No Saratoga Picks July 31

I’ll be at Monmouth covering the Haskell. The weather this morning was rainy and it is supposed to rain on and off all day, heavy at times in some areas. Doug O’Neill concedes that he’d rather have a fast track, but he is confident that Nyquist will be able to handle the Monmouth surface. O’Neill likened it to the wet dirt at Santa Anita, and he said Nyquist does well on that sort of wet dirt surface. I was actually on the track yesterday and it definitely had the feel of the beach right next to the water, sort of a hard sand. In any case, the word from the O’Neill camp is that Nyquist could hardly be doing better, and I can attest he looked the absolute peak of health yesterday morning. He was lean, beautifully muscled and was moving very well. He’s staying at the Kelly Breen barn rather than the stakes barn because O’Neill believes the horse is more comfortable in surroundings with other horses, just like his home barn. You can expect Nyquist to shoot out of the one post and not let American Freedom try to steal the  race. My advice – take a long look at the Jim Dandy yesterday when Laoban, a maiden, beat a pretty talented group of horses by lulling them into tracking just a little too long. Do I think Nyquist is the winner? Well, I’ll be rooting for him, but the rest of the field – Sunny Ridge, Awesome Slew, Gun Runner, American Freedom and Exaggerator has a lot of talent. Given a sloppy track I don’t think I’d bet the rent on any horse.

One interesting aside. I understand Keith Desormeaux didn’t make the trip to NJ, and may not have been totally happy with Exaggerator’s last couple of works. He’s a talented horse, loves the slop, but might not be at his peak. For that reason I’m thinking about a Nyquist-Sunny Ridge exacta. Jason Servis is doing well lately, and the horse has a ton of talent based on his competitiveness in Graded races.

Best of luck to all playing today.

Saratoga July 30

Race 1

  • 6  Impressive Edge  3-1

  • 3  El Talento  7/2

  • 8  Ancient Warfare  4-1

Impressive Edge is the interesting horse here. He went off as the odds on choice last out on a sloppy CD track and flopped, although he was wide most of the way.  His breeding seems a little better than average for the turf and he is well bred for the distance. Asmussen is a solid 25% with 2nd time maidens. Deserves a second chance to show that he is worth $400K. El Talento goes for the always dangerous Pletcher/Velasquez combo. Pletcher isn’t nearly as proficient first time on the turf, but the horse is well bred for the turf and the distance. Ancient Warfare goes for the good trainer Mark Casse who is 14% with his debut runners. Excellent workout pattern.

Race 2

  • 1A  Heaven’s Runaway  2-1

  • 5  Cerro  5/2

  • 6  Sam Sparkle 4-1

The entry had two strong horses entered, and while Heaven’s Runawaylooked more likely on the turf, he does have some successful dirt starts and I trust that DJ left the more likely winner in the race. Cerro scratched Thursday for this spot. In his last he was taken by high percentage trainer Jorge Navarro and is actually dropped for this run. Very dangerous. Sam Sparkle hasn’t won in a while but is usually somewhere close at the finish.

Race 3

  • 1   Kahramani  2-1

  • 6  Reckling  3-1

  • 3 Tale of Silence  4-1

Kahramani fits Pletcher’s strength, a maiden 2-YO sprint. Nice steady workout pattern with no gaps since May. Reckling went for nearly 10 times his stud fee. Ricardo Santana has been riding very well at the meet. Tale of Silence is well bred for this sprint and Barklay Tagg is a sneaky 18% with first timers.

Race 4

  • 2  Maniacal

  • 5  It’s All Relevant

  • 6  Uncle Vinny

Maniacal’s last got a monster number and he’s had an impressive bullet work since then. He’s got most of the early foot and although this is his first try with stakes runners he has a tremendous upside. It’s All Relevant was well enough thought of to start in the G2 Risen Star, and the switch to Johnny V should be very positive, especially considering he was aboard for his maiden victory. Uncle Vinny takes the blinkers off today. Has a win (via DQ) and a third in two graded stakes at SAR. Could be a surprise at a price.

Race 5

  • 4  Deeply Undervalued

  • 6  Uncle Gio

  • 7  Caldera

Deeply Undervalued has a fairly deep closing style, but Chad Brown has him headed in the right direction and Irad Ortiz can’t hurt. A second at the distance. Uncle Gio has been in the vicinity in his last two, and is going second off a three month layoff. He didn’t move up much in the stretch last out, but he didn’t fade either. I like his chances at 10-1 ML. Caldera has a few more starts than I normally like to see in a MSW, but he seems a good prospect to hit the board.

Race 6

  • 8  Esther the Queen  3-1

  • 3  Somerset Sandy  7/2

  • 1  Empress Jingu  4-1

Esther the Queen puts the blinkers back on after a race without them and drops back a half furlong. Hasn’t run badly at Saratoga in the past and has good tactical speed. Somerset Sandy was somewhat up against it last out and nearly won her in her debut race on this course last year. I like the potential at the odds. Empress Jingu looked good in her first with winners. Doesn’t have a turf start, but should be a part of the pace picture. Downside – regular pilot Castellano goes to the 10

Race 7

  • 2  Flintshire  3/5

  • 5  Grand Tito  5-1

  • 4  Can’thelpbelieving  8-1

Flintshire is by far the best horse in the race. Period. It’s hard to imagine something that would keep him from winning.

Race 8

  • 1  Captain Moss  7/2

  • 5  Ray’s the Bar  4-1

  • 7  Hunter O’Riley 5-1

I’m not exactly sure why Captain Moss is 10-1 ML . His figures are competitive, and while he hasn’t yet negotiated the distance, it looks like the farther he goes the better he’ll like it. Plus he looks like the lone front, which can be a big advantage in a longer race. Ray’s the Bar is the Chad Brown trainee and should negotiate the distance. His last two races are better than looked. Hunter O’Riley comes out of the same race as the second choice. He seems to be better on the turf than the dirt and has the look of a horse than can run all day.

Race 9

  • 1  Anchor Down  5/2

  • 3  Delta Bluesman  3-1

  • 5  Holy Boss  4-1

Anchor Down comes out of the Met Mile where no horse was going to beat Frosted. Before that he won the G2 Westchester and has a win and a third at the sprint distance. Delta Bluesman comes out of a G2 sprint at GP and has a four race win streak going for high percentage trainer Jorge Navarro. Big ask for him today, but he’s at the top of his game. Holy Boss ran well in the G2 True North, and puts the blinkers on today.

