SARATOGA – 7/23/2020
Nick Tammaro ~ @NTamm1215
|Race 1-||1st #3 OPTIMUS PRIME||2ND #5 MOSCATO||3RD #7 CHIEF JUSTICE|
#3 OPTIMUS PRIME returns from a layoff and is a winner over the flat as well. That helps given the lengthy final portion of this race over no jumps. #5 MOSCATO was a smashing winner last time out and now goes 2nd off a layoff for a top notch jump barn. #7 CHIEF JUSTICE was a good second last time out to Jonathan Kiser Novice winner Snap Decision. He now goes 2nd off a layoff.
|Race 2-||1st #2 TAKE IT TO SCALE||2ND #5 CARTHON||3RD #6 THOMAS SHELBY|
#2 TAKE IT TO SCALE has a potential pace edge in a race short on early speed. He goes 2nd off a claim after showing little early interest beneath a passive pilot last time out. Trainer Gary Gullo hits at a 26% clip with dirt sprinters going 2nd off a claim ($2.20 ROI). #5 CARTHON is the one to beat on paper and has productive sprint races buried in his PPs. He cuts back in distance while taking a huge class drop, and trainer Rudy Rodriguez is 0 for his last 11 with Spa dirt starters making 50% drops in claiming price. #6 THOMAS SHELBY is switching surfaces and cutting back in distance for Wesley Ward. This son of Curiln has not run at such a low level yet and this is probably a good fit class-wise. Whether he can be effective on dirt is the question.
|Race 3-||1st #5 UPTOWN FLIRT||2ND #7 LOST LAKE||3RD #3 MO NORMAL|
#5 UPTOWN FLIRT was purchased for 100k at the OBS March sale earlier this year after working :21 and 3/5. This filly is by freshman sire Speightster and is the first foal to race out of an unraced dam. Her dam is kin to turf stakes winner Chosen Chief as well as the graded stakes turf placed Parting Words and turf stakes placed I Love Silver. Trainer Bill Mott nearly picked up a win with a 2YO firster here last Saturday. #7 LOST LAKE is the lone participant with experience and she now stretches out while switching surfaces. The dam here was a turf winner and she has dropped one turf winner from 2 to try. That’s enough to give her an extra look. #3 MO NORMAL is by 14% turf debut sire Uncle Mo and is out of a 3x winner who did all her damage on the weeds. Her two prior foals to race have accomplished nothing, but this filly seems to be training well for a hot barn.
|Race 4-||1st #2 DIXIE CANNON||2ND #1 FRESCO||3RD #5 HOLMDEL PARK|
#2 DIXIE CANNON faced considerably better last time out in her 3YO debut and now goes 2nd off the bench. She rates to be the inside speed today under the meet’s leading pilot, and her mid-Atlantic based trainer has had success in NY before. #1 FRESCO is very much the horse to beat based on her three prior outings, but it is a negative sign that she found a way to lose last time despite taking command in mid-stretch. She should have some tactical speed breaking from the inside and that’ll keep her in the mix early. #5 HOLMDEL PARK picked up the pieces two back on the lawn and is deserving of another try on turf. She has the speed to take control from the start and is a threat to hang around for a while if those tactics are employed.
|Race 5-||1ST #4 AHEAD OF PLAN||2ND #2 O’TROUBLE||3RD #7 INSTINCTIVE RHYTHM|
#4 AHEAD OF PLAN ran a bang-up race on debut before being injured and came back to endure a brutal trip while racing wide on a surface where the rail was the place to be. His turf effort was over before it started when he broke poorly and he’s now back at the scene of his promising debut. With a clean break from the gate he is a major factor from the start and will actually offer a modicum of value at the windows. #2 O’TROUBLE has run wining races in both prior starts and now goes 2nd off a lengthy layoff for Tony Dutrow. This barn has been suspiciously quiet over the last few years, but was once known as an outfit you had to pay extra attention to at Saratoga. #7 INSTINCTIVE RHYTHMwas taken at auction for a pretty penny after working :10 at the OBS March sale in 2019. He is from the freshman crop of Tapiture and his damside is empty going back to the 2nd dam’s half sister Halfbridled. The bullet drills indicate he will has plenty of speed.
