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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Saratoga Wednesday

Well, sorry again for the lack of posting, but the California trip was quite the whirlwind with our kids around; and I never quite adjusted to the time change.  I find the time difference tough to adjust to - it's like I'm always three hours behind.  You wake up, have some breakfast, hang out on the beach, start to think about lunch and it's already like the 7th at Saratoga.  I don't know how people can live like that.

In the 5th on Wednesday, West Hills Giant (7-5) clearly seems the one to beat off a win two back in a similar NY Stallion Stakes in which he dominated several of these despite going 5-6 wide turning for home and then lugging in a few paths mid-stretch. One of those in his wake, some 3 3/4 lengths behind even while saving all ground, was Orino (12-1). Despite that result, I think he merits some attention.  I'm a bit tepid here because his trainer, H. James Bond, has gotten off to a dull start at the meet.  However, he has a good history at the track down the block from his home base, and figures to come around at some point.  Despite his beaten margin, Orino earned a TimeformUS speed figure only three points less than the favorite, due to his being up close to a hot pace while West Hills Giant - and runner up Captain Gaughen - took advantage by rallying from far behind.

Additionally, Orino was running against winners for the first time, and doing so only 15 days, and no workouts, after his maiden win.  Now, he gets 38 days off, and comes into this race with a workout a week before the race and two prior ones spaced six days apart - a very similar pattern to the drills leading up to his maiden win.  Stretch out to a mile at two turns shouldn't hurt either for this son of Raffie's Majesty out of an El Gran Senor mare, closely related to the Ky Oaks/CCA Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar (they have the same second dam).  Think he'll be far better prepared for this and seems worth a shot at that price.

In the 7th, Temper in Command (7-2) goes second off a 299 day layoff and returns to a track where he won twice on the grass last year (once on this inner turf course).  That comeback race, at seven furlongs, looked strictly like a prep; after breaking well, Rosario allowed him to settle at the back of the pack and didn't move a muscle until they turned for home, after which he rallied well late for second.  Stretches out now to a mile and a sixteenth route at which he's won.  Trainer Dale Romans has won two in a row after a 1-for-14 start for the meet, and has an 87 (out of 100) TimeformUS trainer rating for second-off-the-layoff.  He may need to get some help in softening up the Toddster's speedball Roses for Romney (3-1), who breaks from the rail.  Pace Projector has this as a 'Fast Pace' with Princess Mara (15-1) challenging early; I'm a bit skeptical to be honest, especially given the 1 hole for Pletcher's horse; but the top selection might be good enough to run him down anyway.

The 9th is a dandy turf sprint allowance, and let's try to beat Console (2-1). That one will surely be tough if he runs back to either of his first career races, but this field is too deep to take that price.  Ravalo (10-1) is a gelded multi-multi-stakes winning nine-year old son of Mutakddim who has campaigned only sporadically the last couple of years, and whose best days are surely behind him.  However, he showed a lot of life in his last, his second start after a 308 day layoff, making a huge middle move into a zippy second quarter (he ran it in 22 flat himself) and still finishing well for second.  Ravalo is well familiar with this track, showing two close seconds in stakes at this 5 1/2 furlong distance over this main turf course in 2010. He's also reunited with Johnny V, who has ridden him with much success in the past, including a win in the G3 Maryland Sprint in 2009. Looks live at that price for sure.  Love Those Boots (5-1) ships in for the veteran mid-Atlantic trainer Robert Bailes, who we don't see in these parts too often.  Four-year old son of Love of Money, out of a mare by the grass-loving Fred Astaire, seems to have learned to love the game and has found his niche in turf sprinting, with three excellent such efforts this year.  Last two were close seconds to the ultra-tough Hold on Smokey (who has finished in the money 15 times in a row); the last by a head-bobbing nose despite conceding ample ground on the turn.  May need some racing luck breaking from the rail, but he's in fine fettle to be sure.  Best of luck and have a great day.


steve in nc said...

Getting taken down on a 12-1 shot who was best? That really sucks. I'm sorry.

Alan Mann said...

And I'd just gotten back to the office from root canal too. What a day!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Very iffy DQ. Seems the odds on horse always gets the nod.