SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/29/21)

BANKROLL

BANKROLL: $863.90

I’m typing this from Boston’s Logan Airport, which I’d always considered to be one of my favorite airports on the east coast. However, that perception changed Saturday afternoon, when I got through security, settled down at my gate, and tried to boot up several different ADW websites. All of them were blocked by the airport’s wireless internet, which apparently prohibits any sort of gambling activity (even what can be accessed through a smart phone not using that WiFi network).

I find this insane. ADW’s are legal in the state of Massachusetts, and the airport itself is a 20-minute drive from what’s left of Suffolk Downs. I haven’t encountered a restriction like this at any other airport, and I’ll take this opportunity to once again thank NYRA for streaming their daily show on YouTube. That allowed me to watch several races on Travers Day when Logan Airport decided doing so through ADW’s would somehow be irresponsible.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS: Third-race upsetter Kitten by the Sea knocked me out of doubles and Pick Fours. I dropped $32.

SUNDAY’S PLAY: I’ll attempt to extract value out of #2 BEAU LIAM, who will be a very heavy favorite in the eighth (and justifiably so). Since I like several prices in the seventh, I’ll play doubles starting there. $10 tickets will start with #4 STANHOPE, #7 DETERMINED FURY, #8 BARDOLINO, and #10 ELUSIVE EDGE.

TOTAL WAGERED: $40.

ANALYSIS/SELECTIONS

Best Bet: Beau Liam, Race 8
Longshot: Stanhope, Race 7

R1

High Heater
First Homestead
Moonachie

#2 HIGH HEATER: Was second at this level last summer and makes a lot of sense in the Sunday lid-lifter. His two misfires on dirt for this barn came against higher-level competition, and leading rider Luis Saez rides back when he probably had a few other options; #6 FIRST HOMESTEAD: Has reeled off three wins in a row at Finger Lakes and ships in with his regular rider in tow. That’s one of my favorite angles at Saratoga, and this 6-for-14 gelding certainly fits on speed figures; #1 MOONACHIE: Takes a drop in class and may be favored in this spot, but I have some doubts despite an arrival in shallower waters. The rail draw can be tricky, and while his best is good enough to win this, I simply can’t stomach the likely price given the chance of a less-than-ideal trip.

R2

Charleston Strong
Partner’s Hope
Ring of Fire

#9 CHARLESTON STRONG: Drops in for a tag and cuts back to a sprint distance, and I think he’s going to respond favorably to both changes. His effort two starts back going seven furlongs at Belmont was a career-best one, and anything close to that performance will make him tough; #4 PARTNER’S HOPE: Drops back in for a tag after running fifth against maiden special weight foes just a few days ago. This barn can win with quick turnarounds, and he figures to be heard from late; #3 RING OF FIRE: Has been gelded since his last start and tries turf for the first time for a barn making lots of right moves this summer. His 321 turf Tomlinson rating indicates he’ll relish the grass, and he’s shown plenty of early zip in starts against straight maidens at Indiana Grand.

R3

Analyze It
Breaking the Rules
Dubb entry

#4 ANALYZE IT: Has an abundance of back class and boasts several races that would top this group if repeated. This multiple Grade 3 winner was fancied enough to be favored in last year’s Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and I think Chad Brown will have him primed for this one; #2 BREAKING THE RULES: Makes his return to the races off a long layoff but presents an alternative to the likely chalk. He did enough to be 9-1 in the Grade 1 Pegasus Turf Cup at Gulfstream Park, and if a faster-than-expected pace materializes, he stands to be the main beneficiary; #1A SACRED LIFE: Has taken a lot of money since coming to the U.S. in 2019, but he’s only won twice and this is far closer to a graded stakes field than most we’ll see at this level. He’s another that will do his best running late, and the Brown/Irad tag team always merits respect, but at this likely price, I’ll try to beat him.

R4

Perfect Munnings
Too Early
Blue Gator

#2 PERFECT MUNNINGS: Comes off the bench and gets Lasix for the first time in this spot. I’m a bit tentative to endorse Aqueduct form given how quirky that track was this winter, but he’s worked well enough over this track and Luis Saez sees fit to ride; #3 TOO EARLY: Seems to run the same race every time out and has established himself as a consistent stalwart at this level. This means he can’t be ignored, but the problem for win bettors is that he’s been at this level for a while because he’s run second on four straight occasions; #7 BLUE GATOR: Is another coming in off of a freshening and getting Lasix for the first time. He ran well against stakes company before going to the sidelines, and the outside draw should give Tyler Gaffalione plenty of options.

R5

Mommasgottarun
Rosebug
A Mo Reay

#2 MOMMASGOTTARUN: Ran well in her debut when she was second and topped the third-place finisher by five lengths. She didn’t have it easy that day, as she led through very fast fractions early on, and she certainly looks like a type that will improve given the experience she gained that day; #9 ROSEBUG: Has been working very well for Bill Mott and is bred to be a very sharp filly. This daughter of American Pharoah is out of Grade 3 winner Taittinger Rose, and the times that are on the tab are atypical of most Mott trainees before their initial outings; #7 A MO REAY: Hammered for $400,000 at auction last year and debuts for Todd Pletcher, so she must be respected. She’s got a few sharp gate works on her tab, and the My Racehorse money will almost certainly be in on this filly by top sire Uncle Mo.

R6

Vagaries
Pearl Earring
Gun Boat

#10 VAGARIES: Fetched a bit more than $217,000 at the Tattersalls sale and, like most of Chad Brown’s acquisitions from that sale, is bred to want this route of ground. Her dam is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Mail the Desert, and she’s a tepid top pick in a fun 2-year-old maiden race; #7 PEARL EARRING: Has been working consistently for Michael Stidham and is worth a look at a price. She’s a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Pixelate, her dam is kin to Grade 2 winner Skylighter, and everything says this Godolphin homebred wants to go a long, long way; #3 GUN BOAT: Is a Stuart Janney homebred with a female family many will recognize. Dam Onus was a Grade 3 winner on turf, and her third dam is the dam of top-class turf runners Ironicus and On Leave, so this first-time starter has every right to be a runner.

