The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

After complaining, lamenting, griping, and flat-out whining about how badly things have been going at Saratoga this meet, I hit paydirt yesterday with a nice winner in THEATEROFTHEROUND in race 8 yesterday, and the winning selection paid $17.00/$8.40/$5.10 across the board.
The first race went off the turf, and my selection in that race didn’t like the brown stuff as much as the green stuff. A lot of scratches in that race made it an uninspiring horse race on which to bet.
Today, I like another 12-1 morning line shot as my only Saratoga “spot play” of the day, and the strategy behind it is very, very simple in terms of handicapping–I’m going with a positive jockey change.
In race 7 today–an optional claimer race going one mile on the inner turf–I’m tabbing #10 VIP NATION as my play of the day. The Paynter filly is in for the $40,000 tag today, and if you look at her recent workouts, they look very slow time-wise, which is one of the oldest tricks in the books if you want to protect a horse you have in for a claim.
She finished fifth, but only 4-1/2 lengths back against similar company last time out.
There is a lot to NOT like about Vip Nation, which is exactly why she is 12-1 on the morning line. For instance, she has performed well at the mile distance (which she’s going today), and she doesn’t seem to like soft turf. Two races were off the turf yesterday, but all signs point to this race being contested on the grass this afternoon.
But, trainer Bruce Levine landed jockey Javier Castellano to ride today, and I think this is what will propel her to victory. She looks (on paper) to be a “needs the lead” type, and looking at the projected pace of this race, I feel Castellano can get her to the early lead. If you’ve been paying attention to turf races at the Spa this meet, you’ll note they aren’t blazing fast early, but rather save energy until the very end–which has been trending in the wrong direction in my opinion industry-wide.
Castellano can get Vip Nation out early, get some separation from the pack, and hopefully hold on for a wire-to-wire victory in the seventh at the Spa today, and we’ll make some good money if he does.
Other will bet the #3 BROKEN BORDER, #5 BLUE ATLAS and #6 LOVELY LA LA. Bet #10 VIP NATION on top over those three in exacta and trifecta keys.
Good luck, let’s “get hot and stay hot.”