SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/27/20)


BANKROLL: $648.50

Today’s bankroll blurb is a public service announcement.

A friend of mine is a sports broadcaster at a radio station in central New York. He got an email from someone pitching stations on the topic of cleaning products. However, this wasn’t the worst part of the message. No, that came later, when the emailer brought up that the guest in question could discuss cleaning tips for the holidays, which are apparently, ahem, “coming up soon.”

Hanukkah begins December 10th. Christmas is December 25th. Kwanzaa kicks off December 26th. Hyping up the holidays before Halloween should be frowned upon. Hyping up the holidays before Labor Day should be prosecuted by The Hague as a crime against humanity.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS: I was right to play against Munnings Muse in the first leg of the Pick Five, but I didn’t like the eventual winner at all. Scratches reduced the loss to $15.

THURSDAY’S PLAY: I’ll take another swing at a Pick Five and focus on the late sequence, which starts in the fifth. My 50-cent ticket reads as follows: 1,2,8 with 1,4,6,9 with 3,7,8 with 2,6 with 3. Hopefully, I can extract some value out of #3 ROBIN SPARKLES and build sand castles in the sand in celebration following the day’s events.



Best Bet: Robin Sparkles, Race 9
Longshot: Preamble, Race 5


Imperio D
Majestic View
Lady’s Boy

#6 IMPERIO D: Enters what seems like a “now or never” spot. He’s been competitive at this level twice this summer, and it certainly looks like he’ll be the controlling speed in the opener. If he’s ever going to break through on this circuit, this looks like the spot; #1 MAJESTIC VIEW: Drops way down in class after disappointing at 5/2 odds last month. John Kimmel has good numbers with runners adding blinkers, and the recent work looks pretty good; #7 LADY’S BOY: Draws a cushy outside post in his debut and might not have to be much to pick up a check here. The August 9th work on the training track looks pretty flashy, and that could mean this gelding has some potential.


Prairie Wings
Forty Zip
All Others Follow

#2 PRAIRIE WINGS: Sat a perfect trip in her turf debut but got ran down by a better horse going a marathon distance. I can’t hold that against her too much, and she gets another strong setup here. It certainly doesn’t seem like there’s any other speed in the race, which has to be music to Luis Saez’s ears; #1 FORTY ZIP: Has run reasonably well in two starts and goes second off the bench for Shug McGaughey. She sat a bit closer last time out at Keeneland and may be forwardly-placed by default given the likely race shape; #6 ALL OTHERS FOLLOW: Has improved in all three starts and most recently ran a solid second at Monmouth. The 80 Beyer Speed Figure she earned that day is the highest such number in this field, but form doesn’t always travel north up the Jersey Turnpike.


Value Proposition
Seismic Wave

#4 VALUE PROPOSITION: Was a bit one-pace when third in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont. With his running style, I think he’ll much prefer this two-turn route of ground, and he may sit close to what figures to be a slow early pace; #5 SENTRY: Has two wins and two seconds in his last four starts. He most recently ran a hard-luck second off the layoff earlier in the meet, and if a faster-than-expected pace materializes, he may be the one to hold off late; #1 SEISMIC WAVE: Has back form that shows he can win this race, but the 0-for-3 local mark is a concern. He may prefer tracks with firmer turf courses like Belmont or Gulfstream, and he’s another that could be compromised by the race shape.


Judicial Restraint
Flying P entry

#2 JUDICIAL RESTRAINT: Gets my top pick despite coming in from Monmouth for Chad Brown, which is often a red flag. However, I genuinely feel like I’ve got nowhere else to go. He adds blinkers after running second against similar at Belmont; FLYING P ENTRY: #1 CORKMAN drops back in for a tag after losing all chance at the break against special weight foes at Monmouth. He’s run reasonably well going two turns in the past and, most importantly, doesn’t exit a race I find suspect, unlike many others; #4 HEIGHT: Ran second in that aforementioned event and may well be favored here. However, he had every chance to go by a tired leader in the stretch and couldn’t get the job done. Perhaps that race is better than I think it was, but I can’t endorse him at his likely price.


Dubb entry
Morley entry

DUBB ENTRY: I’ll give #1 DOWSE’S BEACH one more shot. He was a close-up second last time out, which was his seventh top-two finish in 11 local starts. Perhaps he’s not as good as he was, but this doesn’t seem like the toughest race for the level; #8 PREAMBLE: Goes short on turf for the first time, and he’s bred to like the grass. His 326 turf Tomlinson rating is very solid, and that may be what he needs to recapture his 2018 and early-2019 form; MORLEY ENTRY: #2 DUNCASTLE was fourth in the race my top pick exits and may be the main speed in this event. He looks like the speed of the speed, and he’ll likely be the one they have to catch turning for home.


Leaveuwithasmile (MTO)
Maker entry
Glass Ceiling

MAKER ENTRY: #1 MORE MANGO stole her most recent race on the front end. She got a brilliant ride that day from Jose Ortiz, who sees fit to ride back in a race where the other presumed speed horses have very little in the way of turf form; #4 GLASS CEILING: Tries turf for the first time, but her connections attempted to get her a race on the lawn this past May. Between that, her back class, and her grass-friendly pedigree, she should have every shot to run well here; #9 BELLA ROSE: Won her lone start to date going two turns on turf and didn’t disgrace herself when third against similar downstate. The outside post isn’t ideal, but she’s certainly got the potential to step forward at a bit of a price.


Victory Kingdom

#7 PEACEFUL: Has run her best races at this route and wired an allowance field earlier in the meet. For a stakes race going short on the lawn, this race doesn’t seem to have much early zip, and I think she could steal this at a square price; #8 VICTORY KINGDOM: Comes in from Australia and gets Lasix for the first time, which could make her very dangerous. She’s run fairly well against stakes competition in her homeland, and Luis Saez sees fit to ride; #3 GETMOTHERAROSE: Had a terrible trip in the Caress Stakes earlier this month and should move forward with smoother sailing here. It’s possible her best days are behind her, but it wasn’t too long ago that she had five wins in an eight-start span (including the Grade 3 Honey Fox).


Texas Swing
Danny California
Creative Style

#2 TEXAS SWING: Was promising enough to earn a trip to the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, where he ran third behind the Kentucky Derby-bound King Guillermo. He’s been off nearly six months, but anything close to his early-2020 form would make him tough to beat; #6 DANNY CALIFORNIA: Has proven he’s a far better two-turn horse, and did so once again with a runaway score against state-breds last month. He has three wins and a second in four two-turn starts over the past 12 months, and this barn has done very well this season; #5 CREATIVE STYLE: Was claimed by a strong barn last time out and has already hit the board twice at this meet. The question is, does he want to go two turns, or is he better as a one-turn miler?


Robin Sparkles
Secure Connection
Mo Me Mo My

#3 ROBIN SPARKLES: Rocked her backers’ bodies until Canada Day with an impressive win over state-bred maiden claimers two weeks ago. This is a big step up, but anything close to her last-out Beyer Speed Figure of 90 will likely earn her another trip to the mall; #6 SECURE CONNECTION: Looks a lot better if you solely consider her efforts going shorter than a mile on grass. She went from last to first in beating claimers earlier in the meet and would be the beneficiary of any early action up front; #4 MO ME MO MY: Was a beaten favorite last time out, but was rated behind a pretty slow early pace for the distance. Irad Ortiz, Jr., signs on, and perhaps she’ll have a bit more racing luck in this spot than she did earlier this month.

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