The heat of summer is rounding third and heading for home. It won’t be long until we gather to watch the greatest Thoroughbreds in the world take the national stage for the Breeders’ Cup. But, that is off in the distance, as we have the Mid-Summer Derby at hand. A sunny day when some of the best runners converge at the Spa. The weather is going to be warm with a high of 86 degrees, and there is only a 20% chance of rain.
Race #9 – The (G-1) Balston Spa – 1 1/16 on the turf – 4:05 p.m. ET
#2- Zagora (5-2) = This French-bed daughter of Green Tune makes her second start off the layoff. Ramon Dominguez holds court for Chad Brown, and they are winning at 32% this meet. Cuts back in distance today, and this gal rolls at 27% making this move. 2/2 ITM at Saratoga, and Chad Brown is winning ata 30% clip.
#4 – Hungry Island ( 3-1) = If I could have a play of the day, it would be this filly. John Velasquez in the irons as she make her second off the shelf for Shug McGaughey. 2/3 ITM at the Spa, and she loves the distance going 6/6 ITM lifetime.
#6 – Tapitsfly (7-2) = J.J. Castellano in the saddle for Dale Romans. 3/4 ITM at Saratoga, and her last work was solid. This daughter of Tapit has learned to rate a bit as I have been watching her past efforts. With plenty of speed in here, she can benefit with an up close style.
Race #10 – The (G-1) Test Stakes – 7f – 4:38 p.m. ET
#2 – Aubby K (5-1) = Edgar Prado in the driver’s seat, and this daughter of Street Sense makes her second off thr shelf. Cuts back in distance, and has a solid work record at Saratoga.
#3 – Book Review (5-2) = J.J Castellano up for Chad Brown. She loves 7 panels, and is 2/2 with wins. Add in 2/2 ITM at Saratoga, and she looks to be spotted in the right race.
#8 – Contested (2-1) = Rafael Bejarano in town for Bob Baffert. He is dominating the left coast, and should come here for a reason. Cuts back in distance, and been working like a shiny penny at DelMar. This daughter of Ghostzapper looks solid, and the rider is winning 25% on the year.
#10 – Amie’s Dini (8-1) = David Cohen gets the call for Ron Moquette. Second off the shelf, and she is training lights out. Cuts back in distance, and can very easily be a player if the works are an indicator.
Race #11 – The (G-1) Kings Bishop Stakes – 7f – 5:10 p.m. ET
#3 – Currency Swap (5-2) = Rajiv Maragh for Terri Pompay. 3/3 ITM at the distance, and 3/3 with wins at the Spa. Working red-hot at Monmouth, and Rajiv fits him well.
#4 – Fort Louden (12-1) – Junior Alvarado for Nick Zito. Hard-knocking colt who loves to run. Two races back he gunned down the speedy Trinniberg, and gets more ground to work with today.
#7 – Ever So Lucky (12-1) = John Velasquez up for Jonathan Sheppard. His two-year-old career showed promise, and has been working lights out at Saratoga. If the pace is hot, you can count on him to throw his hat into the ring.
#9 – Trinniberg (7-2) = Chilly Willy Martinez gets the nod today. He rides this colt flawlessly, and you can count on some honest speedy fractions.
Race #12 – The (G-1) 143rd running of the Travers Stakes – 1 1/4 – 5:46 p.m. ET
#10 – Nonios (4-1) = John Velasquez up for Jerry Hollendorfer. Second off the poly, and ran a sweet race in the Haskell. 6/6 ITM lifetime, and should be up close today.
#9 – Liaison (8-1) = Rafael Bejarano for Team Baffert. A nice closer, and with the pace that should help his causes. Bejarano wouldn’t have made the plane trip if he didn’t think he could win. He and Baffert are winning at 31%, and they look to build on that today.
#5 – Street Life (5-1) = Jose Lezcano for Chad Brown. He will be far back, and if the fractions are solid. You can count on Lezcano rolling late in the lane. His breeding should have him ready, and the 1/1 over the Saratoga oval is a plus.
#8 – Neck ‘n Neck (9-2) = Leandro Goncalves is the rider for Ian Wilkes. Goncalves is an up-and-coming rider who will be on the bigger circuits soon. This is his second off the shelf, and was hard held last out in the Jim Dandy. He is a closer, and you can bet he’ll bring his “A” game.
#6 – Alpha (5-2) = Ramon Dominguez for Kiaran McLaughlin. They are winning 42% at the meet, and the barn likes his chances. This is his second start after the Kentucky Derby, and should be in good form. Second off does well for the barn winning at a 34% clip.
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