SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/19 - Steeplechase Day


We had the duck on Sunday, but we hope to get back on track today !! 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 6 - #9 Balon Rose  Race 7 - #2 Blackjack Davey ( NOTE: AS OF 1:52, THIS IS NOT A BEATABLE FAVORITE )

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 - 8/19 - Steeplechase Day


Race  1

1.City Dreamer

2.Fast Car

3.Snap Decision

#8 CITY DREAMER (IRE) was pulled up after the 4th fence last time out, so you can effectively draw a line through that deal. Having said that, 21% barn is a tight 3 for 5 with locally based, second off the layoff ungraded male jumpers ( $9, $12 & $3 ), and this one may surprise at a price. #2 FAST CAR shoots for the hat trick today after getting the job done in his first try against winners ( never an easy thing to do ) in handy fashion right here. Same shedrow as the above has a whopping 15-29 record with ungraded male jumpers who won less than six weeks ago ( 4YO's & upwards ), with an ROI of $3.21. #1 SNAP DECISION is a perfect example of why we love steeplechase racing. Having finished 3rd to Mr. Buff & 2nd to Bricks and Mortar, this one became a hurdler after losing his 11th straight, and the results have been spectacular. 8:6-2-0 mark with more than  230,000 earned tells the tale. Fella can complete the "Fisher Triple" based on the 5 fer 9 Formulator stat which has him at just that with 3rd off the layoff ungraded jumpers who won their last & are 5-2 or undah today ( positive return on investment ). 


Race  2

1.Jill's a Hot Mess

2.Stimulus Check

3.Gray Lollipops

We don't feel the need to delve any deeper than our exacta selections for the rolling action. #5 JILL'S A HOT MESS has improved with each passing start, and as she got an awful trip last time out, Cancel is given the boot in favor of a better gate jock. #1 STIMULUS CHECK hasn't shown much in the mornings, but Matties can put one over from time to time, and this is a January foal with a healthy ( 404 ) Tomlinson figure. #2 GRAY LOLLIPOPS has been working exceptionally well for today's career starter, and is thought highly enough to be shipped up from Penn National for this. 


Race  3

1.Tinder Date



We don't really have a good read on this race, so tread lightly.  #3 TINDER DATE has a couple'a decent morning moves for today's initial foray, and is nicely bred for the trip. Slimmest of margins. #1 INGRASSIA hasn't done much in the A.M.'s to get the pulse racing, but $200,000 homebred has some decent pedigree and you must respect the connections. #6 FUNWHILEITLASTED outran her odds when splitting the field at 52-1 down at Elmont on 7/9, and we'll chunk in once again.  OFF TURF: 2-1A-1-3-4  NOTE: AS OF 11:46, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  4 

1.Curlin Grey

2.Eden Ridge 


These three & no more for all our rollers.  #6 CURLIN GREY was an honest runner up in this race 2 1/2 years ago, and 17% bossman nearly doubles that rate ( 7-22 ) with mid level dirt stayers who crashed the fiesta less than 34 days back, and there's a positive return on investment in that regards ( as well as a 1-1 sub category right here ). #3 EDEN RIDGE bested only one at a zillion to one 11 days back, but sheds weight & class, and is one of five right here. #2 HOFFENHEIM finds himself at an all time low for today's first start in a new barn & may land a share.  NOTE: AS OF 11:47, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #5 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  5

1.Financial System

2.Go Poke the Bear

3.Mick's Star

#8 FINANCIAL SYSTEM is three fer three when available for purchase, 6:3-2-0 @ the dist., and there's a nice DRF Formulator stat in play here, as this clan has won 7 of 10 with runners of this ilk off respites of < 62 days ( 5-1 or undah ), with mutuals of $3, $5 x 2, $6 x 2, $7 & $9. #2 GO POKE THE BEAR has only beaten home six in his last four calls to the post, but is a neck shy of having won his last three starts when entered for 40G or less, and may jazz things up a bit. #6 MICK'S STAR has never seen these depths and is eligible to snag a piece.  OFF TURF: 7-9-8-5-1  NOTE: AS OF 11:47, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  6 

1.Kitten by the Sea

2.Joyous Times


#7 KITTEN BY THE SEA has steadily improved with each passing outing, and although the front wraps were added in the most recent, she was gutsy in finishing 3rd that afternoon. The Toddster has a snazzy 17:7-0-3 with second off the L/O turf routers at this level, who hit the board when last in action. #4 JOYOUS TIMES has completed the exacta in her last troika, and did so at odds between 7-2 & 19-1. From a small survey, Lerman is 5:2-2-0 with those going long on the lawn at this level who were 1-2-3 1-53 days back & are 11-1 or below ( $7 & $13 ). #6 KELLEYCANRUN comes in today off of a lifetime best fig, and can improve in today's 2nd start off a break.  OFF TURF: 1-2(MTO)-4-3-7  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #9 BALON ROSE doesn't make our first cut, so why would we take 7/2?


Race  7

1.Big Thicket

2.Golani Brigade


#7 BIG THICKET has hit the board in four straight, and from the most minuscule of samplings, Rudy Rod is two for five w ith Saratoga based allowance turf sprinters who were in the money 16-50 days in the rear ( $24 & $5 ). #1 GOLANI BRIGADE hasn't been seen since Hector was a pup, but the lone tally came at this trip & over this strip, and is an obvious factor if fully cranked up. #5 QUICKFLASH has yet to finish off the board, and that's enough reason to leave in the mix. BEATABLE FAVORITE: #2 BLACKJACK DAVEY will be led over by a 22% trainer who's half of that in all applicable categories.  NOTE: AS OF 1:55, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 1-5-2 WITH NO BEATABLE FAVORITE.


Race  8 

1.Toby's Heart

2.Joy's Rocket

3.Mischievous Dream

Ugh with this race already...  #6 TOBY'S HEART was visually impressive when getting the job done at first asking down in Louisville, Kentucky on the 4th of June, and while she may have outrun her pedigree that day, we'd be remiss in excluding, given the big number posted. #2 JOY'S ROCKET has won both starts under different circumstances ( dirt & poly, America & Canada, two different pilots ), and we like when juvies show that kind of versatility early in their careers. Santana back in the irons today, and this is a tough one to leave off the ticket as well. #9 MISCHIEVOUS DREAM overcame a bunch of trouble when starting things out on the inner turf course on opening weekend, and although the number came back a bit lowish, this one is bred to do better.  OFF TURF: 2-9-3-6-10(MTO)


Race  9 

1.Eighty Seven North

2.Big Al's Gal

3.Sandra's Mine

#5 EIGHT SEVEN NORTH has been a part of the superfecta in 11 of 15 starts to date, and was a lively runner up in her lone "third off the vacation" deal. Meeeeeeeeeekest of selections in a nitecap that leaves a lot to be desired. #1 BIG AL'S GAL showed very little in the turf bow, but hey, it was just her debut, and how were you when you took the training wheels off? She rebounded with a nice effort on the sand, and she just may be on the choo choo for today's initial stretchout. #3 SANDRA'S MINE completed the exacta at 17-1 the only time she ran off this kind of a respite, and is second time blinkers today.  OFF TURF: 5-1-3-8-14(MTO) 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     45-246     ( $389.20 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-16 ( 31.3% )   Favorites Win %       89-246 ( 36.2% )( As of Monday 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