Race 10

  • 4  Destin  2-1

  • 5  Governor Malibu  5/2

  • 1  Creator  3-1

In the Jim Dandy I like Destin to get his revenge against Creator.  I’m hoping Castellano doesn’t engage in a blow your brains out duel with Laoban, grabs the lead turning for home and keeps the closer’s safe. Creator may benefit if there is a wild pace duel. Governor Malibu is certainly a quality horse, although he might be a hair behind Destin.

Race 11

  • 10  Double Dose  3-1

  • 2  Antebellum  4-1

  • 3  Rain in Spain  5-1

Double Dose has a lot of work to do from the outside post. He stretches out today and adds blinkers. He seems to have benefitted from the move to MCL. Antebellum has been knocking at this level a while and looks to have reasonable prospects. Rain in Spain actually won at this level but was DQ’d. He came back and had a troubled start, compromising his chances. He’s better than 20-1.

Saratoga July 29

Travel day for me. I’m on my way to the Haskell at Monmouth so just an abbreviated set of picks today.

Race 1. Mesojet is 8-1 ML and isn’t likely to get bet much below that with Noble and True in the race. A few positives on the horse. First, he drops from MSW to claimers for this race. Second, you can pitch his last race since he never broke or got into it. Prior to that he had a closing second on a sloppy track at Pimlico that gave him a competitive figure. Third, he gets Jose Ortiz as the pilot and that is a big positive.

Race 2. Sneaky Fudge Face is 10-1 ML. She’s dropping from MSW to the claiming ranks after showing speed at seven furlongs downstate. She should enjoy the cutback in distance.

Race5. Three to Thirteen makes a few changes today. He puts blinkers on  and has been gelded since his last. He picks up Irad for the mount.

Race 1

  • 4  Mesojet  3-1

  • 7  Noble and True  3-1

  • 9  Glennevan  5-1

Race 2

  • 4  Sneaky Fudge Face  7/2

  • 6  Tough Temper  4-1

  • 5  Maybry’s Con  9/2

  • 1  Champagne Therapy  5-1

Race 3

  • 7  Half Irish  5-2

  • 8  Grey Stark  3-1

  • 6  Penjade  7-2

Race 4

  • 6  Routabout  3-1

  • 2  Singleton  7/2

  • 5  Huntington Drive  4-1

  • 4  One More Round  4-1

Race 5

  • 10  Three to Thirteen  7/2

  • 1  Speightful Kitten  4-1

  • 9  Jo’s Bold Cat  5-1

Race 6

  • 4  Miss Amalita  7/2

  • 10  Natalie Victoria  7/2

  • 6  Zeven  4-1

  • 7  Sun and Moon 4-1

Race 7

  • 9  Cause for Surprise  3-1

  • 4  Grassady  7-2

  • 8  Bluegrass Prevails  4-1

  • 1  Saratoga Giro  5-1

Race 8

  • 5  Daring Duchess  5/2

  • 3  Royal Temptress  4-1

  • 10  Sunset Knoll  5-1

Race 9

  • 1  Connect  7/5

  • 4  Gift Box 9/5

  • 3  Ready Dancer  5-1

Race 10

  • 2  Gunlock  7/2

  • 1  American Road  4-1

  • 11  Strong  9/2

  • 10  It’s a Given  5-1


Saratoga July 28

Race 1

  • 4  Zubi Zubi Zu  2-1

  • 7  Bargaining Table  3-1

  • 5  Moon Medal  3-1

  • 1  Comet Sixty Two  4-1

Zubi Zubi Zu comes off a win at CD at the OC$60K level. Has a liking for the distance and tops the field with her last race figure. Bargaining Table has a second on the SAR turf and is coming off two good second place finishes. Seems to be able to spring them together. Moon Medal ships in from the Midwest for Mike Maker. This race lacks obvious speed, and since she’s been sprinting she may be part of the early pace which gives her much better outs today. Comet Sixty Two has a close up third at SAR and is coming off a win for $25K at BEL.

Race 2

  • 3  Not So Quiet Man  7/2

  • 6  House of Friends  4-1

  • 4  Irish Hope  4-1

  • 7  Colonel Andy  5-1

Not So Quiet Man comes off a good 5 1/2F race at MTH  at the MSW level. He looked good last time he was in with $40K state-breds but is one of a number of horses with a figure that can win. Tepid choice. House of Friends made a nice improvement when dropped to this level and the turf last time. Will probably go favorite and with some improvement could be a winner. Irish Hope was another that improved when dropped into this level. Seems to have taken to the turf sprint. Colonel Andy has a similar look to the horses mentioned above – improvement when dropped in price and moved to the turf. Frankly, this race could not have a surprise winner.

Race 3

  • 8  Benevolence  2-1

  • 9  Samadi Sky  5/2

  • 3  Only You  4-1

Benvolence ran well enough to win last out and has a field topping figure. Deserving favorite. Samadi Sky also ran well in his second start and has a figure just a little behind the top choice. Still, improvement is always a possibility with young horses. Only You nearly won at the mile distance on the dirt last out, but showed enough on the turf in his first start to get consideration.

Race 4

  • 4  Flash Trading  5/2

  • 6  Scout Leader  5/2

  • 3  Shadow Rider  7/2

Flash Trading ships in for the always worth considering Albert Stall. His last work was sharp and Stall is 37% with his new charges. Scout Leader is the likely favorite. In his last five races he hasn’t been worse than second, but he is unlikely to be value. Shadow Rider won impressively at a lower price last out and was grabbed by Contessa. Prior to that he was competitive at this level and should be at his best today.

Race 5

  • 6  Song for the Soul  7/2

  • 9  Hampton’s Holiday  4-1

  • 2  Giant Rocks  9/2

Song for the Soul showed a lot of speed last out, but may be up against it going against the boys today. Still, the angle should produce decent odds. Hampton’s Holiday goes for RuRod who has done well with his first timers. Giant Rocks goes third time for Mike Maker. This is probably a make or break start.

Race 6

  • 5  Verger  7/2

  • 3  St. Louie  4-1

  • 1/1A  Liberal Spin/Completely Bonkers  5-1

This race is wide open with no horse really sticking out. Verger didn’t get the easiest trip last out and still managed to turn in a decent race. St. Louie won last out and was snagged by Mike Maker. He’s jumping up in price but has the figures to compete. The Gary Contessa entry looks competitive in here with Liberal Spin having the best last race figure.

