PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Saratoga races 4 to 9
Thursday 25 August 2016
Saratoga Race 4 (7.40pm)
Claiming $25,000 - New York bred fillies and mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
Champagne Ruby (1) reversed a previous decision with My Won Love (4) when beating her old rival by two lengths at Belmont in July. Rudy Rodriguez has kept her at the same level and she looks an obvious player. The worry with her, My Won Love and recent open company winner Tahoe Tigress is they are come from behinders in a race that may not be run at a frenetic pace.
Saluda (2) may have the front to herself here. The trouble is it's a long time since she ran a race good enough to contend. That's not the case with Lady Luciano (5) who has tried quality state breds under allowance conditions since she won a claimer by open lengths in June. She'll be tough to beat at her best but Dreamboat Annie (7) gets the vote in the hope she gets first run on her. She was entitled to need her comeback and this is her first ever race against straight claimers.
Dreamboat Annie (7)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Lady Luciano (5) and Dreamboat Annie (7)
Saratoga Race 5 (8.14pm)
Claiming $40,000 - 3 year olds and upwards - 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
Speed has been holding well on The Saratoga main track in the last couple of weeks. With that in mind in race with no throw-outs Chicago invader Dom The Bomb (1) may be worth siding with. The frontrunner can as last time fold like an old deckchair but when he's good, he looks a match for the locals. The dual Illinois state bred stakes winner has won big in open company this year. The four year old has the speed to get clear early on. His trainer Larry Rivelli has regularly had live horses at this meet over the years.
Router Winter Games (5) is a tough read. He's won his last two starts in claiming company. Although he's won over a one turn mile, this six and a half furlongs is a journey into the unknown. It's not for the in form Sam Sparkle (6) who had the comebacking Stealcase (4) behind when third in a $50,000 claimer here last month. His critics would point out he's not won in a dozen starts spanning back to February 2015. In fairness, he's been tackling much better company in that sequence.
Narvaez (7) was claimed off a near five length victory in a $32,000 claimer in June. He's been running speed figures that make him competitive. Rockford (2) has had his number in the past. He may improve off his comeback 11 days ago. His trainer is yet to get off the mark at this meet. So has the conditioner of Rich 'n' Tuck (3).
Dom The Bomb (1)
Saratoga Race 6 (8.48pm)
Maiden Claiming $40,000 - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 1 Mile - Turf
Many ways to go here. Todd Pletcher has a contender in the class dropping Queenofthechannel (10). She's not been disgraced in better maidens and runs in blinkers first time today. This is a career low spot but others in here appeal too. One of them is Maritalpresrvation (9). The second time starter only ran an even fifth at Delaware on debut. The in with her is the switch from a trainer having a lean year to high percentage Rudy Rodriguez. That's a massive angle.
Crags (1) shaped well on debut in a maiden special weight at Belmont. She had a wide trip when dropped in class for her only subsequent start next time. She's now races with lasix and blinkers as well as getting another ease in company. Now with a potentially good draw, she could go well at a price.
Laquesta (6) ran third at this level last month. She is hard to rule out along with Smart Alex (4), Bright Side Up (5), Rain In Spain (7) and City Section (8). Reserve Smile Big (11) has to be reckoned with if she gets in this event.
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Crags (1), Maritalpresrvation (9) and Queenofthechannel (10)
Saratoga Race 7 (9.24pm)
Starter Allowance - 3 year olds and upwards - 1 1/16 Miles - Turf
A big field and no outstanding candidate should mean a pretty open market. Mav (2) may be one of the favourites. He broke his maiden at Gulfstream in April and has been second in a trio of starts since coming to New York. The latest was a head defeat here at this allowance level with Inventor's Gate (9) a close up fifth. The step up in distance will suit.
Shalako (3) was still a maiden in early June. He's now rattled up a quick-fire hat-trick, showing improved form each time. Last time out over course and distance, he outfinished a field a claimers despite a wide trip. He may be better than that result suggests and may be very competitive despite the rise in class.
No Texting (11) was claimed off a victory at Aqueduct in November. He's not raced since but he's been working forwardly for some time. More immediate form comes from Steamboat Bill (8). He was dropped in class and ran second in a $50,000 claimer here earlier this month.
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Mav (2) and Shalako (3)
Saratoga Race 8 (10.02pm)
Allowance (entry level) - 3 year olds and upwards - 1 1/8 Miles - Dirt
Juan And Bina (1) has run against some good ones at this level since he broke his maiden. That may be a valid excuse for a long losing run. He set decent fractions when a fading third in swiftly run event over seven furlongs earlier this month. He's ran well over route distances in the past. It will be interesting to see if he clashes early on with in form Cadeyrn (4). He's finished third after setting the pace in back to back allowance events. The three year old has worked well since his last race and his trainer Jeremiah Englehart has having a fine meet.
Contested fractions up front is in the favour of Flash Trading (5). He won a starter allowance event over course and distance last month. That was a personal best on his first start for trainer Al Stall. There may be better to come and he gets the vote here.
Testosterstone (6) was beaten in an event he should have won at Finger Lakes earlier this month. He's ran well on The Big Circuit before. Delta Outlaw (2) has made a living being placed at this level sprinting. He has the pedigree to stay well. In Equality (2) has not really progressed since running third in The Grade 3 Jerome in January. He may have needed his comeback badly and has worked nicely since that race. He'll be a double-digit price and has upset appeal.
Flash Trading (5)
Saratoga Race 9 (10.40pm)
The 8th Running of The Riskaverse - A stake for 3 year old fillies - 1 Mile - Turf
Trainer Chad Brown has a trio of interesting runners entered here. The best on form is Pricedtoperfection (8). She won a Grade 3 at Gulfstream early in the year but has ran better in defeat this summer. She ran second in a decent event at Penn National and fourth in The Grade 1 Belmont Park Oaks. The fillies that beat her Catch a Glimpse, Time and Motion and Coolmore are all top class and she meets nothing of that ilk here. That race was over 10 furlongs and the cut back in distance may even suit her as she didn't see the trip out that well.
On Leave (7) is one of many in here that get 5lbs from Pricedtoperfection. She's only had four starts and has looked much improved since she returned as a three year old in June. A maiden breaker was followed up by an allowance victory. In that event, she has less than a length to spare over turf debutante Stella Rose (11) who was just ahead of She Doesn't Mind (2). In terms of speed figures, all three fillies aren't far behind the likely favourite and all of them may have better races to come.
Thrilled (3) has been running in stakes on dirt (winning one) but lost a Grade 3 by a nose on turf as a juvenile. She has been working really well since being freshened up by Todd Pletcher. Sky My Sky (10) had Baciami Piccola (9) behind her when fourth in a Grade 2 here last month. Truth (4) is an improving filly with a last time wire to wire maiden breaker to her name. Maybe the most interesting of the bigger prices is Island Reward (1). Her form is fairly useful as things stand but do even better running first time for Chad Brown.
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Island Reward (1) and Pricedtoperfection (8)