SARATOGA – 8/15/2020
Nick Tammaro ~ @NTamm1215
|Race 1-||1st #4 BEBE BANKER||2ND #5 SOMEBODY||3RD #3 INVEST|
Perhaps this is nothing more than an attempt to get #4 BEBE BANKER claimed, but he is strictly the one to beat on the class drop and the meet’s top pilot sees fit to take the call. #5 SOMEBODY returns off a layoff for a barn that has done very well at this meet. He was competitive against lesser and has had success at Aqueduct, which has translated to this new Spa surface. #3 INVEST is 2nd off a claim by AC Avila after showing speed and fading last time out. A more patient ride will pay dividends this afternoon.
|Race 2-||1st #5 POLINESIA||2ND #4 PUBLIC SECTOR||3RD #2 ROCK SUGAR|
#5 POLINESIA is bred for dirt but is reportedly working up a storm for this turf debut. He is out of a graded stake winning mare and progeny of American Pharoah win their turf debuts at a staggering 19% clip. #4 PUBLIC SECTORis a stablemate of the top pick and has a European pedigree. These connections have done well with these types in the past. #2 ROCK SUGAR ran a credible race on debut and should benefit from having that experience.
|Race 3-||1st #3 REED KAN||2ND #4 SKYLER’S SCRAMJET||3RD #5 CHATEAU|
#3 REED KAN is in top form for a barn that does well with dirt claimers. He showed the ability to sit just off the pace in his most recent win and those tactics are likely to be employed again. #4 SKYLER’S SCRAMJET was an impressive winner last time out against lesser and is a threat to go back-to-back. He has speed and can get control of this race if gate issues persist for #5 CHATEAU. The interesting price horse in here is #1 LUSITANO as he cuts back in distance for a barn that is having a rough go of it at this meet. The rail is no issue given his running style and there is real speed on paper in this field.
|Race 4-||1st #1 ORB IN THE TOWER||2ND #7 AMERICAN PIPER||3RD #8 ECCOCI QUA|
#1 ORB IN THE TOWER is a second time starter who endured a wide trip on a wet track on debut. He should benefit from having that race behind him and now faces a field that lacks a standout at second asking. #7 AMERICAN PIPER received some support on debut based on a quick worktab from Maryland. He was inside that day and ended up in some early traffic. The outside post and race behind him will help. #8 ECCOCI QUA is a firster by Freud, whose progeny win on debut at a 9% clip. The dam here was a turf specialist, but all four of her foals to race are winners and the worktab looks solid.
|Race 5-||1ST #3 FEVOLA||2ND #10 BRAZEN||3RD #6 MANDATORY PAYOUT|
#3 FEVOLA was uncompetitive against starter allowance foes and now takes a sizable drop in class. This son of Midnight Lute showed ability in breaking his maiden for 50k and is quick enough to protect his inside position early today. If he can beat #10 BRAZEN to the lead, they are all running for second. That Rodolphe Brisset trainee was a game 2nd last time out against much tougher, but did enjoy a run along the best part of the racetrack that day. He towers over this field speed figure-wise and that’s tough to ignore. #6 MANDATORY PAYOUT didn’t have a particularly clean trip last time out and is deserving of another shot today. He is a late runner who’ll benefit if the pace heats up and that is at least in the realm of possibility.
|Race 6-||1st #3 OFFICIATING||2ND #1 ENGRAVE||3RD #4 SWILL|
#3 OFFICIATING is by Blame, a 13% debut sire and is out of a dam who broke her maiden as a 2YO at Saratoga for Bill Mott. She produced 2017 BC Juvenile Fillies winner Caledonia Road and this colt is apparently training well for his unveiling. #1 ENGRAVE is kin to Grade I winning turfer Beach Patrol and went for a pretty penny at auction. He’s drawn poorly on the inside but is training well for a barn that unveiled an impressive debut winner here two weeks ago. #4 SWILL is the best of the experienced runners, as he was a respectable second on debut at Keeneland. The runner who bested him that day came back to snag place honors in the Saratoga Special.
|Race 7-||1st #6 MO READY||2ND #8 JIMMY JAZZ||3RD #5 DANFUSI|
The two horses you want out of the 9th race on July 25 are #6 MO READY and #8 JIMMY JAZZ. The former was stuck in heavy traffic in crunch time then came with a strong late bid to finish 5th as the 7/2 favorite. He is likely to be favored here and will win with a cleaner trip. ‘Jimmy made an aggressive and early move while wide on the course into the teeth of a hot pace. He gets a huge upgrade at pilot and will be able to settle and make one run today. #5 DANFUSI is a threat to wire this bunch if Albie is ridden more patiently. That seems like a possibility given the jockey change. This ridgling has a ton of speed, which he showed last time out.
|Race 8-||1ST #6 COLONEL LIAM||2ND #4 DOMESTIC SPENDING||3RD #2 DECORATED INVADER|
#6 COLONEL LIAM ran so well in his turf debut that it cannot be considered a fluke. He was positioned just off the pace and exploded late to win convincingly and that’s enough to give him the nod on the class hump. #4 DOMESTIC SPENDING was bested by #2 DECORATED INVADER last time out in his first try against stakes foes and now gets more ground with which to work. His participation here is notable as he gave the impression in the Hall of Fame that he might want less ground. The trainer’s confidence is notable. Decorated Invader is the one to beat on paper but was hardly overwhelming in victory last time out and may have peaked. This is BY FAR his toughest assignment to date.
|Race 9-||1ST #4 BONNY SOUTH||2ND #5 SWISS SKYDIVER||3RD #6 HARVEY’S LIL GOIL|
There is an argument to be made that #4 BONNY SOUTH was taken out of her game in the Ashland when forced to chase the pace a bit more than she’d prefer to. That’s enough to give her a look at a price as she figures to excel at the 10 furlong trip. She goes 2nd off a layoff today and she will be a square price. #5 SWISS SKYDIVER is clearly the horse to beat on paper and brings in credentials that would make her a Kentucky Oaks favorite in most years. She has been campaigned aggressively and that can often catch up to a horse being asked to do something for the first time, as this daughter of Daredevil is today. #6 HARVEY’S LIL GOIL won the Regret last time out on turf and now returns to dirt. She still owns the best Thorograph figure in the race in the Busanda, which she won over subsequent stake winner Water White.
|Race 10-||1st #6 VALMONT||2ND #4 CALL ME HARRY||3RD #5 NEW YORK’S FINEST|
#6 VALMONT ran a credible race last time out when 3rd behind two competitors in this field and now make the third start of his form cycle. He has the speed to be forwardly placed early and can take a step forward off his last. #4 CALL ME HARRY returns off a layoff for trainer Kelsey Danner and will be treated with Lasix for the first time. This son of Street Sense ran well twice at Saratoga last year and Danner does incredibly well with layoff returnees (3-12, $7.24 ROI). #5 NEW YORK’S FINEST returns off a brief break today and is the one to catch in here. If Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides him aggressively, he may forget to quit.
|Race 11-||1st #4 BRICCO||2ND #3 BRICKYARD||3RD #6 MICHAEL’S BAD BOY|
#4 BRICCO missed narrowly last time out against similar foes and is in top form for this outing. He should be a solid favorite and is drawn well to save ground, which is a necessity on this turf course. #3 BRICKYARD had no chance last time out when buried in traffic after a sluggish break. He has room to improve and should be more forwardly placed on the stretchout. #6 MICHAEL’S BAD BOY is a logical win candidate given his improvement since he returned from the break. If he can stay a tad closer early today it will undoubtedly help his chances.
SARATOGA MEET STATS: 223-47-37-36 $293.90