R7

Stanhope
Determined Fury
Elusive Edge

#4 STANHOPE: Cuts back to a turf sprint, and given the way he ran off last time, that’s probably for the best. His races two and three back were sharp, and I’m willing to take a swing at a bit of a price in what seems like a wide-open event; #7 DETERMINED FURY: Broke his maiden two back in his turf debut and ran a decent third at this level earlier in the meet despite a wide trip. This is his second start off a layoff, so he could take a step forward, and this barn’s one of the best in the business with turf sprinters; #10 ELUSIVE EDGE: Took a big step forward in his first start on the lawn, when he romped by nearly six lengths a few weeks ago at Colonial. These are far deeper waters and he’ll have to navigate a trip from an outside post, but Saez will hop aboard and maybe he’s finally found what he wants to do.

R8

Beau Liam
Night Time
Amundson

#2 BEAU LIAM: Wouldn’t have been without a chance in the Grade 1 Allen Jerkens Saturday, but winds up in a far softer optional claiming event a month after winning a loaded allowance in his first start against winners. He earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure that day, and anything close to his first two efforts would mean the race is for second; #4 NIGHT TIME: Was nosed earlier in the meet at this level and was certainly good enough to win that afternoon. He’s been running well against tough horses, and his usual effort would likely get him a big piece of it; #1 AMUNDSON: Relished the mud last time out, when he beat a solid group of state-bred optional claiming foes. He’s run very well at this 6 1/2-furlong distance in the past, trainer Horacio DePaz has quietly enjoyed a strong meet to this point, and he could provide plenty of value in the exotics.

R9

Sifting Sands
In Effect
Danzigwiththestars

#8 SIFTING SANDS: Was somehow sent away at 28-1 last month and got his nose down over a solid group, one that included a third-place finisher that came right back to win. He’s worked consistently since that performance, and a repeat of that day’s effort would give him a big shot in the Better Talk Now; #6 IN EFFECT: Was third in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame won by Public Sector, who would lay over this group. He didn’t have the smoothest trip that afternoon, and it sure seems like there’s enough pace in here to set up for his big late run; #4 DANZIGWITHTHESTARS: Will go for his third win of the meet in this spot, and he’ll do so taking a big jump in class. He’s run back-to-back career-best races since shipping north, however, and the presence of Saez is a big plus. He’ll be an in-form horse at double-digit odds, and there’s a lot to be said for that.

R10

Mr. Briggs (MTO)
Molino
Chulainn

#2 MOLINO: Wasn’t claimed out of a maiden claiming race in May, one he won despite rating behind a pretty slow early pace. That day’s runner-up, another Chad Brown trainee, came right back to win, and this pedigree suggests he’s about to take a significant step forward at second asking; #6 CHULAINN: Was beaten less than two lengths at this level last time out, and I felt that was a pretty classy field. This seems like a slightly softer spot, Joel Rosario rides back, and a clean trip (something he hasn’t had in his last two outings) should move him up; #11 LORD FLINTSHIRE: Came flying from last to run second in his first start against winners, and he’s improved considerably since going to Jorge Abreu’s barn this past spring. The big field increases the likelihood of some pace in front of him, and if the race shape is a closer-friendly one, he and Jose Lezcano could easily factor at a bit of a price.

SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/28/21; TRAVERS DAY)

BANKROLL

BANKROLL: $895.90

It’s Travers Day, and I’m going to take advantage of what’s likely the biggest audience I’ll have all year to make a very important statement. In a shocking turn of events, it’s not my usual mocking of the ludicrous, unenforced “no running” rule. This one’s actually serious, and it’ll almost certainly get me hate mail. Then again, I’ve gotten plenty of that this summer for some pretty stupid reasons, so why break precedent?

Longtime readers know I lost my grandmother to COVID-19 last summer. She spent most of her life as a nurse, and if she was still here, she’d be telling everyone she knew (and urging me to tell everyone I know) to get vaccinated.

I’ll add my own spin to it. You’re not going to grow a third arm. You’re not getting microchipped with a tracking device. You’re not going to be safer taking substances meant for horses and cows than you would be getting a vaccine manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson. This has become a politicized topic, and it shouldn’t be. Get the (insert your expletive of choice here) shot.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS: Miss Alacrity scratched, so my action was cancelled.

SATURDAY’S PLAY: I’ve got a 4:15 pm plane to catch, so I’ll focus early on in the card. I’ll play $5 doubles starting with #1 BACK TO NORMAL and #5 JACK CHRISTOPHER in the second and ending with #1 PRINCESS FAWZIA/#1A SPARKLING SKY and #3 GOLDEN PLUME in the third. Additionally, that’ll start a 50-cent Pick Four ticket that goes like this: 1,5 with 1,3 with 3,6 with 3,4,6.

TOTAL WAGERED: $32.

ANALYSIS/SELECTIONS

Best Bet: Essential Quality, Race 12
Longshot: Charmed, Race 6

R1

Sweeping Giant
Doctor Davis
Pletcher entry

#10 SWEEPING GIANT: Ran very well to finish second in his debut last month and is very logical at second asking in the Travers Day opener. The far outside post isn’t ideal, but Joel Rosario is among the best in the game at saving ground on the turf, and if he gets a good trip, he’s probably the one to beat; #7 DOCTOR DAVIS: Was highly-touted in his unveiling, which came in the same race my top pick exits. He faded after setting the pace, but Bill Mott’s horses often need a race or two to get going, and if you were willing to take 8/5 last time, you’ll be happy to know you’ll likely get at least double that price here; #1 ROYAL SPIRIT: Sold for $450,000 at auction last year and boasts a top-notch female family. Her dam is kin to Grade 1-placed runner Beautician, as well as graded stakes winners Mo Tom and Red Ruby, both of whom did their best work going long.

R2

Jack Christopher
Back to Normal
Be Better

#5 JACK CHRISTOPHER: Has been working up a storm for Chad Brown ahead of his debut and looms large here. He’s by strong sire Munnings, and his dam is a half-sister to another strong sire in Street Boss. Between the drills and the pedigree, there’s an awful lot to like; #1 BACK TO NORMAL: Ran a decent race in his debut to finish second behind a runaway winner that has since come back to win again. He’s one of only two runners in this field with prior experience, and his local workouts hint that he’s bounced out of that performance in good order; #3 BE BETTER: Has been working consistently for Todd Pletcher and is another bred to be any kind. If there’s any hesitation here, it’s because I think the six-furlong distance may actually be shorter than his preferred trip, given a bottom-side pedigree that boasts an abundance of stamina.

