SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (7/25/21)



I can’t believe I’m using this space for this reason, but I feel compelled to say this: Be kind to those in the service industries.

Despite what many may want to think, the pandemic is not over. Supply chains are jumbled, and many people who were in low-paying positions have not returned to them. Because of that, those who have shown up to work are being forced to do more with less during what’s already an incredibly stressful time.

My mom, my sister, and my step-sister all worked in restaurants, so this is pretty close to my heart. If you go out to eat, be patient with people. Give them space, tip them well, and don’t blow your top over simple mistakes. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle said it best: Some people are just forgetting to be human. Don’t be like them.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS: I had the right idea, as Royal Realm was indeed a bad morning line favorite in the opener, but I didn’t use Ashaar.  Because of that, my early doubles fizzled and I dropped $24.

SUNDAY’S PLAY: I’ll focus on the third and seventh races of the day. #9 CAUMSETT looks like the lone speed in the third, and that’s dangerous over the inner turf. I’ll put $15 to win on her, and in the seventh, I’ll look to extract some value out of #7 KAELY’S SISTER. She’s on top of a cold $5 exacta that uses #4 THIEF OF HEARTS in second.



Best Bet: Kaely’s Sister, Race 7
Longshot: Caumsett, Race 3


Trade Secret
Tout Ensemble
Tap N Glo

#2 TRADE SECRET: Has run well in two prior starts at Churchill Downs and missed by just a head last time out. Her experience could give her an edge in the Sunday lid-lifter, and she’s shown enough early zip to suggest she’ll be on the engine early on; #4 TOUT ENSEMBLE: Debuts for Chad Brown and is bred to be a good one. She’s kin to three winners, and her female family includes the second dam of Grade 1 winner Archarcharch; #6 TAP N GLO: Ran in spurts in her debut at Ellis Park, when her final rally left her less than a length back of that day’s winner. Brad Cox is among the best in the game with second-out maidens, and her local workouts look pretty solid.


Money in the Bank (MTO)
Veterans Beach

#5 VETERANS BEACH: Is probably in a “now or never” spot for this condition. He hasn’t won since the summer of 2018, but his usual race puts him right there and he could sit an ideal stalking trip behind several horses who seem to need to be on the lead; #11 PANSTER: Was last of nine early in what turned out to be a paceless race last month. He still salvaged a fourth-place finish that day, and there sure seems to be a lot of speed in this field; #6 LUNA’S IN CHARGE: Goes second off the layoff and returns to the turf, a surface I’m shocked he hasn’t tried since a good second at this level and route last summer. Tyler Gaffalione sees fit to ride, and he’s another that could benefit from the likely race shape.


Marvelous Maude
Pop the Bubbly

#9 CAUMSETT: Has run well twice since coming off the bench and sure looks like the main speed in this race. Being the lone speed on the inner turf is often a very powerful quality, and I think she could get brave if left alone up top; #3 MARVELOUS MAUDE: Ran third in her debut downstate and gets the services of Irad Ortiz, Jr., here. Improvement is logical at second asking for a very powerful barn, and she’s a logical betting favorite; #7 POP THE BUBBLY: Isn’t just a hunch play and may be live at a price. Her lone prior turf effort at Aqueduct was a good one, as she rallied to be second despite rating off of a pretty slow pace. If she’s ready to run off the bench, she could be a threat to hit the board at a nice number.


Dubb entry
Tale of the Union

DUBB ENTRY: #1 EXCELLENT TIMING tries older goes and looks like the main speed. He gets Lasix for the first time and tries non-stakes company for the first time since his 2-year-old season, and ultra-consistent stablemate #1A BRONX BOMBER isn’t without a chance, either; #2 TALE OF THE UNION: May have needed his 2021 debut, in which he hung a bit and settled for third. He’s been competitive at this level several times, and he’s got enough speed to be able to use the rail draw as an asset; #3 MOONACHIE: Is a hard-knocking sort that always seems to run the same race. He’s won here before, and he’s also been competitive against open company, which gives him some back class ahead of this state-bred event.


