SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/14



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 - 8/14


Race  1

1.Flashing Red

2.Spanish Peaks


#5 FLASHING RED cuts back from two turns to one this afternoon, and the Cat Man excels when doing that to his dirt stock at this level, who missed the board 22-50 days back, as he's 4 for 9 in that area, with healthy parimutual payoffs of $21, $16, $12 & $5. #1 SPANISH PEAKS has been first or second in 11 of 12 points of call in her triad of outings to date, and from a small sampling, Cox is 4:3-0-1 when going green to brown & 2X to 1X off breaks of 61 days or less ( < 19-1 ). The returns for that sampling were $8 x 2, $4 & $5, and 2nd leading rider gets the assignment. #4 TETRAHYDRO wasn't digging the extra left last time out, and had improved over her three sand sprint, so wouldn't be surprised to see a goody here. 


Race  2

1.Brass Ring

2.Notorious R B G

3.Tiple ( Ire ) 

#4 BRASS RING bested conditional claimers by a pole down at Elmont five weeks back, and although that came on the brown stuff, we're assuaged by the fact that 9% Gyarmati nearly triples that rate when going dirt to turf with her sprinters in the 13-57 day bracket at 24-1 or undah, and just look at these prices -- $28, $35 & $22 !!  #6 NOTORIOUS R B G bested more than half the field at 33-1 in the Lady Shipman ( earning a career best Beyer in the process ) and C-Squared has won with three of nine allowance turf sprinters in the 41-67 day bracket @ 13-1 or beneath ( $5, $8 & $4 ). #5 TIPLE (IRE) won her only start on the Mellon & should be rolling late.  OFF TURF: 6-7(MTO)-1(MTO)-4-5


Race  3

1.Hetty G. 

2.Persian Queen 


#3 HETTY G. has been a part of the exacta in three of four which includes a ( troubled -- but solid ) placing right here. Jock upgrade in store today, as Irad climbs aboard, and we'll give this one another shot to recoup some of that $130,000 auction fee from '17. #1 PERSIAN QUEEN hasn't done much to get the pulse racing of late, but recognize the fact that this one'a numbers have risen in three straight events, while he's been dropped in class for each of those ( just like today ). #7 MOSIENKO bested slightly weaker by two and change at BEL on the 5th of July, and as she's posted the speed figure from that day several times in the past, we're not expecting much of a bounce. 


Race  4 

1.Cafe Americano

2.Secret Message 

3.Piedi Bianchi 

#1 CAFE AMERICANO is one for two off the bench, two for two when breaking from the wood, three for four with I. Ortiz in the irons, and has some back class. This one could do with some pace in front of her, and just may sit the perfect pocket trip. #7 SECRET MESSAGE didn't show a lot when being shipped down to Kenneland for the Grade One event a couple'a months back, but the outing before that was a sharp one ( a rare $53 Johnny V. score ), and you have to dig the 16:6-2-0 "declining" record here, as it shows she knows where the line is ( all six tallies were by an average of just 3/4's of a length. #2 PIEDI BIANCHI posted an adjusted 94.9 in her lone turf attempt, and as it came just in front of an elongated absence ( as well as on a yielding turf course ) we see the potential for some improvement.  OFF TURF: 2-1-6-4-5


Race  5

1.Ahead of Plan

2.Sir Chubby 

3.New Frontier

#7 AHEAD OF PLAN has only been over to the races twice in his last 354 days, so an owner who can afford to do such, puts this 475G Ocala sale, available for purchase for the first time this afternoon. Barn not completely known for those going short on the sod, but we have no world beaters in here, and will get the tepid nod. #9 SIR CHUBBY is beginning to give the impression of being that kind of nibbling maiden ( superfecta finishes in 6 of her last 8 ), but the blinks come off here, and may perk up with a more aggressive rider astride. #4 NEW FRONTIER appears to be the clear speed of this deal, and completed the exacta ( or "exactor" for those north of the border ) the only time she had a "For Sale" sticker attached to her rump; majah playah in the 3rd start off a respite.  OFF TURF: 4-5-7-6-9


