SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/7


Big day for us here yesterday with a profitable grand slam ( $8, $48, $3 & $5 ), three Rolling Pick Threes of $850, $330 & $29, and four Rolling Doubles of $178, $205, & $8 x 2.  

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 5 - #8 Peace Cruiser

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O. Furthermore, if we amend our selections for a wet track, and the track becomes fast, our original selections are in play.


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Saratoga - 8/7


Race  1

1.Talkin Pharoah


3.Certified Loverboy

No first draft eliminations in the day's opener, so take it slow, baby...  #8 TALKIN PHAROAH was a dead game & decently clear runner up when starting things out more than 3 1/2 months back, and right off the bat, we take note of that best of 29 breeze last month. This one is just about as well bred for the green as the brown, so today's surface switch shouldn't be too much of an issue. Dam won her first start on the gramma, the paternal grandsire did the same in his second, the maternal grandmommy scored in her first on the verde, & her "mate" was a machine on the poly. Ideal draw can't hurt as well. #4 SCARPIA ( uncoupled barnmate w/ the above ) get T-Gaff for the bow, and J/T combo are on a sweet 7 for 14 run of late. #7 CERTIFIED LOVERBOY popped & stopped in the debut, but went for 6 1/2 times the stud fee at auction, and we'll give him another shot.  OFF TURF: 9(MTO)-5-1-8-2


Race  2

1.Critical Threat

2.Blue Jays 

3.Convertible Freeze

#1 CRITICAL THREAT is halved in price after being snagged back in the end of June, and even with a win & another purchase, Dubb ( like he cares ) stands to lose about a dime, so you'd have to think all systems are go this afternoon. Timid choice. You can basically say "Ditto" for #3 BLUE JAYS here ( sans the trainer ), but stock goes up if you're a former pitcher for the team -- like loyal readers Dan Plesac & Kelvim Escobar. #2 CONVERTIBLE FREEZE has never seen these depths & completes our troika of selections taking the plunge. 


Race  3


2.Liberty M D 

3.Dr B 

#6 FOUETTE has been beset by back to back layoff lines, but is a poyfect three for three off a break in the action, is showing back to back bullets for the return, and barn nearly doubles their normative batting average with optional dirt stock who scored 51-93 days in the rear, as they're 3 of 9 in that regards ( $4, $12 & $10 ). We'll jump in at 8-1. #5 LIBERTY M D has partaken in the triple in all her dashes to date, and lightly raced 5YO should be in the thick of things once again. #4 DR B rounds out the top three. 


Race  4 


2.Sabra Tuff

3.Naughty Gal

#6 DAMASO improved by about 21.2% from his first start to the followup, and accomplished such despite the hike in class that day. January foal has a maturity edge over the entire allotment, gets a perfect slot for stalking, appears to be better bred for the brown than the synthetic, and that last point is reinforced by the snazzy 48 flat move on Tuesday. "Short field--Big price" theory in play here. #4 SABRA TUFF is another who got a little better second time around and gets the meet's leading rider for her first sojourn to the Empire State. #2 NAUGHTY GAL was a going away winner beneath the Twin Spires on Independence Day, & the runner up that day was photogenic when next in action. 


Race  5

1.Tribal Queen

2.Just an Angel

3.Will Be Famous

#5 TRIBAL QUEEN chased all the way around before collecting 20% of the pot in Elmont about five weeks in the rear, and the pedigree tells us the result was likely not an aberration that day. From an itty bitty sampling, Dutrow's two of two w/ 2TS'ers on the sand who were 1-2-3 23 to 50 days back ( 11-1 & undah ), and it's been years since we've seen Javy riding this well. #1 JUST AN ANGEL showed she could handle the inside when placing in a similar spot in CD nearly two months in the past, and the show horse from that day "won" a turf route up here on 7/24, but it was ( eventually ) nullified because of tractor issues. #7 WILL BE FAMOUS was a mite green first time out, and despite the poor result that day, Jose sees fit to stick around.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #8 PEACE CRUISER doesn't make our first cut, so why would we accept 7/2 ?  NOTE: DUE TO A SCRATCH, #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  6 

1.Empress Isabel

2.Conseillante ( AE )

3.La Grotte

#1 EMPRESS ISABEL merely split the field at first asking, but goes long on the lawn for the first time, and that part is of some relevance, as McPeek ( despite the 1-42 mark in Zip Code 12866 over the last two annums -- heading into Friday ) is 4 of 9 with second time starters who missed the baccala 21-48 days ago who are NOT getting the wonder drug ( 20-1 or lower ). The winners came back $18, $6, $15 & $8, and that earlier stat is courtesy of "Horse Racing Fan Site" on Twitter -- a must follow. #11 CONSEILLANTE (AE) needs one to get out in order to get in, but should that occur, would be bringing in some decent pedigree for today's trip. #5 LA GROTTE as good as any for the show dough in a race w/ no first draft tossouts.  OFF TURF: 3-10-1-9-7  #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD CHOICE.


