SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 7/16 - Opening Day !


Happy Opening Day, everyone !!

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 10 - #1 Secure Connection

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.


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Saratoga - 7/16 - Opening Day !


Race  1

1.Guy Caballero

2.Castle Casanova


Welcome back to the Spaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, everyone !  Have a wonderful meet, as they do the traditional "start in front of the grandstand" for the opener ( despite the grandstand being empty ).  #6 GUY CABALLERO hasn't been in action since just after St. Valentine's Day, but six year ild has hit the board in all five tries after a break in the action, is 1 for 5 at the trip ( 1-18 otherwise ), finished 3rd in his lone pairing with Irad, and Rudy Rod is a groovy 6 of 13 with male mid level dirt stayers in the 51-251 day bracket at 6-1 or less ( 3YO & up ). There's a positive ROI for that sampling, and chap finds himself at his lowest level to date. #1 CASTLE CASANOVA was as flat as a pancake in the comebacker, but barn is 5-12 with dirt routers who missed the board < 51 days ago in for a tag for the 1st time. #8 RUCKSACK was a well beaten but well clear runner up down at the Shore on the 5th of July, and has done his best work over this oval ( 3:1-1-1 ).  NOTE: AS OF 11:51, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  2

1.Price Talk

2.Leading West


Employing the "Diamond in the Rough" methodology with the #3 PRICE TALK here, as there's a nicely buried bullet breeze amidst a bevy of ordinary morning moves for a fella who's bred top & bottom for the green stuff. $75,000 bred animal went for 70K at auction and starts things out with a 75G tag today, and there are no monsters in here. #1 LEADING WEST completed the triple in his lone "3rd start off the L/O", and has hit the board in both trips when first to load. Logical runner has blinks added today. #10 SCANNO has a solid overall body of work, but is beginning to give the impression of being "that" type of horse; leaving beneath.  OFF TURF: 8-1-7-2-10


Race  3


2.Palace Avenger

3.Glass Ceiling 

#1 CARIZZO is 3:1-1-0 in second off the respite attempts ( with the placing coming from the pine ), owns a 3:2-1-0 ledger right here, and rates the slimmest of margins in a race w/no first draft eliminations. #3 PALACE AVENGER was a lively runner up when sandwiched between two next out winners down in Louisville 53 days back, and six returnees from that day have gone 6:3-0-0 since ( from five sui generis heats ). As we consider the time frame a true layoff, it's worth noting that this miss now has a 2:1-1-0 record in such spots. #4 GLASS CEILING was grisly in the Acorn, but is definitely eligible to rebound with these. 


Race  4 

1.Palace Duchess

2.Yes to Mischief


#4 PALACE DUCHESS hasn't seen the scene in a couple'a Easter Sundays, and although gal immolated some baccala first time out, she did in fact overcome a bit of a trouble to secure the show dough that day. Something must've went amiss then -- or shortly thereafter -- as they don't give too many vacations in this sport, but it's good to see a bullet gate breeze on display for today's return, isn't it? From a small survey, WW has won with half his six second time ( 3YO )starters at this level off sabbaticals of 51 days or more ( 22-1 or less ), with the winners coming back $$8 & $5 x 2. #2 YES TO MISCHIEF is a $175,000 bred animal who went for more than double that at Ocala last March, and gal has been conducting her affairs quite professionally in teh morning for today's overture. ( "Overture, curtains lights. This is it, the night of nights..." ). Can be any kind. #5 VALLETTA has gone 51-53-69 in all her dirt starts, so who knows where her ceiling is in that regards. Crisp move shown for the new connex. 


Race  5

1.Leaky Cup

2.Steam Engine

3.Dark Money

#6 LEAKY CUP went all the way directly in front of a return winner in his lone "second off the L/O" try, and did exactly the same in his only start in these part. We love the "declining" record at the trip ( 9:4-2-1 ), as it shows he has a nose for the line, and this fella rates a big shot. #2 STEAM ENGINE got the job done in front running fashion in his only second off the layoff foray, and owns a two fer five ledger at the dx. ; know him early, but have the Pepto handy late. #5 DARK MONEY found the line first in his one and only try in the Adirondacks, and how the hell can you argue with that four for eight boxscore at the dist.? 


