SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/21


A breakeven day for us here yesterday on an afternoon laden with chalk. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 4 - #4 Eagle Orb

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 - 8/21


Race  1

1.The Golden Door

2.Our Destiny

3.Advanced Strategy

#1 THE GOLDEN DOOR hasn't shown much in the mornings for today's initial foray, but $15,000 bred animal went for 6X that amount at auction, and those who honk for Donk were tooting their horns on Sunday, as he won three straight races on the card ( $22, $20 & $37 ). Aforementioned shotcaller is also 13:3-2-2 with turf sprinting firsters at this level ( $21, $30 & $79 ), with sub categories of 2 for 2 w/colts, and 2 for 4 at Saratoga. As the late Billy Mays said: "But wait -- there's more!!"  Jockey trainer combo click at a 7 for 13 rate with male turfers ( FTS-30 days ) at 9-1 or lower, and the mutuels for that sampling were $17, $12, $20, $5, $8, $10 & $7 !!  #3 OUR DESTINY exits a race where four returnees have amassed a cumulative 4:2-0-1 ledger in their followup engagements, with the two winners ( having finished in front of this one ) improving by an average of 13 Beyer points. #6 ADVANCED STRATEGY has posted two solid figaros to date and is in receipt of the "Wonder Drug" for the first time.   OFF TURF: 2-5-6-1-3


Race  2

1.The Angry Man


3.Lucky Asset 

We won't be going any deeper than our top two selections for all our rolling action.  You can feel free to draw an upwards arrow next to the #5 THE ANGRY MAN, as this one has improved with each passing start ( including three straight exacta finishes ), and this one just may dig the second turn on the sand. #2 ASHIHAM ( who should be no worse than second for all you place punters ) has immolated baccala over his last quartet, but as he's partaken in the superfecta in all his starts to date and must be included because of the collection of BSF's. #6 LUCKY ASSET split the field in this race 23 days back and can grab a share. 


Race  3

1.Sunny Isle Beach


3.Kentucky Knight

#1 SUNNY ISLE BEACH ( one part of the three headed Ward monster ) overcame being seven wide in the CD debut back in June, to pick up the lion's share of the pot when entered for a tag. Gal is decently bred for today's initial turf try, and WW has a near perfect three for four record with second timers going short on the sod for the first time ( 58-94 days ), with payouts of $5, $3 & $12. #5 FAUCI bested 11 others when procuring the sheepskin in his 1st turf try down at KEE, but don't go all in on this one, as despite the "word" having been out on him pre debut, the turf pedigree ain't great, so we'll use -- but cautiously. #3 KENTUCKY KNIGHT is exceptionally well bred for this deal & owns a decent gate breeze for today's career opener.


Race  4 

1.What's My Category

2.Cape Cod Gem

3.Seven Seven

#5 WHAT'S MY CATEGORY begins his working life this afternoon, and does such with a few decent works & a 362 Tomlinson figure for the trip. This colt out of an unraced dam, and is a half to two dirt sprinters who went one fer three @ this dx. ( 44K & 21K ), and was sired by an hombre who was four of six dancing to this music. #6 CAPE COD GEM has been doing okay in the A.M.'s for today's primary trip to the races, and is nicely bred for this sorta deal. #3 SEVEN SEVEN showed very little first time out, but there's no scary drop, and Looie sticks around.   BEATABLE FAVORITE: #4 EAGLE ORB will be led over by a bossman who's oh-fer-21 in all applicable categories.


Race  5

1.Knockout Punch

2.More Like It


#8 KNOCKOUT PUNCH is a maiden facing winners, but that doesn't bother us all to much, as the adjusted figure from the most recent came back a 69.5. While that's a bit less than some others signed on, it was his highest turf sprinting fig to date, so perhaps there's room for more improvement in today's 3rd off the L/O try. Recognize the recent bullet breeze down at Belmont, which is always a good sign for one who comes from off the pace, but check for a possible rider switch, as Cardenas got banged up recently. #6 MORE LIKE IT has gotten better and better and better, and we see no reason to exclude off the maiden breaking effort. #7 STANDUP is an extremely consistent sort who should be right there late in the game.  OFF TURF: 7-6-9-5-3(MTO)  NOTE: AS OF 1:17, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  6 

1.Mirabell Mei

2.Eye of a Soldier

3.Lashara ( GB )

#7 MIRABELL MEI was in the rear with the gear in the Grade 2 Lake Placid a month ago, bit this miss' sole victory came in a second off the layoff scenario, and she gets some sorely needed class relief today. Over the last 60 months, Terranova is a tight 3 fer 4 with allowance turf routers returning in less than 66 days ( at 27-1 or under ) with healthy payouts of $38, $11 & $6. #2 EYE OF A SOLDIER has completed the exacta in both starts over firm ground ( one of them a career best # at this locale on July 26th ), and $1,500 bred runner has already earned her keep since starting things out last year. #1 LASHARA (GB) was also somewhat disappointing in the just mentioned graded heat, but is a half length shy of a poyfect two for two in the other turf tries, and just may sit a pocket trip.  OFF TURF: 5(MTO)-6-8-1-7


Race  7

1.Jump for Joy

2.Solitary Gem

3.Lady by Choice

#3 JUMP FOR JOY owns a win and a third from as many 3rd off the shelf tries, has a 4:2-1-0 mark at SAR, and is one for two @ the trip; lightly raced seven year old mare is quite game and is a sensible selection. #1 SOLITARY GEM ( cross entered yesterday, so check the scratches ) is confidently doubled up in class despite having been kept in jail since the Belmont purchase, and has done her best work beneath the bug who's slated to ride. #2 LADY BY CHOICE has been a part of the action in about 2/3rd's of her lifetime outings, and that's reason enough to chunk beneath.


Race  8 



3.Noble Emotion

#5 VENTUS takes his primary sojourn over the blades in the first half of the late double, and although the turf Tomlinson is a bit on the low side, this one has been heading in the right direction over his last sextet, and she's reunited with the helmsman from her last tally. Slim choice in a race with no first draft eliminations. #6 BEACHSIDE completed the triple ( or trifecta, if that's your bag ) in the lone try off an absence, and like we mentioned earlier, "Double D" had himself a day on Sunday. #8 NOBLE EMOTION hasn't seen the scene since last October, but chap has oodles of zip, and has lost his procreating abilities since last facing the starter.  OFF TURF: 7(MTO)-4-6-3(MTO)-1


Race  9 

1.Plink Freud

2.Gaelic Gold

3.Dancing Slippers

#5 PLINK FREUD closed out the exacta both times she was in a 2nd off the L/O situation, and as they occurred after poor outings, we're expecting a solid performance today. #6 GAELIC GOLD returned off the brief respite to rally for the show dough on this course back on July 22nd, and J/T combination have sizzled this meet. #2 DANCING SLIPPERS hung up a lifetime best figaro the last time she went from brown to green and may spice things up a bit beneath.  OFF TURF: 7-4-6-2-1(MTO) 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     49-264     ( $415.40 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-18 ( 27.8% )   Favorites Win %       98-264 ( 36.1% )( As of Friday 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