You’ll notice a slight change to my analysis, as I’ve officially begun putting numbers next to the names of horses, just for the sake of clarification. This was a suggestion from a Twitter follower of mine, and I’m all for doing things that make my content easier to digest.
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SATURDAY’S RESULTS: In one of a few “backwards exactas” in the pick box, Tee Up nosed Our Girl Abby in the fifth, which ruined our lone remaining double ticket following the scratch of Shape Shifter. We dropped $10.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: Given the rain that’s in the forecast, it’s worth a reminder that all plays in this section assume turf races stay there. With that in mind, I’ll dive into the early Pick Five and play the following $0.50 ticket that begins in the opener: 2 with 1,2,4 with 1,2,6 with 4 with 2,3,5,6,8. Singles TIED UP and ADULATION will likely be heavy favorites, but hopefully we can get a price or two home around them to make this pay a bit.
TOTAL WAGERED: $22.50
Best Bet: Tied Up, Race 1
Longshot: Stealth, Race 5
#2 TIED UP: Has been off since an easy score against similar competition at Keeneland. A repeat of that effort would make her incredibly difficult to beat, and it’s tough to see anyone here challenging her early on; #7 PURE PRAISE: Rated well behind a slow pace last time out in her first start for Jeremiah Englehart. Her lone win came over a sloppy track, so she could benefit from any rain that hits the area; #6 NORTHERNSTREETGAL: Drops in class, comes back to the dirt, and has run her best races over wet tracks. She could hit the board at a bit of a price.
Two Dozen Roses
CASSE ENTRY: #1A CHOCOLATE KISSES seems better meant than #1 TOY MOON, but either can win. The former is a half to top-notch turf horse Synchrony, and her dam won stakes races on both turf and dirt; #4 TWO DOZEN ROSES: Has a series of turf works, and her second dam threw Beholder, Into Mischief, and Mendelssohn. The five-furlong drills indicate she may want today’s distance; MOTT ENTRY: #2B GLAZE is bred to love this distance and could improve off of her debut, while main-track-only entrant #2 ROTATE has a chance if this is rained off the turf.
No Need to Appeal (MTO)
#1 LA MONEDA: Has turned into a sharp turf horse and won two in a row downstate in impressive fashion. Javier Castellano regains the mount, and anything close to her last-out effort would make her formidable; #2 COMPLICIT: Has improved with every start and followed up her two-back maiden score with a win last month at Belmont. She overcame a very slow pace in the most recent race, and this barn’s certainly formidable with turf routers; #6 DOLCE LILI: Looks much better if you draw a line through the Grade 3 Valley View, which was followed by a six-month layoff. She may benefit from a return to a two-turn route of ground. DIRT SELECTIONS: NO NEED TO APPEAL, RILEY’S CHOICE, LA MONEDA.
#4 ADULATION: Drops in for a tag for one of the most well-known owners in Saratoga. The last two races weren’t great, but he’s been competitive against much better in the past and Javier Castellano hops aboard; #1 CAVALLOTTO: Prevailed against weaker company last time out at Belmont Park and may be going in the right direction. He’s 2 for 3 in dirt sprints, and he may be a bit of a price; #2 BENEFACTOR: Is another dropping way down in class, and he’s been gelded since trailing a much better group. He’s got plenty of early speed, and a repeat of his effort three back would likely get him a piece of this.
Point to Remember
#5 DOMAIN: Has finished second in a pair of swiftly-run races at Belmont Park and has a pedigree that says two turns should not be a problem. His 85 Beyer Speed Figure from the most recent race is the top last-out number in the field; #8 POINT TO REMEMBER: Is bred up and down for distance and should improve in his third start of the season. He may be a bit more forwardly-placed in this spot; #3 STEALTH: Completely missed the break in his debut and has earned two bullets for workouts since then. Ian Wilkes charges tend to move forward with experience, and this one could present real value in exotics.
Fuel the Bern
Bam Bam Blu
#3 VENTRY BAY: Loves Saratoga and exits a strong race for the level where the winner and second-place finisher both won at next asking. Wesley Ward’s on a bit of a cold streak in New York, but this one has back form that more than fits; #8 FUEL THE BERN: Has found his form of late and cuts back in distance for the strong Danny Gargan barn. It helps that he doesn’t need the lead to run well, and he could get first run turning for home; #5 BAM BAM BLU: Romped in the slop at Monmouth last time out and tries turf here. His pedigree says he could like turf, and he certainly merits respect if this race gets moved to the main track. DIRT SELECTIONS: BAM BAM BLU, CHANGE OF VENUE, WIN WITH PRIDE.
#5 GOLDEN AWARD: Stepped forward in her second start, when she held on for second despite setting a very fast pace. She’s worked well since then, and she could benefit from the cutback in distance; #9 BIG BIRTHDAY: Ran well in her first start off the bench, finishing third in a sprint at Belmont Park. She could step forward in her second start back, and the outside draw could allow her to work out a trip; #4 COMMUNAL: Was second in a race that features many runners that also show up in this spot. This barn’s horses tend to need a race to get going, so it’s a good sign that she was ready right off the bat.
#5 DANCING BREEZE: Ran third behind La Moneda last time out in her first start since November. She was a good second in a $150,000 stakes race before going to the sidelines, and a return to that form would make her tough; #2 STAINLESS: Is Grade 3-placed and could benefit from what seems like a lot of early speed. This barn does well with horses coming off of long layoffs, and she may be going best of all late; #4 QUEEN MUM: Has never finished worse than third in four starts to date. She tries turf for the first time, and her 353 turf Tomlinson number says she could love it. DIRT SELECTIONS: CRITIQUE, STAINLESS, QUEEN MUM.
#4 MONOMOY GIRL: Seems like the lone frontrunner in a small field, which is almost always a tough combination to beat. She seems to be getting better as she goes along, which is a scary thought since she’s a neck away from being 8 for 8; #2 MIDNIGHT BISOU: Aired by six lengths in the Grade 2 Mother Goose, which doubled as her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was good to see her win while close to the pace, but these waters are much deeper; #5 GIO GAME: Was third behind Monomoy Girl in the Grade 1 Acorn, an effort validated when the second-place finisher came right back to win the Indiana Oaks. Her lone misfire came in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and she may be on the improve.
#9 COMPETITIONOFIDEAS: Just missed last time out in a fast race for the level. The outside post is a bit of an issue on the inner turf, but she’s shown enough talent to indicate she could overcome it; #2 COMPRESSION: Was third in that same race despite not having much running room turning for home. She could easily improve enough to win this race, although she’s found trouble twice in as many starts, which is a concern; #10 EAST MOON: Finished an OK second in her first start going long and tries turf, which her pedigree says she could take to. If this race gets rained off the turf, she figures to be the one to beat. DIRT SELECTIONS: EAST MOON, KIDORO, THAT’S SPEIGHTFUL.