BetPTC.com / Weekend Stakes Preview / Ed Meyer
Race #9 – The G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt – 6f – 5:44 pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections / #2 – Strike Power / #1 – Mitole / #4 – Firenze Fire
#2 Strike Power comes from the barn of Mark Hennig with John Velasquez in the saddle. Been away from the races for 50 days and two for two ITM this year. Cutting back in distance today and that could play right into his plans. He is a son of Speightstown who has plenty of speed. Johnny V wins 26% with early runners so he fits this one perfectly. #1 Mitole is a son of Eskendreya for trainer Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana. They are seeking their 8th straight win and he is a perfect 4 for 4 this year. Cutting back from the 1 mile distance winning the G1 Met at Belmont. Santana wins 20% with early speedrunners and 49% ITM teaming up with Asmussen. This is the best sprinter/miler in the country and clearly the one to beat. #4 Firenze Fire hails from the Jason Servis barn with Irad Ortiz in the saddle. He is 2 for 3 ITM at the Spa and been off for 49 days. He is 4 for 4 ITM sprinting and cuts back from the one mile G1 Met. He’s a closer and Ortiz wins 22% with late runners.
Race #10 – The G2 Bowling Green – 1 3/8 on the turf – 6:18 pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections / #3 – Ya Primo / #12 – Focus Group / #1 – Arklow
#3 Ya Primo is a son of Mastercraftsman (IRE) for Chad Brown with Jose Ortiz aboard. He’s been off four months after winning the Gr1 Latinoamericano in his native country. The Chilean-bred is 6 for 9 ITM on the turf and working well over the Saratoga surface. First time in the states where Brown wins 21% with fresh faces to his barn. He is bred to relish the green and Jose Ortiz wins 25% with Team Brown. #12 Focus Group is a son of Kitten’s Joy for Chad Brown with Irad Ortiz in the driver’s seat. He loves Saratoga going 4 for 5 ITM over the greensward. He’s a deep closer and that fits Irad Ortiz where he wins 21% with late runners. His last race was the G1 United Nations showing great promise. #1 Arklow is a son of Arch for trainer Brad Cox with Florent Geroux in the saddle. Been off for 50 days and was a beaten favorite in the G2 Belmont Gold Cup. Cuts back from two miles and should come flying late in the lane. Geroux wins 30% with Brad Cox and wins 20% with his turf mounts.
Race #11 – The G2 Jim Dandy – 1 1/8 – 6:51 pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections / #5 – Tacitus / #6 – War of Will / #2 – Tax
#5 Tacitus is a son of Tapit for trainer Bill Mott and Jose Ortiz. Beaten favorite in the Belmont and is a very strong closer. He is lightly raced coming off a 49 day vacation. He cuts back in distance and Ortiz fits like a glove. #6 War of Will is a son of War Front for Mark Casse and Tyler Gaffalione. Casse is winning 21% at the meet and they’ve been off for 49 days. He takes a drop in class and Gaffalione fits well as he has four wins this year. Tyler G should get a perfect stalking trip in this compact field of six. #2 Tax is a son of Arch for Danny Gargan. Irad Ortiz has the call and he’ll press the early pace or take over and lead the pack. He exits the G1 Belmont as well and owns a bullet work to prepare for this event. He is 5 for 7 lifetime and Gargan is winning 27% at the meet.
Race #8 – The G1 Bing Crosby – 6f – 8:30 pm EDT
BetPTC.com / #3- Cistron / #7 – Recruiting Ready / #8 – Jalen Journey
#3 Cistron comes from the John Sadler barn for Hronis Racing. Victor Espinoza has the mount and this was a speedy turf horse until he tried the grass. Once hitting the new surface he ran even better. He cuts back from 7f and has blistering speed. Been off 2 months and sports a bullet work coming into the race. Look for a top notch effort. #7 Recruiting Ready hails from the Stanley Hough barn with Flavien Prat in the saddle. They’ve been off 50 days and this stalker should be right on the heels of Cistron. Add in a bullet work and Hough may add to his 24% clip for the year. #8 Jalen Journey is a son of With Distinction for trainer Peter Miller who is winning 38% at the meet. 3rd off the layoff and ships in from GP. He has strong early speed and steps up in class under the guidance of Mike Smith where he wins with 39% of his sprinters.