano stay aboard. No Tunes has a win at five furlongs and gets a switch today to ace turf rider Jose Lezcano.

Race 8      1-3-6-9

The Riskaverse is a very competitive affair, and it was hard to narrow the field down. I went with All In Fun in the top spot. She comes out of the Lake George where she could not close enough on a pretty slow pace. Should do well at the mile distance and figurewise she is as good as any in the race. Partisan Politics was just ahead of All In Fun in the Lake George and is another that should thrive at the mile. Chad Brown and Castellano are a solid 28% combo. Bugle has two seconds in two starts at the mile, and just missed in her one start at SAR. Lola Beaux was a Group 3 horse in Ireland but since arriving here has been with lesser animals. The two races here show some talent and today will be a major test, but at 15-1, I think she may make the verticals.

Race 9      2-1-7

Asset Inflation is one of the horses that should be up near the front and has won at SAR with that trip previously. Englehart is usually first rate with his claims, and it is of concern he failed to improve this one, but at his best he’s as fast as anything in the field. Glowing Ember has no races at the distance but does have good figures at longer distances. There is enough speed in the race to help him along. Decent just won at this distance at SAR and Kenneally is 20% doubling up. The price jump could be his undoing but he’s shown a lot of heart.

Race 10      9-1/1A- 7-4

The Fixer drops back a half furlong in distance after closing well in his SAR debut. Terranova and Cancel are hitting at 20%. The entry of A Marked Man and Dusk to Dawn has outs in this field. The former has been knocking around at the $40K level and finally drops to $25K. May be enough to propel him to the winner’s circle. Dusk to Dawn has shown good early speed and is another dropping to his lowest price ever. Has been able to hold his speed at times, and may succeed at this level. Proletariat puts the blinkers on for Bruce Brown who is having a terrible time getting his horses to the winner’s circle, but with a little better luck he could be one of the top trainers here. Improved substantially when dropped to this level and he is competitive today. Rich Dalone comes out as a first time gelding and that may help him ration his speed better. Workouts look good for the comeback.

Saratoga August 26

I spent quite a bit of time on this card. I guess we’ll see if it pays off. All selections are for a fast dirt and races on the turf and are before scratches.

Race 1      6-3-5

D’Princess drops way down for this start. She has plenty of speed but has been weak in the lane. She has a win over the SAR dirt and I’m expecting better today. Darling Bridezilla is 2 of 3 at the distance and ran well first time at SAR. Winning rider Franco returns for the trip. Colonel Juanita was on the turf last time, not her favored surface. She’ll be better at this distance on the dirt.

Race 2      5-9-7

Brinkley goes for Pletcher/Velasquez. The workouts look good and she should take well to the distance. Gem is by Elusive Quality who is superior with first time starters. She attracts Castellano for the trip. Outsider Art is definitely an outsider in this field, but I like the breeding and using Cancel tells me she’s likely to try to go to the front and attempt to not look back.

Race 3      9-2-1

Linkappleyard did nothing on the slop last out despite having good wet track breeding. May be up against it again from the outside, but Nevin is strong with second time starters. My Man Al showed speed first time out and not many of the others can say that. He gets a new trainer and Lasix and has some good works since his first start. Argyle Gal is one of the many dropping down from MSW. Ward is great with second time starters and the intervening workouts should have him in good condition.

Race 4      4-5-3

Limerick Lightning had no business on the turf last out, but returns to the dirt and drops way down. Last two dirt races are competitive with this bunch. Unlock the Glory is another that takes a substantial drop. He puts the blinkers on today, has by far the top early speed, and is competitive considering his maiden score. Who’s Z Daddy has two good races at SAR. By far the top last race figure and the odds will reflect it.

Race 5      8-9-3

Sandy’z Slew is 2 of 3 at the distance and at SAR. Last workout says ready to roll. Dowse’s Beach has a liking for both SAR and the distance and I like the pressing style. Boot Scootn Daddy only has three starts but he obviously has the speed and the stamina to compete with this group.

Race 6      6-3-2

Send It In looked good breaking his maiden on this track in a good time. Two in a row is definitely not out of the question. Tapitsphere seems to be improving with each start and should have no trouble with the distance. Asmussen has used Jose Ortiz effectively at the SAR meet. Total Joint was powerful breaking his maiden and was respectable in the Long Branch on the Jersey Shore.

Race 7      1/1A-8-9-11

Lucky Kitten fits well here and gets the services of Johnny V. A little bit of seconditis this year, but the figures say he’s good enough. Branded Hand closed for third at a NW1X level last out. A little bit of trouble cracking the winner’s circle but he looks competitive. Escapist comes off my horses to watch list. He goes from NW3 to open claimers and he is the one horse Bruce Brown has gotten to win. Like the 12-1 ML. Depeche Chat is a veteran win type who is about 30% lifetime. Another with competitive figures. Laythatpistoldown ships over from AP and attracts Jose Ortiz. Decent shot here.

