Saratoga has always been my summer favorite, even though I’ve never made the trip. The runners that converge on the beautiful oval, and the sounds of historic hoof beats resonate for fans from all walks. I’m a big fan of New York racing. From the frigid cold of the inner-track, to the sweltering summer heat at The Spa. – But this weekend had me flipping channels like a bored teenager on a rainy day. But with the channel surfing, I may have found a few runners who deserve a close look before making your next wager.
Saratoga – Race #2 – 7/24/15 – #6
Here Comes Rosie = Manuel Franco was aboard this New York-bred filly and this was far from a clean trip. She was 3rd into the turn and was bumped soundly by the winner. She rebounded nicely, and battled gamely to the wire. – If you’re a fan of a gutsy effort, this is one you should hammer right back.
Monmouth – Race #5 – 7/24/15 – #9
Hyman Roth = Daniel Centeno had the call and this effort may be a little deceiving. He broke alertly and played chase all the way around the track. When the timer hit 1:10.83, he was three-wide and finished an even effort. Give him a regular pace scenario and a better post draw and we may see a winner who will reward his backers. – Just like the “Godfather” movie; ” Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners.”
Saratoga – Race #3 – 7/26/15 – #2
Power Nap = My handicapping antenna goes up when a runner is heavily backed at the windows and turns in a head scratcher. Javier Castellano knows his way around the New York ovals, and you’ll have your work cut out looking for a bad move. He was a victim of stumbling out of the gate with his snout getting a taste of the dirt surface. – He just never fully recovered and trainer Mike Maker does very well next out with runners who have a legit excuse. He finds the problem if any, and has it corrected quickly. I think if all systems are go, you’ll see a freshened runner. Be sure to keep an eye peeled for the work tab. If you see one or two works, bet early and bet often.
Saratoga – Race #9 – 7/26/15 – #8
Tweet Kitten = Javier Castellano in the irons again, and this time he was sitting on a winner and dealt out dawdling fractions to seal the deal. He had control of the race until the rail turned into the hedge, and his mount “propped” a bit and seem to shy away from the greenery. – This may be master of the obvious play of the day, but you can look for a well controlled runner next out who probably will have instructions to steer clear of the hedge. – I can’t complain as I had the winner who closed into a 1:16.25 3/4 time, and still got up to win in the shadow of the wire. I enjoy a casher, but the real winner should have hung on as he put the field to sleep with slow fractions. – Bet back with confidence.
Saratoga – Race #10 – 7/26/15 – Key Race
I would like to think of this a “key race.” – I’m a Chatterbox did everything right except the last 50 yards. He got out a bit, and it looked as though the rider’s whip was pretty close to the second place horse who was put up in a DQ. – Play this one right back for one of racing’s good guys Larry Jones. – Curalina did everything right under the guided hand of Johnny V, and he’s been on a mission of late. He race rode, and put the pressure on “Chatterbox” staying close while wearing her down. This was a very game effort for the Pletcher barn and I think you’ll hear more from her later in the summer. – Include Betty turned in one of the best late turn of foot efforts I’ve seen two races back. She was closing nicely after bumping like a pinball at the break, and was in tight and urged to go three wide in the final turn. I’m looking for a little break away, and a runner who turns in a late flash of speed.
Arlington Park – Race#9 – 7/26/15 – #1
Daddy’s Pleasure = Eddie Perez is usually a good rider in Chi-town, but on this day he turned a performance that looked like a triple bug rider on his first time out. – Well, that may not be fair as many young riders come ready to win, and Mr. Perez must have been thinking of going fishing. – During the race he awaited room at least a dozen times coming fresh off the claim, and going from synthetic back to his preferred surface of the lush greensward. He was boxed in, pocketed up and at one time look to break free to launch a bid, but that was just a teaser. Play this one right back, and if they step up in class or have a rider change, double your bet and go to the cashier.