Race  6 


2.Sir Chubby

3.Mr Everything

#8 SPITBALL put forth a gamely showing when going over the blades for the first time two fortnights back, and the lineage tells us that the result was likely not an aberration. Bay runner returns in a nearly identical spot, and Rice is a nice 5 for 13 with maiden claiming turf sprinters who were ITM off of this type of layoff & are 6-1 or undah ( $10, $6, $7 & $5 x 2, with a sub category of two for 3 w/Jose in the stirrups. #7 SIR CHUBBY is a steady if unspectacular sort who while cashing a fair amount of checks, does nothing to get the pulse racing. Leaving in, but not completely sold. #2 MR EVERYTHING goes over his fifth different course toting along his fifth different jockey today, and goes short in his 2nd off the break try.  OFF TURF: 11(MTO)-14(MTO)-3-10-9


Race  7

1.Astoria Kitten

2.Summer At the Spa

3.Ava K's Girl

#1 ASTORIA KITTEN has improved with each passing turf start ( over firm ground ) and slides in from the eight hole to the wood today, while getting an upgrade in the jockey department. Wire job is well within reach with a dearth of speed signed on. #9 SUMMER AT THE SPA ( Dig it ! ) showed some Beyer improvement from her first start to the second, and while we always like to see that kind of jump with an animal facing winners for the first time, note that it came with a Lasix addition, so beware of a possible regression. #6 AVA K'S GIRL took the overland route when completing the superfecta at 32-1 down in Elmont 26 days back and switches from Cancel to Rosario for today's followup.  OFF TURF: 1-5-6-7-9


Race  8 


2.Queen Arella


Competitive rendition of the Schuylerville on tap. #7 DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE was visually impressive in winning right outta the box down in Hallandale Beach two months ago, and being an Into Mischief out of an Indian Charlie mare, obviously the sky's the limit. Hamm most definitely brings home the bacon with his second timers on the dirt who scored less than 85 days back ( no tag ), as he's a sensational 9:8-1-0 in that regards ( positive R.O.I. ). #6 QUEEN ARELLA overcame a boatload of trouble to best special weight foes at G.P. on 5/29, and although the BSF came back on the low side, sometimes these babies can improve by leaps and bounds. Ignore the "jock stood up" comment, as he merely geared the horse down late in the game. #2 HARA was bested by the above in their lone encounter, but followed that up with a convincing score three weeks later, and will be sending once the latches are sprung. 


Race  9 

1.Celtic Striker 


3.Country Grammer

#4 CELTIC STRIKER positively crushed a field of one other in the Easy Goer back on the 25th of June, and say what you want about that deal, but Handal charge had won one of two other routes prior to the score, and without many proven front end types in here, a repeat is totally doable. #3 MODERNIST got crushed in the Belmont, but colt was doing some nice things prior to that, including a tally in his only "second off the L/O" attempt. Wouldn't be surprised to see a vastly improved effort. #2 COUNTRY GRAMMER has partaken in the super in three of four, and gets another acid test back in ( albeit weak ) graded company. 


Race  10



3.Bourbon 'n Ditch

#5 TRADEABLE lost by only three in her first start off an elongated absence in a less than desirable ride by Gutierrez, but gal has a crisp 3:1-1-0-1 record on the Mellon, and Ferraro  has won with four of six turf entrants up here over the last five years at 50-1 or less ( 12-50 days ), with mutuels of $17 & $9, $10, $43, and most famously -- the $98 Won't Be Missed ( who is now happily learning a second career ). #7 QUASAR owns a win & a placing from as many 2nd off the shelf spots, and goes from an apprentice to a journeyman today -- an angle we've always dug. #9 BOURBON 'N DITCH got her photograph taken in the lone D to T spin and may spice things up beneath.  OFF TURF: 2-6-7-8-12   BEATABLE FAVORITE: #1 SECURE CONNECTION fills the bill as Shug is 0-7 when making his stock available for purchase for the first time.  NOTE: AS OF 4:44, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #11 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Belmont               ( Final ):     30-249     ( $278.60 ) Beatable  Favorites  7-19  ( 36.8% )    Favorites Win %      92-249 ( 36.9% )

Gulfstream           ( Final ):     58-468    ( $865.50 )  Beatable  Favorites  2-22  ( 9.1% )      Favorites Win %    161-468 ( 34.4% )

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )    Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       3-22        ( $35.60 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     8-22     ( 36.4% )

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

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (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  2013-20 (All Final):2599-13167 ($22,277.40) Beatable Favorites : 352-1263( 27.9% )Favorite's Win %: 5006-13250 ( 37.8% ) +/-: -15.4%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 2684-13735 ($23,096.60)  Beatable Favorites : 367-1331( 27.6% )Favorite's Win %: 5188-13837 ( 37.5% ) +/-: -15.9%  against a 16.7% takeout