R3

Trinni Luck (MTO)
Golden Plume
Black Swan entry

#3 GOLDEN PLUME: Won for fun in her debut back in January at Tampa and will look to get back to business here. I’m not sure what she beat in that initial effort, but she looked great doing it, and world-class jockey Flavien Prat sees fit to ride for Brown; BLACK SWAN ENTRY: Both of these runners seem well-meant at a price, but I slightly prefer #1A SPARKLING SKY. She’s never run a bad race at Saratoga and had every right to need a race last time out off of a very long break. If she channels her 2019/2020 form, she’s got a chance to light up the tote board; #6 SECRET TIME: Hasn’t won in more than two years but boasts plenty of back class and didn’t run badly when third in her local debut. That was her first start since moving to Danny Gargan’s barn, and any step forward would make her a threat to grab a piece of this.

R4

Viadera
Kalifornia Queen
Platinum Paynter

#3 VIADERA: Didn’t have a great trip when fourth in the De La Rose a few weeks ago. She rated behind a slow pace and didn’t have clear running room until it was too late. Between the likelihood of a cleaner journey and the fact this is her second start off the bench, I think she’s a formidable favorite in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa; #6 KALIFORNIA QUEEN: Makes up the other half of a powerful 1-2 punch for this barn and exits a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth. Prior to that, she chased classy turf distaffers War Like Goddess and Antoinette, and this spot seems a bit softer than those; #5 PLATINUM PAYNTER: Appears a bit outclassed on paper, but she’s also the likeliest early pace-setter in a race light on gate speed. Jose Lezcano is a very sharp turf rider, and if the race shape works in this one’s favor, she could lead them a long way at a price.

R5

Whittington Park
Miracle Nicky
Brady’s Legacy

#4 WHITTINGTON PARK: Was a bit one-paced in his unveiling last month, but the blinkers go on at second asking and this barn’s second-time starters are usually very live. His 63 Beyer Speed Figure is the highest such number in the field by daylight, and if he moves forward, this seems like his race to lose; #3 MIRACLE NICKY: Has been working unusually fast downstate for Rudy Rodriguez, who doesn’t often ask his horses for all that much in the mornings. His dam is a half to a nice horse named Curious Conundrum, who won multiple stakes races, and the $110,000 purchase price hints at some potential; #6 BRADY’S LEGACY: Sold for $250,000 despite not much of a bottom-side pedigree, so he obviously impressed some folks at the OBS sale this past April. He’s got a few solid works, and Jose Ortiz has been enticed to ride this Jeremiah Englehart trainee.

R6

Charmed
Big Package
Shiraz

#6 CHARMED: Was anything but in his last-out effort, when he fell to his knees at the break and somehow found a way to run third. Prior to that, he was a sharp third behind the talented Fauci at Monmouth, and with a clean trip, I think he can get the job done at a bit of a price; #11 BIG PACKAGE: Was second in the race my top pick exits and is a consistent sort that always seems to fire. The outside post isn’t ideal, but Irad Ortiz, Jr., should be able to drop back and make one run, and that’s a strategy that’s worked very well for this one in the past; #9 SHIRAZ: Topped a classy group of state-breds last time out over yielding going and steps back into open company here. Luis Saez sees fit to ride back, and he’s run some of his best races over this route of ground.

R7

Gamine
Ce Ce
Estilo Talentoso

#1 GAMINE: Is one of racing’s most star-crossed horses, but when she’s right, few are better (especially going one turn). Controversy still swirls around trainer Bob Baffert, but assuming his star female sprinter has shipped to Saratoga in good order, she’s strictly the one to beat; #7 CE CE: Is 2-for-2 this season going seven furlongs and is no stranger to Grade 1 glory, having won a pair of events at this level last year. Her win in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney was very impressive, and if Gamine doesn’t fire, this one’s probably the likeliest beneficiary; #6 ESTILO TALENTOSO: Is very easy to root for because, quite simply, she always shows up. She’s never been worse than third in 15 lifetime outings, and the faster they go early on in the Grade 1 Ballerina, the better her chances figure to be.

R8

Lexitonian
Whitmore
Yaupon

#3 LEXITONIAN: Ensured a spot in this handicapper’s gambling Hall of Fame with a 34-1 victory in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt earlier this summer. He stretches out to seven furlongs here, but he’s shown he can handle this distance and could sit an ideal trip just off the pace in the Grade 1 Forego; #2 WHITMORE: May have needed the race, to an extent, when third in the Vanderbilt following a freshening. He generally races his way into form, and this 8-year-old gelding figures to be heard from late; #7 YAUPON: Was going really well last season and was the 6/5 favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which Whitmore won. His comeback race at Pimlico was fine, and the main hesitation here is the stretch-out to seven furlongs. That’s not an easy task against a good group, but if he can handle the distance, he may be tough to run down.

R9

Jackie’s Warrior
Life Is Good
Judge N Jury

#2 JACKIE’S WARRIOR: Romped in the Grade 2 Amsterdam after dueling through torrid fractions in the slop. As long as he’s kept around one turn, he’s going to be very tough to beat, and his seasoning edge over his primary rival is enough to give him my nod in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens; #6 LIFE IS GOOD: Was brilliant (my goodness, I hate that word) in three wins on the west coast, including two over eventual Kentucky Derby winner (sort of) Medina Spirit. He’s since been transferred to Todd Pletcher and has been working lights-out over the Oklahoma track, but this is a very tough ask for a horse that hasn’t run since March; #5 JUDGE N JURY: Earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure with an eye-catching romp in a state-bred allowance race at this route last month. This is a gigantic step up, but he may be the only horse in this field that can comfortably rate, and that could be enough to allow him to hit the board at a big price.

R10

Letruska
Swiss Skydiver
Royal Flag

#6 LETRUSKA: Has turned into a freakish distaffer and looms large in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. She’s won five of her last six starts, with the lone defeat coming to Shedaresthedevil (who doesn’t show up here). She may not be alone up front, but I don’t think it matters; #4 SWISS SKYDIVER: Chased Knicks Go in the Grade 1 Whitney a few weeks ago, and that came after trainer Ken McPeek’s barn was quarantined. She had every right to need that race off a bit of a layoff, too, so I can’t hold it against her in any capacity. She won last year’s Alabama, could sit just off the pace, and is very dangerous; #5 ROYAL FLAG: Came flying late to take the Grade 3 Shuvee over Horologist, who came back to jog in the Summer Colony last weekend. She could once again get a terrific setup, and I expect her to be going the right way late at a fair price for a red-hot barn.

