SARATOGA – 8/9/2020
Nick Tammaro ~ @NTamm1215

Race 1-1st #4 HARDCORE FOLKLORE 2ND #6 FLOWERS FOR LISA3RD #2 STONEY BENNETT

#4 HARDCORE FOLKORE is a late running type who got no setup las time out. There should be some pace in front of him today and this quiet barn is due to get things rolling at this meet and in 2020 in general.  #6 FLOWERS FOR LISA cuts back in distance off a woeful effort going long and has clearly seen better days.  With that said, this is the right spot class-wise and he’ll offer value in a competitive affair.  #2 STONEY BENNETT is the one to beat but is virtually impossible to trust.  This is a huge drop in class for a horse that has clearly had major physical issues and he figures to take heat from the start today.

Race 2-1st #5 SEASONS2ND #7 MISSPELL3RD #2 MODEST

#5 SEASONS is a daughter of the fabulous Winter Memories, a dual Grade I winner who took the 2012 Diana here at the Spa.  This gal is kin to stake winner Winter Sunset and looks to be training forwardly for the unveiling.  #7 MISSPELL is by American Pharoah, a 15% debut sire whose progeny win their turf debuts at a 19% clip.  This gal went for 325k at auction and most of her pedigree is for dirt, but this barn has had an uncanny knack for winning with this kind over the years.  #2 MODEST is out of a turf winner who has dropped a turf winner and drew favorably on the inside.  She appears to be training well to boot.

Race 3-1st #2 SAY MOI2ND #4 CRITICAL VALUE3RD #1 SMOOTH WITH A KICK

#2 SAY MOI is supposed to beat this bunch given the race she ran last time out.  Her running style is also a major advantage going a trip where speed is a necessity.  If she is hooked early on then the distance could become an obstacle.  #4 CRITICAL VALUE proved she is clearly the best NY bred 3YO filly with an authoritative win in the Bouwerie.  This distance is likely a bit beyond her preferred trip, but she should get some pace to run at late and has a world of upside.  #1 SMOOTH WITH A KICK is in an ideal spot as the lone older horse in a race full of 3YOs.  This gal has been a pretty big disappointment over the years with just one win to her name and subsequent failures at 4/5 and even money.  She should be set for improvement 2nd off the bench and will finally be somewhat overlooked at the windows.

Race 4-1st #7 FOUETTE2ND #2 STEAL MY SUNSHINE3RD #6 SARATOGA COMMANDO

#7 FOUETTE has turned heads in the morning and drew well on the outside.  She is from the first crop of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and is out of a dam who won twice in her career.  She’s dropped two winners from as many to race, so there’s plenty to like.  #2 STEAL MY SUNSHINE is bred more for dirt than turf being a half to Maniacal, Happy Like a Fool and Hawaiian Noises.  She showed tons of speed on debut and looms the one to catch today.  #6 SARATOGA COMMANDO is by 15% debut sire Majesticperfection and has two siblings who are winners.  The worktab here looks solid.

Race 5-1ST #3 L’INDISCRET2ND #5 WINDFALL PROFIT3RD #6 BASTET

The Empire Six gets started with a challenging MSW going long on turf and it’s the extra distance that would make you want #3 L’INDISCRET.  She got moving late in her last start and ran out of real estate.  This trip should suit her much better and this is also her second start off a layoff.  #5 WINDFALL PROFIT narrowly missed in a MSW downstate where multiple horses hit the wire together.  That is often the sign of a bad race and the winner and runner-up have since come back to underperform.  Use this gal, but do not lean on her.  #6 BASTET had no real excuse last time out after racing in mid-pack and clunking up for third.  It is unclear what distance is best for her and you’re never going to get value here given the connections.  Her first two outings, though, make her a clear win candidate.