Race 8      3-2-4

Wavell Avenue easily won his last race at this distance and class level. Broke a little slow in his last start at SAR but considering it was a restricted stakes, it was a respectable run. Milam has been knocking heads with G3 runners and has a number of in the money finishes. Has run well fresh in the past and picks up Castellano for this trip. Sweet Whiskey goes for Pletcher/Velasquez. Has a win last out at SAR. Was G1 quality last year and may be rounding into that condition again.

Race 9      1-3-4

Global Strike won last out at an eighth of a mile shorter. Should be pressing again. Morning Calm was up early in the Bowling Green. Is a long distance specialist. Holiday Star has won a G3 on grass and is another distance specialist.

Race 10   3-11-4-7

Arana did not care for the sloppy track last out but prior to that fit well at MSW and $50K claiming levels. A little concerned Kimmel couldn’t do better than Chris DeCarlo but figures well at the distance. Pointe Class has the best last race figure. Seems to have a preference for the turf. Break Away closed well at a mile at SAR and was much more comfortable at the $40K MCL level. Cape Ann only has one start at GP and goes for George Weaver who is 23% with MCL runners. Plenty of room for improvement especially at 15-1 ML.

Saratoga August 24

Great way to kick off Travers week – the worst card of the season. Have to wait and see if something interesting pops up.

Race 1      6-1-4

Frosty Margarita looked good first time out in July at BEL, losing to the talented Wonderment. Don’t like that the workout tab stops July 29. Not a bet at the ML odds, but the field is not stellar. Legend of Lorelei broke slow last out but still managed to pass horses in the stretch. Has an eye-catching workout. Lady’s First certainly has the breeding to beat the field, although her maiden voyage looked like a bit of a struggle. Gets a chance to improve today.

Race 2      1-6-7

Great Attack is a veteran at the distance and has a win and a second in three starts at SAR. Comes off a win at the price and distance. Thomas Hill has consistent figures  and should be coming at the end. Mish Mosh is 6 of 9 in the money at the distance and 2 of 4 at SAR. Should be a speed factor.

Race 3      5-1-6

Regent’s House ran a bang-up race first time out in 2015 and with a little improvement should lead the field to the wire. Two Taps broke his maiden in good fashion this spring at SA and continued in good fashion with a good second at a mile at BEL after stumbling at the start and having some trouble during the race. If she’s in good shape she’s a definite danger. Paris Bikini has been in over her head but hasn’t been embarrassed completely in those races. Has the connections to be a threat.

Race 4      8-3-4

Shotgun Love takes the blinkers off and gets a switch to Alvarado. Has been a little faint hearted in the stretch but should finally catch a fast track and that should make a difference. Glare Ice only has two starts at IND but showed good speed in both before fading. Good series of works up to this race and Asmussen engages Jose Ortiz for the trip. Little Mary Ellen has been at this level a while but gets Johnny V for the trip. Better chances today.

Race 5      6-4-1

This is a competitive field for six horses. Elements of Harmony was an easy winner for these connections in July at BEL. Doesn’t have the credentials of some of this field but at 10-1 it’s worth looking to see how good she might be, Dating Lady Luck has a second over this turf course and should be a handful in the stretch. Was good enough to merit a start with G1 horses but is far better placed today. Tapitry nearly ran down the winner in an $80K OC two weeks ago. Regular rider Johnny V opts to go elsewhere here so that may be of concern, but I like the continuous improvement.

Race 6      1-8-4

All Rise comes off a race where jockey Lezcano lost his whip but he still finished decently. Gets Lasix today. Securitiz got caught in a paceless race and never was able to get to the winner, but did manage to almost catch the place horse. He was wide throughout, and the outside post today may make it tough again. Captain Tim almost went to his knees at the start, was very wide around the turn and didn’t really get into the race.  His penultimate race was a good second at BEL. Has a legitimate shot here.

Race 7      8-5-7

Three for Me figures much better at the mile than the short sprint. Should be part of the scrum up front. Readtheprospectus has been competitive in state-bred stakes and has won 50% of his races. Is also 1 of 2 on the turf so no reason to expect he won’t take to the lawn. Wildniteattheopera looked like a new horse first time on the turf and with any improvement should be a factor in this race.

Race 8      3-1-5

Catch My Drift is coming off a short rest for Chad Brown. She broke her maiden at first asking so the layoff should be of concern. Is graded stakes placed and her last race figure looks positive. Tiz So Sweet dominated a OC$62 field first time out in 2015 and should be well poised here for a top effort. Samantha Nicole has a second at SAR and has been in good condition in 2015. Gets Johnny V for the trip.

Race 9      2-3-10

Hope’s Roar improved a lot when trying the SAR turf for the first time and may have the biggest potential for improvement. Cosmic Tale improved when dropped to the MCL level, although she looked a little dull in the stretch last out. Looks the best on paper but I’d avoid overrating him. Weekend Hottie was claimed two back and the new trainer is trying blinkers. Another ambiguous play in this race.

Saratoga August 23

Selections are for a fast track and races on the turf. All selections today are pre-scratch.

