SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/9


Breakeven grand slam for us here yesterday, but we also had three cold exactas of $24, $27 & $4 and a successful "Beatable Favorite". 

And congratulations to Jack & the entire Sackatoga crew on a great performance by Tiz the Law !! 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 1 - #2 Stoney Bennett  Race #2 - #5 Seasons

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 - 8/9


Race  1

1.Deep Sea

2.Vineyard Sound

3.We Should Talk

#7 DEEP SEA was all out to win in a nearly identical spot right here on opening weekend, and the figure earned that day was the best this one's earned in quite some time. Mild advantage in an opener that's hard to embrace. #1 VINEYARD SOUND was the hard luck loser to the above in the aforementioned event, and gets a five pound swing in the post position dept. from that one today. Dangerous if able to catch a flyer. #3 WE SHOULD TALK shoots for the hat trick this afternoon, and despite the layoff, it's well within reach, given the one for two mark off the bench.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #2 STONEY BENNETT will be brought over by a conditioner who's oh-fer-16 with dirt stock off respites of 50 days. 


Race  2

1.Frankel At Ascot ( Fr ) 


3.Fluffy Socks

#1 FRANKEL AT ASCOT (FR) put forth an honest enough effort first time out, and given the pedigree, today's initial stretchout is most definitely doable. #2 MODEST posted a decent gate breeze a week ago for today's initial foray, and went for more than 4X the 40G stud fee at Keeneland last September. Javier has done some nice work for this barn in the past. #4 FLUFFY SOCKS hasn't shown much in the mornings for today's debut, and despite Chad Brown being positively Nordic of late, we'll chunk beneath because of Kitten's Joy in the genealogy.  OFF TURF: 2-6-5-1-7  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #5 SEASONS fills the bill here, as the barn is winless ( 0-12 ) with turf firsters at this level ( 10-1 or less ). 


Race  3

1.Wild Love

2.Say Moi

3.Critical Value

#3 WILD LOVE went long on the sand for the first time down at Churchill, and the pedigree ( Candy Ride out of an Elusive Quality mare ) tells us that there's ample room for improvement with this one, especially as you see the progression of speed figures with each start. #2 SAY MOI was a game & daylight clear runner up down at Belmont on the 3rd of July, but as this one hasn't gone two turns for the  first time AND the Tommy for the dx. is a fairly low 310, we'll slide beneath feeling this one will be overbet. #4 CRITICAL VALUE has gone three for five lifetime, but flopped in the only 2X event, so while we'll be using, it's with a bit of trepidation.  NOTE: AS OF 11:56, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #5 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  4 

1.Steal My Sunshine


3.Saratoga Commando 

#2 STEAL MY SUNSHINE gave up the ghost rather readily when debuting on the gramma down in Elmont a month ago, and Ward wastes no time in switching this miss over to what will likely end up being her preferred surface down the road. There have been a couple of crisp morning moves for today's comebacker, and gal was scratched on Friday for this. #7 FOUETTE has not one, but TWO bullet gate moves on the docket for today's first trip to the races, and if ONE gate move merits inclusion, then two most certainly does. $400,000 purchase is obviously well meant, and of course, we love the draw. #6 SARATOGA COMMANDO is another who was declared two days back for today's event, and 414 Tommy is solid enough to include -- even for a barn who's like 2 for 35 or something of late. 


Race  5


2.Windfall Profit

3.Lady Rosalie ( Ire )

#6 BASTET showed precipitous improvement when cutting back on Independence Day, completing the triple at 5-1 while hanging up a nice # in the process. We like that Mott stretches this one out once again, as perhaps that confidence booster will help her a bit. Mild choice in a race with just one first draft elimination. #5 WINDFALL PROFIT has been a completely different animal since returning off an elongated absence in April, and should be right in the thick of things late in the game. #4 LADY ROSALIE (IRE) bested more than half the field when coming back off a break longer than half the length of a calendar, and this one displayed some nice improvement the only time she was in a "2nd off the L/O" scenario on firm ground.  OFF TURF: 6-2-7(MTO)-8(MTO)-3


