PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Laurel Park, Monmouth Park and Saratoga
Saturday 19 August 2017
There is stakes action from three venues on Attheraces Stateside on Saturday. It is the pair of graded events at Saratoga that really piques the interest. The Alabama (Grade 1) is for three year old fillies on the dirt at a mile and a quarter. Dual Grade 1 winner New Money Honey is one of many contenders in this field. She has won at the distance but on turf. This will be her dirt debut. Interestingly, it was also a dirt debut for turfer Good Samaritan when upsetting The Grade 2 Jim Dandy field earlier in the meet.
New Money Honey is trained by Chad Brown. He has the former French based Uni in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Lake Placid. She made a highly encouraging debut at Belmont last month. It will be no surprise if she is a strong second favourite behind La Coronel. That filly found Winter and Roly Poly too good in The Group 1 Coronation Stakes. She could easily been unbeaten on turf prior to being in too deep at The Royal Meeting. This is a drop in class but she’ll still have to run big to resume winning ways.
Laurel Park Race 6 (8.40pm)
The Find – A stake for Maryland breds – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
The Big Three in this event fought out a stake over six furlongs here in June. Only just over a neck separated them. The winner Phlash Phelps (4) won this race in 2015 and ran third in it last year. He has a fine win record. He’s never been beaten more than a length by any Maryland bred in his career. English Minister (2) has now finished behind him in back to back starts. He is very consistent but is on a long, losing run. A bigger threat may be the third Talk Show Man (6). He has since gone on to win in open allowance company. He’s yet to win over nine furlongs but has been in some tough spots when trying it. The worry for him here is he often lags behind early on and this race has no obvious frontrunner.
Just Howard (3) is the lone three year old in this line up. He has a bit to find but is improving. A maiden breaker in May was followed by a stakes victory against fellow sophomores last month. He and Tizzarunner (10) look the most likely upsetters. He’s not been out since being overmatched in a Grade 3 in November. Prior to that, he’d outfinished an allowance field at Keeneland with a career best effort.
Phlash Phelps (4)
Saratoga Race 6 (8.43pm)
Allowance (entry level) – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles – Dirt
Meantime (8) has had some time away after fading badly in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes over a mile a half. Prior to that, he’d broke his maiden by open lengths and ran second in The Grade 3 Peter Pan. He looks the one to beat under Jose Ortiz but the well drawn Caviar Czar (2) gets the nod over him. He may have won a similar event last month but for a stumble at the start. That was over a mile and he looks sure to improve over this distance.
Wine Not (3) who beat New York breds last time and the consistent Battle Midway (4) have claims at bigger prices. Hookup (5) is an interesting longshot making his three year old debut. He broke his maiden by open lengths on debut before running no race second time out in a Grade 2 last November.
Caviar Czar (2)
Laurel Park Race 7 (9.10pm)
The Miss Disco – A stake for Maryland bred 3 year fillies – 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Crabcakes (7) is the standard setter here. The one time she raced against fellow Maryland breds, she won a stake at the end of her juvenile season. She’s been in some tough spots in open company since she returned in April and not been disgraced. She has to be respected on the class drop although she does have to give 6lbs to most of her rivals.
Bill Mott’s Ascertain (6) will be to fore in the betting. She followed up a wide margin allowance win over state breds by a neck runner up to Faze the Nation (9) in an open allowance event. She was used up in a speed duel while wide and is a little better than that result suggests.
There are a quartet in here where the surface may be the issue. Misty On Pointe (2) is improving but she’s only ever raced on turf. Her high percentage trainer has a super record when he makes the turf to dirt move. The worry with barn mates Hailey's Flip (3) and Lucky in Malibu (4) is big efforts on off tracks last time. Le Weekend (8) has been running on the grass. She did break her maiden by seven lengths on dirt so the switch from the turf shouldn’t be a problem.
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Misty On Pointe (2) and Crabcakes (7)
Saratoga Race 7 (9.16pm)
Allowance (entry level) – Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile – Turf
Ellery Lane (6) hasn’t raced in well over a year and has never been further than seven furlongs. When Chad Brown’s name is next to a runner, these obstacles don’t seem insurmountable. She broke her maiden first time out at Limerick for paddy Prendergast before finishing a close fourth in a Group 3 at The Curragh. The winner that day Roly Poly has turned out to be a good one.
If Ellery Lane is to win, she’ll have to run big as there are some pretty decent fillies in here. Mom's On Strike (4) rounded out her three year old season with a fine runner up in a stake at Belmont last October. Her comeback last month was very encouraging. She ran second to a talented New York bred and barn mate of Ellery Lane.
Glory to Kitten (8) has been freshened up after a trio of fine efforts in similar events. Bonita Springs (7) was three lengths too good for a field of New York breds last month. The once raced Great Import (3) has been away as long as Ellery Lane. She was a winner on debut and has been working really well.
Ellery Lane (6)
Laurel Park Race 8 (9.40pm)
The All Brandy – A stake for Maryland bred fillies and mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
The two big questions here are how fit is De Marquee (6) and will this race be run at a decent clip. The comebacking De Marquee goes for a very capable trainer. Her year ended prematurely last June after she drew off nicely from an allowance field. She’s likely to sit in stalk mode here off likely pacesetters Bawlmer Hon (3) and Daylight Ahead (7). The former’s best chance may come on a wet dirt track. Daylight Ahead is a big player based on class. She won a stake last time out in June. It came over six furlongs. Although she’s bred to stay further, if she gets no breathers she is vulnerable late on.
