SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 8/22 - Fourstardave Day


Let's make believe yesterday didn't happen, shall we?

Just a reminder that for today's Del Mar Oaks & Pacific Classic selections & analysis from Del Mar, merely go back one page. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 9 - #1 Raging Bull ( Fr )

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 - 8/22 - Fourstardave Day


Race  1



3.After Five

#2 EXPLAIN has fared pretty poorly under two different sets of conditions ( one turn dirt & two turns on the sod ), and in an effort to shake up the branches a bit, Maker cuts him back this afternoon, which may actually bear some fruit. Why, you say? Well, after a bit of research, we see that the aforementioned shotcaller is a tight three for four when cutting back his turfers at this level who missed the money < six weeks back ( $11, $9 & $40 ). Jockey/trainer combo positively kill it up here. Employing the "Diamond in the Rough" methodology with #5 TAKEAWAY, as there's a bullet morning move amidst a bevy of ordinary works. #3 AFTER FIVE ( uncoupled entrymate with our secondary selection ) has been conducting his A.M. affairs in a professional manner for today's bow, and January foal has a maturity advantage over the entire field.  OFF TURF: 1-4(MTO)-5-2-6  NOTE: AS OF 11:11 WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 1-2-6.


Race  2


2.Macho Jack


#4 AIRTOUCH hasn't been in action since the 10th of November, but new gelding posted a career best numero in his lone start off a respite, and clearly has the finest collection of speed figures in the lot. While it's great that The Toddster has an 8:4-2-1 trainer stat when putting his locally based mid level dirt dashers up for sale for the first time ( 51-475 days ), it's somewhat disconcerting that they're giving up on him already. I would put this one in the "Bet but don't claim" department. #2 MACHO JACK went coast to coast like butter and toast right here 16 days back, and ended up in a new barn afterwards for all his efforts. Logical right back. #3 KILMARKNOCK rounds out the tri..


Race  3

1.Fast Getaway

2.French Reef ( Ire )


#2 FAST GETAWAY has hit the board in five straight, 10 of 12 on the gramma, owns a modest 2:0-1-1 mark in 3rd off the layoff tries, and will be led over by a conditioner who has a crisp 4-6 record with Saratoga turf sprinters at this level who crashed the fiesta less than 54 days ago ( 8-1 or lower ). The mutuels for that sampling came back $5, $8, $10 & $15, and we would prefer to see this one sit a pocket trip. #5 FRENCH REEF (IRE) blitzed maidens right here a month ago, and makes all kinds of sense once again. #6 CRYOGENIC missed by just a honkah in this race 27 days in the rear, and owns a nice "declining" mark at the trip ( 11:4-3-1 ).  OFF TURF: 4(MTO)-5-2-6-7  NOTE: AS OF 11:24, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 8-7-2.


Race  4 


2.Heavy Roller


#1 THEBIGFUNDAMENTAL showed nothing in his first start off a 17 month hibernation, but this lightly raced 7YO gave an honest showing in his only second off the layoff jammie, and Pletcher charge is now halved in price. Slimmest of margins in a race with no first draft eliminations. #6 HEAVY ROLLER had his claim voided when last seen ( uh oh ), so right off the bat, it would behoove you to take a looksie during the warmups. Having said that, this one has partaken in the exacta in about half of his calls to the post, and has a sensational 9:5-2-1 ledger when last to load. #5 MAJID was likely entered for this race just minutes after being claimed 72 hours ago ( a wire job ), and bay chap is one for two in second off the L/O attempts.  NOTE: AS OF 11:27, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  5



3.Shifting Sands ( GB ) 

#8 WINFROMWITHIN showed a numerical improvement from the debut to the followup, and his pedigree tells us that today's initial surface switch ( as well as the stretchout ) is quite doable. Recognize the fact that mommy was 1-5 in turf routes ( 27K ), and that daddy was a synthetic specialist ( which can often translate to decent turf form ). #4 WHATMAKESSAMMYRUN completes the tongue twisting exacta for Johnny I based on a couple'a decent workouts from his last triad, and being a half to Shakhimat -- who was 3 for 15 going long on the lawn ( $254,039 earned ). #3 SHIFTING SANDS (GB) is a $322,000 bred animal with monstrous turf bloodlines, and powerhouse connections; tough to dismiss.  OFF TURF: 11(MTO)-9-12(MTO)-1-6  NOTE: AS OF 11:41, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 11-1-1A-9.


