SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/1 - The August Place to Be


One was the loneliest number for us here yesterday, but we look to make amends with a dozen on tap today !! 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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 - 8/1 - The August Place to Be


Race  1




#4 WINDCRACKER gave a good account of himself when beginning his working life down in Louisville at the end of June, as he outran his odds in securing 10% of the pot that afternoon. Seven returnees from that event have returned to post a cumulative 7:2-1-1-1 in their subsequent outings ( from just five different events ) with an average Beyer improvement of 8.7 points per. From a DRF Formulator point of view, runner will be led over by a 20% shotcaller who's 4 for 6 with second time male starters under these conditions who were 1-2-3 20-50 days back & are 7-1 or less ( $4, $8 x 2 & $9 ). #1A OUTLIER has a couple of bullet gate moves on display for today's initial afternoon trip to the frontside, and "The As-Man" has a 14:5-1-3-1 ledger with firsters fitting ALL these exact parameters ( 27-1 or less ), with mutuels of $16, $3 x 2 & $8 x 2. #7 WINFROMWITHIN was an honest enough runner up first time out and obviously must be left in the mix.


Race  2

1.Dream Friend

2.Fog of War

3.Spirit Animal

#3 DREAM FRIEND is the clear speed of this deal, and while being 3rd off the layoff today, did in fact complete the triple at 11-1 off a similar break in the Bernard Baruch on this course last year. Mild choice in a race with no first draft eliminations. #1 FOG OF WAR posted an adjusted numero of 95.3 in his lone start off an absence ( while encountering a troubled journey ), and Chad Brown ( on an Oh-fer-20 streak as of this writing ) is 5-13 with locally based optional turf stayers ridden by Irad off breaks of 68 days or more @ 10-1 or less ( $16, $5 x 2, $6 & $8 ). #2 SPIRIT ANIMAL ( uncoupled barnmate with the above ) was visually impressive when besting conditional claimers last time out, and winner of 3 of 6 deserves to be chunked in.  OFF TURF: 4-7(MTO)-5-6-1 


Race  3

1.Regal Speaker 

2.K.K. Ichikawa


#9 REGAL SPEAKER was an even 4th amongst a field of eleven first time outta the box, ( at 15-1 odds ) down in Wilmington, and though available for purchase for the first time, we consider this a lateral move in the class department, given the circuits. Gelding gets the hood and some juice today, with the latter most addition being of some relevance, as there's a nice trainer stat in play regarding such. Over the last 60 months, Delacour is a Delicious & Delightful 5 for 10 with second timers going long on the lawn getting Lasix for the first time ( 39 days or less ) who were OFF the board last time out ( in comparison to a 1-6 mark for those who were ON the board ). There's a positive R.O.I. for that study, and Castellano gets the nod. #5 K.K. ICHIKAWA ( a character in 'Casino', based on real life investor & gambler Akio Kashiwagi ) put forth a nice effort when completing the triple at 15-1 in the 6/21 debut, and the pedigree tells us there's some room for improvement there as well; another getting the "wonder drug" for the 1st time. #6 GOLCONDA hung up an adjusted 62.7 the last time she went dirt to turf, and that would be enough to make an impression here.  OFF TURF: 9-5-1-6-8  NOTE: AS OF 912:14, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.  NOTE: AS OF 1:59, DUE TO AN ERROR THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  4 

1.Ima Pharoah

2.Dreams of Tomorrow

3.Searing Chase 

#5 IMA PHAROAH has set money ablaze in his quartet of starts to date, having closed out the exacta in each of them at average odds of $1.58-1 ( favored in three of 'em ). Having said all of that, the collection of Beyers are obviously solid, and blinks are now a part of the makeup. #3 DREAMS OF TOMORROW showed substantial improvement from his first start to the next and is another one having the hood affixed for the first time. Sky's the limit for this well bred Phipps charge. #2 SEARING CHASE tired late in the game when debuting down in Keeneland, but is eligible to improve off that effort. 


Race  5

1.Midnight Bisou

2.Point of Honor

3.Abounding Joy

Today's 5th race is named after the undefeated Hall of Famer Personal Ensign, and for your enjoyment, I've enclosed a video of her last race -- one of the greatest races of all time . #3 MIDNIGHT BISOU was positively scintillating in winning down at CD five weeks back, and future first ballot HOF'er found the line first in her only other "2nd off the layoff" attempt. #6 POINT OF HONOR came from 23 lengths out of it to lose by just two and change in her lone 1X to 2X spin, and that was down at Oaklawn in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. Should sit the perfect trip today and may upend the top choice. #1 ABOUNDING JOY as good as any for the show matzo. 


Race  6 


2.Cool Bobby

3.Stage Left

These three and no more for all our rolling action. #7 EVERFAST is back on the brown stuff today after flopping in his initial turf attempt at KEE on the 10th of July, and tho just 1-18 lifetime, that win was in his only outing at the dist., and fella gets some much needed class relief today. #3 COOL BOBBY was a lively runner up in his lone "third off the shelf" engagement, and comes in today off a demolition of four others at Churchill 41 days in the rear. #6 STAGE LEFT got his Polaroid taken in his lone second off the respite try going one turn, and said score came right here. Gelding totes along a career best numero from the most recent score and needs to be left in the hopper. 