Devilish Love (5) finished two lengths behind Daylight Ahead last time but that run had the look of a sighter on her 2017 debut. She is better over further. The last time she raced over nine furlongs, she was a winner of a similar stake here last October. It was only by a neck from the late-running Complete St. (10) with Northern Smile (1) a length back in third.
Devilish Love (5)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Northern Smile (1) and Devilish Love (5)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Devilish Love (5) and Complete St. (10)
Saratoga Race 8 (9.49pm)
The Lake Placid (Grade 2) – 3 year old fillies – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
Although any of this sextet could win this, the pair that are likely to head the market may be a little better than the rest. La Coronel (3) won a Grade 3 as a juvenile and was hung very wide when beaten three lengths at The Breeders’ Cup. She had Proctor's Ledge (4) a well held third when winning a Keeneland Grade 3 in April. Her sporting connections took her to Royal Ascot for The Group 1 Coronation Stakes. To be beaten less than six lengths by dual 1,000 Guineas winner Winter was no disgrace. The winner and runner up Roly Poly have both excelled in Group 1 company since. Some fast workouts suggest that the trip to Europe hasn’t taken the edge off her. Her trainer Mark Casse has had a poor meet (3 winners from 53 starters). Two of them have come in the last week or so barn form isn’t the worry it first appears.
It is hard to remember when Chad Brown had a modest meet. He sits at the top of the trainer standings at Saratoga and is winning at an excellent 32%. His Uni (6) is a big danger to La Coronel and all. She had six starts in France but only once ran in group company. She made her Stateside debut in The Grade 1 Belmont Oaks last month and ran third. The pair that beat her were barn mates. The winner is trying dirt for the first time in a Grade 1 later on the card and the runner up was a Group 3 winner in France. She was beaten only two lengths - that after missing the break badly. The early fractions were decent so sitting far back may not have been a big disadvantage. Bearing in mind her trainer’s fine record in turf stakes, it will be no surprise if she adds to that tally.
Coasted (1) did finish ahead of a hung wide La Coronel when runner up in The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She’s regressed after making a fine three year old debut in March. That can’t be said for Proctor's Ledge (4). She is a better filly than the one beaten four lengths by La Coronel in May. She ran a career best when beating the consistent Party Boat (2) in a Grade 3 here in July. The runner ups trainer Graham Motion also runs Berned (5) here. She makes her turf debut. She is bred to handle the surface but this is a deep event.
La Coronel (3)
Saratoga Race 9 (10.22pm)
The Alabama (Grade 1) – 3 year old fillies – 1 ¼ Miles - Dirt
Many ways to go here in an intriguing renewal. New Money Honey (1) won The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and recently the 10 furlong Grade 1 Belmont Oaks. They were on turf and she’s never raced on dirt. Her entry here is hardly out of desperation as there are many grass graded stakes she could run in. There is pedigree support for the surface switch too.
Last time out, Holy Helena (2) beat the boys to win Canada’s top three year old event, The $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate. That came over today’s distance on Tapeta. She broke her maiden on dirt and the footing is much less of an issue than it is for New Money Honey.
Unchained Melody (5) has no surface worries. She’s only lost once in four career starts. Last month, she went wire to wire and beat Lockdown (4) in Belmont’s Grade 1 Mother Goose. The chances are Joel Rosario has her on a soft lead here. The question is she now tries two turns and a mile and a quarter. Lockdown did stumble at the start and has a shot of reversing the form.
Elate (7) and Salty (6) chased home Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman in The Grade 1 CCA Oaks here last month. The runner up looks a dour stayer and should improve for another furlong here. Like at Churchill, Salty had a rough trip. In between, she’d finished a length behind Abel Tasman in The Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.
It Tiz Well (3) had the improving Actress (9) half a length back when taking The Grade 3 Delaware Oaks. Prior to that, she had finished behind Mopotism in a Grade 2 at Santa Anita.
Unchained Melody (5)
Combination Exacta (6 Bets) Holy Helena (2), Unchained Melody (5) and Elate (7)
Monmouth Park Race 11 (10.49pm)
The Violet (Grade 3) – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
Viewers on this side of The Atlantic will know a couple of the main players here. Light Up Our World (2) ran some fine races in defeat in decent company for Richard Hannon last year. She’s ran two nice races since being transferred to race Stateside this term. In the latest last month, she ran fourth in a Grade 3 at Parx. The winner was a mare completing an eight timer with a couple of decent yardsticks in between them. She should be all the better for the extra ground here. The former Charlie Hills trained Beauly (6) will do too. She’s won two of her three starts since moving to North America. The latest was a come from behind stakes success at Indiana.
Possibly Light Up Our World and definitely Beauly would be seen to best effect with some pace to chase down. That’s a worry as there is a dearth of speed in this contest. That makes Gianna's Dream (3) an interesting proposition under the capable Antonio Gallardo. The former claimer lacks the class of some of these in here but is likely to be on a soft lead here. She has stakes form and looks to be rounding into this race nicely with an allowance win last month.
Pricedtoperfection (8) ran well in strong company last year including a fourth in a Grade 1 and third in a Grade 3. She made an encouraging 2017 return and first start for Graham Motion at Saratoga last month. Like a few on here, she can get behind early on. Arraign (5) and Tricky Escape (4) have some tactical speed. That’s a positive the way this race plots to be run.
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Light Up Our World (2) and Beauly (6)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Gianna's Dream (3) and Beauly (6)