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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Saratoga Wednesday (Updated)

- Some thoughts on Wednesday's card at Saratoga. I know it rained there last night, so I'm not sure of the track/turf condition, but it looks like it's stopped now (8 A.M) and I'm hoping for something at least resembling fast/firm. But be aware.

In Race 1, Go Michelle makes the jump from maiden claimers, but against a weak NW2 field in which she has the best last-out Beyer. The second place finisher in that race, Premont, ran second against tougher in her next race; and the third place finisher beat cheaper at Finger Lakes by 26 3/4 lengths (OK).

I mentioned Maimonides in this post, and I expect he'll be favored for Baffert in the second. Nick Zito turned his fortunes with first-timers around here last year and already has a winner here in 2007. Sam's Passion is by the excellent first-out sire Seeking the Gold, and Leparoux rode three of his debut winners last year. Moral Compass goes for Barclay Tagg; he's by Grand Slam, a 14% debut sire, and is related to the 1996 Derby winner Grindstone (whose second dam is the third dam of Moral Compass).

In the fifth, Queen Amira, 8-1 morning line for the red hot Mott, has been facing far, far better, and managed a second place finish in an overnight stakes at Belmont. She was an even 6th against an excellent field in a Delaware stakes last out, which included Truly Blushed, who won a similar event for Scott Lake here on opening day. Lake starts Wee Bit Fancy here, shipping in from California, where she showed improved form in her last two on turf and Cushion for Jeff Mullins (who is hot, and had another winner at Del Mar on Monday). Dominguez wins at a 31% rate for the trainer. (But watch for the race perhaps coming off the grass..) [UPDATE: Sadly, this race as well as the 3rd and the 9th are indeed off the turf...I quite liked Queen Amira, who has been scratched.]

I just missed seeing Barry Bonds' homerun; he was crossing home plate as I switched over from whatever I wasn't paying attention to while writing this post. Reader jeff, no doubt unhappy these days as the Yanks creep closer to the Mets in the mythical NY standings, is nonetheless likely pleased that a Mets fan got the ball.

Another two-year old maiden affair in the 6th, and Zito has another one here ridden by Leparoux. Pick Off is by the proficient first-out sire Fusaichi Pegasus and sports a couple of bullet works. Mott has two winners and two seconds with first timers just in the last four racing days. Z Humor is by the 19% debut sire Distorted Humor, out of an AP Indy mare; his second dam is the crack sprinter Chip. Steve Asmussen is off to a slow start at the meeting, but is always dangerous with these as you probably know. Langley is by Forestry, out of a Deputy Minister half-sister to the stakes winning siblings Ender's Shadow and Ender's Sister. Mineshaft got his first winner the other day; his son Full Charge sold for $550,000 as a yearling last September. He's trained by Michael Matz, who has a winner and a third with first-out juvies this meet.

In the 7th, Dominic Galluscio starts Only a Vision, an easy winner on a muddy track at Belmont in her last. The trainer is off to a ridiculous start at 10-4-1-3, and, with a 455 Tomlinson mud rating, she bears watching should the track retain some moisture by that time in the afternoon (which it probably won't). Skip the Glitter is another Scott Lake shipper; this one sports a modest Beyer in a maiden claiming win at Delaware in her only start; but the race has produced a winner and two seconds from its 2nd-4th finishers.

The 8th is a turf stakes for NY-breds, and Thunderestimate seems the logical choice amongst those who have run on grass. Trainer Carlos Martin got off the schneid on Monday, and all four of his Spa winners last year were on the grass. But Get Serious, shipping from Monmouth off a second to First Defence in the Long Branch, has some nice grass breeding. He's by City Zip, 19% with his grass starters according to the Form, out of a Java Gold half-sister to the Grade/Group 1 grass winner Allez Milord. (UPDATE: Scratched, though the race remains on the grass.)

And in the 9th, let's get Linda Rice into the win column with Lady Rizzi, coming off a year's layoff. The trainer is 7 for 33 with 180+ returnees, always excels in these turf sprints [UPDATE: off the turf], and this filly has been working lights out for her return.

Good luck and have a great day!


inthebeginningtherewasace said...

In the 8th, ignore Solid Strike (9-2) at your own peril ;)

Anonymous said...

Track labeled "back raked and good". Never heard that one before.