SARATOGA – 8/2/2020
Nick Tammaro ~ @NTamm1215


There is even more guess work associated with these races on turf, but #2 FEELING PRETTY is reportedly training well and handled the synthetic surface nicely at the 2YO in training sale.  Trainer John Kimmel fared well with 2YO firsters on turf here in 2019.  #7 DELAWARE DESTINY is out of a turf debut winner and hails from the hottest barn on the grounds.  Christophe Clement seems to get a win or two per day and this filly has leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.  #4 UYUNI stretches out in distance, which has not been a strong suit of Wesley Ward.  However, this gal had enough trouble on debut to be given one more try.

Race 2-1st #7 WALKOFF2ND #3 REAL DAN3RD #2 MILLS

#7 WALKOFF towers over this field for new trainer Mike Maker.  It is not an encouraging sign that he’s in for just 12.5k after facing 20k sellers last time out and running respectably, but he will have to take a big step backwards to lose against this bunch.  #3 REAL DAN was in proximity of a solid pace last time out before tiring and now goes 2nd off a layoff.  He has yet to go 9 panels but his last win came around two turns at Finger Lakes, so more distance could be just what the doctor ordered.  #2 MILLS has been in top form for Eddie Barker of late and showed more speed last time out.  He can be in stalk and pounce territory from a cozy inside post today and his morning line price would be fair.


If they each run their last race again, #1A TIDE OF THE SEA will beat #5 MR. ALEC like a drum.  He already did so in June at Belmont when the former tracked a strong pace and stayed on well to the finish.  The early lead appears to be his for the taking.  The aforementioned Mr. Alec had no real excuse last time and was out of contention by the time he ran into traffic trouble.  If you’re taking this gelding you are believing simply in the Saratoga magic of Christophe Clement.  #4 BLUEGRASS PARKWAY is an ideal candidate for a 3 turn 11 furlong race given the way he’s performed at this trip in the past.  He returns from a layoff today for a barn that has been very quiet in NY over the last few months.  Look for him late.


#8 BANK GALA is back in for a tag and has faced considerably tougher in his last two outings.  He was too close to a vicious pace last time out and now gets a dry surface to run over for Jimmy Ferraro.  With all three runners on the inside having speed, this son of Central Banker should get a great setup.  #7 KILMARKNOCK is the horse to beat on paper as he moves back into the NY bred ranks off a troubled trip 3rd last time out.  That race has proven to be productive and this gelding seems to be holding his form well since returning from a layoff.  #3 LONG ISLAND CITYhad a crazy trip in his debut en route to a 3rd place finish.  He switches surfaces for Bruce Levine, whose barn has heated up at the Spa and he should be in an ideal stalking spot today.


While the drop looks troublesome, #7 UNLEVERAGED is just much better than his rivals today.  Trainer Chad Brown doesn’t have much room in his barn for 35k claimers and this 5YO is priced where he can be competitive.  With anything close to his typical effort he’ll win for fun.  #3 CORAL LEGACY was moving well late going shorter last time out and now stretches out without blinkers.  You must always be on the lookout for the Roy Lerman special at Saratoga and this son of Bodemeister may be just it this afternoon.  #1A BAD GUY worked sharply in preparation for this engagement and now drops back in for a tag.  A narrow loser at this level two back, this son of Power Broker is drawn favorably to stalk and pounce.



#4 MO DEAN is training strongly and is out of a mare who won twice and already dropped a debut winner.  Progeny of Uncle Mo win on debut at a 15% clip and this barn had an impressive juvenile winner on Saturday.  #6 LADY LILLY is by Nyquest, who has yet to have a debut winner in his first crop.  This filly is out of a mare who won on turf and synthetics, and all of her foals to race are winners.  The worktab is spirited and the presence of Joel Rosario notable.  #9 BEAUTIFUL FAREWELL faced males on debut and set the pace before tiring.  She now faces her own gender and drew well on the outside to be within range early.


#1 DUNCASTLE is drawn where he should just blast off from the start.  This son of Dunkirk has done his best work on the front end, including a trio of turf sprint wins at the Fair Grounds over the winter.  The weight break he gets with the double bug astride only makes it more obvious for them to be very aggressive.  #9 SQUARE SHOOTER was competitive against much tougher on the turf last year and now returns from a layoff for trainer Robertino Diodoro. This barn is 29% with turfers off 180+ day breaks ($3.93 ROI) and this son of Trappe Shot has the early speed to be in an ideal spot.  #3 FIELD OF COURAGE was in contention two back before getting into major traffic trouble in the stretch.  He ran a credible race on the dirt last time and now gets back to his preferred surface as a live price play.


#6 GANDY DANCING won convincingly on debut and ran well enough that day for trainer Chad Brown to enter him in the Mike Lee at 2nd asking.  His race was over at the start given his poor getaway from the gate and he now takes a logical drop in class.  #11 FORT WORTH returns off a layoff for trainer Todd Pletcher, who has tremendous numbers with horses off of lengthy layoffs (47%, $2.44 ROI +365/Dirt/Sprints).  This son of City Zip showed potential from the start of his career and is the one to beat on paper.  For a longshot to throw in underneath, why not #2 QUINTARELLI?  He was hurt by a wet track that favored speed two back then got no pace setup last time out.  They should fly early in here and that could enable him to pick up the pieces at a huge price.


#1 STANDARD DEVIATION began his career as a dirt horse and now changes surfaces for trainer Graham Motion.  Whether he wants to go this far is the question, but this son of Curlin seems like the galloping type who has no acceleration, but can just run the same speed the whole way.  #5 AMERICAN TATTOO has speed, which is a major weapon in these distance races.  He had no chance last time out in a fast-paced event at Gulfstream and now moves into the care of Jack Sisterson, who has quietly done some amazing work with Calumet “hand me downs.”  #6 MORETTI is the horse to beat on paper given the race he ran two back in the Flat Out.  He hardly embarrassed himself in the Suburban when a distant second behind Tacitus and he should be on top of the pace early today.


#1 STRIKING SPEED is supposed to be ridden aggressively from the inside today.  He switches surfaces and trainer Linda Rice is a staggering 30% with maiden routers going turf to dirt over the last five years ($2.53 ROI).  #9 HEIGHTis a threat in here given he woke up last time out on the drop in class.  He should have no issue with the added ground and may be the win candidate who gets overlooked the most in this bunch.  #2 TACTICIAN goes first off a claim by Robertino Diodoro, who took this gelding for 20k in May.  He is adding blinkers, which should sharpen him up early given he had no zip for Hall of Famer Mark Casse.

SARATOGA MEET STATS: 122-26-20-20    $172.20