The good news for Stateside racing fans is Saratoga starts on Friday. This column will be featuring the best of the action on Saturday from The Spa, The Grade 1 Diana and Grade 3 Sanford Stakes. With The NYRA road show moving this week, it means a gap in the racing this midweek. So it seemed a good time preview the racing from that other New York track, Finger Lakes.
PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Saratoga races 4 to 9
Wednesday 27 July 2016
Saratoga Race 4 (7.40pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt
Going For Broke (6) ran second in the mud on her career debut in April. She's been most impressive in victory in both starts since then when stepped up to a mile. A maiden breaker in May was followed by a near seven length victory of an entry level allowance event. She looks a stakes filly in the making. If she is, she'll have to put away this second level allowance field. Not only does she have to get another furlongs but has to prove herself around two turns. On the evidence so far, it may even improve her.
Jules N Rome (2) is a talented New York at her best. Like a few in here, she's won at this level under allowance conditions so has to run to be claimed for $62,500. She has to rebound off a poor effort in a stake in May. Like Carameaway (4), she has a victory over course and distance.
Rachel's Temper (5) has been campaigned as a late-running sprinter for most of the year. She did run a fine second to Jules N Rome in her last start over two turns in January.
Going For Broke (6)
Saratoga Race 5 (8.14pm)
Maiden Special Weight - 2 year olds - 5 ½ Furlongs - Turf
There are some choicely bred juveniles in here but Mare Irish Dancer (2) has the benefit of a run on her side. It was a fine one too when third in a swiftly run event over four and half furlongs at Churchill last month. That was on dirt but she's bred to handle turf. She may make her experience edge count. That could also be the case with Conquest Bad Girl (9). She was squeezed at the start and got far behind when well backed on her debut at Gulfstream. She reduced a near 10 length deficit to four at the winning line. The fact that Mark Casse ships her here is a hint of much better to come.
Vertical Oak (3), Love And Lemons (4), Safe With Me (7) and Fifteen Church (8) have fine turf pedigrees. A market move for one or more should be noted. Aikenetta (5) is likely to take money. That's because she's trained by Todd Pletcher whose juveniles are often cranked up for their debuts at this meet. She's a modest sales purchase but has been working well in the mornings.
Mare Irish Dancer (2)
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Mare Irish Dancer (2), Aikenetta (5) and Conquest Bad Girl (9)
Saratoga Race 6 (8.48pm)
Maiden Special Weight - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 7 Furlongs - Dirt
Not many throw outs in this maiden with Blenheim Palace (4) having just about the best credentials. She got well behind on debut early this month but was noted staying on strongly late on to finish second. The winner chased home a next time out Grade 3 runner up in her race before giving the form a solid look to it. Her trainer Shug McGaughey has a fine record with second time starters and this extra furlong is massively in her favour.
The Godolphin owned Theatric (5) finished less than a length behind Blenheim Palace last time. She too should improve for the added ground. Her run came 11 months after her debut here last August and is still unexposed. So too are others in here. Tizacity (1) has worked well since a promising second at Gulfstream in May. Chase Motto (2) has faded in two career starts over further and may be suited by the cut back to seven furlongs.
Blenheim Palace (4)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Blenheim Palace (4) and Theatric (5)
Saratoga Race 7 (9.24pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - New York bred 3 year olds and upwards - 5 ½ Furlongs - Turf
Asset Inflation (1) will be one of if not the favourite here. He ran super when wiring open competition in an allowance event first time with trainer David Jacobson. Taken at face value, he'll be tough to run down. The worry is he may lock horns with much improved Florida invader Doctor J Dub (7) who went all the way in a sprint at Gulfstream earlier this month. Polar Axis (9) finished just in front of Asset Inflation in May. He too may add to the speed mix here.
With the likelihood of a decent fractions up front, it may pay to side with a stalker/closer. Captain Gaughen (4) who cuts back from seven furlongs is one possibility. Another is Summer Breezing (10). He was claimed off a victory over Asset Inflation in May and then faded late over seven furlongs a month later. He ran big over today's distance in two starts here last summer.
Wicked Freud (11) comes off a career best when a head second over seven furlongs last month. Draft Day (12) won his first two starts in the manner of a talented runner last year. He's not been out since running poorly last October. He's been gelded and has been working forwardly.
Summer Breezing (10)
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Captain Gaughen (4), Summer Breezing (10) and Draft Day (12)
Saratoga Race 8 (10.02pm)
The Honorable Miss Handicap (Grade 2) - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 6 Furlongs - Dirt
With more luck in running, Paulassilverlining (1) would be unbeaten in four starts this year. Her last two victories have come in Grade 3's at Aqueduct and Belmont. In the first, she had Bar Of Gold (7) almost five lengths back in third with La Madrina (3) a further back in sixth. She is a stalker who is likely to get a nice set up. She's no stranger to the rail draw and looks the one to beat despite top weight.
Bar Of Gold (7) has run better since losing to Paulassilverlining in April. He ran third in a deep Grade 3 last month and before that won a stake for New York breds. That was over a mile where he beat Haveyougoneaway (4) by over a length. That mare made the most of a fast pace up front to win a state bred stake over this trip at Belmont. A reproduction of her last race getting 6lbs from the rail drawn filly makes her a big danger.
Sarah Sis (6) wired a field to win a Grade 3 on The Polytrack at Arlington last month. She's equally at home on dirt and isn't a need to lead type by any means. In her last try over six furlongs, she failed by a neck to give 5lbs to Haveyougoneaway. Now she she's 3lbs better off.
Disco Chick (2) has won three stakes and been runner up in two more in The Mid-Atlantic region this year. She gets a class test today but could be the controlling speed.
Saratoga Race 9 (10.40pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 5 ½ Furlongs - Turf
Rumble Doll (11) ran second at this level on her 2016 return in April. She then ran above herself in a pair of stakes at Pimlico and Belmont. The late runner cuts back in distance today. The last time he ran over five and a half furlongs, she ran third to superstar sprinting Lady Shipman here last summer.
Tent City (3) will get the jump on Rumble Doll. The unbeaten filly has graduated from claimers. She ran her best race to date when facing her toughest test last month in an entry level allowance event. The slight cut back in distance won't be a problem and there may be better to come.
Spectacular Me (6) returns to a turf track she excels on. Justa Lady (4) beat Summer House (5) in May before running second at this level at Churchill in June. She finished just over a length ahead of Seeking Paradise (2) who seemed to find five furlongs on the sharp side.
Heavenly View (1) is interesting dropping in class from a stake and cutting back in distance.
Rumble Doll (11)
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Heavenly View (1), Tent City (3) and Rumble Doll (11)