Race 7

  • 5  Proven Commodity  2-1

  • 3  Nubin Ridge  4-1

  • 8  Cerro  9/2

  • 1A  Fabulous Kid  5-1

Proven Commodity is one of the speed horses in a race full of speed horses. He looked good in his first out of 2016 and seems to have a lot of space for improvement. Nubin Ridge comes out of a a G3 sprint and takes a drop in price today. Not a high win percentage, but he’s with the right group today. Cerro has the highest recent figure and was claimed last out by high percentage trainer Jorge Navarro. Seems to have conquered some physical issues and has been looking  better in 2016. Fabulous Kid has had a good prep schedule for this and should be at the top of his game.

Race 8

  • 6  Swear by It  7/2

  • 4  Havana Moon  4-1

  • 1  Guilty Twelve  5-1

  • 8  Give Us A Reason  5-1

Swear By It puts the blinkers on and gets a jockey change to Carmouche. His two 2016 starts have been good, and he’s at a level that may get him to the winner’s circle. Havana Moon didn’t make an impact in the G2 New York but he seems to have adapted well to North America and I believe he’ll show well today. Guilty Twelve came from Europe to break his maiden at PID, ran well in his first race with winners and looks to take a big step forward today. Give Us A Reason has looked good since moving from the hurdles to the flat and looks competitive in this race.

Race 9

  • 3  Ostrolenka  7/2

  • 8  Drama King  4-1

  • 5  Weekend Hideaway  5-1

Ostrolenka finally broke through at the OC$20K at MTH last out and looks to string two in a row. Javier Castellano gets aboard and two in a row is within reach. Drama King has regularly been with state bred stakes horses this year and should be coming well in the stretch. Weekend Hideaway is riding a two race winning streak and other than the G3 Mr. Prospector has been consistently competitive.

Race 10

  • 1/1A  Papa’s Missile  3-1

  • 10  Reckless Humor  7/2

  • 9  Spun Copper  4-1

  • 6  Ragazza Piu’ Bella  5-1

The tenth is your typical low level, NW2L claimer, meaning about anything can happen. The Gary Sciacca entry looks toughest here, but Reckless Humor and Spun Copper both have positives to recommend.

Saratoga July 27

Race 2

  • 6  Massena  3-1

  • 8  Sebonack  7/2

  • 5  Saratoga Charlie  4-1

Very tough day at the Spa. In the second race the favorite Massena looks to have the best figures of the horses with a start. He showed improved speed at the mile distance last out before fading and drops back to six and a half today. Sebonack makes his 2016 debut for Mike Maker who is 21% off the long layoff. He’s been gelded over the winter, and drops to the MCL ranks. Saratoga Charlie should be the one to catch.

Race 3

  • 5  Conscience  3-1

  • 3  To the Victor  4-1

  • 2  Swivel  9/2

Conscience has been knocking at the door and drops in claiming price to gain the win. Should be the front runner and the one to catch. To the Victor drops well down in price. Definitely needed his last.

Race 4

  • 6  Going for Broke  8/5

  • 2  Jules N Rome  5/2

  • 5  Rachel’s Temper  7/2

Going for Broke was an impressive winner last out and looks to have the dominant figure against this field. Jules N Rome did not seem to relish the BEL mud last out but prior to that he was a strong winner at this price. Jose Ortiz takes the mount. Rachel’s Temper flopped on the turf last out but clearly favors a fast dirt.

Race 5

  • 1  Littlefirefighter  3-1

  • 4  Love and Lemons  3-1

  • 5  Alkenetta  4-1

  • 9  Conquest Bad Girl  9/2

I’m favoring the first timers in here. Littlefirefighter goes for Linda Rice who is decent with first time two year olds. Workout pattern brief but useful. Love and Lemons is by good turf sire Lemondrop Kid. Not a lot of info on trainer Troy Wismer, but I really like the workout pattern. I think he will be the value play. Alkenetta is sent out by the always dangerous combo of Pletcher and Veleasquez. Conquest Bad Girl had a troubled trip last time out and could be the winner with a clean run.

Race 6

  • 2  Chase Motto  5/2

  • 5  Theatric  5/2

  • 4  Blenheim Prince  7/2

This pretty much looks like a formful affair. Blenheim Prince may be as good as his ML odds, but I’m not convinced. I’ll look more at the top two.

Race 7

  • 1  Asset Inflation  3-1

  • 11  Wicked Freud  4-1

  • 9  Polar Axis  5-1

Asset inflation looks best here, especially after the scratch of Captain Gaughen. Has a win at the distance and at SAR. Wicked Freud has been competitive at this level. Polar Axis just finished in front of the top choice and has shown some liking for the distance and SAR.

Race 8

  • 2  Disco Chick  5/2

  • 1  Paulassilverlining  5/2

  • 4  Haveyougoneaway  7/2

While Paulassilverlining looks stong in this spot, I’m going to give the not to Disco Chick. She just missed in a stakes at DEL and she’s shown herself to be a consistent at high levels.

Race 9

  • 6  Spectacular Me  7/2

  • 3  Tent City  4-1

  • 4  Justa Lady  5-1

With the scratch of Rumble Doll this race became wide open. Spectacular Me is a horse that likes to win and seems especially adept at the turf sprint. Tent City is running through her conditions and has yet to be beaten. Jason Servis hasn’t missed being in the money yet this season. Justa Lady should be the best speed and with the scratches has a much better chance.

Race 10 

  • 6  Tambourin  3-1

  • 8  Sly Tom  4-1

  • 5  Mambo At the Gym  4-1

  • 9  Irish Cat  5-1

This race is wide open. Tambourin may have suffered the so-called Euro Bounce last out, although he was jumping up some in price. He’s back at a better level today. Sly Tom has been steady at this price. Mambo At the Gym is another with ability to finish in the money. Irish Cat may be the most interesting of the group. If you toss out his last race on the yielding turf, and his race on the inner dirt, his figure fits this field. If he throws in his sharpest race, he’s competitive.

Horses to Watch Saratoga 2016

July 22

Clifton Pleasure came from well off the pace to win the first race. Yakov set the pace and Jet Black tracked him, taking the lead entering the stretch. In the second race Bliss to You came from well back to win by four. Ribbon its sprinted out to the lead and was courageous in the stretch holding off all but the winner. In the third Roll Tide Roll was close up early, sprinted away in the stretch and had just enough left to hold off Chipit. The latter was just behind the leaders but could not catch the winner. In the fourth Sentiero Italia had a dream trip along the rail pressing about two lengths behind the leader early, moved to a clear lane for the stretch run and won without offering his best. In the fifth massive longshot Scarlet Goddess led the field out of the gate and got run down by Annie Rocks, losing by a slim margin. In the sixth Bowie wired the field in fair time. In the seventh Takrees closed stoutly in the stretch to run down True Romance. The latter had a clear lead in the stretch and faltered badly late. In the eighth the race totally broke down with Sweet Loretta coming from well back to score by four and Fun coming from about the same spot to nab the place. In the ninth, Ancient Secret pressed behind the leaders, took the lead on the outside and held the field safe. Elysea’s World came from well off the pace to nail the place. In the 10th, Market Strength came from off the pace, struggled to get by come around but in the end jumped by him. Come Around was flanked on the leader down the backstretch, took the lead into the turn, looked like a winner but hung late.

