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.