SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/5 - Steeplechase Day


Three weeks in the books and we're right at the takeout rate of 16%, as Travers week ( a bit earlier this year ) is upon us. 

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 - 8/5 - Steeplechase Day


Race  1

1.Cracker Factory ( GB )

2.Show Court ( Ire )


#4 CRACKER FACTORY (GB) has beaten home just one in two starts since arriving in the States last year, but Fisher ( who's won every jump event this meet ) is a crisp 5-14 with handicap stock off sabbaticals of 68-498 days, AND he's won two of three starts when adding the hood to his jumpers. #8 SHOW COURT (IRE) has been in the rear with the gear dating back to last year, but don't fear, as this one with eleven years has done well here, and may find another gear in a heat without much to fear. #5 MACCABEE completes the "Newcastle/Guinness/Budweiser" triple based on being a nose shy of a two fer three ledger when jumping over firm ground.  NOTE: AS OF 11:43 A.M. TUESDAY, DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, THIS RACE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL NEXT WEEK.


Race  2

1.King of American

2.The Joke's On You

3.Macho Boy

We ain't diggin' this deal so tread lightly.  #7 KING OF AMERICAN split the field at 81-1 last time out, and goes two turns on the dirt for just the second time. That last part is a bit relevant, as we always give an animal two opportunities under a particular set of circumstances before writing them off, and this one does have a decent 360 Tomlinson figure for the distance. Price play. #5 THE JOKE'S ON YOU got the diploma by a pole when last in action back in February, and being a Distorted Humor out of an A.P. Indy mare, today's initial stretchout shouldn't be much of an issue. #1 MACHO BOY completes our troika of selections trying something new today and may last for a share. 


Race  3

1.Inside Info

2.More Graytful


#3 INSIDE INFO goes short on the sod for the first time this afternoon, and although the initial turf attempt left a lot to be desired, quite often speed trumps pedigree in these types of events, and this fella has plenty of it. Slight edge. #5 MORE GRAYTFUL outran his odds when completing the superfecta in his lone turf engagement ( in a troubled try ) and has blinkers affixed for today's 3rd start off the layoff. #7 FREEWHEELER hasn't been in action since the fall, but did some good work back then and is an obvious factor if completely cranked up.  OFF TURF: 2(MTO)-7-3-1-4  NOTE: AS OF 12:15, DUE TO THIS RACE BEING OFF THE TURF AND ON THE MAIN TRACK, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 3-4-5.


Race  4 

1.Nonna Madeline


3.Always Shopping 

Three of the five signed on in this truncated stakes are from the Todd Pletcher barn ( Nurse ! ), and as two of them have tiny but tight DRF Formulator stats behind them, we'll lay 'em on ya in a no frills manner.  #4 NONNA MADELINE ( who improved by about 9.2% in the adjusted Beyer department in her lone 1X to 2X try ) is backed by a 3 for 8 stat which as The Toddster at just that w/ locally based ungraded dirt stayers ridden by Johnny ( 47 days or less ). #2 BELLERA: Barn has won 3 of 7 with the same categories listed above at 12-1 or <, ITM most recently. #3 ALWAYS SHOPPING was a snappy victress in her only one turn to two deal, and has gone two of three @ the trip. 


Race  5

1.Summer Brew

2.Minerva Doubleplay


After the Summer Colony, how can we not go with #5 SUMMER BREW by Summer Front ( especially while listening to some Donna Summer )? Monikers aside, this one has a couple of fair breezes on the docket for today's overture ( "Overture, curtains, lights --- !" ), went for 4X the stud fee across the street last year, and Abreu is out of his flippin' mind with first time female dirt starters at this level ( 12-1 or undah ), as he's 10-7-1-1 with that type -- and has a whopping $5.83 ROI to boot. #7 MINERVA DOUBLEPLAY ( either named after Oscar Grimes, an MLB baseball player from Minerva...or the Minerva, Ohio baseball team...OR a form of solitaire -- or maybe something else from Al Gold that I'm missing here ) has been performing admirably in the A.M.'s form today's initial foray and barn due to pop. #2 FASTELLE will be brought to the races by a 17% shotcaller who nearly triples that rate ( three fer six ) with firsters fitting ALL these parameters ( any track, any rider ) at 23-1 or below, and just look at these payouts -- $30, $28 & $26. 


