SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/15 - Alabama Day


Decent day for us here yesterday with a profitable hat trick, a $213 Triple Box, three Rolling Doubles of $41, $43 & $130, three exacta boxes of $18, $276 & $24, and a successful Beatable Favorite. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 2 - #5 Polinesia  Race 3 - #5 Chateau

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.


Please visit the Old Friends at Cabin Creek website ( by clicking the image to the left ) and consider helping out in these challenging times.

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Saratoga - 8/15 - Alabama Day


Race  1

1.Later Cat

2.Indigo Yankee


#8 LATER CAT hasn't been in action since being eased in a race from which he was claimed down in Ozone Park, and $35,000 purchase slides way down the ladder in today's opener. Even with a win & claim, the connex lose some money here, so this one is definitely priced to move at 14 large. The good news is that there's a nicely hidden bullet breeze on the docket for today's comebacker, and note that Carmouche guided this one to a mere 3/4 length defeat in the bow. #7 INDIGO YANKEE ( uncoupled entrymate with the above ) is another Papa Englehart charge who plummets off the long hibernation, but is one for two locally and could spice things up. #5 SOMEBODY completes our troika of selections returning off a respite and picks up Looie in this utterly forgettable heat. 


Race  2

1.Seizing the Dream

2.Public Sector ( GB ) 

3.Dreaming of Gerry

#10 SEIZING THE DREAM rates a mild choice in the second half of the traditional Daily Double. #4 PUBLIC SECTOR is bred up the yin yang for today's trip, and obviously must be included because of that and the connections. #3 DREAMING OF GERRY doesn't have too much green coursing through his veins, but has been conducting his affairs in a businesslike manner in the morning, and went for 2 1/2 times the stud fee at auction back in September.  OFF TURF: 8(MTO)-1-2-3-10(MTO)  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #5 POLINESIA fills the bill as 26% Brown is 1-10 in all applicable categories.  NOTE: THIS HAS BEEN AMENDED AS OF 12:15.


Race  3


2.Skyler's Scramjet

3.Reed Kan

#6 BITUMEN overcame a touch of early trouble to go all the way in the Belmont goo on the 10th of July, and six year old has had a bit of a resurgence since being "Switched from The Fish". Gelding has done his best work at this trip ( 4-11 ) compared to other distances of ground ( 2-28 ), and as this one has historically been about 5% better on a glib surface, a repeat is well within reach in this spot. #4 SKYLER'S SCRAMJET gave Reylu ( 1-89 ) his only winner of the meet ( we were on this one that day ), and you have to dig the 12:5-2-0 "declining: mark at the trip. #3 REED KAN is as game as they come, owns a 4 fer 7 mark at the dist., and the hat trick is quite doable here.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #5 CHATEAU doesn't make our first cut, so why would we take 5/2 ?


Race  4 

1.Quick Return

2.Saratoga Pal


Kudos to the owner of #5 QUICK RETURN ( Joe McMahon ) and trainer ( Jimmy Ferraro ) for continuing to eschew Lasix with this runner, as to quote the latter: "Why don't I give it to him? Because he doesn't need it." A true horseman. That aside, this runner has outperformed his expectations by completing the exacta in both starts to date, and the aforementioned shotcaller ( who normally wins 7% of the time ) is a whopping 14:5-5-1 with maiden special weight dirt stock who hit the board 8-50 days ago & are 11-1 or less ( $10, $6 x 2, $4 & $18 ). Note the blinker addition. #6 SARATOGA PAL flopped in the initial turf attempt, and is now switched back to what will most likely be his preferred surface down the road, and although the dirt #'s are nice, we'll leave beneath with the 4% rider assigned. #2 FARRAGUT brings three successive career Beyers into play today and must be included because of such. 


Race  5




#3 FEVOLA showed very little when returning off a 4+ month break in the action, and is promptly spotted back in the claiming ranks this afternoon. What's good to see is that the 26% barn is a near perfect 4 for 5 w/ mid level dirt dashers who missed the baccala 32-50 days back, and the mutuels for that sampling were $3 x 2, $4 & $9.  #5 ONESHOTATFOREVER barely beat home the chase ambulance when going over the gramma for the first time, and is quickly transferred back to the brown stuff by Schosberg in this spot. Eligible to rebound at a big price. #1 LARCENY rounds out the top three. 