Horses to Watch

  • Jet Black
  • Ribbonite
  • Scarlett Goddess

July 23

In the opener Money Changer and Afleet Martini ran 1-2 all the way around the track, with Money Changer drawing away smartly at the end. In the second, Master Merion went right to the front, hung tough down the stretch but could not outkick the winner. Conquest Sure Shot had a dream trip on the rail found a lane in the stretch and motored by the place horse. Keynesian was bounced all over the place at the start, ultimately shuffling to last but showing some interest in the stretch. In the third, Zartera, Random Walk and Bay Numbers went into a wicked pace duel, leaving the race open for a closing Bitumen. Random Walk held the best of the speed horses. In the fourth, the favorite Come As You Are was well back on the backstretch while Condominium and Black Doblin dueled up front, engaged in a stirring stretch battle with Onlytheshadowknows and prevailed late. In the fifth, Big Rock was three lengths behind early, but closed down the lane and just prevailed over Lord of Love. Cort held the lead to mid stretch but couldn’t repel the two closer’s, losing by a length. In the sixth, One Liner and Royal Copy pressed the pace behind Forge with One Liner pulling away at the end. In the seventh, Ascend pressed the pace and closed well in the stretch. Slim Shadey made a big close down the stretch to nail the place. Inordinate had all sorts of trouble with traffic. He saved ground early, tried moving out, had to steady down the backstretch, looked to make a move in the stretch but continued to have traffic problems. In the eighth, Our Way saved ground most of the race, found a lane in the stretch  and sprinted clear. Tizarunner was well back entering the stretch and made up quite a bit of ground to nail the place. In the ninth, Cadeyrn hesitated just a bit at the break but went right to the front, led down the backstretch on a fair pace, continued on gamely in the stretch but was no match for the top two. My Man Sam was shuffled back down the backstretch, found a lane but could not get by the winner, Tale of Verve. That one was well back early while saving ground, moved well outside going into the turn, went wide into the stretch and outfinished the place horse. In the tenth, rain started but did not seriously affect the track. Isabella Sings went out on fast fractions, could not hold in the stretch and finished well out of it. Dacita came from last to barely get the win. In the eleventh, Dendrite acted up at the start hopping as the gates opened, was last out of the gate, rushed to the front and had the lead by three on the backstretch, but was stalled in the stretch. Procurement was seven back on the backstretch while saving ground, took the lead in the stretch and drew away. Dream Man came from well back to close for the place.

Horses to Watch

  • Master Merion
  • Random Walk
  • Cort
  • Inordinate
  • Tizarunner
  • Dendrite

July 24

In the first, Comandante settled in fourth early, swung outside for the stretch and closed impressively for the win. Gambler’s Ghost had the lead early and maintained into the stretch but could not hold off the winner. In the second, Enstone broke alertly, tracked in second, edged in front out of the turn, continued gamely in the stretch, but could not hold off the winner. Majestic Bonnie was back early, swung wide in the stretch, and ran down the place horse. In the third, Bird Song settled into a tracking position early, moved up around the turn, and outfinished everyone. Portando pressed in second early, continued gamely, but was not match for the winner. In the fourth, Wild With Style broke well behind the field, but did close lengths in the stretch. Woodville tracked in third down the backstretch, took the lead out of the turn and drew away as much the best. AskforForgiveness was well back early, closed in the stretch, but was well behind the winner. In the fifth, Goodbye Sorrow broke well but hopped in the air and was hard to wrangle. Dauphine Russe was back early, found a slot on the rail, and closed strongly for the win. In the sixth, Truth went right to the front on average fractions and had plenty in the stretch to win. In the seventh, Coalport took the lead early, held until mid stretch but could not hold back the winner. Farhaan was well back early but moved strongly around the turn and continued on to win convincingly. In the eighth, Super Surprise had a rail trip early, was well back while making steady progress around the turn, came through on the inside and drew away smartly.  Pico Uno had a good tracking spot on the rail early took the lead near the top of the stretch, but was not a match for the winner.  In the tenth, Gap year tracked closely in third while on the rail on the backstretch, took the lead in the stretch and held off all challengers. Ginger N Rye saved ground while well back on the backstretch, shot through an opening on the rail and narrowly missed. In the tenth, Songbird went to the front, was seriously challenged around the turn and into the stretch, but sprinted well clear in the stretch in a dominating performance. In the eleventh, Derby Champagne broke on top, stayed well behind big leader Lucky Town, caught that one at the top of the stretch and held off Mav and Yowl all the way down the stretch. There was an inquiry into the stretch run with no change.

Horses to Watch

  • Woodville
  • Songbird

July 25

In the first, the strong favorite Girl Talk tracked in third on the rail, moved around the turn, went to a drive entering the stretch and held Verve’s tale safe. Verve’s Tale was toward the back on the backstretch, moved wide for the stretch run, but could not match strides with the winner late. Queen Emma stumbled badly at the start and lost all chance. In the second, the top two choices Grey Glory and Boomerang Toy finished 1-2. Boomerang Toy probably had the tougher trip since he was pushed by Miroc. In the third, Pinstripe went right to the front and was never threatened. Patton Proud was well back early, made a strong move while wide in the stretch to catch the place. In the fourth, Lady Joan tracked in third, swung wide for the drive and won with authority. Mo Promise was farther back early, closed with zest but was no match for the winner. In the fifth, Frosty Lady pressed the front runner and took the lead going into the stretch and won by three. Weekend Hottie was five off the leader while saving ground on the rail, went outside for the drive, couldn’t catch the winner but was best of the rest. In the sixth, Animal Appeal went right to the front and never looked back, winning by many.  Startwithsilver was toward the back, closed best of the rest in the stretch. In the seventh, Watershed was on the outside while tracking the main pack, closed down the middle of the track to nail the win. Tale of Life saved ground all the way, slipped through along the rail, took the lead and looked good in the stretch but tired slightly.In the eighth, Long on Value was near the back of the pack early while on the outside, swung widest of all and ran by the field. Successful Native pressed the lead early, got the front at the top of the stretch but could not outfinish the winner. In the ninth, Shoot From the Hip tracked four lengths off the leader, rushed to the lead entering the stretch and won by two. Tradfest was close up early, finished well mid track.  Bold Illusion hopped out of the gate, immediately trailed and was no factor.