Race  6 

1.Eye Luv Lulu 

2.Family Biz

3.Malibu Pro

#1 EYE LUV LULU hasn't been seen since he was last conditioned by the now indicted Jason Servis, and this one now lands in a barn that's winning at a 25% rate for the annum. Soon to be ten year old has an 8:2-2-2 mark off a break in the action, and has done some nice work at the trip as well. Slim margin in a heat with just one first draft elimination. #7 FAMILY BIZ has been as flat as a pancake since making it back to the races, but this one is now 3:0-0-0 when taking that second turn ( 19:3-3-5 otherwise ), so good guy Duggan smartly cuts him back today, and enters him at a price below that of the Christmastime purchase. #3 MALIBU PRO takes the obligatory 25% hike up the ladder after being bought < a month ago, and that may not be such an awful idea, as this check earning fool has done just that over his last dozen calls to the post.   NOTE: AS OF 2:13, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH, THE #8 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7

1.No Bang No Boom ( Ire ) 

2.Variant Perception

3.Fig Jelly

#1 NO BANG NO BOOM (IRE) is a bit of an in and outer, but is one for two in turf sprints off a layoff, and W.W. has a crisp 6-12 mark with male runners of this ilk off sabbaticals of 71 days or more @ 14-1 or less ( $4.19 return on investment ); will need to be broken alertly. #7 VARIANT PERCEPTION came along stoutly to miss the lion's share in a near identical spot by just a noggin a bit over a month ago, and from the smallest of surveys, Nevin is two of three with mid level turfers who were 1-2-3 less than 65 days back & are below the 10-1 watermark ( sprints ). #3 FIG JELLY was right up on some insane splits in the Hoosier state on 7/6, but fought the good fight in placing vs. similar type that day. The 13:0-10-1 record @ the dist. tells you all you need to know as for why we're keeping him beneath.  OFF TURF: 4-10-2-8-5  NOTE: AS OF 3:04 P.M. WEDNESDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO SELECTIONS.


Race  8 

1.Tale of the Union

2.Leaky Cup 

3.Runaway Lute

#4 TALE OF THE UNION did what he was supposed to do when last in action on the 5th of July down at Big Sandy, bringing his lifetime boxscore to 4:2-0-1, with the lone trouncing coming after a near two year absence. Lidocaine Bob appears to have this one nicely spotted for his first start at the N2X level. #5 LEAKY CUP was a lively runner up in his sole "3rd off the shelf" jammie, and has done his finest work going 3/4's. Should be right in the thick of things in mid stretch. #8 RUNAWAY LUTE busted through the gate pre-start down in Maryland when making his first start off a year+ hiberntion, so you can feel free to draw a line through that one. That being said, this 6YO "horse"  ( hang on to 'dem M & M's, buddy boy ! ) is in for a tag for the 1st time, and is reunited w/Rosario, under who's guidance he's gone 2:1-0-1. 


Race  9 

1.Voting Control


3.Can'thelpbelieving ( Ire )

#1 VOTING CONTROL returned off an elongated absence to secure second place money at Churchill on the 19th of June, and although he burned a lot of money that day, shame on you if you took 4/5 that day. Over the last 260 weeks, DRF Formulator has C. Brown clicking at a 4 for 6 rate with locally based optional dirt stayers in the 45-67 day zip code, and lightly raced five year old is paired up with the helmsman of his last tally. #2 ARGONNE is one for 3 in second off the shelf engagements ( was actually DQ'd from first in one of 'em ) & 15% clan has won 4 of 10 with runners fitting this criteria off L/O's of 43-67 days ( 14-1 or beneath ). The prices for those winners were $3, $7, $22 & $26, and Bond charge is two fer two when beginning from the innermost two slots. #6 CAN'THELPBELIEVING has been 1-2 in about half of his starts, and that's enough to chunk in.  OFF TURF: 7-4-1A-9-10  NOTE: AS OF 2:22, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #1A WILL BW OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  10

1.Lucky Latkes

2.Running On Entry


#8 LUCKY LATKES has hit the board in both starts to date, and Clement is a crisp 6:3-2-1 with maiden claiming turf routing fillies who crashed the fiesta less than 68 days back who are 8-1 or under ( 3 year olds versus older ), and the mutuels for that sampling were $5, $8 & $10. #9 RUNNING ON ENTRY takes the biggest drop in the biz for today's 2nd off the L/O try, and keep in mind that she's second time eye cups as well. #4 COURTED has some zip in her hooves and gets a big time upgrade in the jock department here.  OFF TURF: 8-7-10-9-5 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     40-205     ( $355.00 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-13 ( 38.5% )   Favorites Win %       80-205 ( 39.5% )( As of Thursday 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