Summer At the Spa
Herald Angel

#6 SUMMER AT THE SPA: Gets a tepid nod in a wide-open claimer for older turf distaffers. She drops back in for a tag after two tries against better horses in starter allowance races, and I think she’ll find these shallower waters more to her liking; #2 HERALD ANGEL: Cuts back in distance after tiring going seven furlongs downstate. She was a good second in her debut at this route last summer, and this is her first start in the claiming ranks; #10 LIME: Drops in class after running well to be second in a $40,000 optional claiming event at Woodbine. She’s shown she doesn’t necessarily need the lead to run well, and that could help her work out a trip given the tricky outside draw.


Four Dawn
Gal in a Rush

#2 FOUR DAWN: Sure looks flashy heading into her debut for Brad Cox, whose barn is firing on all cylinders to start the meet. Her dam, Third Dawn, has thrown five runners to date. All five have won, and this one’s gate works hint that she’s got talent, too; #6 GAL IN A RUSH: Fetched $375,000 at auction earlier this year and has recorded several fast drills, which isn’t always typical of Christophe Clement-trained 2-year-olds. Joel Rosario sees fit to ride, and she’s another that could be well-meant; #3 LEMIEUX: Ran into next-out stakes winner Happy Soul in her debut but didn’t run badly to finish second. She sports a recent bullet over this track, is certainly eligible to improve, and may be an inflated price if there’s steam on some of the debutantes in this event.


Kaely’s Sister
Thief of Hearts
Master of Hope

#7 KAELY’S SISTER: Is odds-on for a good reason, as it looks like she lays over this field. She’s shipped in after a win and a second in her first two starts on dirt, and in both of those races, she showed an abundance of early zip that should put her on the front end soon after the gates are sprung here; #4 THIEF OF HEARTS: Was ready off the long layoff and scored by more than four lengths in her first outing since October. She faces winners for the first time here, but that last-out effort was impressive and I see it as a sign of confidence that they didn’t risk her for a claiming tag for a second race in a row; #3 MASTER OF HOPE: Moved forward off the claim by Orlando Noda when second in a starter allowance event last month. She’ll do her best running late, and if a pace battle develops up front, she certainly figures to be one of the main beneficiaries.


Winston’s Chance (MTO)
City Man
No Word

#9 CITY MAN: Found Grade 1 company too tough when he finished up the track in the Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day, but his two-back effort in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy was quite good. He was a fairly close second that day while earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure, and if he bounces back, he’ll have a big shot; #12 NO WORD: Had nowhere to go most of the way last time out (trust me, I needed him badly) and hasn’t been seen since. He’s been working steadily for Todd Pletcher and his best effort would put him right there, but the far outside post is a big concern; #4 VALUE ENGINEERING: Has never finished off the board in eight career starts but seems to have an aversion to winning. He’s only gotten up at the wire twice, and several of his losses have been pretty brutal if you’ve needed him. The connections merit respect, but I’ll try to beat him, especially if he comes down from the 9/2 morning line price.


Dunbar Road
Royal Flag
Crystal Ball

#4 DUNBAR ROAD: Had every right to need the Grade 1 La Troienne, which was her first start since the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She chased Shedaresthedevil that day, and there are no such monsters here. She won the Grade 1 Alabama here two summers ago and looks poised to fire a big shot in the Grade 3 Shuvee; #7 ROYAL FLAG: Has never missed the board in nine lifetime outings and took a Grade 3 two starts back at Aqueduct. She was second in this race a season ago and once again figures to be a major player; #6 CRYSTAL BALL: Just missed in last year’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at this route and reeled off three straight wins to kick off her 2021 campaign. Those did come against weaker fields, though, and this event should serve as a strong acid test.



#8 MUBARMAJ: Dropped to this level last time out and responded with an easy score against an overmatched group. Several rivals he thumped that day come back for another try, but this Todd Pletcher trainee certainly looks like the one to beat; #5 LEGIT: Didn’t have a great start when chasing my top pick last time out and was claimed by George Weaver, whose new acquisitions tend to improve. He was second beaten less than a length at this route last summer, and he could be formidable if he gets a pace in front of him; #3 VILLAINOUS: Was aggressively spotted last time out and wound up being in over his head. He gets back to the correct level in this spot, and it’s worth noting both of his outings for this claiming price this season have led to second-place finishes.

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