|Race 6-||1st #3 KELLEYCANRUN||2ND #5 BAREEQ||3RD #1 BALON ROSE|
#3 KELLEYCANRUN is the win candidate with the most to offer in terms of value. She returns from a layoff today and exits a super live N1X won by the multiple graded stakes placed Altea, and also in that field was subsequent multiple graded stake winner Mean Mary. The water here is much more shallow and she will be a square price. #5 BAREEQA is a late runner who was at a disadvantage last time when shuffled out around the turn of a race largely dominated on the front end. She meets a decidedly weaker bunch in here and should be moving late for a barn that’s long overdue to get rolling. #1 BALON ROSE got into some traffic trouble last time out, but it is unclear if she even had any horse. To date, this $1.6 million purchase has one win and it came while setting a slow pace on the best part of the Big lawn. She cannot be rated in here.
|Race 7-||1st #3 FIERCE LADY||2ND #6 PUFFERY||3RD #10 BERTRANDA|
#3 FIERCE LADY is going to end up breaking from the rail in this bulky field and that is never a good thing. She comes back from a layoff today and is now in the care of Rudy Rodriguez. This barn is 33% with dirt sprinters coming off trainer changes returning in 100+ days ($2.47 ROI). Her best races as a 2YO are in line with many of the best efforts of her elders in this bunch. #6 PUFFERY may make it a ‘Rudy Rod’ exacta as she goes 2nd off a layoff following a 3rd place finish where she tried to rally into a slow pace. Things should develop on the front end today and that will help this veteran who has had a bad case of camera shyness in the past. #10 BERTRANDA looms the main speed as she enters this affair in top form for trainer Mertkan Kantarmaci. She has not run back to the big race in late February at Aqueduct, but has held her form well and is drawn favorably outside of the other speed in this bulky field.
|Race 8-||1ST #2 CALL HOME||2ND #8 ETHOS||3RD #9 IT’S A WRAP|
#2 CALL HOME made a premature move last time out after breaking from the far outside and battled through very fast fractions until upper stretch. He stands to benefit having that race behind him and now makes his 2nd start for a barn that hit with a longshot second timer last week. The rider change to Jose Ortiz doesn’t hurt either. #8 ETHOShas a tremendous turf pedigree in the 2nd generation and moves to turf off a layoff today for Jimmy Jerkens. This colt is by 10% turf debut sire Ghostzapper and his dam is kin to stakes winners Quiet Harbor and the millionaire Ironicus. While he’s bred to go much longer, the grass should be greener. #9 IT’S A WRAP flew home to narrowly miss in the same race the top pick exits. This son of Twirling Candy had the advantage of sitting back to make one run while Call Home did the dirty work, but he showed improvement on the lawn and should be set for a big effort 2nd off the bench.
|Race 9-||1st #5 MIHOS||2ND #1 WENDELL FONG||3RD #4 HONEST MISCHIEF|
#5 MIHOS benefited from the cutback in distance two back to score handily at Gulfstream at 7 panels. He cuts back again today while also getting serious class relief and the pace should help set up his late run. The rider you want on an off the pace horse is aboard and he should offer value at the windows. #1 WENDELL FONG ran two respectable races against considerably tougher competition at Oaklawn over the winter and is now in the care of Robertino Diodoro. That high percentage barn is off to a slow start at this meet, and their numbers with horses off of trainer changes coming back in 60+ days are modest at best. #4 HONEST MISCHIEF will receive plenty of support due to his connections and the drop in class he takes today. He was no match for the Grade I-bound Volatile and now goes 2nd off a layoff. The negative here is this son of Into Mischief has yet to move forward from a promising 2nd career start and you’ll have to take a shorter price than you should on him today.
|Race 10-||1st #11 FINANCIALSTABILITY||2ND #9 MINE THE COIN||3RD #10 PRINCE OF NEW YORK|
#11 FINANCIALSTABILITY is taking a massive drop in class for trainer Chad Brown and is spotted where he is supposed to win. He should be popular at the claim box as well given he showed last time out off the bench that he is none the worse for wear. #9 MINE THE COIN was wide much of the way last time out on a surface where the inside was best. He loses Irad Ortiz, Jr. but should get more pace to run at late and that will help his chances. #10 PRINCE OF NEW YORK cuts back in distance and gets in light after chasing a strong pace last time going a mile. This might end up being his best trip as he can settle and make one run under the bug boy.
SARATOGA MEET STATS: 51-13-6-13 $93.30