It didn’t take Saratoga long to draw national attention. Not only for some of the finest racing in the world right now. But also for the fact that going into the 4th race today — in just a few minutes — there will be a carryover in the Pick Six pool of $577,107. It figures to go well over $1 million in the pool by post time.
That will draw the attention of anyone. Including some big bettors. And, including some more modest ones like us.
So, this a.m., I turned my attention to the Saratoga PPs, and after torrid rains, the scratch list. And, I handicapped like a mad man. (Some say that is not a far reach!).
I came up with a $96 ticket. And, here it is:
Race 4: 1-3…Slam Chowder (1) is a NY-bred facing open company, which is not an angle I prefer, but this one did run a bang up race at Churchill Downs on June 30 and nearly pulled off the win. Drops in class for trainer Eddie Kenneally today, and picks up HOF rider Javier Castellano, who figures to break out of his slump soon. My “dot” goes to Sweetrayofsunshine (3), who was claimed out of her last and picks up one of the hottest jocks in the country right now — Ricardo Santana Jr. Go back and this stalker should have a fun time in the mud today. She has 4 wins and 3 seconds on off going, with a return rate of nearly $20,000 per race in 7 outs.
Race 5: Covenant (2) nearly got the best of Salty in her only start, way back in March at Gulfstream Park. Salty ran third in the CCA Stakes on Sunday, despite a terrible start. Covenant worked great here on July 14. Should break maiden today.
Race 6: 4-6-9..I go three deep in this one, which comes off the turf. Still, Sugar Queen (4) — who didn’t run much in the Astoria Stakes at Belmont in her last — figures to be the one to catch in this 51/2F sprint, now on the mud. Princess Peggy (6) and Schianti (9) both go for trainer Wesley Ward and both have shown to have a bit of speed themselves. I have to use all three of these.
Race 7: 2-7…Blue Prize (2) shipped up from Argentina and nearly won her first start in the States at Churchill Downs on June 11. Came roaring from the back of the pack and finished second, beaten just 1 length. A little better break and cleaner trip today, and she could be tough, if she can handle an off going — like she did in her debut back in Argentina. Fuhriously Kissed (7) is another closer stretching out to 11/8 miles today. This one comes off a 61/2F try in the slop at Churchill. She had to alter in and out of traffic in the stretch that day, but goes for a top flight trainer and should benefit from that outing.
Race 8: 2-9…This one will stay on the grass course and it should have some give to it. No matter, I go with Mark Casse’s mare Mississippi Delta, who won a stake at Belmont Park in her last. She is shortening up from that 7F effort and will have to be a little closer today, but there is a ton of speed in this tilt, and she should benefit from that pace scenario. Ran behind Believe in Bertie at Churchill on a “good” turf two back and that one is really good right now. Miss Ella (9) get back to the grass for Graham Motion and should should relish the cut back in distance. Ran four times at this 51/2 sprint distance with a win and two seconds. Will be closing, too, and should benefit from the speed duel likely to happen up front.
Race 9: 7-14…This one is off the grass, too, and I settle on two first time starters. My Mr. Wonderful (7) has been training well for a barn that hits with .27% wins on first trips to the post. Royal Power (14) draws in for MTO and has been training lights out. By Orb and cost $175,000 as a yearling. Got to use.
Good luck &
All the Best/Gene