Race 6-1st #5 SECONDARY MARKET2ND #2 TIMELY TRADITION3RD #8 PALIO FLAG

#5 SECONDARY MARKET showed the kind of ability as a 2YO that would win this race with any move forward whatsoever.  The field she beat last time turned out to be respectable and she appears to be training well for the return.  She gets the nod in a skull-busting affair.  #2 TIMELY TRADITION is the one to beat on paper, but she is very dressed up between slow paces and track biases.  The lead is not hers for the taking today, but her ability to win is admirable and is enough to give her a long look.  #8 PALIO FLAG was a game winner on debut at Keeneland for Steve Asmussen.  This barn has a woeful record with 2nd timers who won on debut (17%, $0.77 ROI) but she showed serious ability that day and can rate just off the pace in here.

Race 7-1st #8 GINGER KITTY2ND #10 SUMMER FORTUNE3RD #4 AUNT NADINE

In a race where the favorites inspire no confidence, #8 GINGER KITTY is interesting at a price.  She’s cutting back in distance after enduring some serious trouble going to the first turn then battling gamely despite a crazy pace.  The blinkers going on might sharpen her early and she’s facing drastically weaker foes here than she did two weeks ago.  #10 SUMMER FORTUNE is kin to 4 turf winners and looks to be the controlling speed from the outside.  This barn won with a first time turfer yesterday afternoon and there’s arguably more to like about this gal on paper than that one.  #4 AUNT NADINE was a good second last time out given the pace was strong in that race and she now goes 2nd off a layoff.  Look for her to be in range early and she and #5 MO ME MO MY are must-uses in the Empire 6.

Race 8-1ST #5 MR JAGGERS2ND #3 SHAMROCKET3RD #6 FOREVER POE

#5 MR JAGGERS finally broke through for his first win last time out and looks to be in a good spot today pace-wise.  He was more forwardly placed when victorious last month and can be close from the outset again today.  Trainer Bill Mott is 16% with turf routers exiting maiden wins ($2.12 ROI).  #3 SHAMROCKET closed boldly last time out to narrowly miss behind Saratoga Derby-bound No Word downstate at Belmont.  It took this son of Tonalist 6 starts to break his maiden, but he improved by leaps and bounds once he came to New York.  If there’s pace in here he will benefit.  #6 FOREVER POE is simply a trainer play as the thought is this son of Colonel John will improve going to the care of Chad Brown.  He ran credibly in NY on debut rallying into a slow pace to snag the place dough sprinting at Belmont.

Race 9-1ST #1 ENDORSED2ND #5 BODEXPRESS3RD #6 TENFOLD

#1 ENDORSED is clearly the one to beat on the class drop, as he was a rank outsider in the Met Mile last time out.  He’s run well going long before, though 9 furlongs is probably pushing his limit.  There’s plenty of speed signed on and that will make his assignment that much easier.  #5 BODEXPRESS is very fast early and can get command of this race easily from #4 ITS ALL RELEVANT.  Whether he can do that and subsequently stay the 9 furlong trip is the question.  This quirky son of Bodemeister makes his own trouble frequently, but he is a formidable foe for anyone wanting to run at him early, middle or late.  #6 TENFOLD brings tremendous class into this spot, as he has contested a series of graded stake races since that Pimlico Special win in 2019.  This is a great spot for him and he is another who’ll benefit if the pace is strong.

Race 10-1st #2 ALWAYS FUNNY2ND #9 PIER FORTY3RD #8 BRUNATE

#2 ALWAYS FUNNY didn’t do a great deal of running last time but was returning off a layoff.  He got a tad close to a hot pace before weakening and can be given one more chance today.  #9 PIER FORTY is the horse to beat based on the dirt races he ran as a 3YO.  The running lines here are getting uglier and uglier given he was tried long on the turf last time out to no avail.  This feels like a race he is supposed to win and the outside draw is favorable.  #8 BRUNATEis going to take money in here, but he did no running whatsoever last time out.  Despite a flawless trip he had no run in the stretch.  While you always have to respect Jimmy Bond’s barn, this son of Normandy Invasion needs to improve to contend.

SARATOGA MEET STATS: 172-36-29-30      $224.90