Race  6 



3.Restored Order

Right off the bat, #4 SWILL reminds me of the M*A*S*H clip where Hawkeye exclaims that he has never swilled gin ( found right here ) -- "SWILL gin? Sir, I have sipped, lapped, and taken gin intravenously, but I have NEVER swilled!"  Having said that, this one was a well beaten but well clear runner up at first asking, and the 390 Tomlinson figure tells us that the result was likely not an aberration. $30,000 bred animal was bought for just about nine times that amount at FTK a year ago, and has oodles of upside. #9 UNITEDANDRESOLUTE outran his pedigree when finishing a lively second on the turf at the Pea Patch about five weeks back, and we're expecting an even better performance on dirt. #10 RESTORED ORDER was a mite green when starting things out in early March, and we're sure T.P. has worked out some of the kinks from that day. 


Race  7


2.Bourbon Bay


#3 ALBIE gave up the ghost rather readily at the top of the stretch in a near identical spot three weeks ago, but gets a big time improvement in the jock dept. in this spot, and the last time blinks were removed, there was a bit of improvement in regards to the Beyer. 11% Carlito clicks at a 3 for 7 rate when doing that equipment change to his turf routers at 24-1 or lower ( 1-41 days ), with payouts of $4, $18 & $24. #1 BOURBON BAY has been ITM in six of seven, and although he's hitting the blades for the 1st time, is nearly as well bred for it as the dirt, so we wouldn't be entirely shocked to see another 1-2-3 finish. #5 DANFUSI is the clear speed of this deal and may hang on for a piece.  OFF TURF: 7-1-3-11-9


Race  8 

1.Decorated Invader

2.Bama Breeze

3.Field Pass

Extremely competitive stakes on tap here.  #2 DECORATED INVADER has won five of seven, with the lone blemishes occurring in a 3/4 length defeat in the curtain raiser and the BC. Colt got the job done in his only start on the Mellon and is a deserving favorite. #1 BAMA BREEZE has gone 67-83-91 in his troika of outings on firm ground, so who knows where his ceiling is in regards to that, and just may sit a garden trip beneath Manny Man. You have to admire the grittiness of #7 FIELD PASS, who has won four of five, and  by an average margin of .38 lengths ( give or take ! ). We like this one's ability to send or rate a bit, and got his photo taken in his lone pairing with today's pilot.  OFF TURF: 1-2-3-5-6


Race  9 

1.Swiss Skydiver

2.Spice Is Nice

3.Harvey's Lil Goil

One of the highlights of the meet is upon us -- the Alabama Stakes -- and on the 35th anniversary of her win in such ( as well as winning the Filly Triple Crown ), I thought you might like some video of the Hall of Famer . As for the race itself, we're only seeing it as a two horse affair. Not that they will run 1-2, mind you, but that the winner will most likely come from this duet.  #5 SWISS SKYDIVER had her three race win skein snapped when running a gamely runner up behind next out winner Art Collector ( who dropped about 3.6 adj. points in winning easily at Ellis Park last weekend ), and even with a mild regression, should handle these. #2 SPICE IS NICE showed zippo in the lone 2X attempt, but we'll give her another chance because of the nice progression in all other starters. #6 HARVEY'S LIL GOIL has won three of her last four and can land a share. 


Race  10

1.Maxwell Esquire

2.Bustin Shout

3.New York's Finest

You can feel free to draw an upwards arrow next to the #1 MAXWELL ESQUIRE, as this one has steadily improved since starting things out last year. From a tight sampling, C-Squared is 4:3-1-0 with Saratoga based optional turf dashers who found the line first off of this type of break, and the mutuels were $9, $7 & $36. #9 BUSTIN SHOUT won this race right here on opening weekend, and is eligible because the money earned from the FL win was $1,200 below the conditional threshold, and we see no reason why a repeat isn't attainable. #5 NEW YORK'S FINEST has done excellent work at this trip & on this course; 23:9-1-0 mark tells you all you need to know about this one's knack for finding the line.  OFF TURF: 4-8-9-1-2


Race  11



3.Michael's Bad Boy

#7 GOLCONDA is slowly approaching professional maiden territory, but is a vastly improved animal when going T to D ( just like today ), and Gyarmati has a 2-3 mark when doing such with those who missed the money < 52 days ago & are stretching out ( 19-1 or undah ), with both winners paying eight clams. #4 BRICCO has hit the board in each & every start ( improving in the #'s area along the way ) & is a deserving chalk. #6 MICHAEL'S BAD BOY is another one trending in the right direction for today's 3rd off the layoff tango.  OFF TURF: 5-4-6-3-14(AE) 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     43-225     ( $376.30 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-14 ( 35.7% )   Favorites Win %       83-225 ( 36.9% )( 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