Race  7


2.With The Moonlight ( Ire )


#8 OAKHURST has been a part of the superfecta in all of her starts to date, and that includes a progression of 65-68-87 when going over firm ground, and while she jumps into the deep end of the pool today, we'll nibble on an improving Chad runner @ 10-1. #3 WITH THE MOONLIGHT (IRE) was a gamely runner runner up in a near identical spot at BEL a month ago, and although there's no Frankie this afternoon, wouldn't you really rather have a Buick ? #4 WALKATHON shoots for the grand salami, and it's well within reach for this undefeated turf performer.  OFF TURF:1-2-6-3-4  #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD CHOICE.


Race  8 


2.Big City Momma

3.Boss Cara

#8 PORTILLA outran her 15-1 offering when placing at this level down in Louisville at the end of June, and three comebackers from that heat went 3:1-0-1-1 next out, with an average improvement of 7 pts. per. From a trainer stat perspective, Stall puts it in high gear with his female allowance dirt stock who crashed the fiesta 34-50 days back & are 9-1 or below ( $6, $5, $8, $9, $4 & $3 ). #9 BIG CITY MOMMA closed out the triple in her lone try off the pine & did the same the only time she was last to load. #2 BOSS CARA has partaken in the super over her last nonet, and that's reason enough for us to include. 


Race  9 


2.Love and Thunder ( Ire ) 


#2 NAZUNA is backed by a tidy but tight Formulator statistic which has this barn at two for two with Saratoga turf stayers at this level who tallied a win less than two months in the rear ( no juice ), with mutuels of $6 & $19. Slimmest of margins. #1 LOVE AND THUNDER (IRE) was photogenic in her sole "3rd off the bench" try on firm going, & completed the exacta in her one try on the ITC as well. Sensible inclusion. #5 JOUSTER is two for four at the trip & shotcaller is 9:4-3-1 with those going long on the lawn at this level who who scored less than 68 days in the past, beneath the 5-1 watermark ( sans wonder drug ).  OFF TURF: 5-3-4-9(MTO)-10(MTO)


Race  10

1.Splendid Summer



#2 SPLENDID SUMMER seems smartly spotted after the July maiden breaker, and T.P. rolls right along with those going long on the lawn who picked up the sheepskin less than 56 days back ( $18, $13 & $7 x 2 ). #8 FIELDSTONE was victorious the last time he had a "For Sale" sticker attached to his rump way back when, & should appreciate the class relief. #5 MASETA closes out the week for us.  OFF TURF: 2-16(MTO)-4-15(MTO)-6


Saratoga               ( Current ):  35-184  ( $354.70 ) Beatable    Favorites:   5-14  ( 35.7% ) Favorites Win %: 59-184  ( 32% ) ( As of Sunday morning )

Graded Stakes      ( Current ):  6-31      ( $50 )        Beatable    Favorites:   0-1   ( 0% )       Favorites  Win %:  9-30    ( 30.3% ) 


Belmont                      ( Final ): 88-420   ( $563.10 ) Beatable   Favorites    7-28 ( 25% )    Favorites  Win %: 154-420 ( 36.7% )   

Aqueduct Spring         ( Final ): 34-134   ( $317.10 ) Beatable   Favorites     2-8  ( 25% )    Favorites  Win %: 42-134  ( 31.3% ) 

Aqueduct Winter         ( Final ): 107-438 ( $926.20 ) Beatable  Favorites: 11-40 ( 27.5% )  Favorites Win %: 166-440 ( 37.7% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2021 Final ) 74-465  ( $703.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-57 ( 31.6% ) Favorite's Win %: 140-414 (33.8%)  +/-: -24.3% against a 16.8% takeout  

Polytracks   2013-16 (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587       ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-22 (All Final):3351-17014 ($28,678.50)  Beatable Favorites : 410-1503( 27.3% )Favorite's Win %: 6402-17024 ( 37.6% ) +/-: -15.8%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 3436-17582 ($29,497.70)   Beatable Favorites : 425-1571( 27.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 6565-17685 ( 37.1% ) +/-: -16.1%  against a 16.7% takeout