Race  7


2.King of Miami


You can feel free to draw a line through the career opener of #2 EXPLAIN, as he was pinched back at the onset before acting greenly once he got his wheels in motion. We love failing sprinters stretching out on the sod for the first time, and note that the maternal granddam was 1 for 3 in turf routes. Would not be surprised to see this one a bit closer to the action here, especially as eye cups are now part of the equipment. #7 KING OF MIAMI was a well beaten but eons clear runner up when starting things out in an off the turf event last month, and factoring that in with A.P.'s get faring well on the blades thus far, this one has the looks of a majah playah. #10 HABITUS came along decently late in the game to finish up the superfecta in the Keeneland debut and should appreciate today's added ground.  OFF TURF: 5-7-4-9-10 


Race  8 

1.Caribbean Gold


3.Bail Out

#4 CARIBBEAN GOLD has been a part of the duper in three of four to begin his professional career, and the lone route yielded an adj. speed # of 73.9, which fits well in this allotment. One of three we'll be using here. #7 AMANO showed some fair improvement in the first start off a 3+ month break in the action, but as Brown is now on am 0-21 skein as of this writing, we'll keep underneath. #3 BAIL OUT is most definitely beginning to give the impression of becoming that kind of maiden ( you know--the nibbling kind ), and we'll spot him third, as that's where he finished in his lone "3rd off the L/Otry.  OFF TURF: 2-6-5-7-8


Race  9 

1.By My Standards 


3.Tom's d'Etat

Featured race of the day ( and second biggest race of the meet ) is the Whitney, and for some history on the man for whom this race is named ( Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney ) just go to this link right here .  #1 BY MY STANDARDS has shown improvement over his last quintet, and while losing to today's race favorite last time out was no disgrace, he gets a two pound weight break, a two slot post improvement, and an improvement in the pilot department to boot. We'll bite at 9/2, especially seeing that this 19% clan is 7 come 11 with their graded dirt stock who were ITM 20-50 days back going long at 6-1 or < ( $4.58 R.O.I. ). #2 IMPROBABLE was an easy winner of the Santa Anita Handicap, and Lidocaine Bob has a 5-7 record with runners of this ilk who got the job done 51-61 days ago & are 35-1 or lower. #5 TOM'S D'ETAT tries to get one for the thumb today, and aside from being three for four on this course, is five for five w/Joel at the helm. 


Race  10

1.Eight Rings 

2.Mischevious Alex

3.Hopeful Treasure

Our favorite race is here !! We've always had a fondness for Grade 1's at seven panels, and through the years, the King's Bishop ( now named after The Chief ) has been one we've always looked forward to. How about a little "Lost in the Fog" here from 2005's rendition, which also permits us the chance to allow a cameo by "The Daddy" who won Bijou's race dedication over the same oval .  #2 EIGHT RINGS has a two fer four mark when the jock stays aboard, and Bob Baffert's Baked Beans has won with half of his eight male graded dirt dashers in the 51-85 day zip code @ 21-1 or beneath ( 3YO's ). Chance to make amends at a solid offering. #6 MISCHEVIOUS ALEX won the Gotham in snappy fashion in his sole "second off the hibernation" deal and is once again paired with Irad, who was astride for the seven length tally in the Swale stakes. #1 HOPEFUL TREASURE is a bit light from a figs aspect, but you don't have to twist our arm to us a 50-1 shot with a 3:2-0-1 ledger on a glib surface. 


Race  11


2.Cross Border

3.Dot Matrix

On our first draft of this race were were gonna go 2-1, but after we typed things out, we felt "Jose Ortiz on the 2 at 5-2...Irad on the #1 MARZO at 8-1...same trainer...same owner...we'd be an idiot to not go with the longer price of the duo." We'll do just that as we can see a scenario where Marzo sits a rail trip behind the speedier barnmate & "finds a hole" late. #2 CROSS BORDER won his only outing at the dx., id two of two on the inner, and has that type of "declining" mark which we've grown to love ( 25:8-5-1 ); logical, but by no means a standout. #4 DOT MATRIX is 3:1-1-1 in 3rd off the bench jammies and fell short by only a neck the one time she ran in the inner turf course.  OFF TURF: 6-1-2-3-7


Race  12 


2.Dalika ( Ger )


#4 INTRODUCED has a placing on the Mellon & found the line first the only time she was in this kind of layoff spot; gal sheds 64 ounces off a tally, and 20% clan is 3 for 5 w/ungraded sod sprinters who got the job done less than four dozen days back. Live longshot. #7 DALIKA (GER) came along late in the gamne to snag second place $ in the License Fee, and while we'll be using, 3-1 is kinda hard to swallow. #9 CARIBA just bested a next out winner & failed by only a honkah in her only second start after being M.I.A..  OFF TURF: 4-2-6-5-7

Saratoga         ( Current ):     21-123     ( $218.40 ) Beatable   Favorites   4-9  ( 44.4% )   Favorites Win %       47-123 ( 38.2% )( As of Saturday morning )

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 ):       5-24        ( $45.00 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     10-24   ( 42.5% )

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