R11

Tribhuvan
Japan
Cross Border

#1 TRIBHUVAN: Has gotten very good, very quickly, and is a threat to wire the field in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer. That was the trip he sat in the Grade 1 United Nations last time out, and if he’s allowed to get comfortable going under the wire the first time, he’ll have a big chance to be in front the second time around, too; #6 JAPAN: Is an intriguing shipper coming across the pond for Aidan O’Brien. Back in 2019, he won two of Europe’s most prestigious races, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Juddmonte International. I’m not sure he’s quite the same horse, but if he brings that type of effort, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with; #7 CROSS BORDER: Is nearly perfect at Saratoga and was pretty impressive in winning the Grade 2 Bowling Green for the second consecutive season. This seems like a stronger group, to be sure, but he was a fair second in this race last August and his best effort would give him a chance.

R12

Essential Quality
Midnight Bourbon
King Fury

#2 ESSENTIAL QUALITY: Is impossible to go against in the Grade 1 Travers. He’ll love the distance, he’s in terrific form, and he exits what hit me as a perfect prep in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy. If he comes with his usual effort, I think he takes a big step to clinching his division’s Eclipse Award; #1 MIDNIGHT BOURBON: Miraculously came out of what looked like a terrible fall in the Grade 1 Haskell with no injuries, and he’s worked well since coming to the Spa after that series of events. He was a good second in the Grade 1 Preakness behind Rombauer, and he’s got enough early speed to make his own trip, which might label him as the one they’ll have to catch turning for home; #7 KING FURY: Is a horse that’s seemed to be crying out for as much distance as possible since his 2-year-old season. He didn’t like the turf last time out, and he’s been snakebitten with rotten luck on several occasions, but now that he’s finally doing what it looks like he wants to do, he’ll be on all of my exotics tickets.

R13

Bella Principessa
Sister Luck
Constitutionalrage

#14 BELLA PRINCIPESSA: Needs some luck in order to draw into the Saturday finale, but she must be respected if she runs. She rated behind a very slow pace last time out and should get a bit more speed in front of her here if two horses scratch and she’s allowed to compete; #12 SISTER LUCK: Has a few red flags, but also has several qualities I can’t ignore. She’s worked well on turf a few times since going to Todd Pletcher’s barn, she drops in class, and she’s shown a lot of early speed going shorter. If she’s got the stamina to go two turns, she could be a handful; #6 CONSTITUTIONALRAGE: Comes back to the turf after being eased in an off-the-turf event last month. Turf is absolutely her preferred surface, and her one start on the lawn at this level resulted in a good second in a race downstate, one where that day’s third-place finisher came back to win.

SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/27/21)

BANKROLL

BANKROLL: $895.90

Greetings from the northeast! When you read this ahead of the Friday card, I’ll be in Boston for a wedding. It’s the first of four such events in a six-week stretch for yours truly, which is what happens when nobody gets married for an entire year (thanks, COVID!). If, for some reason, the soon-to-be bride and groom happen to be reading this, know that I extend my warmest congratulations and that I’m happy to be in attendance for the occasion.

I tried to make a Saratoga trip work, way back before I decided to come for Fourstardave Day two weeks ago. Unfortunately, the logistics just didn’t check out and Sunday flights back to California were ridiculously expensive. If you’re headed to the track tomorrow, have a good time for me!

THURSDAY’S RESULTS: In a bad beat story as old as time, I went two-deep in the finale to finish out the late double, only for my third choice to rally for the win. I dropped $30.

FRIDAY’S PLAY: Because of my respect for both this wedding and my editor’s Travers Eve deadline, I’m going to need to keep my action to the first part of the card. Let’s focus on the early Pick Four, where my 50-cent ticket starting in the second goes as follows: 1 with 5,7 with 1,5,8 with 2,5,6,7. I’ll also play a cold $8 double singling #1 MISS ALACRITY in the second and #7 BARRAGE in the third.

TOTAL WAGERED: $20.

ANALYSIS/SELECTIONS

Best Bet: Rinaldi, Race 8
Longshot: My Girl Annie, Race 6

R1

Open Til Midnight
Surprise Boss
Blue Deja Vu

#10 OPEN TIL MIDNIGHT: Ran well when third in his unveiling earlier this month and had an adventurous journey that day. Even with the disadvantageous post position draw, I’m expecting significant improvement at second asking, and that would make this one the one to beat; #4 SURPRISE BOSS: Is set to try turf for the first time and has a pedigree that hints he’ll like the surface. If there’s any hesitation here, it’s because regular rider Jose Lezcano hops off to ride my top selection, which is a bit curious; #2 BLUE DEJA VU: Debuts for Jeremiah Englehart and has a few works that suggest he has some talent. He’s also got a pretty strong turf pedigree and boasts a 331 turf Tomlinson rating, which can’t go completely ignored.

R2

Miss Alacrity
November Rein
Laoban’s Legacy

#1 MISS ALACRITY: Has won the first two starts of her career and looms large in a return to state-bred competition. She topped open company in the Colleen at Monmouth in her last outing, and a similar effort would make her tough to top; #3 NOVEMBER REIN: Ran very well to graduate at second asking in the opening days of the meet. She earned a 76 Beyer Speed Figure that day, and while I think she may well be best on turf given her pedigree, she’s shown enough talent to merit plenty of respect here; #2 LAOBAN’S LEGACY: Splashed home clear by nearly eight lengths in her unveiling last month. That race didn’t come back particularly well on speed figures, but it was very impressive visually and there’s nothing saying she can’t take a significant step forward here.

R3

Barrage
Yarrow
King Moonracer

#7 BARRAGE: Drops back into the maiden ranks after two tries against stakes foes, and I think he’ll appreciate the shallower waters here. Leading rider Luis Saez will hop aboard for trainer Danny Gargan, and those two mean business when they team up; #5 YARROW: Debuted with a decent third-place finish at Tampa in February and hasn’t run since. The talent level isn’t a concern here, but the layoff is. If he’s ready to run, he’ll have a big chance, but that’s a sizable “if”; #9 KING MOONRACER: Returns to a route distance and could be forwardly-placed early on. His lone other race going long saw him run a decent third at Belmont back in April, and the blinkers coming off may mean he’s maturing midway through his 3-year-old season.