Race  6 

1.Palio Flag

2.Escape Fund

3.Pop a Choc

#8 PALIO FLAG was extremely gutsy when winning at first asking for "The As-Man" at Lexington 30 days back, and we think the result was legitimate, as the superb bloodlines belie. Filly showed she can stalk nicely from the outside and we expect another good trip. #1 ESCAPE FUND was visually impressive when blowing up the tote board to the tune of $71 right here on opening day, and you have to love the 36 flat bullet blowout just three days back. Don't underestimate the fact that the win came from an inside slot, as is today's draw. Hmmmm..... #9 POP A CHOC put it all together in a big way when procuring the sheepskin at Big Sandy on 7/9, and as this one is much better bred for the dirt than the turf, we're surprised she went off at 13-1 that day, Obvious threat right back. 


Race  7

1.Aunt Nadine 



#4 AUNT NADINE perked up quite a bit when transitioning to the verde in her first start off of more than a four month absence, finishing 2nd in this race a couple'a dozen days back, and while a bounce is always possible, we'll pin our hopes to a repeat of the sharp effort. #6 TEMPERANCE has never gained ground from the top of the lane to the line, but is the clear speed of this deal and can land a share. #7 VEVEY ( spotted in yesterday's 3rd here ) was sired by a runner who went 9:2-3-2 in his turf career, and although the Beyer speed figure from the debut tally was reeeeeeally low, we'll toss in at a big number to spice things up.  OFF TURF: 5-6-9-4-10


Race  8 

1.City Man

2.Mr Jaggers 

3.Will Sing for Wine

#8 CITY MAN has rolled "four straight fours" since last fall, and while that'll make you some baccala at the craps table, it only gets you 5% of the purse here. That being said, none of the losses were grisly, and there's a modicum of back class here. Could use some pace to cut into, but we'll give him a tepid nod for the 3rd off the L/O attempt. Backers of #5 MR JAGGERS finally got some satisfaction with the maiden breaking effort on our nation's birthday, and as this chap has steadily ascended the Beyer ladder with each start on the sod, who really knows where his ceiling is? I was singing for one more glass of wine at 1:27 A.M. Sunday when friend & Sackatoga member, Aaron Knowlton informed me that the analysis for #9 WILL SING FOR WINE ( et al ) was all bollxed up, so here we sit. Anyhoo, Mott charge by Will Take Charge split the field at 14-1 in his first try over the blades & is reunited w/the pilot from the lone tally.  OFF TURF: ( Who ain't supposed to rain today, and we're bushed. )


Race  9 

1.It's All Relevant



Today's featured race is named after the Hall of Famer, Alydar, and for your viewing pleasure we've enclosed coverage of his defeat of Affirmed in the Travers stakes right here . #4 IT'S ALL RELEVANT is simply a win machine ( 12 for 23 on the dirt ), and also got the job done in his lone try at the trip. Of the hree returnees from the most recent, two got their Polaroids taken next time out, ( from two sui generis heats ) with ALL improving by an average of 17.3 points. #5 BODEXPRESS sure is an interesting animal, isn't he ? Like Forrest Gump said, "You never know what you're gonna get" with this one. That being said, he found the line first in his sole try off the shelf, and while you'd be Silly McGilly to leave out of your rollers, you'd be even Sillier McGillier to leave out of your rollers. #6 TENFOLD has been a part of the super in his troika of outings off the pine, is one for two on this course, and can come along for a slice of key lime pie.   NOTE: AS OF 11:58, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  10

1.Imperio D

2.Pier Forty


#1 IMPERIO D has the best resume' of those signed on for the cheapest male race they run on the grounds here, and slides in from the 11 hole to the wood off a solid placing on the 17th of July. Logical selection. #9 PIER FORTY hadn't been seen in a couple of Flag Day's, and is reacquainted with the eye cups today. Quarter of a million dollar purchase is dropped in class for the second straight time here, as the white flag is run up by West Point. Using, but with oodles of trepidation. #8 BRUNATE has improved over his last quintet and we see no reason to exclude. 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     35-185     ( $305.90 ) Beatable   Favorites   4-10 ( 40.0% )   Favorites Win %       73-185 ( 39.7% )( As of Sunday 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