Today’s card is frustrating for me. The horses that look most likely to win are all fairly obvious and low odds on the ML. Lots of races look like a combination of haves and have nots. This often means some head scratcher of a horse will win a race or two. Most likely a light play day for me unless the crowd makes some obvious mistakes. I’ll be looking for spots.

Race 1      6-2-3

Race 2      2-8-7

Race 3      6-3-2

Race 4      3-5-2

Race 5      1/1A-3-4

Race 6      7-5-2

Race 7      4-7-6

Race 8      1-3-9-8

Race 9      4-3-7

Race 10   1-3-7

Race 11   1-6-5

Saratoga August 22

Just the numbers today. Excellent betting day from my vantage point.

Race 1      4-2-3

Race 2      9-1-7

Race 3      8-5-7

Race 4      8-3-9

Race 5      6-5-1

Race 6      5-7-10

Race 7      9-1-2

Race 8      2-1-3-5

Race 9      2-3-9

Race 10   2-3-6

Race 11   4-11-10-7

Saratoga August 21

As far as I can tell, 60 minutes before post NYRA has not posted scratches, but they did say races 2, 4, and 5 were off the turf.  All races below were selected for a fast track and firm turf. Take them for what they are worth.

Race 1      3-2-1

Lots of horses looking for win number 2 and most of them have had multiple chances. Surfspun has not run a bad race in two years and is making a big price drop off the layoff. Some concern about seconditis. Call Daddy is another one that took a lot of starts to break his maiden. Perhaps the claim by Jeff Englehart ups his stock. Stoney Surprise broke his maiden at first asking. He’s been gelded since that start and that may make him a larger danger.

Race 2      3-4-6

Right On Kitten has been running in minor stakes in the midwest and drops way down to the claiming ranks today. That should be enough for her to get pointed in the right direction. Tachiello was grabbed by Gary Gullo last out and gets Castellano to ride. Figures say she’s competitive. Arctic Ocean didn’t take that well to the slop last out and her best races have been on the turf.  Should relish the mile distance.

Race 3      6-2-1

Another Incident has been racing at this distance against this level of better and off his best should handle the field. Pangburn moves to the Anthony Dutrow barn. He’s been keeping graded company and takes the blinkers off today. Connections are very high on him and are looking for bigger things down the road. Dangerous on the class angle. Fresh Feline won last out in the SAR mud. Might be more turf than dirt but has a third on the fast dirt.

Race 4      9-5-2

Madison Blues comes off the horses to watch list. Perhaps the extra eighth will not be to her liking, but she ran a good one on this track 7/29. Is really the main speed. Love the switch to Jose Ortiz. Fourstar Crook goes for Chad Brown/Castellano off a useful start at SAR in the same race as the previous horse. I suppose the connections make her the favorite. Sweet Advance goes for the tough Pletcher/Velasquez combo. Filly was up against it throughout the last race and still managed to only be four lengths out at the end.

Race 5      4-1-3

Disco Partner broke slowly in the Quick Call but closed furiously to get a piece of the purse. Should be more comfortable breaking from the middle. Asset Inflation has had consistently good figures for two years and on talent only figures heavily. Saratoga Dreamer looked good in her last race and has tons of room for improvement.

Race 6      3-4-7

Smart Alex should be the one to catch and is well bred for the distance. Hard to say how she’ll handle the SAR dirt but speed is dangerous. Regina Marina ran well at the distance on the SAR slop. Another one who has a lot of space to improve. Carrumba has run well in both starts for McGaughey and the works say she’s on edge.

Race 7      8-10-4

Banana Thief puts the blinkers on after a good effort last out. Has been a much improved horse on the turf in 2015. Dark Roast was the leader in that same August 1 race as the previous horse. Set some hot fractions and almost made it to the end. Black Tide has a win and a show on the turf at much higher levels than his last couple of races on the dirt. Gotta like the ability to press and close at the sprint distances.

Race 8      4-6-2

Monster Mash drops slightly after a win at $50K. Should relish the distance and has the figures to win. Scatter Joy is 7 for 17 lifetime and looks like all the speed in the race. Will have to be caught. Seve ships over from CD for Dale Romans. Looks well meant for the price level and distance.

Race 9      5-1-7

I grew up one city east of Schenectady and I love that SAR gives the surrounding places their own races. Don’t Be So Salty won fairly comfortably at first asking and looks to have the best figure of any of the starters. Too Discreet won at first asking for Clement in a decent time. Should be a factor today. Laxfield Road is almost certain to be scratched considering she ran two days ago and Ward has Bruised Orange to go. That one won her maiden smartly at KEE and was good enough to make it to Royal Ascot. Should be competitive here.

Race 10   7-9-4-5

Choir Director had nothing but trouble in his last start but the first start was a smashing effort. At 10-1 ML he’s the longshot pick of the day. Imslopokerodriguez ran well for RuRod in his maiden effort at CD. That race included four next out winners and this one may make it five. Farraj was a $1.6 million purchase which is reason enough to include him in this mix. Pletcher seals the deal. Marking has been long learning his lessons but once McLaughlin enters a horse that usually signals ready. Can’t ignore.