Last week was an old-fashioned butt kicking… I knew the card was tough but they gave me a new definition of striking out. But as the great Harvey Pack would be first to let you know, ” That is horse racing, and tomorrow is another day.” Well that day is tomorrow, and the pick-four may be challenging as Mother Nature may not smile down upon Saratoga. When I looked at the weather report on Winning Ponies, I just dialed up another set of EZ Win forms. The forecast calls for 50% chance of thunderstorms and a steamy 86 degrees. The track was sloppy sealed on Friday, and the turf course was off except for race #6.
Race #8 – 5 1/2 on the turf – Mdn Sp Wt – 4:39 p.m. ET – Begins the $500,000 Guaranteed Pick-Four
With my new set of EZ Win forms I have looked for a muddy main track and a yielding turf course. I think there will be some defections as they may come off the greensward in this state-bred mdn sp wt event.
#15 – A.P. Hutchy (2-1) = This is the top tier selection if they get to the also-eligibles. Cornelio Velasquez in the irons for Linda Rice, and they are winning 21% on the year.
#2 – Princess Jenny (4-1) = Dominguez gets the call for H.J. Bond. They are winning at 38% so far at the Spa, and this gal is making a second-off move today.
#5 – Subtle (5-1) = Joel Rosario gets the nod, and this gal has been training lights-out since last running on 5/28/12.
Race #9 – The Diana Stakes – (G-1) – 1 1/8 on the turf – 5:12 p.m. ET
This race should remain on the weeds, and be sure to pay attention to what lane they will have the rail set. The further out it is the tougher it is for closers to run as it lays on the crown of the oval. But this is a compact field and it may not matter much for the outcome.
#5 – Winter Memories (9-5) = This daughter of El Prado enjoys Saratoga going 2/3 ITM, and has the services of J.J Castellano. This is also a top tier selection for a turf course with some cut to the ground.
#6 – Hungry Island (5-1) = John Velasquez is back in full form, and this gal enjoys a softer course. 2/2 ITM at the Spa.
#4 – Dream Peace (6-1) = Julien Leparoux has the call for Robert Callet, and they come in from Singapore against the boys. She ran at Woodbine last year in the E.P. Taylor and received lasix. She came flying like her tail was on fire! – Lasix is back today…
Race 10 – The Jim Dandy Stakes – (G-2) – 1 1/8 on the main track – 5:45 p.m. ET
#1 – Alpha (5-2) = Ramon Dominguez for Kiaran McLaughlin, and they are rolling at a 38% win clip for the year. Been on the shelf since the Derby and has been training nicely at Saratoga. This son of Bernadini broke his mdn at the Spa at first asking and appears to fire fresh. He sports a double ++ symbol for great improvement, and I have not lost on one of these runners yet.
#2 – Fast Falcon (10-1) = Rosie Napravnik in the irons with a broken toe to boot. She is tough and made them like it in winning by a new zip code in the finally last night. This son of Awesome Again can get motoring late, and I don’t think we have seen his best effort yet.
#6 – Teeth of the Dog (5-1) = Joel Rosario for Mike Matz, and he just hung on last out to hold off Fast Falcon. Game runner and looks to be in good form right now. This guy may just bite at a very square price.
Race #11 – Claiming $20,000 – 5 1/2f on the turf – 6:18 p.m. ET
If the weatherman is correct it would not surprise me to see this come off the green as well.
#12 – Towner (12-1) = Shawn Bridgmohan for Brad Cox fresh off a claim at Churchill. This gelding has run on poly, turf, and now dirt/mud.
#15 – Chasing Moonlight (7-2) = Rajiv Maragh for Thom Albertrani. He has faced better, and if he gets in the race that came off the turf this will be three off the layoff.
#7 – Synthesizer (4-1) = Red-hot Rosie for H.J. Bond. Second off the layoff, and if she stays in this heat she could be very dangerous. This is the top tier selection for an off track.
#6 – Leroidessioux (10-1) = Rajiv in the irons. And if you go back two races they took it off the turf and he broke his mdn by a DQ on the winner who bumped him soundly.
#1 – Venture World (8-1) = Cornelio Velasquez for Chris Englehart. Fresh off a mdn win and looks to be speedy. Catch him if you can…
Ticket cost = 3 x3 x 3 x 5 = $135 for a $1 ticket, and $67.50 for a 50-cent version. This wager has been made on the assumption that a wet track will continue. If it comes up dry and fast, just change the weather tab on your EZ Win forms for a brand new set of selections. Who says you can’t fool with Mother Nature ?