I wish I could provide something that is, at a minimum, mildly amusing in this space today. I enjoy doing that, especially for people who really enjoy reading my stuff. However, a family emergency makes that impossible. Thankfully, all parties involved in this particular situation are physically okay, so things could be far worse.
It’s been a lousy year for a lot of people, and being divided on seemingly every possible issue hasn’t helped. My plea in this space today: Be nice to each other. We don’t know most of the struggles our fellow human beings are going through, and there may not be a whole lot we can do in those instances. However, being there to listen goes a long way. Do that.
SATURDAY’S RESULTS: When your best result is a scratch, you know it’s been a lousy day at the office. My three remaining win-place bets all fizzled, and I dropped $30.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: Once again, it’s tough to dive in without being 100% sure of the track condition. However, I think we may get a fair price on #5 ZONIC in the sixth. I’ll put $20 to win on him and hope trainer Orlando Noda continues his hot streak.
TOTAL WAGERED: $20.
Best Bet: Dubb entry, Race 4
Longshot: Sol Del Sur, Race 10
Thin White Duke
Sam and Sy
#13 THIN WHITE DUKE: Needs some luck to draw in off the AE list, but he’ll be very tough if he does. He’s run well in all four of his prior starts and took a step forward figure-wise when a tough-luck second last time out; #3 SAM AND SY: Comes in off a pair of bullet drills ahead of his unveiling. He’s by promising young sire Speightster and from the same female family that produced Group 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Sakhee; #2 BOSS BEAR: May have needed his debut earlier this month, and the rough start certainly didn’t help. Mike Maker’s horses often need a race or two to get going, and Irad Ortiz, Jr., sees fit to ride back.
Super Wicked Charm
#2 BLOOD MOON: Hasn’t won this year but takes a gigantic drop in class for aggressive connections. He’s run third against a pair of starter allowance fields at this route and should be on or near the lead early. If he gets comfortable, he’ll be tough to catch; #1 SUPER WICKED CHARM: Tried turf at Monmouth last time out and gets back to his preferred surface here. Red-hot reinsman Luis Saez has the mount, he’s won going two turns in the past, and he’ll likely be a pretty nice price; #3 BUONA FINA: Won a pretty ugly maiden claiming event a few weeks ago and faces winners for the first time. He did, however, run a decent second two back in the slop when chasing a next-out winner, so perhaps a step forward is in the offing.
No Mo’ Spending
#4 NO MO’ SPENDING: Was third beaten less than two lengths in her local debut and has turned in two strong drills since that effort. This seems like a weaker group than the one she faced last time, and another step forward could make her tough to beat; #6 ELUSIVE SITE: Can’t be dismissed given the barn she comes from and the solid gate work on August 21st. However, that work was a pretty sharp improvement from months’ worth of prior drills, so I’m not sure how much confidence can be gained from it; #2 ROSEY’S PEACH: Debuted by running fourth in the same race my top pick exits. She’s got some ground to make up on that rival, but it’s not inconceivable to think she can step up to grab a piece of it.
#1A HIEROGLYPHICS: Responded to a big drop in class last time out with a romp over several foes that also show up here. He’s won three of six starts on this turf course, and if this race stays on the grass, a fourth victory looks likely; #9 IAN GLASS: Wired a weaker group last time second off the bench beneath a heads-up ride from Joel Rosario. That pilot gets back aboard, and the Ray Handal barn has been sending out live runners for most of the meet; #2 GOLDEN DECISION: Hasn’t won in a while, but drops down in class for this race and won his most recent start for anything close to this claiming price. The faster they go early, the better his chances figure to be, and there’s some early zip signed on here.
Cease and Desist (MTO)
#5 RED GHOST: Sports several strong works ahead of her debut for world-class 2-year-old trainer Wesley Ward. She’s a half-sister to six winners, and her second dam is a Grade 2-winning full sister to the great Alysheba, so there’s plenty to like from a pedigree standpoint; #9 SO ENCHANTING: Sold for $275,000 at auction last September and debuts for top-notch connections. She’s by top turf sire More Than Ready, has been working well for Chad Brown, and may be talented enough to overcome the wide draw; #7 PERFECTION: Is bred up and down for turf and is worth a look at a big price. Her second dam is champion Possibly Perfect, and sire Malibu Moon has been known to throw horses with ability on the grass.
#5 ZONIC: Rallied late to be third against similar company last time out in his first start for this barn. Improvement is logical second off the bench, especially for a hot trainer, and it helps that he’s never been worse than third in three local starts; #2 SUMMER BOURBON: Ran third when in for twice this tag last time out. The drop from a state-bred $25,000 claimer to an open $12,500 claimer isn’t huge, but his tactical speed is an asset; #4 LAZARUS PROJECT: Hasn’t won in a while but showed significant improvement when third against similar early in the meet. Renowned gate rider Kendrick Carmouche should have him on or near the lead early, and perhaps being able to save some ground will help.
Good Credence (MTO)
Barrel of Destiny
#2 BARREL OF DESTINY: Ran too poorly to be true last time out, so I’m drawing a line through that effort. She won three in a row before that, gets the services of Irad Ortiz, Jr., and may be a bit of a price given the last-out clunker; #7 DANCINGWTHDAFFODLS: Came flying late to take an allowance event going shorter downstate. Two turns is a bit of a question mark, but there’s certainly plenty of speed in this event, so if she’s ever going to get this route, it may well be in this spot; #1 SHORT POUR: Lost all chance when hard to handle early several weeks ago. When she’s right, she’s got a ton of early speed, and Luis Saez will likely send her to the front to capitalize on the inside draw.
#4 GANDY DANCING: Chased a well-meant returnee last time out at this level, but still managed to run a solid second. With so much early speed on paper, I’m exclusively going with closers in this race, and he seems like the best of the bunch; #8 HARRIS BAY: Was third in the race my top pick exits and hasn’t really run a bad race to this point. He’s spent most of his career against stakes foes to this point, and the faster they go early, the better his chances figure to be; #6 FLYING FINISH: Came storming home with, well, a flying finish to graduate two back at Belmont. I think the cutback to one turn and the return to state-bred competition will help him here, and Irad Ortiz, Jr., coming back to ride is also encouraging.
#9 ROYAL FLAG: May not have liked the Monmouth Park surface when a distant third in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher. She won three in a row at three different tracks before that and has worked steadily ahead of her run in the Grade 3 Shuvee; #3 LETRUSKA: Wants to go as fast as she can for as long as she can, and that strategy has led to three wins since coming to the states late last year. She’s shown she can get a two-turn route of ground, and if she gets left alone on the lead, look out; #5 GOLDEN AWARD: Was second in the Summer Colony earlier this summer, but should sit her preferred trip here. She seems a bit better when she has a target to chase, as opposed to being on the lead. That situation should materialize here, and she could have every chance to win this event for the second year in a row.
Sol Del Sur
#3 MODERN SCIENCE: Hit the front in the stretch last time out, but had to settle for second that day. He bested the third-place finisher by daylight, and a similar effort here will likely put him in the winner’s circle for the first time; #5 SOL DEL SUR: Showed late interest when fifth in his debut, which came in that same event. Bill Mott’s runners usually step forward with experience, and this son of Medaglia d’Oro is bred to get better as he gets older; #12 AMERICAN DIAMOND: Merits a look at a price if he draws in off the AE list. This son of American Pharoah is bred up and down for turf and sports an impressive 369 turf Tomlinson rating, the highest such number in this field.