SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/21/20)


BANKROLL: $726.50

My full-time job is with Life Chiropractic College West in the Bay Area, and we’re coming up on the busiest weekend of the year. Our annual conference, the WAVE, kicks off Friday afternoon, and we’re going online for the first time. As an aside, if any members of the WAVE team happen to be reading this, you’re all awesome and have moved mountains these past few months!

What does this mean for this section? Well, it means I may or may not have time to send fully-updated recaps of the prior day’s action, and the same applies to the total at the top of this section. I refuse to be the guy who holds up print production of The Pink Sheet for any reason, and that scenario is in play here. In the event this happens, I’ll have stuff up on as quickly as I can once the conference ends for the day, and I’ll put that information on Twitter (@AndrewChampagne) as well.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS: This was brutal. I had two horses in a three-horse photo in the eighth race, but the one I didn’t have was the winner (and a chalk I was trying to beat to boot). After scratches, I dropped $20.

FRIDAY’S PLAY: The fifth race is fascinating, and I can’t wait to bet #9 MY MAN FLINTSTONE, who hits me as the lone speed in that event. I’ll put $10 to win and place on him, and I’ll also single him in a cold $5 double ending with #6 PRINCESA CAROLINE in the sixth.



Best Bet: Golden Pal, Race 3
Longshot: My Man Flintstone, Race 5


Silver Token
Striking Causeway
Advanced Strategy

#7 SILVER TOKEN: Just missed last time and has been running well since going to the Horacio DePaz barn. While the outfit is just 1-for-10 at the meet as of this writing, it’s sent out six runners-up, so the horses are certainly prepared; #4 STRIKING CAUSEWAY: Ran too badly to be true last time out at Belmont and is another going out for a barn light on numbers, but heavy on in-the-money finishes. A repeat of his two-back effort, when he was third beaten a neck against similar, would put him right there; #6 ADVANCED STRATEGY: Was fourth beaten a length in his return to the races earlier this summer. Improvement could come at second asking, but I think there’s a chance he wants more distance, and at his likely short price, I can’t endorse him on top.


The Angry Man

#5 THE ANGRY MAN: Has run second on three straight occasions and comes back to dirt for this event. His last two starts have shown he can get two turns (albeit on turf), and his last dirt effort saw him chase a very promising horse named Happy Saver; #2 ASHIHAM: Was a one-paced third last time out at this route and runs like a horse who wants as much distance as he can get. He was even-money last time out, but did run into a decent winner in First Line, who was briefly pointed to the Grade 1 Travers; #3 OBSESSED: Stretches out to two turns second off a long layoff for Todd Pletcher. There’s plenty of stamina in his pedigree, he may have needed the last-out effort, and if you want a price on Pletcher and Irad Ortiz, Jr., you may get one here.


Golden Pal
Sky’s Not Falling

#6 GOLDEN PAL: Did everything but win at Royal Ascot in June when a hard-luck second in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. He’s bred to be very sharp, being by Uncle Mo and out of freakish turf sprinter Lady Shipman, and he looks like a formidable favorite; #5 FAUCI: Took to the turf last time out at Keeneland when breaking his maiden over yielding going. He’s shown some early zip in both of his prior starts and should be prominent from the first jump; #4 SKY’S NOT FALLING: Tries the lawn after finishing third in a minor stakes race at Colonial Downs last month. He comes in after a bullet work on a synthetic surface, and there is some turf in his pedigree.


Citizen K
Eagle Orb
Sonic Speed

#8 CITIZEN K: Is a reluctant top pick for me in a race with seven first-time starters, most going out for barns whose debuting runners aren’t fully-cranked. This one, however, is a half to La Fuerza, who won multiple stakes races as a 2-year-old, and the recent works are promising; #4 EAGLE ORB: Sold for $95,000 at auction last year and exits a strong half-mile drill earlier this month. He’s a half-brother to five winners, but I think he may be at his best going a bit longer; #2 SONIC SPEED: Is by strong juvenile sire Maclean’s Music and has a few solid gate works for trainer John Kimmel. Kimmel’s first-out numbers aren’t great, but this isn’t the strongest spot and I wouldn’t be surprised if he grabbed a piece of it.


My Man Flintstone
More Like It

#9 MY MAN FLINTSTONE: Certainly looks like the main speed here as he comes back to the turf. He was eased in his lone prior turf start, but he’s run very well on synthetic surfaces and is bred to enjoy the lawn; #5 UNPRECEDENTED: Was a close-up fourth against similar last time out and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure. He’s got enough speed to be fairly close early on beneath Irad Ortiz, Jr.; #6 MORE LIKE IT: Broke through by getting his nose down last time out and tries winners for the first time. Jose Ortiz sees fit to ride back, and this barn has hit at a 21% clip at the meet. Runner-up Silver Token runs in the opener, and if that one does well, it could be a good sign.


Make Or Break (MTO)
Princesa Caroline
Passion Factor

#6 PRINCESA CAROLINE: Returns off the bench for her 3-year-old debut. She was third as an odds-on favorite in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar in November, and the two-back work indicates she’s sitting on a big effort in her 2020 bow; #9 PASSION FACTOR: Found the Grade 2 Appalachian a bit too tough and should appreciate the drop into the allowance ranks. She may also be a bit sharper in her second start off the bench; #1 LASHARA: Is yet another coming out of a stakes race, as she faded to seventh in the Grade 2 Lake Placid. Both of her races before that were strong, and she may be the one the front-runners have to worry about in the lane.


Jump for Joy
Flat Awesome Jenny
Lady by Choice

#3 JUMP FOR JOY: Does her best running over this surface and beat similar foes last time out earlier in the meet. She’s got tactical speed but doesn’t necessarily need the lead in order to run well, which should give Jose Ortiz plenty of options; #5 FLAT AWESOME JENNY: Comes back to the right level after her connections took a shot in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth. Her two-back win at Delaware was good, and she’s run plenty of strong races going one turn in the recent past; #2 LADY BY CHOICE: Will make her third start of the meet here and will have every chance to come rolling late at a price. She didn’t have the best of trips last time out and could step forward with a cleaner journey.


Bears Mafia (MTO)
Veterans Beach

#4 FREEWHEELER: Makes his return to the races and looms large against allowance company. He chased the eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner when second in the Grade 3 Futurity, and it also helps that he won at this route in his debut; #1 VETERANS BEACH: Makes his first start in a year but has prior races that would make him competitive. He was second in his last outing following a long break back in May of 2019, and his lone win came here two summers ago; #9 CRACK SHOT: Certainly seems like the one to catch and will have to go early to clear the field from his outside post. He’ll almost certainly be leading into the stretch; the question is, will he have the stamina necessary to hold on?


Voice of Spring (MTO)
Kept Waiting
Gaelic Gold

#7 KEPT WAITING: Did all the dirty work last time out and was beaten a neck by a deep closer, all during a time when front-runners were not winning on turf. This race seems light on early zip, and recent races have shown speed can hold on the grass; #6 GAELIC GOLD: Will likely be favored second off the bench for Christophe Clement, and the reasoning for that makes sense. She rallied to be third behind my top selection last time out, and Rosario sees fit to ride back; #8 KILKEA: Was beaten less than a length at Belmont back in June and has since moved to the Mark Hennig barn. This is her first time going two turns on the lawn, and her pedigree says that’s what she’ll want to do.

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