Race  6 

1.Central Exit

2.Happy Hill Lil

3.Flattering Eyes

#4 CENTRAL EXIT was an even 4th in the return engagement on 7/9, and drops a few pegs off of that while drawing a more advantageous post. Eligible to improve in today's second off the break foray. #8 HAPPY HILL LIL barely beat home the chase ambulance in the 7/22 heat, but gal was on the improve prior to the ( lack of ) effort, and gets in light with a bug assigned. We've made money in the past, with horses that were eased in their most recent ( using certain parameters ) and this one just may spice things up. #1 FLATTERING EYES is another who barely finished when last in action, but has several decent running lines, and we'll toss beneath despite the Reylu being on a 1-101 streak. 


Race  7

1.Maker Entry

2.Alley Oop Johnny


Both halves of the Mike Maker entry -- #1 TURN OF EVENTS & #1A DOUBLY BLESSED -- rate a decent shot in this spot. The former comes in today off a lifetime best figaro in the diploma earning performance last out, and the latter showed substantial improvement when procuring the sheepskin down in Oldsmar back in May, and could be rolling late should a hot pace develop. #9 ALLEY OOP JOHNNY overcame some trouble to outrun his odds in a big way when being reunited w/ Bruce Brown, as this three year old completed the exactor ( for those nord des lignes ) at 33-1, posting a best ever fig; barn having a nice little meet. #5 ARITHMETIC was a mite flat when adding blinkers in the first start off the snag, but given the near perfect ledger prior to that, we have no qualms about including at 20-1.  OFF TURF: 1A-2-3(MTO)-5-6  NOTE: AS OF 11:49, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 6-1A-5.   NOTE: AS OF 12:50, OUR SELECTIONS WILL BE 6-5-2.


Race  8 

1.Pletcher Entry

2.Winston's Chance

3.Sea Foam

#1 BLEWITT ( two of two in "3rd off the shelf" deals ) and #1A LEGIT ( two for six on the sand ) form decent halves of the T.P. entry, as he's most definitely shooting for the title, judging by how he's been spotting his horses this week. #5 WINSTON'S CHANCE was a gamely runner up in what we would consider to be a tougher race 2 1/2 weeks ago, and not only does this one have a sweet declining record which we love so much, but an affinity for this oval as well. #3 SEA FOAM ( cross entered yesterday at MTH, so check the changes ) is two fer four off L/O's on a glib surface, and has done fine work with Joel aboard. 


Race  9 

1.Casa Creed

2.Got Stormy

3.Without Parole ( GB )

Today's featured race is named after one of our favorite horses of all time, Fourstardave. The Leo O'Brien trained son of Compliance won at least one race up here for EIGHT consecutive years -- a feat that is unlikely to ever be broken. For your pleasure, we've enclosed a 27 minute tribute to 'Dave right here , as well as a link to his Wiki page for your edification . Enjoy.  In what we believe is the best race of the meet thus far, we'll go with a bomber in the #2 CASA CREED. Mott trainee hung a bit in the Wise Dan down in Louisville, but won his only start right here ( 105.1 Adj. ) & finished 2nd & 3rd in both "third off the bench" attempts ( losing by less than a length in each ). The adjusted BSF's for those came back 109.8 & 104.1. Now, is he gonna hang up a number like those today? Probably not. But even if you average them out ( 106.3 ) and deduct 5% for the hell of it ( 101.1 ), then THAT number puts him smack dab in the middle of things -- and at 20-1 beneath his favorite helmsman. The bloom is a bit off the rose for #4 GOT STORMY, who has lost four straight & 6 of 7 after winning this race last annum, but we'll chunk in at 8-1 because of her fondness of this trip & course. #8 WITHOUT PAROLE (GB) won a Group 1 at Royal Ascot in his lone try off of this kind of layoff scenario, and may be rolling late.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #1 RAGING BULL (FR) is 0-3 when breaking from the innermost two slots, 0-1 on the Inner, and 0-1 in 3rd off the respite races ( with NONE of those affairs overlapping). Toss in a 1-11 trainer stat in all pertinent categories, and we'll take a stand against at 5/2.  OFF TURF: 3-8-9-2-1


Race  10




#5 BATTALION got squeezed at the onset right here in a more difficult spot on the 18th of July, but came along nicely to land 20% of the pot, and the winner that day got the job done again next time out, improving the prior Beyer by three pts.; late double for Junior ?  #9 RAKEEZ got his photo taken for the first time down in Hallandale Beach back in mid January, but then disappeared for one reason or another, and while the works have been steady, if not spectacular, for today's return, we'll leave underneath until seeing one. #3 CATORAT has been a part of the action in his quartet of grass outings, and should be right there late in the game.  OFF TURF: 1-5-6-7-9   NOTE: AS OF 11:52, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #6 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.

Saratoga         ( Current ):     49-273     ( $415.40 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-19 ( 26.3% )   Favorites Win %       98-264 ( 36.1% )( 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