Race  6 

1.Hit It Once More

2.I Love Jaxson

3.Twisted Tom

#2 HIT IT ONCE MORE bounced in the second off the L/O try, but is one for two right here, and Sciacca ( just 8% when brushing his teeth in the morning ) is a lively 11:4-1-1-1 with 3rd off the shelf optional dirt entrants beneath the 27-1 watermark ( $50, $4, $6 & $18 ). #1A I LOVE JAXSON won the last two times when he was available for purchase, the last time he was in a "third start off the bench" scenario", the last two times with today's pilot, and one of two times right here. NONE of those races overlap, so that amounts to a cumulative 6 for 7 ledger in some pertinent categories; watch out, suckahs ! #1 TWISTED TOM has won three of five when first to load, and that's reason enough to include.  NOTE: THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7

1.Black Magic Woman

2.Soft N Lovely

3.Harlem Heights

#1 BLACK MAGIC WOMAN has been firing bullets for today's debut, and although seven panels can be tricky for one starting things out, the pedigree is top flight, and this is a January foal facing mostly younger competitors. #2 SOFT N LOVELY has a couple'a decent breezes for today's initial call to the post, and was dropped by a gal who was 5-13 dancing to this music. #5 HARLEM HEIGHTS put forth a solid effort when having blinks affixed for the first time and must be left in the mix. 


Race  8 

1.Grumps Little Tots


3.Intrepid Heart

#5 GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS ( 3:2-1-0 in 2nd off the absence outings, with one of the scores coming right here ) is conditioned by a 20% bossman who owns a 5-8 record with freshly purchased NYRA dirt horsies who crashed the fiesta 10-20 days back ( $8, $4, $19 & $5 x 2 ). #4 DUNPH has a win & a placing the last two times he had a "For Sale" sticker attached to his rump and owns a placing over this strip. #2 INTREPID HEART has a touch of back class and is in for a tag off a decent tally. 


Race  9 

1.She's Got You ( GB )

2.Espresso Shot


#4 SHE'S GOT YOU (GB) gave a fair account of herself when making her first appearance in the great U.S. of A., falling short of the lion's share by just a noggin' down in Elmont, and four year old is but a neck shy of a 2-2 ledger in second off the respite outings. Timid selection in a race with no first draft eliminations. #3 ESPRESSO SHOT ( which we've had three of tonight, as we're trying to finish this before hittin' the sack ) gets some class relief in this spot and is one for three after a layoff line. Blinkers are taken off as the pre-layoff jockey comes back. #2 TRAIPSING is a lightly raced 4YO who may have needed the most recent and is reunited with a white hot Joel.  NOTE: AS OF 2:58 P.M. TUESDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO SELECTIONS.  NOTE: AS OF 12:20, DUE TO THIS RACE BEING OFF THE TURF AND ON A FAST TRACK, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 3-5-6.


Race  10

1.Women Not Easy 

2.Plink Freud

3.Gen Z

#2 WOMEN NOT EASY has done decently in both starts over the blades, and with a boatload of rain in the forecast for Tuesday, there's a chance this one's experience on a "good" course may come into play in the day's finale. #9 PINK FLEUD hung up an adjusted 81.5 in his last start off this kind of L/O, and had an adj. 71.4 the only time she went long on the lawn. Deserves a shot if you can see your way clear of the recent pre & post layoff lines. #3 GEN Z showed improved zip in the 7/2 outing and gets the miracle drug for the first time.  OFF TURF: 1-5-6-8-9   NOTE: AS OF 12:32, DUE TO THIS RACE BEING OFF THE TURF AND ON A FAST TRACK, OUR AMENDED SELECTIONS WILL BE 5-9-6.

Saratoga         ( Current ):     25-145     ( $242.70 ) Beatable   Favorites   4-9  ( 44.4% )   Favorites Win %       55-145 ( 37.9% )( As of Wednesday 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