R4

Montebello
Daufuskie Island
Senbei

#5 MONTEBELLO: Led from wire to wire in his unveiling at Del Mar against straight maidens and ships cross-country for Bob Baffert to face fellow New York-breds. It sure seems like he’s been working well, and this may well be a weaker group than the one he beat in his debut a few weeks ago; #8 DAUFUSKIE ISLAND: Romped by five lengths in his debut here and is wheeled back pretty quickly for this event. The outside post should give Dylan Davis plenty of options, and he showed he didn’t necessarily need the lead to run well in that first-out score; #1 SENBEI: Wired a field in the mud last month in his debut, and that’s no shock given his mud-friendly pedigree. This is a tougher spot, and the rail draw won’t make things easy for him, but he should be prominent early and have every opportunity to carry his speed.

R5

I’m Perfect Too (MTO)
Caumsett
Baudi Moovan

#7 CAUMSETT: Gets another shot from me here, and this strikes me as a “now or never” spot for her at this level. The blinkers go on, and she has plenty of early zip already. I think the game plan is simple, and that she may prove extremely tough to catch; #5 BAUDI MOOVAN: Clunked up for fourth in her debut despite a fairly slow start and a wide trip throughout. Saez sees fit to ride, and improvement is logical at second asking for a barn whose horses usually move forward with seasoning; #6 ESCAPEWITHFRIENDS: Cuts back to a sprint distance after tiring going two turns earlier in the season. She ran very well when second in her debut downstate. I think she wants to sprint and could recapture her first-out form in a return to one-turn racing.

R6

My Girl Annie
Bustin Bay
Lot of Honey

#5 MY GIRL ANNIE: Ships in from Finger Lakes and is slated to bring her jockey, which always makes me perk up. She hasn’t run a poor race in New York this season, has a win going seven furlongs, and could present plenty of value in this wide-open allowance event; #8 BUSTIN BAY: Does her best running at this seven-furlong distance and merits respect even considering a significant class jump. This is her first start off the claim for Karl Broberg, who’s very good with new acquisitions, and she should be going the right way late; #2 LOT OF HONEY: Draws an inside post and has plenty of early zip in a race that doesn’t seem to have much of that elsewhere. Joel Rosario will ride for the first time, and if early speed is holding in the early part of the card, her chances improve considerably.

R7

Make Mischief
Pay Grade
Coffee Bar

#9 MAKE MISCHIEF: Takes a big class drop after spending most of the season going up against graded stakes company. She ran third in both the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 2 Eight Belles, and while two turns is an unknown, her sheer talent may well be enough to carry her to the winner’s circle; #2 PAY GRADE: Re-rallied to top allowance foes going a mile downstate in the final days of Belmont’s spring/summer meet. Her pedigree says two turns won’t be an issue, and jockey Eric Cancel’s aggressive tendencies could make her the one to catch; #8 COFFEE BAR: Was beaten at 2/5 last time out, but, to be fair, that was against older horses and she was wide for most of that race. Blinkers come on, Flavien Prat’s presence can’t be ignored, and perhaps she’s ready for a stronger effort in her third start off a long layoff.

R8

Rinaldi
Mo Ready
Therapist

#2 RINALDI: Snuck away early in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple and led every step of the way. He’s proven to be very, very dangerous when he gets that kind of trip, and I think that’s the journey he gets in this spot as well. If he does, the race is for second; #8 MO READY: Was a good second here earlier in the meet when he contested a solid optional claiming event. He ran third in last year’s Grade 1 Belmont Derby and won races over this turf course in both 2019 and 2020, so we know there’s plenty of talent here; #1 THERAPIST: Has been a stalwart in these state-bred stakes races, and for good reason. He’s a consistent sort that generally runs the same race every time out, and he’d stand to benefit if one of his rivals goes with my top pick out of the gate.

R9

Bobby Bo
Americanrevolution
Bingo John

#5 BOBBY BO: Is another Baffert shipper that flies cross-country to run with his New York-bred brethren. He took a significant step forward when stretched out to a mile last time out, and he seems like the speed of the speed in the Albany; #2 AMERICANREVOLUTION: Has taken significant steps forward in each of his outings, the most recent of which saw him run away with the New York Derby at Finger Lakes. I’m not entirely sure what he beat that day, but he looked great doing it and the breeding sure says he was always going to get better when he got to two-turn races; #4 BINGO JOHN: Won his local debut in come-from-behind fashion and tries winners for the first time in this spot. He’s shown an ability to pass others late, and the faster they go early, the better this Brad Cox trainee’s chances figure to be.

R10

Myhartblongstodady
Kilkea
Pecatonica

#3 MYHARTBLONGSTODADY: Gets some class relief after four straight starts against open company in stakes races. Prior to that stretch, she won four in a row against New York-breds, including the 2020 renewal of this very race, and she reunites with top turf rider Jose Lezcano; #10 KILKEA: Looks an awful lot better if you draw a line through the last-out clunker in an off-the-turf race downstate. She won three of five starts from last summer through February of this year, and she’s got enough speed to give Flavien Prat some options out of the gate; #8 PECATONICA: Didn’t have a great trip last time out in an open allowance race, but has shown a clear affinity for this turf course. She’s chased my top pick on a number of occasions, but there’s enough speed in here to set up for her preferred running style, and I can’t ignore her in the exotics.

R11

Fast Gordon
Tackle
Eight Weeks Long

#8 FAST GORDON: Did everything but win last time out, when he was dropped to this level and got beat by a nose. He’s got plenty of tactical speed and could sit another dream trip beneath Lezcano in the Friday finale; #5 TACKLE: Merits plenty of respect coming in off a long layoff for Mike Maker. He ran several strong races against maiden special weight foes last summer and fall and has every right to win if he’s ready, but that’s no certainly and he’ll likely be a pretty short price; #1 EIGHT WEEKS LONG: Has had a bunch of chances, but seems to have found a home going long on turf at this level. The jockey switch to Prat cannot be ignored, and that may be enough to wake him up and get him home in his 11th career outing.

SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/26/21)

BANKROLL

BANKROLL: $925.90

Two things: Firstly, Andy Serling tweeted Wednesday that he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and will be away from the track for a few days as a result. Regardless of whatever he thinks of me, I’ve always thought highly of him. I hope he gets well soon and is back on the grounds in short order.

Secondly, the weekly YouTube show I co-host, “Champagne and J.D.,” is on the ballot for America’s Best Racing’s Fan Choice Award for Favorite Podcast/Radio Show. Voting continues through the end of the month, and we’d really appreciate your support. An initial ballot that was blasted out via social media didn’t have us on it, so other shows (several whose hosts/producers we love and respect!) got a head start.

I’d put the work J.D. Fox and I do up against that of anyone else in the industry. We’ve gotten an outstanding lineup of guests and have been fortunate to put together some really cool stuff with people from all over the sport (and, for that matter, from all over the world, too). If you’ve enjoyed what we do as much as we’ve enjoyed doing it, go vote for us!

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS: My late Pick Four play fizzled in the John’s Call, but honestly, it should’ve been toast after the second leg, which featured a puzzling “no change” call from the stewards. Scratches reduced my losses to $24.

THURSDAY’S PLAY: I don’t love waiting until the last few races of the day (sorry to those on deadline!), but I need to do so here because the late double looks especially juicy. I’ll play $5 tickets starting with #4 THIRD DRAFT and #7 RASTAFARA in the ninth and ending with #3 FAST GETAWAY and #8 THREE OUTLAWS in the finale. Three Outlaws is also my longshot of the day, and I’ll have a $10 win bet on that one as well.

TOTAL WAGERED: $30.

ANALYSIS/SELECTIONS

Best Bet: Orchestration, Race 3
Longshot: Three Outlaws, Race 10

R1

Let Her Inspire U
Twist Just Right
Regal Rebel

#1 LET HER INSPIRE U: Faded after pressing a legitimate pace in her debut, a race won by a well-meant Kelly Breen trainee. She’s one of just two runners in here with experience, and that seasoning could prove vital in the Thursday opener; #2 TWIST JUST RIGHT: Has been working well for strong first-out trainer Jorge Abreu and attracts Hall of Famer Javier Castellano. If the likely favorite stubs her toe or can’t work out a trip from the rail, she’s probably the most likely winner; #4 REGAL REBEL: Fetched $120,000 earlier this year and may take considerable support at the windows given the MyRacehorse connections. Rob Atras has enjoyed plenty of success this summer, but offspring of Tiznow generally improve with experience, so she may need a start or two to get going.

R2

First Line (MTO)
Bourbon in May
Spirit Animal

#2 BOURBON IN MAY: Won twice in a row in Florida before going to the sidelines and comes back running for a claiming tag. This is a pretty significant drop for a runner that has plenty of talent and boasts eight wins in 21 career starts, and if he’s ready, I think he’ll be tough; #4 SPIRIT ANIMAL: Is another class-dropper that was last seen chasing the likes of Hit The Road in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita. He hasn’t run since March, he may be a very short price, and I think he may be better going one turn at Belmont, but his best race could certainly win this; #10 SMILE BRYAN: Found optional claiming company too tough last time out but found the winner’s circle on Opening Day. The outside post is a bit of a problem, but he’s reunited with leading rider Luis Saez and may be fast enough to clear most of these going into the first turn.

R3

Orchestration
Win Worthy
Cambi Lion

#4 ORCHESTRATION: Came flying late in his debut at Ellis Park, where he was beaten less than two lengths after racing well back in the early going. Everything about him says he’ll love the added distance and is likely to step forward at second asking, and I think he’s a very formidable favorite; #8 WIN WORTHY: Has emerged as a grinding type that should relish the added distance he gets in this spot. He’s got the early speed necessary to sit close out of the gate, and the presence of the aggressive Saez should help him work out that kind of trip; #1 CAMBI LION: Came back running off a brief freshening and missed by a half-length downstate. He’s had a history of wide trips, but draws the rail here and showed a bit more early zip last time out. Jose Ortiz rides back, and maybe he’s doing what he wants to do in this spot.

R4

Miss Liana
Quality Stones
Cathy Naz

#3 MISS LIANA: Unseated Manny Franco last time out earlier in the meet, but that pilot sees fit to ride back and she drops to an even lower price here. She had won three of five starts before that incident, and a recent four-furlong drill shows she may be sitting on another big effort; #7 QUALITY STONES: Ships in from Finger Lakes after three wins and two seconds in her last five outings. These are probably deeper waters, but the outside draw is certainly a plus and she should be forwardly-placed from an early stage; #1 CATHY NAZ: Almost certainly needed her last-out effort, which doubled as her first race in six months. She won over this surface a season ago, her best efforts would make her competitive, and Saez sees fit to ride back for Bond when he almost certainly had a few options.

R5

Keepcalmcarryon
Rattle N Roll
Luni Sima

#8 KEEPCALMCARRYON: Stretches out for an old-fashioned 2-year-old maiden race going two turns (more of these, please!) after a pair of seconds going shorter. He’s by Belmont winner Union Rags, out of a Scat Daddy mare, and has run like a horse crying out for more distance. He gets it here and looks very logical; #4 RATTLE N ROLL: Made a significant move in his debut, when he broke 11th of 12 at Churchill and rallied for third. He’s been working very well since shipping to Saratoga, and if he takes to the two-turn distance, he could have a big shot; #2 LUNI SIMA: Made a bit of a middle move in his debut at Ellis Park, which came going a mile. It’s not easy to debut going long, so he’s certainly eligible to improve, and trainer Jack Sisterson has popped at a price with several runners to this point in the meet.

R6

Mommasgottarun (MTO)
Halo of Fire
The Club

#5 HALO OF FIRE: Has been working lights-out over the Oklahoma training track’s turf course and merits respect for 2-year-old maestro Wesley Ward. Few in the game are better with first-time starters in turf sprints, and if she runs to her works, we could see something special here; #7 THE CLUB: Has run second twice in as many starts, and she rallied from last to do so in her unveiling on the lawn downstate. Her most recent effort came in an off-the-turf race, and I think she’ll step forward going back to what seems like her preferred surface; #2 JAZZ TIME GIRL: Has a pedigree that says she’ll love the turf. Her dam, Daring Kathy, was an exceptional grass runner that won multiple stakes races. She exits a recent five-furlong bullet drill at Ellis Park and has attracted Irad Ortiz, Jr., for her unveiling.