July 27

In the second, Fear That tracked the leader while getting a rail trip, moved outside in the stretch and finished off the field. Sebonack went right to the front but could not hold off the stretch run of the winner. In the third, Conscience broke smartly, went to the front on the backstretch, and had plenty left. In the fourth, Going for Broke moved to the back of the pack early but was only six lengths behind the leader, was deftly guided through the pack, angled off the rail and was all out to hold off Rachel’s Temper. The latter also came from off the pace and was very stubborn in the stretch. In the fifth, Safe With Me tracked while saving ground, swung outside and had just enough to get the win. Aikenetta tracked the leaders, had the lead in the stretch, and just missed the win. Fifteen Church broke slowly and was quickly behind the field but showed some interest in the stretch primarily running on her own courage. In the sixth, Tale for Ruby settled just behind the leader on the backstretch, took the lead out of the turn and finished strong. In the seventh, Asset Inflation tracked on the hedge and out finished the place horse. Polar Axis took the lead down the backstretch, stayed strong in the stretch, could not match the winner, but was best of the rest. Wicked Freud was acting up at the gate, ran evenly and finished out of it. In the eighth, Haveyougoneaway was unhurried early while tracking behind the leading group, let the place horse get the jump, but had enough to run her down. Paulassilverlining broke on top, was pulled back to sixth while trailing by three, closed up the rail and took the lead in the stretch, hooked up with the winner in the stretch but could not prevail. In the ninth, Sanctifica broke smartly and pressed the leader on the outside, worked hard to get the lead and drew away. Two Pump picked up the pieces closing up the rail. In the tenth,  Shalako, found a rail spot early mid-pack and closed to barely nail Mambo at the Gym.

Horses to Watch

  • Fifteen Church
  • Wicked Freud

July 28

In the first race Moon Medal settled just off the pace of the leader, backed off by four on the backstretch, moved to the lead coming out of the turn and had enough to hold the place horse safe. Comet Sixty Two was just behind that one, was slightly blocked entering the stretch, closed well and was getting to the winner at the end. In the second, House of Friends broke smartly, settled to the back of the main pack, moved through horses around the turn, had a clear run on the outside and won going away. In the third, Benevolence broke on top, went right to the rail and held the field safe to the wire. In the fourth, Flash Trading settled in the back of a very tight pack early while outside, circled around the turn and outfinished the others. In the fifth, Macho Miah was up front early on the far outside, cleared the pack and ran down the early race leader Song for the Soul. The latter dug in but could not repel the winner. In the sixth, Archie went to the front from the outside, made his way to the rail entering the clubhouse turn, set fairly docile fractions and had plenty left for the stretch run.  In the seventh, Spartiatis broke a step slow and was quickly at the back of the pack, swung very wide around the turn and made a furious close late to get the win. In the eighth, Guilty Twelve was pushed from the hedge and got a good position going into the first turn, saving a ton of ground, stayed in the mid pack spot, started working his way through horses going into the far turn, found a seam just off the rail and closed strongly to nail the win over early leader Walking the Kitten. In the ninth, Moonlight Song went right to the front held the lead while drifting off the rail to mid track out of the turn, dove back down to the rail and drove home on top. In the tenth,  Reckless Humor broke on top while on the outside, couldn’t clear to the lead so tracked a length and a half off the leader, tackled that one around the turn and wore him down, drawing off by two at the end. Papa’s Missile set very good fractions, looked stout for a while in the stretch and was passed by four late, and only lost by three lengths.

Horses to Watch

  • Papa’s Missile

July 29

The day seemed to favor speed off the rail on the dirt. In the first, Squeeze Thetrigger worked hard to get position coming into the first turn settled In fourth early while saving ground on the rail, made progress toward the front around the turn, moved outside  and outfinished the next two finishers in a hard drive. In the second, Buffalo Miss broke on top, drove to the lead, and wired the field on quick fractions. In the third, Grey Stark settled toward the back of the pack while being wrangled , settled in that spot along the backstretch, started moving wide around the turn and made a stout close to win by a length. In the fourth, Beeks broke on top drove to the front on the outside, dueled with Singleton around the track and pulled away in the stretch. In the fifth, Freud’s Friend broke well, went to the front, and had enough to just hold off Jo’s Bold Cat. In the sixth, Tahoe Tigress broke well, settle back last early, although only four lengths out of it, went wide into the stretch and closed strongly for the win. In the seventh, Eden Ridge was three back while saving ground on the rail on the backstretch early, got out for the stretch run and closed to win impressively. In the eighth, Quigley’s Corner broke well and settled in second on the rail well behind Sunset Knoll, steadily close the gap, took the lead in early stretch and drew away by five. In the ninth, Connect settled on the rail, moved to the lead coming out of the clubhouse turn, ran on fair fractions, and outfinished a game Gift Box in the stretch. In the tenth, Signature Look got a good spot on the rail at the back of the main pack, moved mid track around the turn and closed strongly in the stretch.

Horses to Watch

  • Buffalo Miss
  • Quigley’s Corner

July 30

In the first, Ancient Warfare was mid pack early, slipped toward the back, made progress around the turn while on the rail, moved though a hole that opened up and drove up the rail to win going away. In the second, Old Upstart settled off the leader on the rail, drove up the rail, collared the leader at the top of the stretch and prevailed in a very hard drive. In the third, the heavy favorite Theory broke smartly, pressed the pace down the backstretch, and drew off under mild urging to the wire. In the fourth, Mind Your Biscuits was last down the backstretch, found a slot on the rail and closed strongly to get the win. Maniacal had the lead most of the way and was best of the rest. In the fifth, Deeply Undervalued tracked in third while on the rail early, moved outside for the drive and drew away by four. In the sixth, Aussie Prayer broke with the pack, stayed on the rail tracking the leader, found a seem and closed to win by 4. In the 7th, Flinthshire was content to stay on the rail until the stretch, moved out and stretched. In the eighth race, Ray’s the Bar settled mid-pack just off the leaders, made his move in the stretch and won going away. In Race 9, A P  Indian tracked early on the rail, slipped outside for the drive and outfinished Holy Boss. In the tenth, In the Jim Dandy, Loaban took the lead on very soft fractions and had enough left to hold off Governor Malibu and Destin. In the eleventh, Newcomb shot to the front while trying to be restrained, finally settled and opened up a clear lead on the backstretch on fairly fractions, and had plenty left to hold off the closers.

