SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/20 - New York Turf Writers Handicap


Just a couple'a chalky winners yesterday to go along with five exacta boxes ( $32 reverse, $45, $23, $16 cold, & $141 reverse ) as well as a successful Beatable Favorite.  

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 4 - #7 Disciplinarian

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 - 8/20 - New York Turf Writers Handicap


Race  1

1.Gibralfaro ( Ire )

2.Moscato ( GB )

3.Zanjabeel ( GB )

Featured race of the day is the featured steeplechase race of the meet -- the New York Turf Writers Handicap -- and it's a very competitive affair. #8 GIBRALFARO (IRE) was an even third in the prep for this race two fortnights back, and gets a four pound break in the break in the weights from that day's victor, and a two pound swing from the runner up. Now we're not saying that's gonna be the difference in 3+ lengths, but this one has performed admirably in 3rd off the layoff tries, and we'll bite at exponentially higher odds than the two mentioned above. #5 MOSCATO (GB) has won two straight, 5 of 8, and 7 of 11, but not too many horses have swept the big stakes double here, so we'll leave the second part of the three headed Fisher monster beneath. #7 ZANJABEEl (GB) has thet type of "declining" record which we love to see ( 29:7-5-3 ) and may come along for a share.   NOTE: AS OF 11:20, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #6 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  2


2.Pago Querido

3.Tonal Verse

#6 THANKFUL was an honest runner up at this level down at Big Sandy a couple'a months back, and the pre-layoff pilot returns for one toting along a bullet breeze for the comebacker. Slight edge. #5 PAGO QUERIDO showed very little at 7/5 down in Wilmington first time out, but is confidently shipped northward for today's followup engagement, and J. Ortiz sees fit to accept the call. #2 TONAL VERSE came along decently to secure 10% of the purse when last in action at LRL, and as this one has yet to miss the board on the sand, who are we to rock that boat today? 


Race  3

1.Awesome Alana

2.Miss Jen

3.Out of Trouble

#5 AWESOME ALANA posted an adjusted 79.8 in her lone turf attempt way back when, and while this one may appear to have been beset by some layoff lines, she was, in fact, befallen by a dearth of turf opportunities AND the recent shutdown. New connections know what this one can do on the sod, and have her spotted smartly for the return to action. #4 MISS JEN owns a win & a placing the last two times she was available for purchase, and gets a positive jockey switch here. #1 OUT OF TROUBLE has never seen these depths & has done some nice work when breaking from the innermost three slots.  OFF TURF: 6-5-2-1-3(MTO)


Race  4 

1.Boom Boom Kaboom


3.Freudian Analyst

#6 BOOM BOOM KABOOM was a bit flat late in the game when a lukewarm 3-1 favorite right here three weeks ago, so the blinkers ( which were affixed for the first time that day ) are left in the tack room today by Weaver. Colt had hung up a lifetime best numero ( at a much higher level ) in the outing just prior to that, and has a big shot if able to get back to that effort. #1 YOUSAIDHELLO ran an adj. 66.1 when last putting his hooves on the Mellon, and goes from an apprentice to a journeyman in this spot. Could jazz things up a bit. #2 FREUDIAN ANALYST has been an improved animal since the son took over for the father, and that includes two different sets of tactics employed in as many calls to the post; jock scored with a bomber the other day, but was just loaded into the ambulance as of this writing on Sunday, so check the changes.  OFF TURF: 1-7-2-5-8  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #7 DISCIPLINARIAN


Race  5



3.Lake Chicot

This triad and no more for all our rolling wagers.  #1 CUSTOMEREXPERIENCE was kept in jail after the $25,000 claim 34 days ago, and can now be all yours for 80% of that amount, as Rudy Rod looks to make a quick profit for himself. Filly won her only start at this tricky dist., and Irad was aboard for the maiden breaker way back when. #6 LEAVEUWITHASMILE went coast to coast like butter and toast in the just mentioned heat, and is another who ended up with a different address afterwards. Logical contendress. #2 LAKE CHICOT got the job done in going away fashion right here two weeks back, and while this is a fair hike in class, we'd be remiss in leaving out. 


Race  6 

1.Future Book

2.Big Wonder 

3.Red Mule

#2 FUTURE BOOK spit the bit at the top of the lane in an open 40K event on 7/31, but is back in with conditional foes while cutting back to 1X as well. Meeeeeeeekest of selections. #5 BIG WONDER makes his 7th start in 108 days, and 4YO has been 1-2-3 in three of her four turf dashes during that period. Sidelined apprentice is replaced by Cancel today, and we'll toss him in with the drop back into the claiming ranks. #3 RED MULE owns a win & a fourth from as many "second off the L/O" attempts, and has done his finest work at this trip. Can't fault those taking a favorable view.  OFF TURF: 1-2-7-1A-8


Race  7

1.Ready to Escape

2.My Boy Tate


#3 READY TO ESCAPE outran his parimutual offering when completing the triple at 27-1 against optional foes on this course during the second week of the meet, and to be quite honest with y'all, we don't consider this much of a class upgrade today. That being stated, three returnees from said engagement came back to amass a 3:1-1-0 mark next out ( from two different races ), with ALL improving y an avg, of 24.8 points. Now, we don't quite see that happening with this Papa Englehart gelding, but perhaps a better barometer would be the runner up having improved by 9.1%. Should that occur today, than a 94.1 would be the end result -- which puts him smack dab in the middle of things; "short field, big price" theory in play. #4 MY BOY TATE owns a win & a placing from three "3rd off the shelf" jammies, and has done some nice work both at this trip and over this strip. #5 BINKSTER found the line first in his sole start off of this type of L/O scenario, and has beaten all but one in his three starts at Saratoga Springs. 


Race  8 

1.The Important One

2.Lead Guitar

3.Merlins Muse

#4 THE IMPORTANT ONE came from out of Siberia to get up in time when going over the blades for the first time back on the 5th of July, in her first start for The As-Man, and while she may have outran ( or is it outrun? ) her pedigree that day, it's difficult to dismiss one who's improved with each start and has yet to finish off the board. #7 LEAD GUITAR has an exceptional overall turf mark, and is in possession of a win & a placing from as many outings on this course. #1 MERLINS MUSE as good as any for the show dough.  OFF TURF: 3-7-4-6-5


Race  9 

1.We Should Talk

2.Foolish Ghost 

3.Dark Money

#2 WE SHOULD TALK shoots for the grand salami today, and it's well within reach today given the local win, as well as this barn's 3 for 4 ledger with freshly purchased dirt stock who got the job done < 22 days back ( $9, $8 & $4 ). #6 FOOLISH GHOST has done his best work at this dx., ( 3-11 ) in comparison to other trips ( 1-10 ), and after the flop in allowance company is back at the level claimed ( a win ) from two back. #1 DARK MONEY ( who has been alternating wins & losses over his last octet ) was kept in jail after the July 16th snag and is in for substantially less today, so you'd have to assume this one'll be fully cranked up.  NOTE: AS OF 11:23, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.

Saratoga         ( Current ):     47-255     ( $398.20 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-17 ( 29.4% )   Favorites Win %       92-255 ( 36.1% )( 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