R7

Glory Road (MTO)
Montauk Summer
Moliere

#9 MONTAUK SUMMER: May have found 10 furlongs a bit too far last time out, when he was fourth against allowance foes at Belmont. He drops back in for a tag in this spot, and he has early speed in a field very light on that attribute. If he makes an easy lead, he could prove tough to catch; #2 MOLIERE: Makes his first start on the turf and has a pedigree that suggests he’ll take to it. He’s by all-surface superstar Curlin, out of a Theatrical mare, and boasts a 323 turf Tomlinson figure, one of the highest such numbers in the field; #5 MR. VINCENT: May be a pretty big price, but he drops back into the claiming ranks after drawing wide in an allowance event a few weeks ago. This seems like the correct level, and his two-back race has proven to be a key one, as several runners have bounced out of it to perform very well.

R8

Movie Moxy
Easy to Bless
Thoughtfully

#5 MOVIE MOXY: Makes her first start for George Weaver and is a tepid top pick in what hits me as a very puzzling race to decipher. She hasn’t won in a while, but she’s also never run a bad race and has finished in the money in all of her 10 lifetime outings. Weaver does great work with new acquisitions and should have her ready to run; #3 EASY TO BLESS: Has won five of her last six starts, including an allowance race first off the claim earlier this month. This is certainly a much tougher spot, but she’s in very good form and has shown she has the speed to sit close and the flexibility to not need the lead in order to run well; #2 THOUGHTFULLY: Won her first two races impressively, and one of them was the Grade 2 Adirondack. She then found two turns to be too much to ask and has been off since November. If she’s ready to run off of the long break, she could be a factor at a surprisingly nice price.

R9

Rastafara
Third Draft
Love and Money

#7 RASTAFARA: Won what’s proven to be a very classy maiden race last month. That day’s runner-up, Ego Trip, came back to hit the board in a graded stakes race over the weekend, and this one could still have plenty of room to improve. Further progression would make her a top contender in the Riskaverse; #4 THIRD DRAFT: Came flying late to win by a nose in the opening week of the meet and takes a logical step into stakes company. If she gets a solid pace to run at, she should once again be moving the right direction late when the real running starts; #10 LOVE AND MONEY: Certainly looks like the most likely early leader in this event. She probably went too fast early on last time out when fourth behind my second section. I don’t think she’ll need to go nearly as quickly early on here, and Saez turning up here is certainly encouraging.

R10

Happy Farm (MTO)
Three Outlaws
Fast Getaway

#8 THREE OUTLAWS: Almost certainly did not care for the yielding going last time out, when he was caught five-wide going around the turn. A return to firmer footing should suit him, and the addition of John Velazquez is never a bad thing to see in the form; #3 FAST GETAWAY: Did everything but win that same race in his last outing, when he set the early fractions and was beaten a neck by a perfect-trip winner. Mike Maker saw fit to claim him out of that race, and he’s worked very well at Belmont since the trainer switch; #9 MYSTERY MESSENGER: Has won just once in his last nine outings, but was a competitive second against similar-level opposition a few weeks ago. Vladimir Cerin saw fit to claim him back in that event, and Joel Rosario takes the call here in the Thursday finale.

SARATOGA RACE COURSE: Analysis, Selections, and Bankroll (8/25/21)

BANKROLL

BANKROLL: $949.90

Sunday was Queen’s Plate Day at Woodbine, and it was a fabulous day of racing. Irad Ortiz, Jr., put forth one of the best rides I’ve seen in quite some time to get Safe Conduct home in the main event. Silent Poet handed Caravel a stunning defeat in the Grade 1 Highlander, and Dylan Davis took the trip up north to win the Grade 2 Dance Smartly aboard Mutamakina.

The card also, however, featured a first-time starter named Arafat. That name gave me pause, and the name of the sire, War On Gaza, didn’t help. Yasser Arafat, of course, led the Palestine Liberation Organization for many years, and the PLO has been recognized as a terrorist organization since 1987. I asked the Jockey Club for more information on how the name was approved and diversity within the registration process. Through its communications department, the organization declined to comment.

Eric Guillot named a horse Grape Soda as a direct attack on TVG anchor Ken Rudulph, and it wasn’t long ago that there was a controversy over a horse named Noose (renamed Scabbard). This begs an important question: What’s happening with the naming process that’s causing these names to get through without being flagged?

SUNDAY’S RESULTS: Both subjects of win bets ran second, and my fifth-race exactas fizzled. I dropped $32.

WEDNESDAY’S PLAY: I’ll focus on the late Pick Four, which starts in the seventh race. My 50-cent ticket looks like this: 2,5 with 4,5 with 3,4,5,6 with 2,5,10,11. The last two races look pretty wide-open, and I think this could pay pretty well.

TOTAL WAGERED: $32.

ANALYSIS/SELECTIONS

Best Bet: Waterville, Race 6
Longshot: Cool Quest, Race 5

R1

Rudy Rod
No Burn
Napoleon Complex

#3 RUDY ROD: Tries something I’ve never seen before, in that he’s entered to run in the first race on a Wednesday after racing in the Sunday finale three days prior. He was a good second a few days ago, and a repeat of that race would make him tough; #5 NO BURN: Takes a very big drop in class after showing speed in a pair of turf outings. He does have a few solid works on the dirt, and it’s not like he’d need to be a world-beater or step forward all that much to have a chance; #8 NAPOLEON COMPLEX: Is a big price on the morning line but could clunk up for a piece of it. The race he exits was a fairly tough one for the level. He showed some early zip that day, and the third-place finisher came back to beat my top pick over the weekend.

R2

Quick Return
Extreme Force
Forest Spirit

#3 QUICK RETURN: Cuts back to one turn after a failed two-turn experiment against state-bred allowance foes. He gets Lasix for the first time while returning to what seems like his preferred route of ground, and I’m gambling on a return to form; #1 EXTREME FORCE: Tried turf in his first start off the claim by Mike Maker, and that didn’t go so well. He returns to the dirt and drops in for his lowest claiming tag to date, and he’s got some back races that would make him competitive here; #4 FOREST SPIRIT: Came up a nose short at this level last time out and may go favored, but I have a few reservations. That last race fell apart up front, and they went the last furlong in 14 seconds. There seems to be a bit less pace signed on here, and while he’s talented enough to win, that may work against him.