Horses to Watch

  • Maniacal

July 31

No horses to watch – track was sloppy.

August 1

No horses to watch – track sloppy.

Saratoga July 24

Unfortunately, my keyboard developed some sort of bug so that not all the letters work, making it all but impossible to type something coherent. I was forced to use what was available late on a Saturday night – my smart phone. Given the time it takes to type anything lengthy, I had to dispense with the full analysis section, but I will point out a few horses I’m interested in today.

Imslopokerodriguez ran a monster race last time, dominating a field in a very fast time for the price. He’s got a start at SAR from 2015. In that race he had trouble at the start but ran evenly. I’m betting he takes to the SAR dirt.

Dauphine Russe was shuffled back on the backstretch in her last, was blocked entering the stretch, finally found a running lane but checked close to the wire while between horses, losing it all by a neck. She may have notched a clear win without the trouble, and even though her last race figure doesn’t look as competitive as some, she’s clearly not over her head at the level and should be the danger with a clean run.

If Captain’s Affair and Coalport come in together, I don’t think you’ll need to worry about having a winning day. Captain’s Affair ships in from Laurel where he’s been running in OC$40K races, likely with better horses than he’ll face here. He’s 12-1 on the ML and I can’t imagine he won’t stay high odds. Coalport has been off a while, but Mike Maker is good with layoff horses. He won a G3 last year (albeit at HOU) and has been running with lower level stakes company consistently. Jose Ortiz takes the mount and that is a positive.  Make no mistake – this is an anything can happen race, which is exactly why it’s a good race to take a swing for the fences.

Even Bette was at least 16 lengths out of the lead heading into the turn, closed steadily to be only about 11 out entering the stretch, found her stride and flew by all but the top two, just missing the place. She’s 12-1 ML and if she runs a little more strategically, she’s competitive in here.

Kitzys Rocket  missed by a nose at this level downstate. She has the best last race figure and the best lifetime figure. At 6-1 she has a lot of upside. Jose Ortiz stays for the ride. It’s another race where whichever horse you like, you should get decent odds.

Race 1

  • 1A  Imslopokerodriguez  6/5

  • 10  Chelios  7/2

  • 4  Gambler’s Ghost  4-1

  • 8  Storm Pursuit  5-1

Race 2

  • 6  Angelo’s Ashes  7/2

  • 8  Teresa Z  7/2

  • 7  Price too High  9/2

Race 3

  • 1  Evolution  3-1

  • 6  Portando  3-1

  • 4  Bird Song  7/2

Race 4

  • 8  Grassaria  5/2

  • 2  Askfor Forgiveness  5/2

  • 4  Barbie On a Budget  4-1

Race 5

  • 2  Dauphine Russe  2-1

  • 4  Katie O.  3-1

  • 7  Sunrise Kitty  7/2

Race 6

  • 2  Church Social  3-1

  • 8  More Than Kisses  7/2

  • 10  River City Lady  4-1

Race 7

  • 4  Captain’s Affair 3-1

  • 2  Coalport  7/2

  • 7   Abtaal  4-1

  • 10  Farhaan  5-1

Race 8

  • 4  Even Bette  3-1

  • 9  Day After Day  4-1

  • 11  Sabrina Ballerina  9/2

  • 6  Picco Uno  5-1

Race 9

  • 9  Kitzy’s Rocket  3-1

  • 4  Sympathy  7/2

  • 10  Kitten’s Roar  4-1

  • 1  Ginger N Rye  5-1

Race 10

  • 1  Songbird  6/5

  • 2  Carina Mia  7/5

  • 4  Weep No More  8-1

Race 11

  • 2  Lotta Gold  4-1

  • 9  Yowl  9/2

  • 4  Roman’s Paradise  5-1

Saratoga July 23

Race 1

  • 3  Money Changer  7/2

  • 1  Zamjara  7/2

  • 6  Roman Revival  9/2

Money Changer has two seconds and a third on the SAR dirt, adds blinkers and a new jockey in Castellano. Johnny V probably had his choice, and if that means anything, it might be that he thinks Zamjara is the better horse. Both Pletcher horses are dropping well down the price ladder, but I’ll give a long look to the one with likely the better odds. Roman Revival has the advantage of speed, takes the blinkers off and gets a top pilot in Irad. Has to be respected as the one to catch.

Race 2

  • 2  Conquest Sure Shot  7/2

  • 1  Master Merion  4-1

  • 5  Oscar Performance  5-1

  • 7  Our Stormin Norman  5-1

Since I’m publishing before scratches, in some of the races I’ll make four selections to account for one of the contenders getting left off. Conquest Sure Shot broke slowly in his maiden race but showed good interest once the race started. That race was pretty quick and he may show a bit more speed today. Master Merion set the fractions in the race mentioned above and looks like the one to catch. If he rates kindly, he’s double dangerous. Oscar Performance is by top turf sire Kitten’s Joy and while the distance is a heavy lift for first timers, the workouts look like he might be the real deal. Our Stormin Norman ran well first time at CD for dangerous trainer Mark Casse. Blame does very well with his first time turf runners.

Race 3

  • 2  Random Walk  8/5

  • 4  Bronson  3-1

  • 5  Bitumen  3-1

This edition of the Sanford Stakes features the well regarded Random Walk. That horse ran easy as he pleased first out and looks to be the fastest to the front. Pletcher had a winner with a MTH shipper yesterday and brings Bronson today. His numbers might be a little lower than some in here, but he should sprint well and his style looks versatile. Bitumen worked hard to get the lead in his debut, but once he did, he was an easy winner. Legitimate chances today.

Race 4

  • 8  Come as You Are  3-1

  • 7  Onlytheshadowknows  7/2

  • 4  Tree Top Lover  4-1

Although the experienced maidens (Condominium and Chomsky) finish in the money often, I’m leaving them out of the win slot. Instead, I’ll go with Come as You Are dropping out of straight maidens to the $40K level. He gets an interesting switch to 7-pound apprentice J Torres who has won one race in two tries for Wesley Ward. Ward is 34% off the long layoff and the horse had a bullet at five furlongs a couple of weeks ago at KEE. Interesting prospect. Onlytheshadowknows is another dropping from straight maidens. Should appreciate the cutback to 6 furlongs. Tree Top Lover showed big improvement when dropped to MCL. He was taken by Jacobson and although DJ isn’t as prolific first off the claim, he still has talent.

