Saratoga Race Course Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll: 8/17/18


BANKROLL: $534.20

Earlier this week, a strangely uplifting hashtag emerged on Twitter. People took to using #ShareYourRejections, and seeing the ways people have overcome setbacks served as a much-needed reminder that social media, at its best, can be incredibly uplifting.

I shared my story as part of the hashtag, and I also linked to a series of stories I wrote up a while back for entitled “The Failure Files.” If that helps someone going through something, or even makes someone laugh that could use a chuckle, I think it’s worth it to share my story. If you feel compelled to check it out, go to my Twitter page (@AndrewChampagne).

THURSDAY’S RESULTS: Nobody went with Souperfast in the fifth, and while the two closers I keyed in exactas ran OK, they had to settle for third and fourth due to the unfavorable race shape. We dropped $30.

FRIDAY’S PLAY: It’s a little tough to take too much of a stand given the weather forecast, but I’ll save my action for the late daily double, assuming the featured Skidmore Stakes stays on the turf. I’ll play a cold $20 double using likely favorites #2 SHANG SHANG SHANG and #1 AMERICAN RULE. Given the large fields signed on, I’m hoping to get a bit more of a payoff than the win odds on either horse would dictate.



Best Bet: American Rule, Race 10
Longshot: Mascarello, Race 8


Mesotherm (MTO)
All Clear

#8 ALL CLEAR: Ran well in his turf debut when second behind a next-out winner. The Gargan barn has done well to this point in the meet, and speed rider Carmouche should ensure that he’s prominent early; #6 HUBBADAHUBBADABOOM: Has shown lots of speed and comes back to turf. His lone turf start came on the quirky Kentucky Downs course, so it’s easy to throw out. Good luck with the name, Larry; #4 WET YOUR WHISTLE: Ran well when fourth at this level and route last time out and adds blinkers. This will be just his third career start, so he could still have room to grow. DIRT SELECTIONS: MESOTHERM, ALL CLEAR, HUBBADAHUBBADABOOM.


Frostie Anne
Land Mine
Pink Twist

#1 FROSTIE ANNE: Is wheeled back on short rest after an easy wire-to-wire score last weekend. She’ll look for her sixth win in a row, and she’s been in tremendous form for most of the past year; #5 LAND MINE: Was second against open company earlier in the meet, and that was her first start since July. She could step forward second off the bench, and it helps that she doesn’t necessarily need the lead in order to run well; #6 PINK TWIST: Clearly relished two turns when winning by nearly three lengths earlier this month. The Terranova barn has strong numbers with limited starters to this point in the meet.


Giant Boo Boo
Shuffling Madness

#5 GIANT BOO BOO: Sure seems like the lone speed in the race, and in a maiden claiming field that doesn’t seem strong, that could be enough. Jose Ortiz rides back, and he’ll likely be the one to catch; #7 WHERESTHEBARBER: Was second in a similar spot at big odds earlier in the meet. That was by far the best race he’s ever run, and he’ll likely need to repeat it to compete with my top pick; #3 SHUFFLING MADNESS: Was one-paced when fourth at this level earlier this month. He hit the board in a pair of maiden claiming events at Belmont and could rally for a piece of it.


Unbridledadventure (MTO)
Fast Track Kathern

#4 FAST TRACK KATHERN: Has won three of her last five starts and two of three since going to the turf. Michelle Nevin claimed her earlier in the meet, and her runners are firing regularly; #3 HOPONTHEBUSGUS: Stretches out in distance after misfiring last month going much shorter. She’s won going long in the past, and she has a solid two-turn race to her credit last year at Aqueduct; #6 CODRINGTON: Gets a pass for her last-out effort given the extremely wet turf course. Assuming things are a bit drier, she stands a chance over a course she’s won at in the past. DIRT SELECTIONS: UNBRIDLEDADVENTURE, LA FEE VERTE, DIAMOND JEN BRADY.


Kadens Courage
Steam Engine
Icey Cash

#4 KADENS COURAGE: Has worked well ahead of his debut and earned a bullet on August 10th. This is a wide-open field, but he’s got a big shot if he runs to the work tab; #9 STEAM ENGINE: Makes his debut for Brad Cox, who can win with any type of runner. If there’s any hesitation here, it’s because offspring of sire Mineshaft often want much more ground than today’s distance; #2 ICEY CASH: Has several strong works of late for a barn whose horses sometimes need a race to get going. Javier Castellano sees fit to ride, which can’t be ignored.


Hannah’s Smile
Saratoga Treasure
Broman entry

#8 HANNAH’S SMILE: Generally runs the same race every time out and may be helped by the likely race shape. She’s a closer in a race with lots of early speed, and she should be going the right direction late; #3 SARATOGA TREASURE: Won her debut at this route last summer and comes in off of two solid efforts at this level downstate. She’s another that will be running well turning for home; BROMAN ENTRY: Is in the top three partially because of strength in numbers and partially in case this race gets taken off the turf. All three of these horses can run on a wet main track, and if that situation arises, I’m hoping more than one runs. DIRT SELECTIONS: BROMAN ENTRY, SILENCIA, SCORPION BOWL.


Dancing All Night
Palladian Bridge

#5 DANCING ALL NIGHT: Ran a very good race in defeat last time out, especially since that was her first start in nearly a year. She could sit just off the pace and get first run on the pacesetters at the top of the stretch; #10 CILANTRO: Was impressive in breaking her maiden at Tampa, but she hasn’t run since. Having said that, she has a few solid local drills for a barn that must be respected; #8 PALLADIAN BRIDGE: Set a fast pace earlier in the meet, but still hung on for third. She figures to be the main speed, and she hasn’t run a bad race in almost a year.


Stretch’s Stone (MTO)
Honor Up

#9 HONOR UP: May have been a turf horse all along. He prevailed in a swiftly-run race downstate after trying very tough company on dirt earlier this season. A repeat effort could be enough to win what seems like a wide-open race; #5 MASCARELLO: Is a price on the morning line, but has won three of his last five for a very capable barn. Luis Saez rides, and he hasn’t finished worse than second in a pair of local outings; CASSE ENTRY: I most prefer #1A CATCH A CAB, who won three in a row before a race that was too bad to be true. He’d benefit from a fast pace, and Jose Ortiz comes back aboard. DIRT SELECTIONS: STRETCH’S STONE, WICKED MACHO, HOLY WEEK.


Shang Shang Shang
Swamp Rat
Sir Truebadour

#2 SHANG SHANG SHANG: Scratched out of the Bolton Landing to run here against males, and she exits a Group 2 win at Royal Ascot. She’s got plenty of early speed and has worked well of late; #8 SWAMP RAT: Made up a lot of ground in his debut, where he won going away at odds of 24-1. There’s plenty of speed signed on, and that could set up for him; #12 SIR TRUEBADOUR: Exits a Grade 3 win at Churchill Downs and tries turf for the first time. He’s bred to love it, but will need to negotiate a trip from the far outside post. DIRT SELECTIONS: SHANG SHANG SHANG, SIR TRUEBADOUR, LEXITONIAN.


American Rule
The Chamo

#1 AMERICAN RULE: Caught a tough field in his lone start to date, which was won by eventual graded stakes winner Kanthaka. He drops way down in class for his first start since December, which is usually a red flag, but it just seems like he’s much better than this bunch; #10 THE CHAMO: Was third at this level earlier in the meet and put forth a bullet work last week. Joel Rosario rides back, and he could get a good stalking trip; #3 METAPHORICAL: Drops down in class after running for double this price in each of his last two outings. One of those races saw his run second at Belmont, so he could be competitive going down a level.

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