R3

Singita Dreams (MTO)
Pocket Square
Key Biscayne

#1 POCKET SQUARE: Will be a heavy favorite on a drop in class after chasing Althiqa and Summer Romance in back-to-back Grade 1 events. Any way you look at this race, she towers over this field, and the only thing that could keep her out of the winner’s circle may be a surface switch if the turf course needs to dry out; #4 KEY BISCAYNE: Makes her first start for Mike Maker and showed enough class last summer to run third in the Saratoga Oaks. This is her third start off a long layoff, and she’d also be formidable if this race was moved to the main track; #2 BRAMBLE BAY: Is a very consistent sort that seems to run the same race every time out. Her lone clunker over the past two years came in a dirt sprint at Monmouth, and this is the type of race that plays to her strengths.

R4

Invaluable
Timely Tradition
Shasta Star

#3 INVALUABLE: Has been competitive against far better horses and takes a big drop in class for an aggressive ownership group. She’s hit the board nine times in 12 starts, and anything close to the form she showed downstate would make her a handful; #5 TIMELY TRADITION: Gets one more shot due to her proven affinity for this track. She’s another one dropping in class, and some of her best efforts have come here. If she’s at her best, she could provide some value; #7 SHASTA STAR: Hasn’t won in a while but did show improvement when second for a $50,000 tag in her first start for Robertino Diodoro. She drops back down the ladder here, and she could sit an ideal stalking trip just off the pace.

R5

Cool Quest
Digital Future
Kawhi Me a River

#8 COOL QUEST: Tries turf for the first time, and there are plenty of indications that say he’ll love it. He’s turned in several strong workouts over the training track’s turf course, and Brian Lynch is incredibly astute in knowing when to go from dirt to turf with young horses; #1 DIGITAL FUTURE: Will likely be a pretty heavy favorite and makes sense after back-to-back seconds downstate. The blinkers go on, and he’s got enough early speed to where he shouldn’t be shuffled back along the rail; #5 KAWHI ME A RIVER: Comes in off of a long layoff and tries turf for the first time, but he’s bred to like it. He’s a son of Kantharos with several solid turf drills, and the 329 turf Tomlinson figure hints that he’ll have a chance if he’s ready to run off of the freshening.

R6

Waterville
Oak Loves a Fight
Cupere

#8 WATERVILLE: Exits one of the best 2-year-old maiden races on turf we’ve seen this summer. The top two runners may well show up in stakes races soon, and this one had a pretty adventurous trip. This seems like a softer spot, and I think she steps forward in a big way; #6 OAK LOVES A FIGHT: Rallied from last to finish third behind Derrynane, a nice horse that took some money in a stakes race last week. Two turns is a bit of an unknown, but if she takes to the route and gets a pace to run at, she wouldn’t be a shock; #5 CUPERE: Fetched $110,000 at auction last fall, and much of that could be because she’s a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Ivar. This barn is very patient, but it’s not like it can’t win with first-time starters, and she’ll have every chance to pick up a check if she runs to her bottom-side pedigree.

R7

Binkster
Gandy Dancing
Dark Money

#5 BINKSTER: Drops way down in class after finishing third in a classy optional claiming event earlier in the met. He’s hit the board in all five of his local starts, and these shallower waters could make it far easier for him to record his first win over this surface; #2 GANDY DANCING: Didn’t do much running in a turf experiment last time out, but goes back to the dirt and is another getting significant class relief. The recent bullet drill indicates he’s doing well, and he ran well over this main track twice a season ago; #8 DARK MONEY: Was very impressive two starts back, when he beat a similar-level field at this distance at Belmont. He’s since switched barns, but he has a win over this track and could benefit from an outside draw that may give Luis Saez plenty of options early on.

R8

Winter Pool
Hombrazo
Handy

#5 WINTER POOL: Just missed in the mud last time out and has steadily improved on speed figures in each of his outings. He’s shown he can go two turns without a problem, and a repeat of his last-out effort is probably good enough to win this; #4 HOMBRAZO: Had a weird trip last time out when fifth in the race my top pick exits. He was between horses throughout and didn’t have much running room when the field turned for home. He could certainly improve with a smoother trip, and I think it’s telling Irad Ortiz, Jr., got the mount again; #3 HANDY: Returns to the dirt after a failed turf try a few weeks ago and has more speed than he showed that afternoon. Jose Ortiz lands the mount, and I think he’ll be aggressive going into the clubhouse turn.

R9

Moretti (MTO)
Shamrocket
Ajourneytofreedom

#3 SHAMROCKET: Has been extremely consistent and has missed the board just twice in 17 lifetime starts. He was most recently third behind Cross Border in the Grade 2 Bowling Green, and he’s run well enough going 12 furlongs that I don’t think an extra panel will be an issue in the John’s Call; #4 AJOURNEYTOFREEDOM: Broke a long drought when he rallied to top a good optional claiming group last month. He did so while rallying into a pretty slow early pace, and he’s kept very good company since being claimed by Mike Maker last summer at Del Mar; #5 CONVICTION TRADE: Is the “other” Mike Maker trainee, and he had enough trouble at the start of his last race to where I’m drawing a line through it. He wants to be much closer to the pace, and his form over the winter was very good. If he’s back to that level, he could outrun his odds in a big way.

R10

Courageous Girl (MTO)
My Candy Girl
Kitten’s Romance

#11 MY CANDY GIRL: Draws a terrible post but has the early speed to be able to clear most of the field going into the first turn. She exits a pair of solid starter allowance races at Keeneland and Indiana Grand, and she was a good second at this level three starts ago at Aqueduct; #2 KITTEN’S ROMANCE: Is incredibly consistent and has run the same race pretty much every time since going to the Mark Hennig barn before her 2021 debut. Whether or not her Gulfstream Park form will transfer to Saratoga is anyone’s guess, but if it does, she’s certainly got the ability to win; #5 JAZZY LADY: Was claimed by Mike Maker last time out and was probably way too far back early on last time out. She has a history of finding trouble, and that’s not ideal, but she fits on speed figures and cannot be ignored in a wide-open Wednesday finale.