Race 5

  • 2  Altar Boy  3-1

  • 5  Big Rock  7/2

  • 10  Cort  4-1

  • 3  Canadian River  9/2

Altar Boy has improved on the turf and may have run a better race had he not bobbled at the start. I think he is motoring in the stretch at the shortened distance.  Big Rock gets a switch to Castellano and Clement is 21% moving route to sprint on the turf. Top figure gets him home on top. Cort  has a win and two seconds in his last three and could be good value here. Canadian River ran well at this level last out and Johnny V stays for the ride.

Race 6

  • 2  Pretty Boy Flash  5/2

  • 1  Conquest Reformo  3-1

  • 8  One Liner  4-1

  • 6  Forge  4-1

Pretty Boy Flash had all sorts of trouble first out but showed interest and that is a positive.  $375K purchase off a $4,500 stud fee.  Conquest Reformo took a while to get going last time but got into the race late. One Liner goes first time for Pletcher/Velasquez and at the Spa that is something to always keep an eye on. Forge goes for the other first time specialist, Chad Brown. Some sharp works.

Race 7

  • 5  Hothersal  3-1

  • 2  Inordinate  3-1

  • 8  Ascend  4-1

  • 4  Taghleeb  5-1

Hothersal broke poorly last out but in the G3 before that he missed by only a neck. Off that race he is far more competitive then his 15-1 ML suggests. Inordinate has a win and a third at this level since moving to North America and he seems to be cycling to his best form. Ascend has a stout closing kick and hasn’t been worse than second in his last six starts. Taghleeb is another far back closer but given his pace figures he may be the surprise in this group.

Race 8

  • 7  Rappel  3-1

  • 1/1A  Wyeth/Catapult  3-1

  • 2  Our Way  4-1

  • 5  Gios Calling  5-1

Race 9

  • 2  Cadeyrn  5/2

  • 3  Conviction  3-1

  • 4  My Man Sam  3-1

  • 1  Gray Sky  4-1

Cadeyrn flopped in the mud in the Sir Barton, but ran well at this level last out. Should be out prompting the pace. Conviction comes out of the same race and ran well first time with winners. My Man Sam comes out of a couple of G1’s, and while he was nowhere in the Derby, he ran on well for second in the Blue Grass. Perhaps overrated at 8/5 ML, but dangerous because we haven’t yet seen his best. I’m not a big fan of Gray Sky, mainly because other than the Matt Winn he hasn’t been competitive in graded races, but he may have a class edge here.

Race 10

  • 2  Miss Temple City  5/2

  • 4  Wekeela  7/2

  • 10  Isabella Sings  4-1

  • 6  Dacita  9/2

This renewal of the Diana puts together a very competitive field. Miss Temple City has a win, two seconds and a third in her last four G1 races, and didn’t embarrass herself at Ascot. Strong contender. Wekeela has a couple of seconds in G1’s since coming to America, and seems to be getting stronger. Will be making a big change moving to the SAR grass. Isabella Sings has the advantage of being the speed here and has run well in her last two Graded events. Pace may make this race. Dacita has also been running well in graded events and Irad stays for the ride. Figures say she could hang with this group.

Race 11

  • 2  Winter Springs  3-1

  • 1  The Imposter  7/2

  • 10  Dream Man  4-1

  • 3  Aripeka  9/2

Very difficult race on paper. I’d look to spread around, especially with the top four selections.

There you have it. Day 2 at the Spa

Saratoga July 22

What a difficult first card at Saratoga. I’d be shocked to see a lot of favorites today, so I’ve made sure to identify a few price horses. My general approach is to go slowly the first part of the meet and pick up as the meet goes on.

Race 1

  • 5  Thirst for Glory  3-1

  • 3  More Zen Tea  7/2

  • 6  Beyond the Green  4-1

  • 1  Clifton Pleasure  5-1

Thirst for Glory fits well at the level and had a close-up third at SAR as a two year old. Breeding suggests the 9 furlongs should be no issue, and his regular running style should be effective here. More Zen Tea should be close to the front. He has a win at a mile seventy, and is better than 50% first or second in 45 lifetime races. Contessa and Leparoux clicked for one win in four races last year, and although he doesn’t have a high percentage first off the claim, this horse should be coming to the race in nice condition. Beyond the Green looked like he needed his last and should show better today. Clifton Pleasure ran a huge number last out and should have had plenty of time to recover.

Race 2

  • 3  Tizza Temper  7/2

  • 8  Cha Cha Heels  4-1

  • 6  Bree’s Got Heart  4-1

Tizza Temper is by Tiznow out of a Tapit mare and while the workouts are nothing special, I like their regularity and the fact that J Englehart often uses Saez when he’s serious. Cha Cha Heels goes for RuRod and Irad who are a high percentage combination. Workouts look like typical RuRod. Bree’s Got Heart has a shorter work pattern, which I usually see as a positive, and one sharp work early in the sequence, which I like to see. Low profile connections should ensure good odds.

Race 3

  • 5  John Eddie  3-1

  • 2  Chipit  3-1

  • 6  Roll Tide Roll  4-1

John Eddie was claimed off a solid win at $16K and should be the one to catch. Chipit comes in from MTH where he has done well at the OC$30K level. Perhaps the price drop will get him over the top. Roll Tide Roll was snagged last out by Jason Servis who is 37% first off the claim. He’s got a second in two tries over the SAR dirt.

Race 4

  • 2  Sentiero Italia  9/5

  • 1  Distorted Beauty  3-1

  • 7  Selenite  7/2

Sentiero Italia has seen nothing but G1 and G2 races since last July and finally drops to an OC$80K race. Makes his 2016 debut and McLaughlin is decent off the long layoff. Rosario has been a good earner on the McLaughlin stock. Distorted Beauty goes third start off a layoff and seems to be improving with each start. Selenite raced well at this level last out and has a win and a third on the SAR turf.

Race 5

  • 2  Sense of Beauty  3-1

  • 5  Siralen  7/2

  • 10  Candida  4-1

  • 12  Annie Rocks  5-1

Sense of Beauty takes the blinkers off ran fairly well first time on the turf and Pletcher gives her another shot at a lower level today. Pletcher and Johnny V are a tough combo at the Spa. Siralen ran decently in a minor stakes at CBY last out but before that had a good second at the FG. Looking for an early upset. Candida makes a substantial drop for Pletcher. She’s got three in the money in five starts on the turf. Annie Rocks should be able to clear to the front and might be the one to catch.

Race 6

  • 1  My Sweet Stella/Jumby Bay   5/2

  • 7  Special Risk  4-1

  • 6  Torrent  9/2

Only one of the Pletcher entry of My Sweet Stella and Jumby Bay will be going, but both look like they have outs in this race. Breeding and workouts look good for both. Special Risk is one of three with a start and looks best of the horses with experience. Torrent managed to attract Jose Ortiz who should compete for the riding title this year. Blame is a high percentage sire with first time two year olds. A fast work on June 19 ups her stock.

Race 7

  • 5  Apologynotaccepted  5/2

  • 1  Anna Rae  7/2

  • 2  Takrees  4-1

Apologynotaccepted showed good speed in her last two outs and cuts back in distance today. Given her 16 length maiden win, she could dominate this field. Anna Rae won by daylight in her debut last year at this track, and wasn’t embarrassed by her finish in the Frizette. Couple of good races this year and seems to be in a reasonable spot today. Takrees just missed in the Cicada and is another in a softer spot.

Race 8

  • 7  Platinum Spark  3-1

  • 5  Made Me Shiver  7/2

  • 1  Olive Branch  4-1

  • 2  Inspired Flight  4-1

Platinum Spark looks strong winning her maiden and came back with a sharp workout six days ago. Should be contesting the pace today. Made Me Shiver should adapt well at the six furlong distance and ran very well to defeat a decent field of maidens at CD. Olive Branch came from off the pace to win going away and looks like sprinter breeding top and bottom. Inspired Flight has a nice series of works and Edgar Prado comes in for the ride.

Race 9

  • 11  Tin Type Gal  3-1

  • 5  Ancient Secret  3-1

  • 1  Thundering Sky  4-1

  • 10  Try Your Luck  4-1

Tin Type Gal is a bit hidden in this race. As a two year old she won the prestigious Miss Grillo and then came out this year and ran a lifetime top in her first start of the year in the Wild Appleseed. I like the potential for her to improve today. Ancient Secret won the Wild Appleseed a month ago and looks to keep her undefeated record intact. Should adapt well to the slight jump in distance. Thundering Sky has only been out of the money twice in eight starts and even in those she was close. Just missed in the aforementioned Wild Appleseed last out and has to be considered a main contender today. Try Your Luck showed well in the G3 Regret last out. Is cross entered at IND so may pass this spot.

Race 10

  • 5  Market Strength  3-1

  • 1  Silver Romeo  4-1

  • 11  He’s One Wild Dude  5-1

Market Strength takes a substantial drop in price for Chad Brown who is effective with short layoffs and turf horses. Silver Romeo made a good 2016 debut in a full field of $40K maidens. Figure was a lifetime top, a very positive sign. He’s One Wild Dude looks like he has enough speed to clear from the outside, but the post position is what kept me from rating him higher. His last race figure tops the field.

Belmont July 17

Race 1

  • 4  Young Anna Lee  8/5

  • 1  Time Squared  5/2

  • 3  Lilikoi  7/2

Young Anna Lee looks like the pacesetter. Has a tendency to be in the money instead of the win, but looks like she’s got a soft spot here. Time Squared and Lilikoi have had multiple chances and while they can’t be discounted, they look more like in the money sorts.

Race 2

  • 9  Uncle Chester  5/2

  • 10  Two Down One to Go  5/2

  • 1  Leaveemathegate  4-1

  • 3  Ordinaire  4-1

This is a tough race to call. Uncle Chester has the best last race figures and should appreciate the distance cutback. Two Down One to Go has shown speed at the route and is another that should appreciate the seven furlong distance. Leaveemathegate and Ordinaire both have legitimate chances.

Race 3

  • 5  Spectacular Flash  3-1

  • 4  Warriors Diva  7/2

  • 2  Lil Renegade  4-1

It’s another competitive race. It looks like it lacks any serious speed, so Spectacular Flash gets the nod. Warriors Diva and Lil Renegade both come off wins at lesser levels, but the number say they are contenders.

Race 4

  • 1  Majestic Jessica  9/5

  • 4  Shotgun Love  2-1

  • 5  My Won Love  4-1

Majestic Jessica won comfortably at this level in April. Should be prompting the pace. Shotgun Love didn’t seem to care for the slop but prior to that was competitive with better. My Won Love won at the level two back and should contend today.

Race 5

  • 6  Lead by Example  3-1

  • 4  Vino Blanco  4-1

  • 7  Courageous Colonel  5-1

A number of these horses are coming out of the same June 16 affair and they were all close to each other. Lead by Example was close up at the finish and adds blinkers today. Vino Blanco makes his 2016 debut in this MCL event after racing last year at the MSW level. He was gelded over the winter and if he is in shape he should compete.

Race 6

  • 5  Chang’s Secret  3-1

  • 1  Forever in Love  3-1

  • 6  Fearthefalcon  7/2

Chang’s Secret moves over to state-breds for today’s run. He’s got the highest last race figure and gets Irad Ortiz in the saddle. Forever in Love is co-choice. He made a good 2016 debut at this level. Fearthefalcon has a lot of starts but he figures suggest he’s an in the money threat.

Race 7

  • 8  Kitty Madness  3-1

  • 5  Table for Six  4-1

  • 7  Queen of the Castle  9/2

I could make a case for most of the horses in this race. Kitty Madness nipped Queen of the Castle last out and earned the top last race figure. Table for Six almost won his 2016 debut and comes back with blinkers on. Queen of the Castle did not have the best trip last time and could be a winner with a better trip today.

Race 8

  • 8  Gioia Stella  3-1

  • 6  On Leave  7/2

  • 9  She Doesn’t Mind  7/2

  • 2  J La Tache  5-1

Another race with a bunch of potential winners. Gioia Stella ran decently in defeat in the Wonder Again and is back at the OC$80 level today. On Leave comes off a nice maiden win in her 2016 debut and looks like a major contender today. She Doesn’t Mind is the Chad Brown entrant and that is enough to put her in the mix. J La Tache is one of the speed horses and that makes her dangerous.

Race 9

  • 1  Zenna  5/2  **HORSE TO WATCH

  • 4  Paz the Bourbon  5/2

  • 6  Wilburnmoney  5/2

Zenna and Wilburnmoney ran 1-2 in the last race and I like Zenna to turn the tables today. Paz the Bourbon came from the clouds last out and earned the top number doing it. Frankly, any of the top three could win this race.

Race 10

  • 5  Cav  3-1

  • 4  Uptown Joe  4-1

  • 1  Refer  5-1

Cav makes only his third start and looked good in his 2016 debut with the addition of blinkers. Uptown Joe and Refer both have double digit starts and look more likely in the verticals.